Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

News

Objectors fear marine test site could facilitate fish farm

Dara Bradley

Published

on

Fears are growing that the Marine Institute’s plans for a test site off Spiddal could pave the way for a fish farm in Galway Bay ‘through the back door’.

Campaigners are concerned about a statutory instrument that was enacted by Agriculture Minister, Michael Creed, which change licencing laws for salmon farms for research purposes.

The change to regulations, which was advertised in national newspapers this week, and which was backdated to August 26, will allow salmon farms under 50 tonnes to operate without an Environmental Impact Assessment. Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages said the change, “seems to be an attempt by Minister Creed to remove a major obstacle which would have prevented the Marine Institute getting their lease application in Spiddal sanctioned”.

The campaign group’s chairman, Billy Smyth, said: “We were right to be concerned about the Marine Institutes salmon farming plans for the Galway Bay Test Site at Spiddal. This new statutory instrument proves that we weren’t scare mongering when we said that the Marine Institute were going to allow salmon farms at the site under the guise of research.”

Last month, GBASC indicated it would be opposing plans for a lease for the test site at Spiddal.

The group said Minister Creed’s signing into law the statutory instrument confirms their suspicions that the test site could be used for salmon farming.

Mr Smyth said: “It would be a total waste of taxpayers’ money if the Marine Institute were to set up farmed salmon research stations in Irish waters, as the Norwegians have being carrying out similar research for the last 40 years to try to find out how to environmentally and sustainably farm salmon in open sea cages, and so far they have failed. Wild salmon in Norwegian rivers that flow into Fjords and bays that contain salmon farms are nearly extinct from disease, infestations of sea lice and escapees from salmon farms. Let the Marine Institute just ask the Norwegians for the results of their research and save money.

“It is time that a public inquiry is conducted into the failed salmon farming industry in this country to determine how an industry that employs directly, less than 150 people can acquire tens of millions of euro in State supports for little return, while our hospitals are bursting at the seams and thousands are homeless for the want of funding.”

The Marine institute’s original application stated it was seeking permission to deploy three turbines of 60 metres in height.

However, it has since corrected its application and insists that the “devices” will be half that height.

“A prototype floating wind turbine being tested on the site could have a blade tip at maximum 35m above sea level while wave energy converters would be up to 5m above sea level,” it said.  It has applied for a 35-years lease, and the wind turbines will be on site “intermittently”.

The application states that there will be a limit of three ocean energy test devices deployed at any one time for a period of testing “no greater than 18 months”.

Connacht Tribune

New York-based Galwegian thrives in heart of virus epi-centre

Denise McNamara

Published

on

Tadhg Reynolds in Times Square, on the empty streets of Manhattan.

An aspiring entrepreneur and Galway native, who had just set up a digital marketing company in New York when the pandemic struck, continues to work twelve-hour days as companies scramble to stay afloat.

Tadhg Reynolds, 24, from Kinvara, left for a better life exactly a year ago, on graduating from NUIG with a degree in Business Information Systems.

On his arrival, he joined a digital marketing start-up in Manhattan focused on e-commerce before branching out on his own, concentrating on Facebook ads, email and Instagram posts for companies in the US as well as in Ireland.

And then Covid-19 sent shockwaves around the world.

America is now the epi-centre of the pandemic and New York has been hardest hit, with 12,000 new cases confirmed and 600 deaths recorded on the day Tadhg spoke to the Connacht Tribune.

Tadhg had been worried that his newly found business would fall by the wayside as digital marketing is usually the first thing cut in hard times.

“I’ve actually started taking on new clients – companies selling home exercise equipment, hand sanitisers, hand moisturisers are doing really well so I’m helping them capitalise and everything seems to be going ok,” he remarks.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also order the paper with your online delivery – or buy a digital edition on www.connachttribune.ie

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Hospitals plan for anticipated virus upsurge

Dara Bradley

Published

on

ICU staff at Portiuncula Hospital – with a very clear message for the public. Photo taken by hospital staff because of visiting restrictions.

Extra space to store dead bodies prior to burials and cremations has been added at University Hospital Galway (UHG).

Upgrade works at the mortuary had already started prior to the Covid-19 crisis but additional capacity for potential coronavirus deaths was added as a worst case scenario precaution.

‘Preliminary talks’ about the possibility of opening a temporary field hospital in Galway, if in the worst-case scenario the four city hospitals fill-up, have also taken place as part of the HSE’s wide-ranging pandemic plans.

The capacity planning comes as Dr Pat Nash, Chief Clinical Director of Saolta Hospitals Group this week warned we are ‘far from over the hump’ in relation to Covid-19 infections and deaths, even though the public’s compliance with social distancing has slowed the spread of the virus.

The latest figures confirm there were a total of 128 positive cases of Covid-19 in Galway, as of midnight on Sunday, compared with 86 the previous Sunday. That’s up 42 cases in a week, but Sunday’s sharp rise of 16 new cases accounted for almost 40%.

Several hospital sources confirmed that temporary refrigerated prefabricated buildings have been installed alongside the morgue. These have increased by many multiples the 15 spaces in the existing, permanent morgue. An autopsy theatre at the morgue has been moved temporarily to the Fever Hospital building at UHG.

Members of the public who contacted the Connacht Tribune had noticed building work at the city morgue at UHG.

Dr Nash said some construction work was progressing beside the morgue on a new laboratory building that will accommodate the blood and tissue establishment unit. That unit was previously granted planning permission as part of an extension to the morgue.

 

See full story – and a further 20 pages of coverage of the Covid-19 crisis – in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also order the paper with your online delivery – or buy a digital edition on www.connachttribune.ie

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

NUIG research team found pandemic was long on the cards

Denise McNamara

Published

on

NUIG Professor Máire Connolly.

Back in 2017, a research report led by NUIG Professor Máire Connolly warned that the risk of a pandemic emerging was greater than ever before.

Influenza viruses originating in animals was first in the list of identified threats to human health.

“The timing and origin of the next pandemic is uncertain, but improved preparedness can minimise the impact on human lives and health, and the disruption to economies and societies that results,” she remarked on the publication of the EU ‘Pandem’ report following 18 months of research.

It was unfortunately all too prescient.

“It is a little bit eerie looking back,” Prof Connolly admits this week. “I don’t think we actually envisaged it would be as harrowing as it is.”

The Galway City native’s previous roles with the World Health Organisation (WHO) revolved around health security and disease control in emergencies. She worked with the organisation between 1995 and 2012, often at the heart of devastating crises in the likes of Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, Iran, Gaza, East Timor, Uganda and Syria.

Her husband Mike Ryan, who she met in 1988 while studying medicine at NUIG, is currently at the forefront of the global battle against Covid-19 through his role as executive director of WHO’s health emergencies programme.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also order the paper with your online delivery – or buy a digital edition on www.connachttribune.ie

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Advertisement

Weather

Weather Icon
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending