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CITY TRIBUNE

No uptake from Galway on refugee resettlement scheme

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Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív: asked Government for details

There have been no applications from communities in Galway to sponsor refugees under a resettlement initiative which was launched last November.

However, Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton, said he believes that as the Community Sponsorship Ireland (CSI) initiative grows, there will be applications from Galway city and county.

The scheme is aimed at encouraging local groups to welcome refugees to Ireland and provide supports and assistance to them.

Galway West Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Government for details of how many applications there were from potential community sponsors in Galway and the number of refugees received to date.

Minister Stanton replied: “None are currently from the county or city of Galway. It is expected that as the programme grows and becomes more established this is likely to change.”

He went on to say that the country has already resettled 30 individuals and is committed to accepting a minimum of 100 before the end of the year.

“To date, eight refugee families (30 individuals) have arrived in Ireland under community sponsorship and have been warmly received by their host communities. A further nine communities have been approved as community sponsorship groups and are now actively undergoing the required training through their respective Regional Support Organisation.

“Community Sponsorship Ireland is a new community-based sponsorship programme which invites members of the public to play a key role in the integration of refugees into Irish society. This new initiative was developed by my Department in collaboration with civil society organisations and formally launched in November last year.

“Community Sponsorship provides a new mechanism to enhance existing rights-based support. Under the programme, private citizens and community-based organisations will provide direct support and assistance to refugees settling in their locality through a structured programme of supports.

“Involved communities will be empowered to promote, support and facilitate access to services and supports tailored to transition vulnerable families into Irish society and towards independent living through inclusion into the wider community,” said Minister Stanton.

He said that last December, he and Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan unveiled plans to welcome up to 2,900 more refugees between 2020 and 2023 through a combination of resettlement and the new community sponsorship initiative.

“Ireland remains committed to accepting a minimum of 100 individuals for resettlement under the community sponsorship model for 2020.

“The situation at this time remains challenging due to travel restrictions in place owing to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Minister Stanton.

CITY TRIBUNE

Cigarettes, drugs and cash seized in Galway

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Officers from the Divisional Drugs Unit seized more than €73,000 worth of cigarettes, cash and drugs after a car and residence were searched in Galway today.
As part of Operation Tara – which is targeting the sale and supply of drugs and related criminal activity in the Galway area – Gardaí  searched a car in the Knocknacarra area. Cash and cannabis were seized.

A follow up search was carried out at a residence in Salthill, where cigarettes worth €70,000, along with €3,100 in cash and a small quantity of suspected amphetamine were recovered.

No arrests were made, but Gardaí say they are following a definite line of inquiry.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Matriarch of Scotty’s Diner donates kidney to her son!

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A well-known family in the Galway restaurant trade have swapped chef whites for hospital gowns after the matriarch donated a kidney to her son.

Jenny and Andrew Ishmael, synonymous with Scotty’s Diner in Cúirt na Coiribe on the Headford Road in Terryland, are recovering in Beaumont Hospital after the marathon live donor operation.

It took place last Monday and staff are so impressed by the quick recovery of mother and son that they could be discharged as early as this weekend.

“It went really well. I’m still a bit sore. We’re still on the mend. It’s working perfectly,” says Andrew from the isolation ward of the hospital’s Kidney Centre.  “My creatine was over 1,000 when I came in and it’s already around 260.

“I felt weak after the surgery, but I could feel that bit of life in me again straight away. It’s amazing how quick it works. Mom wasn’t too great after the surgery – it was her first ever. She was quite sore, a bit iffy, but she’s good now.

“We have rooms back-to-back. We’ve been going for walks, going for breakfast together. It’s nice to spend that time together.”

Andrew – or Drew as he’s known to family and friends –  was diagnosed with kidney disease when he was just 16.

Berger’s Disease occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin builds up in the kidneys and results in inflammation, which over time, can hamper the kidneys’ ability to filter waste from the blood.

He managed the condition well for over a decade without too much impact on his life.

The son of classically trained chefs who studied together at Johnson and Wales College in Rhode Island, he grew up working in his parents’ American-style diner, trading since 1991.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

New River Corrib rescue boat to be deployed following ‘significant donation’

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The provision of a specialist rescue craft on the Corrib – upstream from the Weir – could now happen over the coming weeks or months following a ‘significant voluntary donation’ in the past few weeks, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

Water safety issues on the Corrib were highlighted last month when up to 10 rowers had to be rescued after their two boats were sucked in by the currents towards the Weir.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has launched an investigation into the circumstances of the potentially catastrophic incident which occurred around midday on Saturday, January 14.

A specialist D Class lifeboat is now being sourced as part of a multi-agency approach to try and improve emergency rescue operations upstream from the Weir which would be accessible on a 24/7 basis.

While the cost would be in the region of €40,000 to €50,000, the overall figure would rise to around €80,000 to €90,000 when specialist personnel training costs were included.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune that he was aware of a lot of work going on behind the scenes to try and get the Corrib rescue craft in place as soon as possible.

“I suppose we’re all trying to work together to ensure that a full-time rescue craft is provided on the Corrib and I believe that real progress is being made in this regard. This would be very good news for everyone,” said Mr Swan.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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