It mightn’t exactly be the famous Tennessee, Chattanooga Choo-Choo but the city’s new road train – that chugged into operation last weekend – is proving to be a big hit with the tourists and leisurely classes of Galway.
The city tourist train is the brainchild of Galway man Terry Mannion and his Kilkenny born wife, Ellen, bringing passengers on a 50-minute guided tour of the city and Salthill, with recorded musical interludes along the way, including, of course, Galway Bay and The Galway Girl.
“I had worked as a carpenter for a number of years but following the downturn in the construction industry over recent years, the choice I faced was either to emigrate to Canada or come up with something here in Ireland.
“Last year, when I was in Kilkenny, I saw how popular the road train down there was, and I thought to myself that this was just ‘made’ for Galway, but it has taken a lot of work to turn the dream into a reality,” Terry Mannion told the Galway City Tribune.
It took a solid 12 months of behind-the-scenes homework to get the train up and running, involving detailed consultation and scheduling with the City Council, County Council, Gardai, Dept. of Transport and other statutory bodies.
Terry (32), originally from Dangan close to Barnaderg and Abbeyknockmoy in North Galway, is delighted with the success of his first week’s work, that coincided nicely with a fabulous spell of Mediterranean weather . . . but the train is not just for the tourist season.
Pick-up point for the 50-minute round trip is at the corner of Eyre Square close to Richardsons before the 17.5 metre long choo-choo – powered by a 2.2 litre diesel engine – snakes its way over the Salmon Weir Bridge, on through Lower Salthill before turning back for ‘home’ at Blackrock. There is also a pick-up point at the Salthill Atlantaquaria.
See this week’s Galway City Tribune for more
Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues
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.
Galway rowers aim for Olympic gold!
Best of luck to two Galway rowers – Aifric Keogh of Aill an Phréacháin in Na Forbacha, and Fiona Murtagh from Gortachalla in Moycullen – who are part of Team Ireland’s Women’s Coxless Fours team who compete in an Olympic final in Tokyo at 1.50am (Irish time) Wednesday.
Coverage on RTÉ 2 television begins from 1am.
Ireland – who were second in their heat after Australia, who set a new Olympic Record – are in lane two, with Great Britain on their outside, and Australia, favourites for a gold medal, in lane three.
The Netherlands, China and Poland are in lanes four, five and six at the Sea Forest Waterway.
Poor weather meant some rowing events were re-scheduled but the Women’s Fours final was not impacted.
Jim Keogh, Aifric’s father, told the Tribune he was hopeful ahead of the final.
“To make the Olympics is tough, to make the final is tough, to make the medal is tougher,” he said.
Photo: Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty.
*Full coverage of the race and reaction in this week’s Connacht Tribune and Galway City Tribune
Paedophile sentenced to a further 17 months in prison
A convicted paedophile, described by a Garda as ‘a prolific child abuser’, has had a 17-month prison sentence added to a 13-year sentence he is already serving for the rape and sexual abuse of children.
Disgraced primary school teacher and summer school bus driver, 69-year-old Seosamh Ó Ceallaigh, a native of Tuirín, Béal a’ Daingin, Conamara, had at all times denied two charges of indecently assaulting a ten-year-old boy at a Gaeltacht summer school in Béal a’ Daingin in 1979.
The offence carries a maximum two-year sentence.
A jury found him guilty by majority verdict following a four-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last month.
At his sentence hearing last week, Detective Paul Duffy described Ó Ceallaigh as a prolific child abuser who had amassed 125 child abuse convictions, committed while he was a primary school teacher in Dublin and while he operated an Irish language summer school in Beal a’ Daingin.
They included convictions for rape and sexual assault for which he is currently serving sentences totalling 13 years.
Those sentences were due to expire in August 2024, but last week, Judge Rory McCabe imposed two, concurrent 17-month sentences on Ó Ceallaigh, before directing the sentences begin at the termination of the sentences he is currently serving.
The judge noted Ó Ceallaigh’s denial and lack of remorse and the lifelong detrimental effect the abuse had on the victim as aggravating factors.