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Government to press ahead with sale of Connemara airstrips

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht has confirmed that it will divest itself of two airstrips on Inis Boffin and in Cleggan.

The Connemara airstrips were built at a cost of ten million euro to the State but have never been brought into operation.

The Department has stated that arrangements are now being made for the sale.

A valuation has not yet been made.

However, a Spokesperson says the best possible return for the State will be sought.

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85 new cases in Galway, 1,378 nationally and 23 further deaths from COVID-19

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 23 additional deaths related to COVID-19.

All 23 of these deaths occurred in January.

The median age of those who died is 84 years and the age range is 61-99 years.

There has been a total of 2,970 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight, Saturday 23rd January, the HPSC has been notified of 1,378 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 187,554* confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. 

Of the cases notified today:

  • 643 are men / 730 are women
  • 58% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 39 years old
  • 379 in Dublin, 145 in Cork, 86 in Wexford, 85 in Galway, 71 in Limerick, and the remaining 612 cases are spread across all other counties**

As of 2pm today, 1,931 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 218 are in ICU. 44 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer said: “While we are starting to make progress in reducing the level of the virus in the community, this is a critical time for all of us to hold firm to the public health advice. We must not let down our guard against this highly infectious disease and the risk it poses to ourselves and those most medically vulnerable to infection.

“There is a huge volume of disease in the country and the recent surge in cases continues to place an unprecedented strain on ICUs, hospitals and other frontline healthcare services. The answer lies in driving down social contacts and congregation in all settings, including in workplaces.

“Everyone who can, should work from home where possible. For those of us who cannot work from home, it is essential to follow the public health advice in the workplace, such as the wearing of face coverings when moving around communal areas. We urge all employers to facilitate home working as much as possible and to ensure strict adherence to public health measures in the workplace.”

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community.

*Validation of data at the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of 8 confirmed cases. The figure of 187,554 confirmed cases reflects this.

**County data should be considered provisional as the national Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting System (CIDR) is a dynamic system and case details are continually being validated and updated.

Today’s cases, 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population and new cases in last 14 days (as of midnight 23 January 2021) (incidence rate based on Census 2016 county population)

CountyToday’s cases**(to midnight 23Jan2021)14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population (to 23Jan2021)New Cases during last 14 days(to 23Jan2021)
Ireland 1,378 840.7 40,031
 Monaghan 61 1,661.6 1,020
 Mayo 40 1,322.5 1,726
 Louth 59 1,259.3 1,623
 Carlow 21 1,103.1 628
 Wexford 86 1,056.6 1,582
 Waterford 50 984.7 1,144
 Limerick 71 974.9 1,900
 Dublin 379 937.8 12,635
 Galway 85 892.0 2,302
 Donegal 33 826.0 1,315
 Cavan 26 800.8 610
 Cork 145 800.4 4,345
 Meath 59 773.7 1,509
 Offaly 28 705.5 550
 Kildare 44 698.4 1,554
 Laois 17 673.0 570
 Clare 17 663.2 788
 Roscommon 8 646.1 417
 Tipperary 26 641.2 1,023
 Wicklow 27 525.9 749
 Kilkenny 16 468.6 465
 Westmeath 22 454.0 403
 Kerry 18 437.4 646
 Sligo 23 431.8 283
 Longford 9 376.8 154
 Leitrim 8 280.9 90

7-day incidence 312

5-day moving average 2,148

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Minister of state praises voluntary groups who benefited from 2020 Community Enhancement Programme

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton has praised the voluntary groups who were recipients of grants that they used on projects designed to adapt and protect against Covid 19.

The 2020 Community Enhancement programme benefited a total of 69 voluntary groups in the city and county who received nearly €120,000 in the form of small capital grants.

The annual scheme provides grant support to community groups, particularly in disadvantaged areas, but last year focused on helping organisations to cope with the challenges presented by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Among the beneficiaries in the city was Galway Centre for Independent Living, which received a grant of €5,000; and Ballinfoile Castlegar Neighbourhood Centre, which was allocated a total of €4,540. Westside Age Inclusion Ltd was awarded €3,300.

In the county, Active in Age in Oranmore and Headford Men’s Shed were among the recipients, along with the Irish Heart Foundation and Connemara RFC in Oughterard. Cúl an Tí in Spiddal received €2,900, while Athenry First Responders benefitted from a grant of €2,580.

Deputy Naughton explained that the measures taken by these groups made big differences to their communities and have advised groups interested in applying this year to should contact their local community development committee when the programme is launched in the coming months.

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Winter driving safety tips and advice

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Galway bay FM Newsroom – As the first fall of snow hit most of the Country overnight , it may be a welcome sight to many as it gives us something new to talk about besides Covid19, but road safety officials want to remind road users to stay safe when they hit the roads when making that essential journey. The beginning of the winter season is often an adjustment period for drivers until they get used to driving in snow and ice again. This is especially true for newly licensed drivers who lack the experience, many it may be their first experience of driving in the snow or ice.

Many parents can relate to this worry as they try to past on their knowledge to not always very receptive ears.

“Even the best drivers need to change their driving habits in winter weather,” said Noel Gibbons road safety officer in the communications department of Mayo County Council. “Driving in winter weather can be intimidating and conditions can change very quickly. It’s imperative for drivers to know how to navigate during snowfall or icy conditions. Preparation is the key to avoiding a dangerous situation whilst driving in snowy or icy conditions.

Stay put .Stay home if you can do so and wait for conditions to improve before heading out.

Drive slower. Adjust your speed to account for lower traction when driving in ice and snow.

Increase your following distance: Increase your following distance to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.

Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the accelerator  slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Take plenty of time to slow down for a stoplight. 

Remove all snow from your vehicle before venturing out. Check the washer fluid level and completely clear your vehicle of snow and ice prior to driving, including all lights for visibility

Take caution on hills. Observe how other vehicles react and maintain a safe distance.

Operate your vehicle safely. Don’t use cruise control and make sure headlights are on.

Take extra caution on bridges and shaded areas. They freeze before roads.

Black ice: Transparent ice may form on the roadway. If you notice ice forming on any object, assume that it is forming on the road surface as well. Bridges are usually the first surfaces to freeze. Drive slowly and, if possible, avoid driving on icy surfaces. Gritted roads don’t equal ice free roads.

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