An NUI Galway society has been suspended after it caused uproar among students by encouraging “an interior life of chastity” among gay people.
A notice from the Legion of Mary was posted around campus urging gay people to get in touch with Roman Catholic organisation the Courage Apostolate, to fight the “homosexual label” and refrain from any sexual urges.
“Courage [Apostolate ]ministers to persons with same-sex attractions and their loved ones. By developing an interior life of chastity, which is the universal call to all Christians, one can move beyond the confines of the homosexual label to a more complete identity in Christ,” said the notice, which was pinned to notice boards around campus.
The notice, which advertises a ‘Purity Matters Initiative’ in conjunction with the NUI Galway Legion of Mary Society, caused uproar among students on the campus with many calls for action.
“No society should perpetuate the concept of gay-shaming. Furthermore the idea of repression and chastity has been shown to cause psychological difficulties in those who engage in it,” said Sean Kearns, President of NUI Galway Students’ Union.
“We are college students and hence leaders for the future. We should be leading with equality and tolerance,” he added.
NUI Galway has said that it is “committed to protecting the liberty and equality of all students” and reviewed the actions of the society in the context of the University’s code of conduct.
The review, initiated by NUI Galway’s Vice President for the Student Experience Dr Pat Morgan, led to the immediate suspension of the society which had only a handful of members.
NUI Galway’s Gay in Galway Society (GiG Soc LGBTQA Society) met on Monday to discuss the flyer and how it affected LGBTQA students at the college.
The society released a statement to this newspaper: “We believe that everyone has the right to express themselves and their beliefs however they want, as long as it doesn’t impede on others.
“As a society, we promote this and are here to help and to support any person who is having difficulty with their identity.”
A statement from NUI Galway on the matter said that the university has a “pluralist ethos” and would not condone the production and dissemination of any material by students which discriminated against other students.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.
Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.
It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.
General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.
She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.
Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.
Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.
Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.
She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.
Galway rowers aim for Olympic gold!
Best of luck to two Galway rowers – Aifric Keogh of Aill an Phréacháin in Na Forbacha, and Fiona Murtagh from Gortachalla in Moycullen – who are part of Team Ireland’s Women’s Coxless Fours team who compete in an Olympic final in Tokyo at 1.50am (Irish time) Wednesday.
Coverage on RTÉ 2 television begins from 1am.
Ireland – who were second in their heat after Australia, who set a new Olympic Record – are in lane two, with Great Britain on their outside, and Australia, favourites for a gold medal, in lane three.
The Netherlands, China and Poland are in lanes four, five and six at the Sea Forest Waterway.
Poor weather meant some rowing events were re-scheduled but the Women’s Fours final was not impacted.
Jim Keogh, Aifric’s father, told the Tribune he was hopeful ahead of the final.
“To make the Olympics is tough, to make the final is tough, to make the medal is tougher,” he said.
Photo: Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty.
*Full coverage of the race and reaction in this week’s Connacht Tribune and Galway City Tribune
Paedophile sentenced to a further 17 months in prison
A convicted paedophile, described by a Garda as ‘a prolific child abuser’, has had a 17-month prison sentence added to a 13-year sentence he is already serving for the rape and sexual abuse of children.
Disgraced primary school teacher and summer school bus driver, 69-year-old Seosamh Ó Ceallaigh, a native of Tuirín, Béal a’ Daingin, Conamara, had at all times denied two charges of indecently assaulting a ten-year-old boy at a Gaeltacht summer school in Béal a’ Daingin in 1979.
The offence carries a maximum two-year sentence.
A jury found him guilty by majority verdict following a four-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last month.
At his sentence hearing last week, Detective Paul Duffy described Ó Ceallaigh as a prolific child abuser who had amassed 125 child abuse convictions, committed while he was a primary school teacher in Dublin and while he operated an Irish language summer school in Beal a’ Daingin.
They included convictions for rape and sexual assault for which he is currently serving sentences totalling 13 years.
Those sentences were due to expire in August 2024, but last week, Judge Rory McCabe imposed two, concurrent 17-month sentences on Ó Ceallaigh, before directing the sentences begin at the termination of the sentences he is currently serving.
The judge noted Ó Ceallaigh’s denial and lack of remorse and the lifelong detrimental effect the abuse had on the victim as aggravating factors.