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Connacht Tribune

IBRC windfall marks last chapter for local housing estates

Dara Bradley

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The entity born out of the country’s two bad banks during the financial crash is finally doing some good in Galway – providing funding for the taking-in-charge of 17 housing estates.

The IBRC (Irish Bank Resolution Corporation), which came about as a result of the merger of failed Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society, is transferring some €1.126 million to Galway County Council this month.

The funding is for the taking in charge of 17 estates in County Galway, and it will be included in the Council’s programme of works for the remainder of this year and 2019.

The windfall was revealed in a memo to County Councillors, giving an overview of the local authority’s work in taking in charge estates in County Galway.

So far this year, eight estates have been taken in charge by Galway County Council including Árd Aoibhinn in Monivea, An Mhainistir in Claregalway, Árd Breeda in Loughrea, Cedar Avenue and Forest Glade in Portumna, Carraigweir in Tuam, Cedar Court in Williamstown, and Millbrook in Milltown.

A further eight estates are due to be taken in charge before the end of the year including Owenriff in Oughterard, the Paddocks in Killimor, and Oak Glen and Slí Esker in Ballinasloe.

Hilltop Close and Elm Court in Tuam are due to be taken in charge this year, as is Cobble Drive, Loughrea, the County Council report said.

Taking in charge is the term given to the assumption that the Council assumes responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of public services and infrastructure.

To date this year, more than 35 estates have received some level of funding from the Council, which allocated €100,000 to taking in charge estates this year.

“The monies received through the Council budget allocation is an invaluable source of income for historical estates, of which there are many, where there is little of no bond monies available to bring estates across all five municipal districts,” the report said.

There are currently 34 developments in the process of being brought to taking in charge standard with works being funded through Bond monies.

The taking in charge section of the Council engages with Bond holders and with developers to ensure the estates are completed to the required standard “for the benefit of all, especially the residents.”

Staffing changes at the Council have impacted on the taking in charge of estates, the County Council has conceded.

“The Taking in Charge section is a small unit working on a large number of estates across the county. Staff changes have taken place in the last year, including a full change of technical staff within the section. These changes in personnel impact on delivery and the taking in charge of estates but every effort is made to ensure that impact on delivery is minimised where possible,” the report said.

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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