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Mental Health Minister reaffirms no u-turn on Ballinasloe bed closures

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Minister with responsibility for mental health says there’ll be no u-turn on psychiatric bed closures at St.brigid’s hospital in Ballinasloe.

Kathleen Lynch is also hitting out at what she called ‘scaremongering’ over the issue.

150 people gathered at St Brigid’s in Ballinasloe to protest and prevent the removal of beds.

A plan to take away 22 beds was first announced last summer, as part of the ‘Vision for Change’ plan.

This morning Minister Lynch is rejecting claims that other facilities in Galway and Roscommon are overcrowded.

And she says she’s determined to follow through on the changes.

Meanwhile, at least two bus loads of campaign members opposed to the removal of the acute psychiatric beds will travel to Daíl Eireann today.

Fianna Fail Senators are expected to raise the issue in the Seanad this afternoon, calling for an independent review of the decision.

A vigil is also being maintained on site to prevent the removal of any more beds from St. Brigids.

Arthur Carr of the Galway East life support group says protestors intend to step up their campaign today.

 

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1,345 new cases of Covid-19 nationwide

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Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 1,345* confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

As of 8am today, 141 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 25 are in ICU.

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “We are currently experiencing high incidence of COVID-19 across many counties. There has been a significant increase in hospitalization over the last fortnight.

“Please continue to avoid crowded spaces, keep distance from others, keep indoor settings well ventilated by opening windows and doors, wear a mask where appropriate.”

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “87% of cases today are in those aged less than 45 years. If you are awaiting your vaccine or are awaiting your second dose, continue to protect yourself by following public health advice.

“Vaccines against COVID-19 are safe and effective. Please get vaccinated as soon as you have the opportunity to do so.”

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County Councillors vote by narrow margin against any increase to Local Property Tax

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway County Councillors today decided by a one vote majority to maintain the Local Property Tax at its present rate in the County despite a strong request from management for an increase.

C.E.O., Jim Cullen, told todays meeting that the Council was seriously hampered for the want of money and he sought a 15% increase in the property tax to stabilise the situation.

CEO Jim Cullen set the scene in stark terms. At this stage it looks like spending will exceed income to the tune of €4.6m. next year. An increase of 15% in the property tax was the only realistic short-term option to stem the tide, Mr Cullen said.

The CEO stated that the increase would enable the maintenance of services and give the Council a stronger hand in looking for more money from the Government in Dublin. Galway has lagged behind similar sized Counties for years in the amount of money it gets from Central Government – €740 per person in Galway as again’st €1,257 per person in Mayo. .

Councillors such as James Charity, Joe Sheridan and Dáithí Ó Cualáin said they were not persuaded that there would be extra money from Government funds even if the Property Tax was increased.

Councillor Albert Dolan turned the tables around and proposed a 15% reduction in the Propery Tax but that was heavily defeated. Councillor Joe Beirne and Thomas Welby put a motion to the floor supporting a 15% increase and this was defeated by one vote …..17 for and 16 again’st with 5 abstentions.

The net result is no change in the property tax in Co Galway this year.

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Three people died on Galway roads in first six months of 2021

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – 3 people have died on Galway roads in the first six months of this year.

That’s according to figures from the Road Safety Authority, which show that nationally, 65 people have died on Irish roads between January and July 15th.

Dublin had the highest number of fatalities at 11, followed by Limerick, Tipperary, Kerry and Louth which each had 5.

The research found that rural roads, with speed limits of 80km per hour or higher, are the most likely places for a fatal collision to occur.

RSA CEO Sam Waide says counties Leitrim, Clare, Offaly, Laois and Carlow had no fatalities during this time.

To hear more, tune into Galway Bay fm news.

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