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Connacht Tribune

Kinvara Pier death ‘a terribly unfortunate accident’

Enda Cunningham

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A retired priest who lost his life after driving off the pier in Kinvara last October died in what appeared to be a ‘terribly unfortunate accident’, an inquest was told this week.

The inquiry at Galway Coroner’s Court heard that Fr Anthony Minniter had attended 7pm Mass in St Joseph’s Church, Kinvara, on the evening of October 31, 2019.

Sometime before 8pm, witnesses walking alongside the green in the village noticed a silver car passed them – it would later become apparent that this had been Fr Minniter’s silver Ford Focus.

Witness James Dorrian said his house was adjacent to the Pier Head Bar and Restaurant and at around 8pm, he was alerted by a woman on the pier that there was a car in the water. Looking out, he said he could see a car around 15 to 20 metres away from the pier.

Mr Dorrian, along with a young woman who was at the scene, took control of a small row boat and made their way out to the car. He said the car had been brought out by the current.

Local mussel farmer David Krause said just before 8pm, he had received a phone call to say there was a car in the water. Using his fishing vessel, he and a colleague managed to get a rope around the wishbone of the car and pull it out of the water.

When they got to ground, they broke the passenger window where, as Mr Krause described, they found the single occupant, Fr Minniter, in the driver seat with his seat belt fastened.

Advanced Paramedic Emmet Forkan gave evidence that upon arriving at the scene, they found Fr Minniter had a viable heart rhythm, but was hypothermic. He was transported to UHG and CPR was administered.

Witness Angela Connolly, with whom Fr Minniter was staying, said he had suffered from moderate dementia for which he took a small amount of medication, but that he had been totally independent and cooked for himself each day. On the night of the accident, she said Fr Minniter had left a note to tell her he had gone to Mass.

When he hadn’t returned at 8.15pm, Ms Connolly became concerned and decided to go out to look for him. Having checked the church to see if his car was there, Ms Connolly said she became aware that a car had entered the water and went down check if it was Fr Minniter. When it became clear it was, she followed the ambulance to UHG.

Attempts to save Fr Minniter failed and he died at UHG in the early hours of November 1.

An inspection of Fr Minniter’s car found electrical damage as a result of being submerged in seawater, but concluded that the vehicle “appeared to have been in serviceable condition prior to impact”.

A post mortem concluded that Fr Minniter had not been under the influence of any substances when the accident took place.

The Coroner, Dr Ciaran MacLoughlin said it was likely Fr Minniter had failed to take a necessary turn and concluded that the cause of death was asphyxia due to drowning, returning a verdict of accidental death.

Connacht Tribune

SMEs set their sights on Euro expansion

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Kevin Moran of IMS Marketing accepting the ‘Excellence in Practice Silver Award’ from the European Foundation for Management Development, with Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon and Nan Gou, Programme Director, ESMT Berlin.

Irish entrepreneurs have the skills, products and services to break down barriers across Europe, according to one Galway-based marketing agency that is helping SMEs enter new markets.

Kevin Moran, Managing Director of IMS Marketing in Galway, said that this creativity and enthusiasm allows Irish entrepreneurs to punch above their weight in new markets.

He was speaking after his IMS Marketing was honoured for its ‘Enter-the-Eurozone’ Programme which has helped 19 SMEs break into Europe.

And he urged all SMEs to continue to set their ambitions on export markets as we emerge from the Covid-19 restrictions and revisit the challenges of Brexit.

Mr Moran said that IMS Marketing, along with its partners, Enterprise Ireland and ESMT Berlin, was delighted to receive the Excellence in Practice Silver Award’ from the European Foundation for Management Development.

“The vision for the ‘Enter the Eurozone’ Programme was to enable progressive Irish SMEs  to enter a new Eurozone market in a strategically led way,” he said.

“Export markets will be more important than ever for Irish companies and jobs as they now face the twin threat of Brexit and a post Covid19 economic recession.”

Accepting the Award’ from the EFMD, Mr Moran said that his company witnessed the strength of the Irish SME sector during the delivery of the award-winning ‘Enter the Eurozone’ programme.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Businesses miss out on restart grant

Stephen Corrigan

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Mr. Kenneth Deery. Photo: Andrew Downes, Xposure
CEO of Galway Chamber Kenny Deery

Just one-third of Galway business eligible for the Government’s Restart Grant have actually applied for the scheme which aims to bolster small enterprise as Covid-19 restrictions ease.

It was revealed this week that businesses in Galway City and County have received almost €4.5 million in grant aid under the scheme which offers grants of between €2,000 and €10,000 to commercial rates-liable enterprises.

To qualify for the €250 million scheme, businesses must have an annual turnover of less than €5 million; have 50 or fewer employee; and have a projected loss of revenue of 25% or more.

CEO of Galway Chamber Kenny Deery said there were many Galway businesses that had yet to apply for the grants, despite the fact that they were entitled to do so.

Only around 1,100 of the about 3,000 businesses in the city and county that may be due a pay-out have applied, and confusion over eligibility was contributing to that issue, he explained.

“Some businesses are of the view that they’re not eligible, but they need to realise that even if they only paid €500 or €1,000 in rates in 2019, they could still be eligible for €2,000,” he said.

Those who were in rates arrears were also entitled to the grant, said Mr Deery, adding that as long as a business had a rates liability in 2019, they could apply for the grant.

“The payment have just started being paid out to those who applied about two months ago, so it has been slow in terms of progressing those applications.

“What I would be saying to small businesses is that they would need to sell a lot of cups of coffee or a lot of sandwiches to make €2,000 or €5,000 in profit,” said Mr Deery.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Connacht Tribune

Galway embraces Mass changes

Stephen Corrigan

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Parish Priest Fr Hugh Clifford wearing a mask during the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass in St Joseph’s Church, Kinvara, on Saturday evening. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Parishioners in Kinvara made a long-awaited return to weekend services on Saturday at St Joseph’s Church, and while it was far from business as usual, mass-goers expressed delight at their return to the church.

Parish Priest Fr Hugh Clifford said while there were necessary changes to what people would be accustomed to, the congregation was understanding of why that was necessary and thankful that the implementation of these measures meant they could return to services after a four-month absence.

As part of Phase 3 of the easing of restrictions, services of up to 50 people were allowed, and to respect physical distancing, that meant two seats in every three were blocked off, said Fr Hugh.

“Households can sit together, but at the moment, we have the limit of 50 people, but we hope that will change in the next phase. We have to advise people who are more vulnerable that they should consider staying at home for the time being,” he explained.

The obligation to attend Mass has been lifted since the outbreak of the Covid-19 crisis, continued Fr Hugh, meaning that people need not worry if they are unable to attend.

For the Eucharist, the Priest and Eucharistic Ministers wear face coverings and use hand sanitiser to ensure there is no cross-contamination, with Communion administered to people in their seats, said Fr Hugh.

See full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also add the paper to your online grocery delivery; you can purchase a digital edition here, or you can have it delivered at no extra charge by An Post; full details are on this website.

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