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CITY TRIBUNE

Man jailed for attack on A&E doctor in UHG

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A man who assaulted a doctor in the Emergency Department of University Hospital Galway was given a six-month prison sentence in his absence at Galway District Court.

A bench warrant was imposed on George O’Connor of Castletown, Gort for failing to appear before last week’s court hearing.

Three doctors, including Dr Ciarán McHale, the victim of the unprovoked assault on November 22 last year, gave evidence to the court and CCTV footage from the Emergency Dept (ED) was shown in court so O’Connor could be identified.

Dr McHale said he had been sitting on a chair, checking a scan on a computer in an office part of the ED when he noticed a man coming into the area and lunging at him.

The lunge meant Dr McHale was thrown to the floor where O’Connor grabbed his scrubs, ripped his shirt and headbutted him. He also scratched and scraped the doctor.

Dr McHale told the court O’Connor had also attempted to bite and spit at him. O’Connor was not known to him personally but two other doctors gave evidence that they knew him from previous visits to the hospital.

Security arrived and separated the two men and O’Connor was held until Gardaí arrived.

Judge Mary Fahy, in imposing the six-month sentence for the assault on Dr McHale, said doctors and staff were under “extreme pressure and the last thing they expect is to be assaulted . . . the shock of it alone.”

The court further heard evidence from a woman in a separate case against O’Connor who trespassed at her home in the Claddagh on January 14 last.

She told the Court she had left her young daughter in the house for only ten minutes while she went to pick up her son from a swimming class nearby.

On her arrival home, she saw a white plastic bag in the hall with the front door open and saw a man, who has since been identified as O’Connor, sitting on a couch in the sitting room. She described him as “a mess, he was drunk and incoherent and I asked him to leave”.

She explained that her daughter knew not to open the front door to anyone, but O’Connor had rung the doorbell continuously and her daughter thought it was her brother and went to open the door.

He pushed the young girl aside and she ran to her bedroom and stayed there till her mother came home a few minutes later.

While the woman went to ring the Gardaí, O’Connor had disappeared, but was later found in the hotpress.

“I was calm for my children’s sake, but no way would I ever leave her again on her own. I never imagined this would happen,” she told Judge Mary Fahy.

Judge Fahy ordered a bench warrant for his arrest saying that he would be getting a prison sentence for trespassing also.

CITY TRIBUNE

Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues

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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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
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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