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Minister accused of being ‘out of touch’ with Connemara seaweed farmers

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Minister of State Damien English has been accused of being oblivious to the concerns of seaweed harvesters across Connemara.
It’s after a bill was brought forward in the Dáil, which aims to protect the traditional claim to seaweed harvesting rights by local people.
The bill, which is being lead by Galway West Deputy Catherine Connolly, outlines the development of the sector for the primary benefit of local communities.
Harvesters across Connemara have long expressed concern over bigger companies obtaining licences to harvest seaweed over large sections of the coastline.
Speaking in the chamber, Minister with responsibility Damien English said while he welcomed debate, the Government could not support the bill as it is unbalanced.
However, he indicated that he hoped to make a significant announcement on wild seaweed harvesting in the coming weeks.
The bill was strongly supported by Fianna Fail – with Deputy Eamon O’ Cuiv suggesting that Minister English is out of touch.
Deputy Catherine Connolly, who led the bill, was also less than impressed with Minister English:

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Public appeal over low uptake of vaccines at Ballybrit among younger age groups

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There’s a significantly reduced uptake in Covid-19 vaccinations at Ballybrit among the 18 to 30 year old age group.

That’s according to Saolta Chief Director of Nursing Paul Hooton, who says the drop-off is very significant when compared to older age coherts, most of which have an over 90 percent uptake.

But he says among 18 to 30 year olds, who are now being vaccinated, registration rates are only around 65 percent.

Overall, over 140 thousand people have been vaccinated at the Ballybrit center so far, with 2,500 people receiving a dose per day at peak operation.

Paul Hooton is urging younger people to get registered and get vaccinated.

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Plan for major high rise student accommodation on Headford road approved by An Bord Pleanála

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A plan for a major high rise student accommodation development on the Headford road has been approved by An Bord Pleanála.

The proposed eight storey development adjacent to Galway Retail Park was approved by city planners in February and was later appealed by An Taisce.

The plan sets out to see the creation of 254 student beds, four retail units and a gym.

The application is led by Cleverson Ltd and includes a mix of one and two bed studio apartments along with four, five, six and seven bed units across six floors.

The plans would also see the demolition of an existing ESB unit enclosure and the creation of a 2,385 square metre development.

City planners approved the proposal in February with 28 conditions attached.

An Taisce then appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanála.

Among the concerns listed in the grounds of appeal is an argument that the application decision was premature and failed to acknowledge directions voted for in the 2011-2017 Development Plan which called for the preparation of a local area plan incorporating lands in this area.

It’s also argued that the current City Development Plan also calls for a density and building heights study, through variation number 5.

The board has now backed the city council decision to approve the development and has attached 28 revised conditions.

One states the development is only to be used as student accommodation but can be used as visitor accommodation outside of the academic terms.

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Galway TD slams Government disregard for Irish language communities during pandemic

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A Galway TD is slamming the Government’s disregard for Irish language communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deputy Mairead Farrell first points to a recent situation where Irish names were spelled incorrectly on the EU Digital Covid Certificate.

She further notes it’s not possible to register for the vaccine through Irish.

Deputy Farrell says the Health Minister has since indicated that they intend to fully develop the registration portal to ensure people can register in Irish.

However, she points out this vague commitment is being given seven months after the commencement of the vaccine programme.

Deputy Farrell also says there are plans to offer an Irish language version of the EU Digital Covid Certificate.

But she questions if we’ll be left waiting another seven months for that document to be made available as well.

To hear more, tune into Galway Bay fm news.

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