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‘Lives could be at risk’ in row over Galway hospital helipad plans

Enda Cunningham



 Councillors will vote in November on plans for a temporary air ambulance helipad in Shantalla, while a new two-storey carpark is built on the grounds of University Hospital Galway.

 But there’s a strong possibility that the temporary location at the Shantalla Community Park will be strongly opposed by local people who have resisted previous attempts by the HSE to build a medical centre on the site.

 If the proposal is shot down, leaving the hospital without an emergency landing pad for six months, lives could be at risk, a city councillor has warned.

 The City Council and the HSE West is planning to provide the facility in Shantalla Community Park, off the Browne Roundabout, for six months. It is to allow for the construction of a decked carpark on an existing carpark on the hospital grounds. The new plans involve the construction of a paved landing area, with a pathway to the existing carpark – the site will be returned to parkland when the new carpark is completed.

 Yesterday, Councillor Billy Cameron said that lack of trust in the HSE by local people and poor communications had made residents very wary of any proposal put forward by the HSE.

 “They have tried land grabs before and failed and already the Shantalla Residents Association are calling an emergency meeting to discuss the matter.

 “It may be temporary and there’s no doubt that such a facility is needed in a busy hospital like UHG and that without it, lives could be lost, but the distrust between the residents and the HSE is of the Garavahy Road proportions.

 “Who’s to say that the new incoming council next year wouldn’t turn around and make what is a temporary situation permanent. That is the main concern of local people.”

 The plans went on public display in City Hall yesterday and will be available for inspection until October 7, while the public can make submissions until October 21. A report will then be prepared for city councillors, who are expected to vote on the matter in November.

 The new carpark on the hospital grounds will be a double-storey deck, with 238 spaces and will be located between the pathology building and the paediatric unit.

 Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel



Connacht Tribune

Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones




These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.

But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.

If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.


All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.

You can email that with a photograph to us, to or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.

We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.

This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances.  You can contact our team for further details at

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WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!

Enda Cunningham



Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.

A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.

Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.

Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down. 

The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.

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Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.

Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.

However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.

“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.

Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.

“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.

There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
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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