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Laptops and phones seized in 4 properties in the west as part of national investigation into child abuse material

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Laptops and phones have been seized in 31 properties nationwide – including 4 in the west – as part of an investigation into child abuse material.
Thousands of images are believed to be among the items seized across 15 counties.

Over the past few days an operation headed up by the Online Child Exploitation Unit has been carried out across the country.
Laptops and phones were seized in 31 properties – and they are expected to contain thousands of images of child exploitation.
In one search, ‘child sex dolls’ were found.
Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll says it’s the first time this has happened.
Nobody has been arrested but gardai say they are speaking to a number of people aged from their teens to their 70s.
Some of them have already made admissions.
It’s believed the abuse victims in this instance are foreign but Irish children have been identified in the past.

Senior Gardai say social media sites helped them in today’s operation but they would like to see more done to ensure this type of material is blocked online.

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17 new cases of Covid-19 in Galway – 566 nationwide with 25 additional deaths

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 25 additional deaths related to COVID-19.

5 deaths occurred in March,13 occurred in February and 6 in occurred January or earlier*.

There has been a total of 4,357** COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight, Tuesday 2nd March, the HPSC has been notified of 566 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 221,189*** confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 280 are men / 284 are female
  • 68% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 34 years old
  • 233 in Dublin, 37 in Kildare, 30 in Meath, 25 in Donegal, 24 in Westmeath and the remaining 217 cases are spread across all other counties****.

As of 8am today, 489 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 114 are in ICU. 29 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

As of 28th February, 439,782 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland:

•           297,899 people have received their first dose

•           141,883 people have received their second dose

The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community including daily data on Ireland’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “Through the hard work and sacrifice of the vast majority of people, key disease indicators continue on a positive trajectory. However, we are still seeing outbreaks in the community, including those linked to extended families, workplaces and funerals. We need to keep up our guard against the B117 variant of COVID-19, which we know is dominant in Ireland at present and highly transmissible.

“Our willingness to stick with the public health advice in our daily routine has brought us the progress that we can see today. Together, through staying at home as much as possible, social distancing, hand washing and wearing face coverings, we can continue to drive down the spread of COVID-19.”  

ENDS//

*There is one death where the date of death is under investigation.

**Validation of data at the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of 1 death. The figure of 4,357 reflects this.

***Validation of data at the HPSC has resulted in the denotification of 7 confirmed cases. The figure of 221,189 confirmed cases reflects this.

****County data should be considered provisional as the national Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting System (CIDR) is a dynamic system and case details are continually being validated and updated.

Today’s cases, 5-day moving average of new cases, 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population and new cases in last 14 days (as of midnight 02 March 2021) (incidence rate based on Census 2016 county population)

CountyToday’s cases**** (to midnight 02Mar2021)5-Day Moving Average of New Cases14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population (to 02Mar2021)New Cases during last 14 days (to 02Mar2021)
Ireland566591199.49,497
Offaly2123402.8314
Longford1215379.2155
Westmeath2419289.5257
Dublin233246274.43,697
Limerick2431264.8516
Louth2121263.8340
Laois1111231.4196
Kildare3723225.6502
Galway1728222.8575
Meath3025214.3418
Mayo815212.2277
Donegal2519199.1317
Monaghan<55190.6117
Tipperary1116184.3294
Waterford66174.7203
Carlow<56172.198
Cavan<55151115
Clare1913149.8178
Leitrim<52131.142
Roscommon<56116.275
Wicklow10999141
Sligo<5382.454
Wexford7980.1120
Kilkenny<5376.676
Cork192361.2332
Kerry8959.688

~The 5-day moving average of the number of new cases provides an appropriate indicator of current daily case numbers within a county. It takes account of any validation of cases for previous days and smooths out daily/weekend fluctuations in case numbers.

  • 7-day incidence 91.2
  • 5-day moving average 591
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File for DPP over seizure of Cannabis in Oranmore

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A file is being prepared for the DPP over the seizure of Cannabis in Oranmore.

Shortly after 6.30 on Saturday evening, Gardaí at Oranmore Garda Station conducted a search of a house in the village.

They found a number of suspected cannabis plants worth an estimated €8 thousand, as well as cannabis herb with a street value of almost €4 thousand.

Two men – one aged in his 30’s and the other in his late teens – were arrested at the scene and taken to the Garda Regional Headquarters in Renmore.

Both were later released without charge and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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Mixed reaction to NUIG using a reflective essay as a sanction for breaking COVID rules

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – NUI Galway says a controversial ‘reflective essay’ for students who breach Covid-19 rules is just one of a range of sanctions in place at the university.

In a statement, it says the sanctions which can be imposed include fines, letters of apology to impacted staff, reflective essays, formal cautions, suspensions or expulsions.

There’s been a mixed reaction to the 2 thousand word ‘reflective essay’ measure, which some students are required to write after viewing a documentary on Covid-19.

Some believe it is childish and akin to writing lines, while others argue it is a valuable lesson that will press home the reality of the virus to students.

NUI Galway says it has a student community of almost 19 thousand, and the vast majority have adhered to public health guidelines during the pandemic.

Green Party Councillor Martina O’ O Connor believes while the ‘reflective essay’ might seem a childish punishment at first, it is a worthwhile exercise.

She argues it will help to ensure that students understand the full reality of Covid-19 – to hear more, tune in to FYI Galway@5

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