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Major national Traveller survey publishes Connacht findings

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Connacht findings of a major national Traveller survey on issues such as education, health and culture have been published this afternoon.
The survey was carried out by Behaviors and Attitudes Market Research in association with a national committee of Traveller organisations.

Key areas of focus for the study were health, education, identity, accommodation, employment, Traveller culture and relationships with the settled community.
It aimed to analyze not just the attitudes of Travellers to these topics – but also the perception of Travellers by Irish adults.
The findings for Connacht have been published this afternoon.
The study found that across the west/north-west, 90 percent of Travellers have been affected by suicide – considerably higher than the national average.
80 percent also reported experiencing discrimination – and Gardai were identified as the main source of discrimination, followed by bar staff and shop staff.
Meanwhile, almost half of Travellers in the west experienced mental health concerns – a situation that was higher in females and those living in private rented accommodation or shared housing.
63 percent further said they had concerns for their health based on diet and lifestyle factors such as exercise, passive activities and food choices.
Education was another key focus of the national study – and researchers found that just over 60 percent of Travellers in Connacht/Ulster completed their leaving cert, a considerable improvement on the national average.
70 percent of Travellers in the region also felt that their children were supported in school – the highest figure nationwide.
However, Travellers in the west region reported being significantly less concerned with unemployment compared to the national average.
However, 50 percent reported they are working, which is higher than the national average – and the vast majority believe employment is improving for the community in recent years.
The study found that Travellers in Connacht also tend to spend longer periods of time living in the same location compared to the national average – and are less likely to travel around.
Overall, 80 percent of Travellers in the region were satisfied with their lives – while the same number felt the community is adapting its behavior to fit in.
Meanwhile, the study found that just 3 in 10 Irish adults expressed a positive opinion of Travellers – while Travellers and Roma scored lowest in a survey of 12 cultural and ethnic groups.

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Galway has fourth highest COVID-19 incidence rate nationwide

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway now has the fourth highest COVID-19 incidence rate nationwide.

According to the latest health figures, the infection rate per 100,000 of population in the city and county now stands at 439.

With 1,134 cases of COVID-19 recorded in the city and county over the past two weeks, the incidence rate in Galway now stands at 439.

That’s a 40% increase on this time last week, when the infection rate stood at 256 – with 663 cases recorded over that two-week period.

Nationwide, Donegal has the highest incidence rate at 952, followed by Louth at 603, Laois at 454 and then Galway.

Meanwhile there are 16 patients being treated for COVID-19 in Galway hospitals today – with 12 at UHG and four at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.

Two of the patients are being treated in the intensive care unit at UHG.

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Anger over destructive vandalism to facilities at Loughrea Lake

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A local councillor is expressing anger at destructive vandalism at facilities at Loughrea Lake over the weekend.

Councillor Moegie Maher says there’s been considerable physical damage caused, as well as graffiti sprayed on the freshly painted walls.

Graffiti has been a persistent issue at the popular amenity in recent years – though the latest developments mark a major escalation in the vandalism.

Over the weekend, vandals damaged bathroom fixtures and piping, kicked down doors, sprayed graffiti on internal walls and also set a number of bins on fire.

Councillor Maher says Gardaí are doing all they can, and due to GDPR issues, CCTV cannot be installed at the location.

Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, he outlined what happened over the weekend.

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Galway records average of 99 Covid cases per day as holiday season continues

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway is recording an average of 99 Covid 19 cases per day over the last five days.

As the West continues to experience a fourth wave, a significant increase in cases has been noted in tourist hotpsots such as Galway city, the Aran Islands and Westport.

The walk in test centre in the city is now recording a positivity rate of 12.8%, while the centre in Carnmore has a positivity rate of 10.5%.

Director of Public Health in the West Breda Smyth says there is a very high infection rate in the city at the moment with the age profile predominantly in the under 40s.

She has urged the younger cohorts of the population, particularly those aged between 19 and 30, to avail of a vaccine in a pharmacy or by registering on the HSE vaccine portal.

Breda Smyth told Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks there is a high level of infection in the community and the public health guidelines are key in surpressing the virus as the holiday season continues.

To hear more, tune into Galway Bay fm news.

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