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Connacht Tribune

Oral hearing expected next year on ring road plan

Declan Tierney

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A formal application to construct the proposed €650 million Galway City Ring Road has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála – the public now have eight weeks to make submissions to the plan.

But already several members of Galway County Council have been highly critical of the proposed route, saying that it is both too close to the city and should not involve the demolition of more than 40 houses.

Councillors said this would cause disruption for families along the route who have no desire to be relocated – and it could also result in children having to move schools.

A number of environmental groups are already preparing to oppose the 18km (11 miles) ring road between the east and the west of the city, which is commonly referred to as the ‘outer bypass’.

The planning application will go on display for eight weeks when the public will be allowed make submissions – following this, there will be an oral hearing and it is expected to have this in the first half of 2019.

The proposed route involves a new bridge and viaduct over the River Corrib, two short tunnels on the city’s east side, demolition of 44 houses and acquisition of 10 more houses which would be seriously affected.

Director of Services for Transport and Infrastructure, Jim Cullen, informed councillors this week that the planning application would be sent directly to An Bord Pleanála for consideration, but it would result in an oral hearing taking place.

Some councillors said the Board should be given a time frame in which to reach a decision after all of the submissions were made, but Mr Kelly explained that this was not an option.

However, Cllr Tomas Ó Curraoin from Barna said that while he welcomed the city bypass, it was too close to the city and was ‘taking out’ too many houses in the process.

“Residents don’t want compensation. No amount of money would compensate them for having to find a new site, build a new home and reside in an area where they do not want to live.

“Many have children going to school, and to up sticks will be very traumatic for them. Communities will be divided,” he added.

Fellow Independent councillor Seosamh Ó Cualáin agreed and said that he was not in favour of demolishing houses. He added that nobody should be forced to move from the home where they wanted to live.

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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