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NUIG staff up in arms over ‘invasive’ health quiz

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Questions contained in NUI Galway’s occupational health questionnaire for prospective employees have been described as “invasive”, “misogynistic” and “excessively personal”.

The university has defended its occupational health ‘pre employment health assessment’ forms which ask female job applicants about their menstrual cycle.

Among the questions asked are: “Do you suffer with any problems with your menstrual periods? Do you suffer any breast problems? Have you ever been treated for gynaecological problems?”

The questionnaire asks over 40 questions about the health of someone who has applied for, and offered, a position at the university.

It also asks if “you have ever suffered prostate problems?”

NUIG, according to the questionnaire, says that the questions are necessary to establish if the appointee is “fit for the job”.

If he or she can, “carry out the job without any undue risk to the health and safety of themselves or others at work”.

And that NUIG “will have reasonable expectation that the appointee will provide regular attendance at work until retirement”.

“The questions are invasive,” said one senior lecturer at the third level institute.

“Particularly for women, the questions are borderline misogynistic. They are such an invasion of privacy it is unbelievable. Why are the menstrual periods of women workers of concern to NUI Galway? If you answer ‘yes’ to this question, what are the consequences? It is a breach of privacy.”

NUI Galway has defended use of the forms.

In a statement NUI Galway said: “On appointment to a position the university issues an individual with a pre-employment health assessment form, among others, for completion. The form is in line with forms used for employment purposes.

“The form is completely confidential and returned by the individual to the university Occupational Health Physician directly. The HR office does not have sight of or record of the completed form.

“A confirmation is simply received of medical fitness for duty or not. The form was introduced a number of years ago by an Occupational Health Physician to replace the medical consultation on appointment.”

Gender inequality issues have been to the fore at NUIG recently. Serious concerns have been raised about the institution’s record on gender equality following Equality Tribunal findings in favour of female lecturers, Sheehy-Skeffington and Dempsey, who were discriminated against. Findings of a HEA survey on gender balance also found serious shortcomings on the part of NUIG. NUIG set up a task force to investigate equality issues but this has been criticised by staff from the outset.

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh yesterday said in light of the string of gender balance and equality issues that have emerged at NUIG, he is “extremely concerned” at the type of “misogynist and invasive” questions contained in its occupational health assessment. “It appears excessively intrusive, and it gives rise to gender balance issues, bias and discrimination on grounds of sex and also issues of data protection,” he said.

CITY TRIBUNE

24/7 Garda surveillance on feuding Galway families

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Specialist Garda units have been maintaining round-the-clock surveillance over the past week in different parts of the city in an effort to keep the lid on a vicious ongoing feud between two families.

The feud, which resulted in a number of houses being firebombed and a gunshot being fired into a doorway earlier this month, is still simmering but Gardaí have put in place a ‘watch and follow’ strategy in relation to gang members.

Gardaí have also confirmed that they are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry into what they regard as the most serious of the incidents which occurred in the latest outbreak of the feud.

That involved a shooting incident on the Wednesday night of June 15, when a gunman fired a shot into the door of a house in the Bohermore area at around 10.30pm – he is believed to have initially making his getaway on foot before being picked up in a waiting car in the Forster Court area.

Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins, who is heading up the investigation into the series of incidents, said that . . . .
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Highwire performers to stage Claddagh spectacular

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s a skill known as funambulism – highwire or tightrope walking – and later this month it seems set to draw huge outdoor crowds to the Claddagh Basin.

Staged on seven highwires spanning the River Corrib, south of Wolfe Tone Bridge, the performances on July 16/17 (Saturday/Sunday), will feature a cast of 150 people from all ages and backgrounds.

Entitled ‘LifeLine’, this spectacular event is being produced and presented by the Galway Community Circus group and will be one of the highlights of the upcoming Arts Festival.

Originally, ‘LifeLine’ had been pencilled in as part of the Galway European Capital of Culture 2020 events, before being scuppered by the Covid pandemic.

The highwire event also has a more serious undertone, in its promotion of the importance of mental health wellbeing at a location renowned for its beauty – but also for many personal human tragedies.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Knives, live ammunition and drugs seized in Knocknacarra

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Knives, live shotgun cartridges and over €10,000 worth of drugs were seized by Gardaí in an operation earlier this week in the Knocknacarra area.

Four young males – who were acting suspiciously in the Lios Mór area at Cappagh Park on Tuesday evening last at around 7pm – were approached by a Garda unit and searched.

During the search, Gardaí found a quantity of cocaine on one of the men, while nearby they also seized a number of offensive weapons including knives.

All four were detained for questioning by Gardaí after being taken to Garda HQ in Murrough, Renmore and in a follow-up search at a house in Knocknacarra, €10,000 worth of cannabis was discovered as well as three live shotgun cartridges.

One of the men – aged in his early 20s – is . . . .
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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