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Connacht Tribune

Leaving Cert to trigger accommodation frenzy

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The publication of Leaving Cert results in less than a week’s time is set to trigger another accommodation frenzy in Galway as students desperately search for a place to live.

But the bad news for prospective third level students and their parents is that all on-campus accommodation is long gone – and even private rentals are in short supply.

The results will come out next Wednesday, closely followed by the first round offers from the CAO on Monday week, August 20 – and that will trigger what has now become an annual rush.

NUI Galway has two on campus student accommodations – Corrib Village, with 176 apartments to accommodate 764 students, and Goldcrest Village, a new 429-bed residence due to open this September.

As it stands, Corrib Village is fully booked – with a waiting list already in place.

Once CAO offers have been made, the village will process any cancellations received between August 20 and 21, with the aim of offering rooms released as a result of cancelations to those on their waitlist on Wednesday week, August 22.

There are a further seven privately-owned student residences located off campus but within easy reach of the University – and the other option is to battle through the private rental market.

But the limited availability on that front is compounded by the fact that so many of last year’s NUIG and GMIT students – knowing the demands for places to live – have already held onto their accommodation from last year.

That further reduces availability – which led to a joint initiative this summer, spearheaded by the Students Unions of both colleges and Galway TD’s Catherine Connolly, Sean Kyne, Eamon Ó Cuív and Noel Grealish to issue a public appeal for homeowners to offer their spare rooms to students through the ‘rent a room’ scheme.

The scheme involves someone living in a private residence renting out a room (or rooms) during the relevant tax year. The rental income earned will be exempt from income tax, provided this income does not exceed €12,000.

In 2016, there were 18,065 students registered in NUI Galway – and that number is only increasing.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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