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Connacht Tribune

Homecomings are ‘a tragedy waiting to happen’

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Dangerous practices during sports homecoming events were under the microscope at this week’s meeting of the County Joint Policing Committee, with members warning that reckless behaviour was ‘a fatality waiting to happen’.

In particular, the issues of people ‘hanging out car windows’ and sitting on top of moving vehicles were the subject of scrutiny by members of the JPC.

Chairman of the JPC, Cllr Peter Roche (FG), said the issue was first brought to his attention when concerned members of the public contacted him to relay details of three young people sitting on top of a vehicle travelling at 30km per hour, as part of a homecoming celebration.

“I don’t want to be a killjoy but this is on the agenda as a consequence of a phone call I got from people referring to what they witnessed in after-match convoys where cups are being brought home.

“I want people to enjoy themselves and generally, I have no real issue with people hanging body parts out the window,” said Cllr Roche.

“But they were outside the vehicle and the car was travelling at 30km per hour and the person who contacted me was genuinely concerned that if the vehicle had to brake, these people would have been catapulted in front of the car behind them,” he continued.

New member of the JPC, Gerry Larkin, who was Galway GAA County Chairman from 2007 to 2011, said he was ‘delighted’ this issue had been raised.

“This is a fatality waiting to happen. We need to have zero tolerance in relation to young children hanging out of cars – and it is not the child who’s to blame, it’s the parents or the team manager.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a widespread problem, but it does happen and Cumann Luthchleas Gael would completely dicourage this type of action,” said Mr Larkin.

Cllr Frank Kearney (FG) said it happened after more than just GAA matches and said it was incumbent on all organisations to ensure the safety of their members.

“This solely doesn’t apply to GAA teams and I wouldn’t like them to be singled out. There is no question whatsoever that it is highly dangerous,” said Cllr Kearney.

Chief Superintendent of the Galway Garda Division, Tom Curley, said while he too didn’t want to be a “killjoy”, it would only take one accident “for this to come to a head”.

“It will be the driver or the club that will come into the fold,” he said.

“The insurance company won’t stand over it if anything happens. It is escalating and it is dangerous.”

During the discussion, Cllr Kearney raised concerns over the practice of lighting bonfires in dangerous locations as part of the same celebrations.

“Added to that issue is when there is a town and people might light bonfires out on the road in dangerous places.

“There is no need to be outside your own house. If there is space opposite your own house, then I’ve no problem with it being there but it shouldn’t be out on the road. That applies to all sporting organisations,” said Cllr Kearney.

Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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