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Connacht Tribune

Housing crisis hits a perfect storm

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The scale of Galway’s housing crisis has been laid bare this week across a spate of fronts – from the upsurge in mortgage trauma to the dearth of rental accommodation for families and students alike.

First up, the country’s ‘mortgage crusader’ David Hall has revealed that homeowners in Galway are struggling with their finances more than those anywhere else in the country.

At the moment, his Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation is helping 97 clients in Galway. But he said many more are ‘teetering on the brink’ and could face serious trouble if there’s a cut in income or interest rates increase.

The housing crisis is even more acute for social welfare recipients, who are finding there’s ‘no room at the inn’ in Galway’s hostile rental market.

That’s according to Galway Simon Community, which this week claimed that it is “almost impossible” for people relying on state housing help to find suitable accommodation in the city. The charities latest snapshot study of the state of the local rental market, found that, out of the 22 properties available to rent in Galway city, not one was within the housing support limits for a single person, couple, or couple or parent with one or two children.

That lack of availability is also hitting students this week – coupled with the news that, even if they do secure a place to live, they will pay an average of €850 extra for the 2017/18 academic year compared to the previous year.

Figures from property website Daft.ie show that rents in private accommodation in Galway have risen by more than half since their lowest point in early 2012 – and up more than one-fifth on their Celtic Tiger peak.

See full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Progress stalls on setting up Eating Disorder Community Health Team

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Despite an increasing number of young people experiencing eating disorders, a new specialist community team has yet to be set up in Galway well over a year after it was announced.

The delay is mainly due to a difficulty recruiting a consultant psychiatrist to lead the team, this week’s HSE West Regional Health Forum meeting was told.

Councillor John Connolly (FF) queried the progress on the new Eating Disorder Community Health Team within the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) after the HSE revealed in September 2021 that it would be set up in response to the hike in youths presenting for treatment.

Chief Officer of HSE Community Healthcare West, Breda Crehan-Roche, said interviews had been conducted to recruit a clinical lead, but so far none had been appointed. Six other staff had been appointed and these had been assigned to existing teams within CAMHS while a psychiatrist could come on board to manage the team.

“We have difficulty getting locum cover. Interviews were held. It’s a priority. We are doing a running recruitment process,” she told this month’s meeting.

It took between six and nine months to appoint a person to such a senior post.

“There is a lot of work in specialist intervention in the eating disorders team.”

She admitted that there were no records of how much of an increase there had been in referrals to CAMHS Galway for youths troubled by an eating disorder as all records were on paper rather than on computer.

“I can’t ask clinicians and therapists to pull together manual figures,” she stated. But the indication from staff on the ground was that there had been a downward trend in referrals post-Covid.

There was a move to keeping digital records by the middle of next year.

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Connacht Tribune

Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan dies aged 78

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Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan has passed away at the age of 78.

Born in Kilkenny in 1944, Bishop Drennan studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth from where he was ordained in 1968

As a priest, the then Fr Drennan served as curate in both St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Kilkenny and then in Ballycallan.

From 1975 he taught Sacred Scripture at St. Kieran’s College, returning to Rome in 1980 to become Spiritual Director at the Irish College there for the next five years.

When Fr. Martin again returned home he became a Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997.

Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was chosen as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and was installed on 3rd July 2005 in Galway Cathedral serving to his retirement in 2016.

A brief statement released by the Diocese of Galway this afternoon confirmed his passing and offered their sympathies to Bishop Drennan’s family and all those who mourn his loss.

Funeral arrangements for the late Bishop Drennan will be announced later

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Connacht Tribune

Gardaí appeal for help to locate missing man

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Gardaí are seeking help from the public in locating a 66-year-old man who has been missing from Clonbur since Thursday.

Michael Harte is described as being 5’ 9” in height, of slim build with short grey hair. When last seen, he was wearing blue jeans, a blue jumper, a tan / khaki padded jacket and tan boots.

He is understood to have access to a black Renault Megane with a 02 C registration.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Clifden Garda Station on 095 2250,  the Garda confidential line on 1800 666111 or any Garda station.

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