One in three learner drivers (32%) fail their driving test in Galway City.
The failure rate is even higher at Tuam’s driving test centre, where two out of every five learner drivers (44%) fail their tests.
Nationally, the overall failure rate for driving tests is 40%.
The figures were obtained by Fianna Fáil and relate to the number of driving tests taken during one week this August.
During the week ending August 18, there were some 106 driving tests scheduled to take place in Galway City. Of these, some 59 drivers passed their test and 34 failed. A further eight didn’t show up and five tests couldn’t go ahead due to problems with paperwork or the vehicle.
In Tuam, during the same week, there were 25 tests scheduled. Of these, 13 passed, 11 failed and there was one no-show.
There were no driving tests in Loughrea or Clifden during that week, according to the figures.
There is some variance in the pass rates at driving centres nationally.
In Gorey 42 people failed the test while just 20 passed, giving an almost 70% failure rate, while in Donegal almost 80% of applicants passed. Also, in three of the major testing centres in Dublin in Churchtown, Finglas and Raheny more people failed than passed.
Meanwhile, learner drivers are waiting on average 12 weeks to get their test in Loughrea, Galway and Clifden. The average wait in Tuam is nine weeks. The longest drivers are waiting for a test in Clifden is 24 weeks; in Galway City it is 21 weeks; in Loughrea 22 weeks; and in Tuam 19 weeks.
The Road Safety Authority said it aims to have an average wait time of 10 weeks across the country but it varies by centre. The longest waiting time for car driver testing was in Skibbereen at 26 weeks, with 25 weeks in Castlebar, Cavan, Gorey, Killarney and Kilrush.
Fianna Fáil Senator Victor Boylan said failure rates was contributing to the backlog in waiting times.
Mr Boylan said: “If Minister for Transport Shane Ross is serious about tackling this issue and also enabling people on a first learner’s permit to progress readily to a full licence, he needs to immediately sanction more testers and resources. “
“The Minister and the RSA need to act on what can be done to deliver a more consistent and higher pass rate in all centres across the country.”
Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer
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
Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!
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
Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery
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