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Lions Club initiative aims to provide vital health info – in a bottle

Declan Tierney



The Police sang about it back in the eighties – but now an East Galway community has adapted the ‘message in a bottle’ notion in the hope of saving lives.

Those who participate in the project will provide their medical details in a bottle so that in the event of an emergency, it gives those in attendance vital information.

It is the initiative of Ballinasloe Lions Club which says that it will provide the ambulance service with information when they visit homes on emergency calls.

The ‘message in a bottle’ kit is completely free of charge to those who wish to avail of it. It is a way of saving lives, according to the Lions Club.

It comprises of a small plastic bottle and cap, three adhesive stickers and a personal information form.

The user completes the form with their personal details, doctor and pharmacy name and contacts, current medical conditions and allergies, emergency contact names and numbers, and also indicates where the medication is located.

A small photo is attached for identification along with a copy of up-to-date prescriptions. Reference may also be made to any dependents or pets that are being cared for by the occupant and the arrangements for their care in the event of an emergency.

The competed form is placed in the bottle, sealed and placed in the fridge and an adhesive sticker is then placed inside the front and back doors and on the fridge door.

“In the event of the emergency services being called to the house, the first responders are alerted to the existence of the message in a bottle by the stickers.

“This provides them with valuable information pertaining to the occupant who may be unconscious and unresponsive. The time saved in accessing this vital information could be the difference between life and death,” said Lions Club President Brian Derrane.

Ballinasloe Credit Union and Maureen Cahalan’s Community Hearts Organisation have sponsored the production of 1,500 of the bottles.

Dr. John Barton, consultant in Portiuncula Hospital, officially launched the initiative and said that physicians were operating in a vacuum when emergencies were presented to them.

“Often we are left with no knowledge of the patients’ previous or current medical history or knowledge of the medications prescribed.

“The message in a bottle project is a wonderful concept and ensures that the personal and medical details of everyone requiring help are known to those providing the assistance.

“This scheme will greatly assist in the assessment of the patient. I congratulate the Lions Club on their excellent community work carried out and this is yet another community project that they can be proud of. I encourage people to avail of the scheme especially those who are infirm and living alone,” Dr. Barton added.


Gardaí bid to identify body recovered near Mutton Island




Gardai have launched an investigation following the discovery of a body in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon.

A member of the public raised the alarm after spotting the body in the water while walking on the causeway to Mutton Island.

Galway Fire Service, Gardai and the RNLI attended the scene and recovered the body at around 4pm, before it was taken to University Hospital Galway for a post mortem.

It is understood that the body may have been in the water for some time.

Gardaí are currently examining a list of missing people in the city.

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Connacht Tribune

Gardaí investigate fatal Carraroe crash

Enda Cunningham



A man in his 30s has died following a road crash in Carraroe in the early hours of this morning.

At 3.50am, Gardaí and emergency services attended at a single car collision on a minor road.

The driver of the car, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later. A passenger in the car, a male in his 30s, was taken by ambulance to Galway University Hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

The road is currently closed and local diversions are in place. Garda forensic collision investigators will examine the crash site this morning.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Salthill Garda Station (091) 514 720 the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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Land Development Agency rules out Merlin ‘land grab’

Dara Bradley



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Campaigners have warned the Land Development Agency (LDA) to keep its hands off Merlin Woods.

Local community group Friends of Merlin Woods said that the amenity on the east side of the city is not suitable for residential development.

It has sought clarification on whether the LDA has earmarked part of the recreational and amenity lands for housing, after it appeared on its online database of publicly-owned lands.

In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, the LDA said its database compiles a list of all State lands, not just land for development.

In relation to Merlin Woods, the LDA said: “Those lands aren’t included in the LDA developments in Galway. The lands database is a map-based tool which compiles all State lands and has no reflection on development potential.”

It came after Caroline Stanley of Friends of Merlin Woods raised concern that land within Merlin Woods had been earmarked for development.

“I’d be concerned that it’s marked as residential when it’s in RA (Recreational and Amenity) land. Some is marked ‘open space’ but some is marked as ‘new proposed residential’ on its [LDA’s] database. It makes us wonder why. We’d like clarity and to clear it up.

“The message we’d like to get out there is we need clarification, whether it’s a mistake on the Land Development Agency’s part, or whether it is an area that they consider as a residential area, which the community would be opposed to. We need clarity. It could be something that is in line for development later on, we don’t know, and we need clarity.”

Councillor Owen Hanley explained that the fears around Merlin Woods stem from legislation currently making its way through the Oireachtas that would strip councillors of powers to veto the transfer of land to the LDA for housing projects.

The Bill would also allow Government to direct what public lands – including those owned by local authorities – can be transferred to the LDA for development of social and affordable housing.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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