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Opposition grows to fluoride in water supplies

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Ireland’s water is a controversial subject these days, with protests against water charges being held on a regular basis. But now that we’re paying for our water usage, there’s another issue to consider – compulsory fluoridation of the public water supply.

A motion tabled by Independent Councillor Jim Cuddy at a recent Galway County Council meeting called on the Government to hold a referendum on water fluoridation, and was passed unanimously.

Galway City Councillor Catherine Connolly has also expressed concern about the levels of fluoride in the public water supply, saying that most councillors are concerned about it and that it is the councillors that need to do something about it.

“The official response has been that it’s for our health and there seems to be no getting beyond that, so really it’s up to the councillors, I think, to take the initiative. A change is not going to come from the officials; they’re carrying out government policy,” said Cllr Connolly.

Authorities say there are several health benefits to the addition of fluoride in the water, with dental health being listed as the main one. But many anti-fluoride groups say the opposite is true, with fluoride causing dental fluorosis, which leaves tooth enamel damaged.

“Water fluoridation was known, from the start, to cause dental fluorosis in at least 10% of children exposed to it. Dental fluorosis is irreversible tooth enamel damage for life. We believe that drinking the chemicals used in fluoridation is an unnecessary risk to health,” according to the anti-fluoride group, Fluoride Free Water.

There is now a growing movement which aims to repeal the Health Act of 1960 which allows for the compulsory fluoridation of Ireland’s water.

Anti-fluoride groups aim to propose a constitutional amendment which will guarantee every citizen will be protected from water fluoridation in the future.

“Harmful fluorides in tap water are a poison and they damage both teeth and soft tissues and bone. It is illegal to force anyone to take a poison without their knowledge or informed consent,” according to Fluoride Free Water.

Apart from dental fluorosis, there are many worldwide studies that show there are other health complications linked to over-exposure to fluoride in water, including an increased rate of hip fractures and an increased rate of thyroid disorders among others.

There are also many who believe fluoride is deliberately put in the water supply to keep the population docile, compliant and stupid, with numerous studies linking low IQ in children to the consumption of fluoride.

According to Fluoride Free Water: “Vulnerable groups like kidney patients, people with low thyroid function, and the elderly, and babies, who are fed formula made with fluoridated water, must not be exposed to toxic fluorides in their drinking water. Ending fluoridation will stop exposure to toxic fluorides from this source.”

Over the past year, a number of councils around the country, including Galway County Council, have publicly called on the Government to scrap the current policy of compulsory fluoridation.

“This is involuntary medication through an outdated and dangerous state-wide public health policy which continues to inflict irreversible cosmetic and structural malformation damage to the teeth – or fluorosis – of 40% of the population,” said a spokesperson from lobby group Fluoride Free Towns.

Ireland is one of the very few countries in Europe with compulsory fluoridation, and has the highest percentage (71%) of fluoride in its water system compared with Spain which has only 3% in comparison and the United Kingdom, which has only 10% fluoride in its water. The data comes from Dr Paul Connett, CEO of the Fluoride Action Network.

The spokesperson for Fluoride Free Towns said that fluoride “threatens the country’s very valuable food and beverage sector of the economy. Not one other European country maintains a similar mandatory public water fluoridation policy in 2015 due to health, environmental, legal or ethical concerns as a result of ongoing scientific and medical objection.”

Cllr Catherine Connolly says that the officials are only “carrying out government policy”, but councillors and lobby groups have concerns.

“I think they have serious concerns and I think they have to be properly investigated and I think that they have persisted in the face of a wall of denial from the government. Concerned groups of citizens have kept going and saying we are worried. I think it deserves a proper inquiry and a proper investigation,” she said.

For more information on the fluoridation of the public water system, visit www.fluoridefreewater.ie, or www.fluoridealert.org.

Connacht Tribune

Supply chain challenges in retail

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SPONSORED CONTENT  – EZ LIVING FURNITURE

There has been a huge demand for consumer products in 2020 and 2021. Covid-19 has resulted in people spending more time at home than ever before. Lockdown especially saw all non-essential workers previously confined to their homes. Investing in goods such as clothing, electronics and furniture was one of the few ways that people could spend their discretionary income from the comfort of their own homes. However, this major spike in consumer purchasing is only one of many challenges that the retail industry is currently facing.

Every retailer and consumer across the globe is being affected by rising costs and frustrating delivery delays and this, unfortunately, includes  EZ Living Furniture. As Ireland’s most loved and well-known furniture retailer, we wanted to help our customers understand the issues the entire retail industry is currently facing and will continue to face for some time by outlining the order fulfilment process to you.

Supply Chain explained

March 2020:

Many suppliers (including EZ Living Furniture) source their products from overseas. When Covid-19 first struck in the Far East in March 2020, illness and a lessened workforce lead to a dramatic decrease in production. When those countries entered lockdown, supply stopped coming from the Far East entirely.

April 2020:

When these countries began to recover and started to exit lockdown, Europe, unfortunately, went into lockdown. Because we were unable to sell stock to the same capacity, we stopped ordering from these countries.

June 2020:

Customers began ordering products again, but only online as all of the physical stores in Europe were closed. It took us, and many other European businesses a number of weeks to come to terms with the new working from home arrangements and the redirection of resources towards the increase in online sales that occurred subsequently.

November 2020:

Product manufacturers and raw material manufacturers in Europe were still closed due to the pandemic. This meant materials and products were not being produced in Europe at all.

This caused major issues with supply and production. For instance, foam is one of many materials used to make mattresses, dining chairs, and sofas. When this is in short supply, so too is the furniture that uses foam.

Hospitals around the globe began ordering thousands of containers of PPE. With no warehouses to store these essential healthcare items, they remained in the containers at ports. This lead to congestions at ports and a shortage of shipping containers worldwide.

Shipping ports closed due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in ports.

March 2021:

The Suez Canal was blocked by a container vessel for six days. This put further strain on supply chains that were already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.

October 2021:

We are still continuing to suffer from the lack of containers. This is causing a rise in transportation and raw material costs. Deliveries to customers are also now taking longer than usual.

What are we doing to resolve this?

Stores like us are working even harder to ensure that customers receive the same products in the same time frame and at the same price-point that was in place before the pandemic. Any solution to this supply chain problem is not perfect. Prioritising faster delivery will inevitably lead to higher costs while focusing on lowering product prices will inevitably delay delivery times.

Alternatives and long-term solutions are being explored such as supply chains in eastern Europe. However, this is a time-consuming process primarily due to quality control and logistics.

What you need to know

Already this year, we have had to increase our stock levels to try to compensate for any future delivery delays. Until now, we have been absorbing the increases in transportation costs and raw materials in order to continue to offer our customers such a wide range of furnishings.

Unfortunately, due to the prolonged nature of the pandemic, stock is going to be limited, especially during certain holiday periods. Prices may also have to be increased again in the future with smaller companies likely to be affected to an even greater degree. We want to be completely transparent with our customers and make you all aware that our promotions listed below may be the last chance for you all to purchase EZ Living Furniture items at such low prices.

So, don’t wait to buy that EZ Living Furniture Item you have been eyeing and prioritise our in-stock items. The products available in all retail stores now could sell out and take a long time to return to stock. Shipping delay issues could also mean you are waiting months to receive your items.

Although we are uncertain as to how long these global supply-chain issues will last, we aim to keep you updated at all times. We appreciate your patience during these unprecedented times.

For any queries regarding your order, please contact our Customer Service team by phone, email or live chat:

Monday – Friday 9:30am – 5:00pm

Phone: 0818 222 272

Customer Service Email: customerservice@ezliving.ie

Website Enquiries Email: websales@ezlivingfurniture.ie

SPONSORED CONTENT  – EZ LIVING FURNITURE

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Connacht Tribune

A Moycullen win would add badly needed spice to football’s big day

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Conor Reddington of Annaghdown and Tuam Stars' Adam Carton in action during the North Board Minor B football final at Tuam Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

BEFORE a ball was kicked in this year’s Galway senior championship, the smart money would have been on champions Corofin, Tuam Stars, Salthill/Knocknacarra and Mountbellew/Moylough making it to the semi-finals if they managed to keep out of each other’s way on the road to the penultimate stage off the title race.

Unfortunately, for a Salthill team which, in any event, didn’t scale their expected heights this year, they came up against the champions in the quarter-finals where the Seasiders’ challenge was dismissed in convincing fashion. It was business as usual for Corofin who remain odds on to claim a record-breaking eighth consecutive title.

With Tuam Stars edging out Bearna after extra-time, a Paul Kelly goal helping Moycullen get the better of St James’, and Mountbellew/Moylough powering home against 14-man Killannin, it means that three of last year’s semi-finalists are back seeking a place in the Galway decider this weekend. Mountbellew/Moylough are the odd ones out having fallen to Corofin in the 2019 quarter-finals.

Val Daly’s troops will need the performance of the lives to overturn club’s football’s dominant power, especially as they continue to field without county player John Daly – a son of their manager. Of course, they are not without a chance and if the likes of Michael Daly, Matthew Barrett, Eoin Finnerty, Eoin Ryan and Barry McHugh hit the ground running, they could give Corofin a searching time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Greens see red on gold rush

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Opposition is intensifying to the prospect of a licence being awarded to Canadian gold prospectors planning to explore the heart of Connemara.

Environmental campaigners have warned of the dangers of awarding a prospecting licence to Toronto-based MOAG to mine for gold and silver in land around Roundstone, Ballyconneely and Ballynahinch.

They claim the exploration could devastate water supplies, tourism, wildlife – and also led to tensions in the local community.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton has indicated he intends to grant a prospecting licence to the company to explore for the valuable minerals in townlands in Ballynahinch Barony.

The licence allows the holder to explore for mineral deposits, and does not authorise mining of any materials that are found – that requires further licensing.

And Minister Bruton’s Department insists that the activities permitted under this licence are “non-invasive” and “of minimal environmental impact”.

However, campaigners have warned of the dangers mining can have on Connemara, and have urged the public to object before July 6.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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