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Hurlers drop in on little hero

Declan Tierney

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A three-year-old East Galway boy, who is awaiting surgery that would enable him to walk unaided, got the thrill of his life when he was visited by two Galway hurling heroes.

It was a special moment for the parents of little Mark Dolan from Ahascragh when he met up with Galway stars Padraic and Cathal Mannion from the local club.

Mark’s family – joined by their close friends and relations – are raising funds to send him to St. Louis in Missouri for what they hope will be life changing surgery.

Next month, Mark – along with his parents Fidelma and Kevin – will head to the States for the biggest journey of his young life so far.

But it was an exhilarating experience for the little Ahascragh lad when the Mannion brothers paid him a visit and took him to the local hurling ground.

His parents were devastated when they received the news that their twin boy could be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life – but they are not allowing it derail their efforts to see their son walk again.

And Fidelma and Kevin Dolan have been told that surgery in America could provide Mark with the possibility that it could rectify a deficiency in his lower limbs.

Three year old Mark and his twin sister Maeve were born prematurely on August 9, 2012.

In the early months Mark seemed like any other typically developing infant. Even at his nine month developmental assessment Mark passed in all areas.

However, at the turning of his first birthday it became apparent to his parents that Mark was not reaching typical developmental milestones, like sitting independently, rolling over or crawling – basic things they would have expected at this stage and what his twin sister was doing freely.

At this point Fidelma and Kevin became concerned about Mark’s progress and sought professional advice both locally and at Temple Street Hospital where further more intensive investigations were carried out.

After further tests it was evident that Mark suffered from a motor delay which primarily affected his lower extremities. To their horror, they were informed that he could be wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life.

However, they learned that he could receive surgery in America that could rectify the situation. It will involve a six hour long operation on his lower body.

A local committee have been fundraising for Mark’s operation and so far have managed to raise around €75,000 but it will take more than €120,000 to have the procedure completed.

After his surgery Mark will return home in early November but will need after care in Limerick for two or three days a week for the next two years which will be draining on the family.

But they are very hopeful of a positive ending to his ordeal.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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