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Connacht Tribune

One in ten planning decisions in Galway appealed last year

Enda Cunningham

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More than one in every ten planning decisions in Galway City last year were appealed to An Bord Pleanála – a higher rate than the national average.

But just one of the appeals was successful in overturning the local authority’s decision.

Figures published in the Board’s Annual Report for 2017 show that in Galway City, there were 317 planning decisions made, of which, 36 were appealed (11.4%), which equated to 1.8% of all appeals nationally.

The rate of appeals was 11.4%, which is higher that the national average of 7.3%.

The highest rate of appeal was recorded in Dublin at 15.8%, while the lowest was in Monaghan at 2.5%.

There were 22 decisions made by the Board last year relating to Galway City appeals (there may have been a carry-over of decisions pending from 2016, and some from 2017 may not have been made until this year) – five Council decisions were upheld, 16 had planning conditions varied and one was overturned.

A breakdown of the figures shows that 23 of the appeals related to residential applications; four to retail; three to mixed-use developments; two to community facilities and one each to education, sport, transport and signs.

In County Galway, just nine planning decisions which were appealed to An Bórd Pleanála last year were reversed.

The 2017 report shows that 52 appeals were made against Galway County Council planning decisions last year, which equates to a rate of just 3.6%.

The figures show that in 2017, the local authority made 1,434 planning decisions – 52 of these were appealed (3.6%), which equated to just 2.5% of all decisions nationally which were appealed. Decisions were reached on 37 cases.

A breakdown of the decided cases shows that 11 had the local authority decisions upheld; 17 had decisions varied and nine had decisions overturned.

A breakdown of the 52 appeals lodged in the county in 2017 shows that 27 were residential applications; nine were agricultural; four for utilities; three for retail; three for community facilities; three for industry; two for education and one was sport-related.

Nationally, there were 28,077 planning decisions, of which 2,041 were appealed (a rate of 7.3%). A total of 1,427 decisions were reached, of which 314 were upheld, 775 had conditions varied and 338 overturned.

Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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