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Minister to attend city business meeting on rising insurance costs

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Minister for Financial Services and Insurance will be in the city tomorrow to attend a meeting with Galway businesses on the cost of insurance.
The visit comes amid growing fears among small businesses nationwide that they’ll be forced to close as as result of rapidly increasing costs.

In recent weeks, the Dáil has heard that many businesses across the west are on the ‘verge of collapse’ due to spiraling insurance costs.
The Taoiseach was warned by Galway West Deputy Noel Grealish that the cost of insurance is the number one reason that small businesses are facing closure.
Deputy Grealish also advised Leo Varadkar that the Government should establish a Financial Conduct Authority to oversee the insurance industry as a matter of priority.
However, businesses across Galway have already fired the first shots in the war against rising insurance costs, ahead of any possible Government intervention.
In January, it was revealed that Galway Businessman Pat McDonagh would spearhead a new campaign from the newly revived Alliance for Insurance Reform.
In the past, the grouping was instrumental in bringing about significant changes – including the setting up of the Injuries Board, and the introduction of legislation making it an offence to lie in a personal injuries case.
Minister for Financial Services and Insurance, Michael D’Arcy, will now meet with Galway businesses at a high level event in the city tomorrow.
He’ll be accompanied by officials from the Department of Finance – and top of the agenda will be what steps the Government is taking to address the situation.
The meeting will take place at the Portershed at Eyre Square tomorrow afternoon at 12.30.

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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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