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Irish Water leaves 1,300 customers without any update on E.coli levels

Denise McNamara



Over a week into a boil notice which has left over 1,300 customers in Ballygar without public drinking water, Irish Water has yet to provide an update on the source of the contamination.

Sampling last week revealed the presence of E.coli in the water network supplying water to the northeast Galway town and on advice from the Health Service Executive (HSE) the public getting water from the Ballygar scheme was advised to boil all water until further notice to avoid infection from the potentially dangerous bacteria.

The source of the contamination was not in the treatment plant and staff from Galway County Council and Irish Water were testing the pipe network to locate the source.

Initially all indications were that the boil notice would last days rather than weeks.

However a spokesperson for Irish Water said they were not in a position to give an update, over a week after the contamination was disclosed.

“Irish Water’s primary concern is the health and safety of the general public. Irish Water continues to investigate the source of contamination in Ballygar and is in constant contact with the HSE in relation to these investigations,” said a spokesperson.

“Irish Water will be issuing a further update at the end of this week or early next week.”

Glinsk resident and Independent TD for Roscommon South Leitrim Michael Fitzmaurice said the Ballygar water contamination was an unusual situation.

“In this case the water going through the local plant is perfectly acceptable however it is along the water supply line that there is a problem,” he stated.

“I am confident that within a week of the source of the problem being identified that the boil water notice will be lifted. This situation is not like the scenario that we have had with other boil water notices in the past.”

Mayo County Council gave the all-clear last weekend for beaches where abnormal levels of E.coli were detected, including Blue Flag beaches at Keel and Dugort on Achill Island.

The elevated levels of bacteria were blamed on “recent abnormal weather conditions”.

Galway City Council banned bathing in two beaches in Salthill for days last month

due to the detection of high levels of a bacteria called intestinal Enterococci, which can cause gastro-intestinal illness,

On re-sampling, the local authority said levels of both intestinal Enterococci and E.coli were “well within safe standards”.

Ballygar residents are advised to boil water before drinking, cooking, brushing teeth or making ice.


Gardaí issue warning on ‘movie money’

Enda Cunningham



Some of the 'movie money' which has been seized.

Gardaí have warned of an increase in ‘novelty’ euro notes – which are almost identical to real currency – in circulation.

The notes are usually marked ‘movie money’ or ‘prop money’, but this can often go unnoticed by the person handling it. They do not have any security features.

Revenue Officers have seized notes in varying denominations representing a value of €430,895 in recent mail centre detections.

Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said: “People need to be aware that such notes exist and at busy times, especially late at night, they need to exercise a little care and attention.

“These notes are easily identifiable if precautionary checks are made. Also people who try to tender such notes as real face prosecution, a possible prison sentence and a conviction, which is for life. Such convictions have serious ramifications if one wanted to travel, to work in certain sectors and it can affect their credit rating”.

“We advise businesses and members of the public who deal in cash to be aware that such notes are in circulation and take appropriate precautionary measures. Business owners should ensure staff members handling cash are alerted to watch out for these fraudulent notes.

“The use of fraudulent currency when trying to purchase goods or services is an offence under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 and carries a potential prison sentence of 10 years.

“These fraudulent notes should not be accepted as legal tender and any incidents of persons trying to pay with “prop money” should be reported to Gardaí immediately,” said Det Supt Cryan.

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Fire at site of former Corrib Great Southern Hotel




Emergency services are at the scene of a large fire at the site of the former Corrib Great Southern Hotel which broke out in the early hours of this morning.

Four units of the Galway Fire and Rescue Service were called to the former hotel near GMIT at 5.45am. A unit from Athenry is also in attendance at the scene.

Fire fighters are maintaining a presence at the derelict hotel, which has been the scene of a number of arson attacks over the past number of years.


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Three refused bail on violent disorder charges




Longford Courthouse

Three men who were arrested this morning as part of a Garda investigation into violent disorder at a funeral in Mervue last year, have been denied bail by a District Court Judge.

Denis Hannafin, Curry; Robbie Hannafin, Corboy, Edgeworthstown and Tommy Hannafin, Dublin Road – all in Longford – were charged with violent disorder in connection with an incident which occurred outside Holy Family funeral home on in January 13 last year.

Detective Garda Ronan Leonard told the court this morning that CCTV footage showed a number of members of the Hannafin family outside the funeral home on January 13, 2019, at approximately 3.15pm, when a number of members of the McGinley family made their way towards them.

An altercation ensued, which resulted in one member of the McGinley family suffering a gunshot wound, while another received a stab wound to the back. A third man suffered acid wounds.

Gardaí explained that there is a feud going on between the two families, which began when juvenile members of the families got into a fight at a pool hall.

Detective Leonard voiced concerns that if the three accused were granted bail, they would commit further offences and intimidate members of the McGinley family.

Judge Seamus Hughes had remanded the three accused in custody to Harristown District Court next Friday, February 28.

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