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‘It’s good to Talk’ is basis of charity’s existence

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Margaret Monaghan, Business and Administration Manager, Cyril Hyland, Coordinating Manager, and Elaine Ryan, Director of Client Services, Lets Get Talking Galway. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Lifestyle – Judy Murphy meets the people behind Let’s Get Talking Galway, the charity offering mental health counselling

If you were to measure a community’s quality of life by the state of its mental health, Ireland has a long way to go, according to Cyril Hyland, the co-ordinator with Let’s Get Talking Galway.

This charitable organisation which offers general counselling services as well as specialised psychological therapies, was set up in January 2013 by counsellors Cyril Hyland and Elaine Ryan.

They wanted to address what they saw was a major vacuum in the area of counselling and psychotherapy services in Ireland.

“One on hand, there was the public provision from government agencies, which was grossly underserviced,” says Cyril. “Then, there was the private practice, which is fine, but often the cost was prohibitive for a lot of people.”

The two wanted to create a model that would straddle public and private, “in that we’d provide services to the community on the basis of equity where people could pay according to their means, but where everybody would get the service they needed”, Cyril says. So while “one client might pay little or nothing, another would pay the going rate”.

A service that’s based on someone’s need rather than their ability to pay, relies totally on honesty. The Let’s Get Talking Galway model is working because their clients are honest, says Cyril, who points out that the whole ethos of counselling is based on congruence and transparency.

The group caters for than 200 appointments every week in its premises in Liosbaun House on the Tuam Road, in Galway City. You enter a doorway at the side of the Ulster Bank and the organisation is based in a spacious upstairs area which has eight consultation rooms, a family room, a waiting room and office.

Let’s Get Talking Galway has five employees and the services of more than 50 accredited therapists who specialise in areas such as addiction depression, sexual violence and relationship issues.

The group offers one-to-one therapy, couples therapy, family therapy and group counselling across a range of areas.

While people can self-refer, most referrals to Let’s Get Talking Galway come from GPs, says Cyril. “It suits GPs because we can assess clients and send them to the appropriate person.”

The charity also works with local agencies and groups, including Jigsaw and the Rape Crisis Centre, Simon and COPE, says Cyril, whose own involvement with counselling began 25 years ago.

He attended the Rutland Centre in Dublin, where he was treated for a gambling addiction and then trained as a group facilitator, working with the Rutland’s aftercare addiction services.

Cyril’s day job was in a construction company, but that ended after a workplace accident in 2007. The downturn in the economy was just beginning, so although Cyril wasn’t to know that at the time, his change of direction turned out for the best.

For more read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Development hailed as major boost in tackling local housing demand

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Artist’s impression...the proposed Claregalway housing development.

The green light has been given to a sizeable residential development in Claregalway, which was the subject both of strenuous opposition and support in the area.

An Bord Pleanála have granted planning permission for 111 houses and apartments in Claregalway following a strategic housing development application by K King Construction for the development at Lakeview, Claregalway.

Local councillor David Collins (FG) welcomed the decision saying that there was an urgent need for new housing in Claregalway given the demand.

And he also paid tribute to developer Walter King for offering land for the development of community facilities to the local area.

“We need the houses and we need the land so this decision satisfies Claregalway on both fronts,” Cllr Collins added.

The Athenry Oranmore area councillor also said that requirement that a certain number of houses be reserved for Irish speakers was also a boost to developing the language in the area – Claregalway is part of the Gaeltacht.

The higher planning authority ruled that the proposed development would constitute an acceptable residential density at this location and was also acceptable in terms of traffic and pedestrian safety.

They also said that the site could be drained satisfactorily and that surface water would not be an issue.

The site for the development measures over twelve acres in size and is located at the junction of the Lydican Road about three quarters of a mile from the village off the main Oranmore road.

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Carna’s Community Café raises a cuppa – and funds – for new Ukrainian arrivals

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Carna Community Café volunteers presenting a cheque to Irish Red Cross Conamara Area Director Niall O'Meachair (third from right); pictured are (from left) Máirín Ní Churraion, Kate Mulkerrins, Siobhán Kennedy, Tom Lane and Máire Ní Domhnaill.

Carna’s new Community Cafe has donated €1,000 to the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal – thanks to the village’s love of tea, cake, and a good old chat.

The brainchild of a group of sea-swimming enthusiasts living in the area, the weekly café started just before Easter as a way to help people begin socialising again after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

Looking to simply cover costs – with the café’s bakers and servers all volunteering and charging just a euro for a cup of tea or a piece of cake – the team decided any excess income would be donated to charity.

Little did they know that just five weeks later they would be passing on €1,000 to the Red Cross.

“The aim initially wasn’t to raise money at all, we just wanted to provide a friendly, welcoming and affordable place where people could come and have a chat and see each other again,” said Máirín Ní Churraoin, who runs the local Post Office.

“But it’s been proving more popular than we could have imagined, so we decided that any income generated has to go to a good cause – for this first donation we all felt the Red Cross Ukraine appeal was an obvious choice.”

The Ukraine appeal is even more fitting given the location of the Café: the dining room of the Carna Bay Hotel, which is currently providing accommodation to people who have fled the conflict.

“We’re delighted to be able to support this fantastic initiative, it’s just brilliant to see people coming out and socialising over a bit of cake again,” said Karl Rogers from the Carna Bay Hotel.

“And with the tea, musicians and chat, it’s a great way for our guests from Ukraine to meet local people and experience Irish culture first-hand.”

At the most recent event on Saturday May 7th, Irish Red Cross Conamara Area Director, Niall O’Meachair was on hand to collect a cheque for €1,000.

“We’re absolutely delighted to receive this money from the Community Café in Carna, and through the work of the Red Cross we’ll make sure it goes to helping people affected by this awful, awful conflict.”

The Community Café is held every Saturday in the Carna Bay Hotel, 10am to 12:30pm.

 

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Old stone-carved bank sign to be retained after community lobby

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Deputy Sean Canney outside the old Bank of Ireland building at Shop Street in Tuam.

An old stone carved sign on the front of a former bank building in the heart of Tuam is to be retained, following intense representations from the local business community.

The building is currently being renovated by the Department of Social Protection which is moving into the property over the coming months

Galway East TD Sean Canney received confirmation from the Department that the red brick building on Shop Street will retain the old Bank of Ireland name.

The Bank of Ireland was originally located at Shop Street in Tuam before moving to its current location at Dublin Road several decades ago.

The building on Shop Street was then occupied by the town library, which has since moved to the local Council offices, and now it is being renovated so that it can be occupied by the Department of Social Protection.

During the renovations of the old library building on Shop Street to make way for the new Intreo Centre, which brings together various social welfare services, the old stone carved sign was revealed.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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