Retailers of medicines and paints may have to accept empty tins and unused medication under proposals included in the new Connacht-Ulster Draft Regional Waste Management Plan for 2015-2021.
At the moment, empty paint tins cannot be disposed of in Galway City – private collection companies are not allowed accept them, and the Council’s own depot at Sandy Road has not accepted them for several years.
At a presentation to city councillors on the plan, Kevin Swift, Regional Waste Coordinator for Connacht-Ulster, said ‘Producer Responsibility Initiatives’ (PRIs) for packaging and white goods such as old washing machines, as well as end-of-life vehicles, had been hugely successful.
He said there are proposals for PRIs for medicines and paints, and there will be new initiatives coming into play over the period of the waste plan.
A motion by Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) that national legislation be introduced so that old paints and chemicals can be returned to their point of sale was passed unanimously.
The 200-page Draft Plan is currently on public display and open for submissions until January 30, with the final plan set to be published in April.
Mr Swift explained that the Connacht-Ulster Region (Connacht and Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan) has a population of 840,000 and there are three key targets in the Draft Plan:
■ A 1% reduction per annum in the quantity of household waste generated per capita over the period.
■ Eliminate the direct disposal of unprocessed residual municipal waste to landfill
■ Preparing for reuse and recycling rate of 50% of municipal waste by 2020.
However, Cllr Catherine Connolly (Ind) branded the plan “a complete pretence” and said she and her colleagues were “eunuchs in the Council” because they had no powers.
She complained that the city had been punished for its massively successful response to recycling initiatives – which far exceeded expectations – because waste management responsibilities have been taken away from the Council.
She said millions had been spent on consultants who said a recycling rate of 45% would be the highest achievable – however, a six-week project in Renmore achieved a 70% rate, and at the moment, between 56% and “mid sixties” is being achieved across the city.
“Rather than being rewarded, we were punished, by having waste management being taken away from us. Because we pushed recycling and showed the country, the power was taken from us. It’s a sham,” said Cllr Connolly.
Mr Swift said recycling had been very successful, but recycling as a practice is not the best approach.
“The better option is reuse or prevention. That’s where a lot of emphasis will be,” said Mr Swift.
The Draft Plan can be downloaded from www.curwmo.ie
Exploring the merits of moving into the west
Broadcaster Mary Kennedy has an abiding image of those early mornings when she’d set out from Dublin at the crack of dawn to begin work on another day’s filming down the country with Nationwide.
“I always liked to go in the morning rather than stay there the night before – so I’d be on the road early. And from the moment I’d hit Newland’s Cross, all I’d see was a line of traffic of people trying to make it from home to their workplace in Dublin,” she says.
These were people whose day began before dawn to get their bleary-eyed kids ready to drop at a childminder along the way, so they could be on time for work – and then race home to hopefully see those same kids before they went to sleep.
But if the pandemic had a positive, it was the realisation that work was something you did, not a place you went to. As a result, many people finally grasped the nettle, moving out of the city and sometimes even taking their work with them.
Which is why Mary – busier than ever since her supposed retirement from RTÉ – is presenting a new television series called Moving West, focusing on those individuals and families who have, as the title, suggests, relocated to the West.
One of the programmes comes from Galway, where Mary met with Stewart Forrest, who relocated with his family from South Africa to Oughterard, and Carol Ho, a Hong Kong native who has also settled in Galway.
The TG4 series also stops off in Sligo, Mayo, Kerry, Clare, Roscommon and Leitrim.
Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Community’s tribute to one of their own – saving final cut of turf after his passing
A local community responded in force to the death of one of their own – a man who had given so much of his life for the good of the parish – by paying one last practical tribute to him last week.
They lifted and footed his turf.
John Geraghty – or Gero as he was known – lived for Gaelic football and he’d filled every role imaginable with the St Brendan’s GAA Club since he came to live in Newbridge in 1983.
He’d cut the turf before he died last Tuesday week, but there it lay, until his old GAA friends organised a bunch of guys – made up of the football team, friends and neighbours – to meet in the bog last Wednesday evening to lift and foot/clamp John’s turf.
“Upwards of 50 fellas from the community showed up,” said St Brendan’s chairman Gerry Kilcommins.
Which was just as well, because, as Gerry acknowledged, John – himself a two-time chairman of the club in the past – had a lot of turf cut!
“It took up an area around three-quarters of the size of a standard football pitch,” he said.
Not that this proved a problem, given the enthusiasm with which they rolled up their sleeves for their old friend.
They started at 7.30pm and had it done at 7.55pm – that’s just 25 minutes from start to finish.
Read the full, heartwarming story – and the St Brendan’s GAA Club appreciation for John Geraghty – in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Liver donor dad would do it all again in a heartbeat
It is nearly two years since Paddy Browne gave his daughter Sadhbh part of his liver to save her life. And just ahead of Father’s Day, he reflects on how he would do it all over again in a heartbeat, without a single moment’s hesitation.
After an initial testing time in the first six weeks when they beat a path to the intensive care unit after the operation in St King’s Hospital in London, Sadhbh has never looked back.
“She’s thrived and thrived and thrived. She skips out to school every day. She loves the normal fun and devilment in the yard. She’s now six and started football with Mountbellew Moylough GAA, she loves baking, she’s a voracious reader – she’ll read the whole time out loud while we drive up to Crumlin [Children’s Hospital].”
But it could have all been so different.
Sadhbh from Mountbellew was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia shortly after she was born. She quickly underwent major surgery to drain bile from her liver. It worked well until she reached three years old when an infection caused severe liver damage and she was placed on the liver transplant list.
She was on a long list of medication to manage the consequences of advanced liver disease. While she lived a full life, she would tire very easily.
Paddy was undergoing the rigorous process to be accepted as a living donor when one of the tests ruled him unsuitable. His brother Michael stepped forward and was deemed a good match.
Then, further tests revealed that Paddy was in fact eligible for the operation and the previous result disregarded as a false positive.
Read the full, uplifting story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. You can also visit the website www.ika.ie/get-a-donor-card or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.