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HSE reveals 183 crèche inspections in last year

Denise McNamara

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By Denise McNamara

 The Health Service Executive has revealed that it carried out 183 routine inspections in Galway crèches and childcare facilities and investigated 30 complaints last year.

The HSE Children and Family Services in Galway also carried out 22 follow-up visits in the wake of its inspections, according to a statement issued by the agency following queries by the Connacht Sentinel in the wake of last week’s Prime Time documentary into crèches.

The pre-school service has five staff dedicated to the sector – a manager, three preschool service officers and a clerical officer.

“HSE Children and Family Services takes all complaints seriously and, if required, will carry out an inspection of the crèche/childcare facility following receipt of a complaint,” it said.

“When choosing a crèche or childcare facility for their child or if they have any concerns regarding the standard of the service provided in a crèche, parents can ask their crèche for a copy of the most recent inspection report. The HSE Children and Family Services intend to publish these inspection reports online in the coming months, so that they are more readily available to parents.

“Parents who may have a concern relating to their child care provider should firstly raise this with the service provider. In the vast majority of cases the management of the service can take action to resolve the concerns.

“However, if a parent is not satisfied with the response provided by the childcare service then they can contact Children and Family Services Inspectors who will investigate their concerns.”

Nationally, the agency said crèches received a visit from an inspector on average every 18-24 months.

“This compares favorably with other jurisdictions where visits take place, for example in the UK every 3-4 years,” the HSE said.

The owner of one of the biggest city crèches who spoke to the Connacht Sentinel revealed they had not had an inspection for over three years.

“It’s all about paperwork. If there’s anything wrong with the building, a minor thing, you’re almost told the building is derelict. They have all these theories, but it’s not reality, it’s all about theory,” revealed the owner, who asked not to be identified.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

CITY TRIBUNE

WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!

Enda Cunningham

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Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.

A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.

Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.

Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down. 

The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.

Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.

However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.

“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.

Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.

“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.

There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Council removes ‘shop local’ signage despite agreement with Latin Quarter

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Signage promoting a ‘eat, drink and shop local’ campaign, erected by a local business group, was removed by the Galway City Council – despite an understanding that permission had been granted.

The bilingual signage was placed on a number of solar compactor bins and bollard-control boxes in the city centre by the Latin Quarter business group, in an attempt to promote local businesses grappling with the effects of Covid-19.

A source in the group told the Galway City Tribune that the signage cost around €3,500 and that permission to erect it had been given by a ‘senior Council official’.

The signs were put up in mid-October but only lasted around two weeks when City Hall’s Environment Department had them removed, claiming that they had not been consulted.

“There was clearly a breakdown in communications in City Hall because we had permission from a senior official to proceed, and then the Environment Department took issue with the signs and insisted that they had to be removed,” said the source.

A Council spokesperson said they were currently in discussions with the Latin Quarter to provide promotional material and added “there’s been no falling out here”.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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