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IDA chief makes plea over Apple data centre in Athenry

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The chief executive of IDA Ireland has called for a shake-up of the planning system in the wake of lengthy delays to Apple’s plans for a data centre in Athenry.
The €850 million project was announced in February 2015 – but remains in limbo due to a judicial review sought by local residents.
Sinead Fitzpatrick and Allan Daly sought the review of the planning decision by An Bord Pleanala to grant permission on environmental grounds.
At the time Apple announced plans for a massive data centre project in Athenry, it also announced its intention to build a similar project in Denmark.
Over two years later, and the Danish centre has been completed – with tech giant Apple now considering developing a second centre in that country.
Meanwhile, the Athenry project remains in development hell over a series of lengthy delays – with many fearing Apple could be close to pulling the plug.
Two local objectors – Sinéad Fitzpatrick and Allan Daly – were granted requests for a judicial review of the planning decision by the High Court in October.
According to the Sunday Business Post, IDA Chief Executive Martain Shanahan is now calling for a shake-up of the planning system amid fears the considerable delays could lead to Athenry losing the project.
He says tight turnaround times are needed for big planning permissions – and the prospect of companies simply turning elsewhere is a very real danger.
The long-awaited decision on Apple’s plans for a data centre in Athenry is expected to be delivered in the Commerical Court on Thursday.

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Call for Claregalway native Dr. Ronan Glynn to be given mayoral reception

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A city councillor is calling on the incoming Mayor of Galway to give Dr. Ronan Glynn a mayoral reception for his work during the pandemic.

Dr. Glynn, who currently serves as Deputy Chief Medical Officer, is a native of Claregalway.

City Councillor Alan Cheevers says his leadership on the national stage deserves recognition.

His proposal comes after Dr. Tony Holohan was awarded the Freedom of Dublin for his leadership throughout the pandemic.

Independent councillor Colette Connolly is expected to be elected as Galway’s new Mayor this afternoon, to succeed Mike Cubbard

Councillor Cheevers says the city should host a mayoral reception for Dr. Ronan Glynn – to hear more, tune in to Galway Bay fm news on the hour

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Visiting Restrictions eased at UHG and Merlin Park Hospital

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Visiting restrictions are to be eased at University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park Hospital from Monday

The hospitals will be facilitating 1 visitor per inpatient each day.

Visiting times will be from 2pm to 3pm and from 7pm to 8pm each day. .

Visits must be pre-arranged by family members / visitors, who should contact the relevant ward or Unit in advance.

Visitors will be required to complete a screening checklist regarding COVID-19, on entry to the hospital and to follow all the public health guidelines including wearing a mask

Galway University Hospitals are also requesting that where possible, approved visitors will have received a COVID-19 vaccination, in order to minimise the risk to patients.

It is also recommended that children do not visit the hospitals, unless agreed in advance on compassionate grounds, with the ward / Unit manager.

Meanwhile, the Maternity Department is currently facilitating access for birthing partners/parents with some conditions, in line with recent national guidance on visiting restrictions.

Birthing partners of women in labour are welcome to attend and partners can attend a caesarean section done under regional anaesthesia.

Partners may visit St Catherine’s Ward and St Angela’s Ward from 2pm to 3pm and from 7pm to 8pm.

Parents of an infant in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit may visit, one parent at a time. Fathers can visit for 2 hours.

A partner or support person may attend for the Dating scan (12 to 13+6 week) and the anomaly (20 week) scan.

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Galway TD raises concern in Dáil over lack of dedicated paediatric pain specialist

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A Galway TD has raised concern in the Dáil over the lack of a dedicated paediatric pain specialist in the country.

Deputy Mairead Farrell claimed that the sole HSE paediatric pain specialist resigned in 2019 due to a continued lack of support and an intense and increasing workload.

She said there are now no pain paediatric specialists left, and there are also no private pain consultants in the country who see children.

Deputy Farrell pointed out that many families have been forced to travel abroad at great expense to seek treatment for chronic pain.

She acknowledged that a multi-disciplinary team has since been put in place, to support pain consultant specialist roles.

However, Deputy Farrell said there is no clarity on recruiting a permanent pain consultant and children are still facing unacceptable delays.

Speaking in response, Minister Frank Feighan said all members of the multi-disciplinary team are now in place.

However, he admitted there has been ongoing difficulty in recruiting a paediatric pain specialist.

To hear more on this story, tune in to Galway Bay fm news on the hour

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