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Fake or Fact – You Decide: Episode 3

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Fake or Fact – You Decide: Episode 3

In this week’s episode, we’re looking at recognising bias in media, exploring media sources in Ireland and abroad, as well as in advertising.

We first explore bias in terms of Irish media, and hear from the public as to what bias, if any, they believe is present in Irish media.


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We take an in-depth look at news sources in the United States and any bias that is prevalent in them.

We focus specically on Fox News and CNN, and hear from Larry Donnelly, Attorney and Lecturer at the University of Galway.

We’ll also be looking at bias in advertising as a source of media, and also how advertising impacts on our wellbeing.

The post Fake or Fact – You Decide: Episode 3 appeared first on Galway Bay FM.

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Only 5 dentists left on the Dental Treatment Service Scheme in Tuam

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Only 5 dentists left on the Dental Treatment Service Scheme in Tuam

There are only 5 dentists left in the Tuam area operating under the Dental Treatment Service Scheme.

The figure was revealed to the HSE Health Forum West in response to a query from Councillor Donagh Killilea.


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In recent years, numbers have plummeted on the scheme – and those who remain have little to no capacity for new patients.

It’s a national rather than local crisis, with the Irish Dental Association previously warning the Dental Treatment Services Scheme is on the brink of total collapse.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Killilea thinks there is one particular measure that could be brought in to help.

The post Only 5 dentists left on the Dental Treatment Service Scheme in Tuam appeared first on Galway Bay FM.

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Raft of objections to plans for mobile sauna units at Renville in Oranmore

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Raft of objections to plans for mobile sauna units at Renville in Oranmore

A raft of objections have been lodged with county planners over a proposal to place two mobile sauna units at Renville in Oranmore.

The plans would see two mobile sauna units and two changing units installed at the pier, opposite the sailing club.


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The plans are led by Liam Irwin Lidoc Experiences Ltd, with temporary permission sought for five years.

The mobile sauna and changing units would be located beside the rock armour, backing onto the wall of the public car park,

But the plans have drawn a huge number of objections on a wide range of grounds.

Some question if the applicant has the right to build on the foreshore at all.

Others claim that the site in question has been used by the public for at least 100 years for a range of activities, including swimming.

Among the many other issues raised are flooding at high tide, the obstruction of natural views, impact on the environment, and the urgent need for public toilets.

County planners are expected to make a decision in the very near future.

The post Raft of objections to plans for mobile sauna units at Renville in Oranmore appeared first on Galway Bay FM.

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Athenry housing projects become first to benefit from new joint Council framework

Athenry is to become the first location in Galway to benefit from a new Design-Build Contractor Framework that will expedite the delivery of new construction projects across the city and county.

Galway County Council and Galway City Council have jointly developed the framework to enable the delivery of social and affordable housing developments through the accelerated delivery programme of Design-Build.

Two developments in Athenry, which are the first projects to benefit from the framework, will deliver 30 new homes at the existing Gort Mhaoilir social housing estate and a further eleven units at the existing Curlibaun estate in the town.

Galway County Council has awarded the Design-Build contract for the two developments to Studio PKA as Architect Lead with an integrated design team comprising Mulcahy Mc Donough (QS), SDS Design Engineers (Civil & Structural Engineers), CBS Consulting Engineers (Mechanical & Electrical Engineers) and Fact Fire Consulting Engineers (Fire Engineering Services).

“The new framework, which operates on the basis of a two-year contract with an option to extend, will speed up the delivery of construction projects across Galway City and County while also promoting the use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC),” explained Michael Owens, Director of Services for Housing with Galway County Council. The integrated design team services element of the framework allows for a single appointment for each project of an Architect Led integrated design team comprising all disciplines rather than separate individual appointments of each discipline.

“Both local authorities are now able to run a mini-competition for projects on e-Tenders which will be confined to the six pre-qualified participants only, therefore reducing the administrative burden of larger open competitions,” he added.

Pictured at Áras an Chontae for the Design-Build contract signing for two housing developments in Athenry (back – from left) Galway County Council’s Alan Brogan (Executive Engineer), Michael Owens (Director of Services), Liadhan Keady (Administrative Officer) and Damien Mitchell (Senior Engineer), with (front) Angela Spelman (Administrative Officer), Eithne Murphy (Senior Executive Engineer), Liam Conneally (Chief Executive) and Cllr Albert Dolan, Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, and Paul Keogh and Ellen Mathews of Studio PKA. 

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Bar Council calls on Government restore fees for criminal practitioners

Galway’s criminal barristers withdrew their services again last week, in the second of three days of withdrawal this month.

The Galway legal practitioners joined their colleagues across the country in a second day of protests in towns and cities where criminal cases were due to be heard – at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin, and Courthouses in Cork, Limerick, and Castlebar.

The Council of The Bar of Ireland has recommended the action due to the lack of progress in establishing an independent, meaningful, time-limited and binding mechanism to determine the fees paid to criminal barristers by the Director of Public Prosecutions and under the Criminal Justice (Legal Aid) Scheme.

Budget 2024 saw the restoration of ten per cent of fees, following a withdrawal of service on October 3 last year.

However, even after this ten per cent was restored, the Bar Council argued that the full range of FEMPI-era cuts that were applied across the public sector, continued to apply to the profession, and the unilateral breaking of the link (in 2008) to public sector pay agreements has yet to be restored.

And the Bar Council said its members are increasingly frustrated at the lack of engagement from Government on the matter.

“We are at a loss to pinpoint where the leadership is in Government on this,” said Chair of the Council of The Bar of Ireland, Sara Phelan SC.

“Leadership to take a definitive simple action and ensure the orderly administration of justice, but also leadership in terms of doing what is right so as to avoid the retraumatisation, confusion, delay and frustration for victims of crime.

“Statements last week by An Taoiseach and the Minister point to a universal acknowledgement of firstly, the unfairness that continues to apply, and secondly, the fact that barristers continue to put their shoulder to the wheel to play their part in ensuring the proper administration of justice.

“Yet it appears that such acknowledgement is not enough to merit a clear direct communication to us, with a commitment to an independent review and full restoration of cuts and terms and conditions?

“As the Minister and Government know, you can only draw from the well of goodwill for so long – something eventually has to give, and we have reached that point. Members are already voting with their feet and leaving the criminal bar.

“Meanwhile, others involved in the criminal justice system, such as victims of crime and accused persons, will suffer,” she warned.

“As always, we invite the Minister and her colleagues in Government to personally meet with us to avert future possible disruption,” she said.

The third day of withdrawal of service by criminal law barristers will take place next Wednesday, July 24.

Pictured: Criminal barristers during their protest outside Galway Courthouse on Monday this week. Barristers withdrew their services as part of a national campaign to have pay cuts reversed. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Long wait goes on for school despite planning green light

Children at a Ballinasloe school have been left waiting almost three decades for a new school building in what has been described as “a shocking indictment” of the school-building programme.

Ballinasloe-based Senator Aisling Dolan (FG) said more than 300 children and their teachers at Scoil an Chroí Naofa on Society Street faced into another winter in freezing conditions at a building for which a replacement was promised 28 years ago.

The school was established in 1996 following the amalgamation of St Grellan’s Boys’ School and the Sisters of Mercy Girls’ School with an understanding that a new school would be built.

But despite years of campaigning, and planning permission having been secured for a new building, Senator Dolan said this much-needed facility was not on the Department of Education’s priority list.

“This is a shocking indictment of delays in the system where we have a fantastic teaching support but children and teachers are freezing every winter in classrooms that are not fit for purpose. The buildings date back to the 1930s and the 1960s. The school’s heating bill is through the roof which is a nightmare financial situation for the school,” she said.

Senator Dolan said since becoming a Councillor in 2019, and subsequently a member of the Seanad, she had been campaigning for a new school to be built and planning permission for a 16-room two-storey school was secured last year.

“However, there is immense frustration with the lag and delays and obstacles in moving this project forward. We are still at design Stage 2B with statutory approvals and this needs to move to tender with all documents prepared.

“I want a clear date outlined on the submission of tender documents from the design team to the Minister for Education. I’ve also highlighted challenges around communication and I’m calling for an urgent meeting with all stakeholders. This is a priority project for the town of Ballinasloe and surrounding region and I want resources allocated to ensure we move this forward through the design team,” said the Fine Gael senator.

Scoil an Chroí Naofa is a DEIS Band 1 school, designated as such as it is located in an area with the highest number of students at risk of educational disadvantage.

Senator Dolan said children in the area could wait no longer for the facilities that they needed and deserved.

“The Department of Education is responsible to ensure that we have buildings fit for purpose, to give our children the best start in life,” she said.

Planning permission was granted for a new school in September 2023 and a revised design, to comply with conditions attached to the granting of permission, was submitted in March and approved by the County Council in April.

Permission includes for the demolition of the existing school building and the construction of new 16-room two-storey school with three special education rooms.

The building will have a new access road to the side adjacent to the library, with safe pick-up and drop-off space at the back of the building, along with a new playing pitch and play areas.

Pictured: Senator Aisling Dolan…shocking indictment.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Efforts to develop Greenway in Connemara take a new turn following County Council announcement

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Efforts to develop Greenway in Connemara take a new turn following County Council announcement

The efforts to develop a Greenway in Connemara have taken a new turn with the announcement by Galway County Council that they want to compulsorily acquire lands for the project.

The original plan for the Greenway from Oughterard to Clifden was given the go-ahead 12 years ago.


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A lot of water has passed beneath many bridges in Connemara since an Bord Pleanála gave the green light for a Greenway from Oughterard to Clifden. At that time some Galway County Council officials envisaged action on the route in 2014 or 2015.

Land was to be given under a legal system known as permissive access, farmers and landowners would voluntarily give the land for the Greenway but maintain ownership.

No money would change hands.

However, a significant number of landowners did not agree.

Its 50 kilometres from Oughterard to Clifden and only a 6 kilometre section at Ballinahinch and a small section near Clifden are opened.

A section is under development at Recess but work has stopped there.

Galway County Council are now intent on acquiring the land compulsorily. But there is a right to appeal and to due process.

14 landowners in townlands in the areas of Clifden and Recess are now being contacted by the Council.

The post Efforts to develop Greenway in Connemara take a new turn following County Council announcement appeared first on Galway Bay FM.

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Three Galway non-profit organisations to receive €35,000 from Ireland Funds

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Three Galway non-profit organisations to receive €35,000 from Ireland Funds

Three Galway non-profit organisations are to receive €35,000 from the global philanthropic network the Ireland Funds.

This support, through the Heart of the Community Fund grant round, will assist a diverse group of initiatives that provide critical services and strengthen communities.


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Among the Galway recipients of this year’s Heart of the Community Fund are Helplink Mental Health and the Blue Teapot Theatre Company.

The Heart of the Community Fund this year is awarding €930,000 to 93 community and voluntary organisations across the island of Ireland to support their vital local activity.

Made possible by generous philanthropic gifts and fundraising events of The Ireland Funds America, the largest chapter of The Ireland Funds, these grants exemplify the power of collective giving.

The post Three Galway non-profit organisations to receive €35,000 from Ireland Funds appeared first on Galway Bay FM.

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Lack of infrastructure and infrastructural investment holding back Western region

The Northern and Western Region has received just 5.7% of investment in infrastructure projects worth more than €20m since 2016 – a key indication of the regional imbalance that industry leaders say is holding the region back.

The Northern and Western Regional Assembly is urging the government to fast-track the delivery of 13 major infrastructure projects in the region after a new study found that the entire area is now on par with the least well-off areas of Europe in terms of infrastructure.

This new research by the NWRA has revealed that investment in transport, health, education, housing and energy infrastructure in the Region is languishing far below that of its counterparts in Ireland and across the continent – with transport infrastructure ranked the 17th worst of 234 European regions.

And to address these infrastructure deficits, the NWRA believes a policy of positive discrimination is needed to deliver regional equality across Ireland and to take pressure off an ever-expanding Greater Dublin Area.

Such a policy, it says, would involve creating a Ministry for Regional Development which would have a significant budget for delivering key infrastructure priorities across the regions.

It points to the fact that many countries – such as Australia, Canada, Japan, France and Brazil – have created ministerial roles specifically focused on addressing regional development inequities. The organisation’s ‘Regional Infrastructure Tracker has for the first time harnessed data from public and private sources.

It reveals that, since 2016, the Northern and Western Region of Ireland has received less than 10% of the nationwide total investment in infrastructure projects worth more than €1m, and just 5.7% of investment from infrastructure projects worth more than €20m, despite accounting for 17.6% of Ireland’s population.

In contrast, the Eastern and Midlands Region of Ireland received 66.5% of investment from projects worth more than €1m, and 75% of those worth more than €20m.

As the Eastern and Midlands Region accounts for less than 50% of the population of Ireland, the NWRA believes the figures reveal an obvious bias towards the Greater Dublin Area.

The NWRA is one of three regional assemblies in Ireland and represents counties Cavan, Donegal, Monaghan, Leitrim, Sligo, Roscommon, Mayo and Galway.

To bridge the growing infrastructure deficit, the NWRA is demanding that the government ringfence more than half of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the Northern and Western Region of Ireland and prioritise 13 infrastructure projects for the region.

These include the reopening of the Western Rail Corridor from Athenry to Collooney.

The report estimates that the total capital cost of delivering these 13 priority projects would range from €4.8 billion to €6.8 billion, which would deliver transformative benefits in areas of climate action, regional development and the all-island economy, while costing considerably less than the overall cost of the Dublin Metro.

The report also found that patients presenting at Emergency Departments across the Northern and Western Region of Ireland are waiting longer to be admitted or discharged than the national average, with more than half of attendees at Galway University Hospital (51%) waiting more than 12 hours.

And it revealed that 6,950 households are on the waiting list for social housing supports from the Northern and Western Region of Ireland’s local authorities – a number considerably higher than the 1,143 new social housing units produced in the region last year, with below average allocations in each year since 2016.

Denis Kelly, Director with the Northern and Western Regional Assembly, said that the Irish economy needed to grow in a manner that benefits all regions – not just the few.

“Adopting a regional approach for the revised National Planning Framework will be crucial to overcoming these sizeable infrastructure deficits in the Northern and Western Region,” he said.

“Delivering on these 13 priority infrastructure projects will go a long way in achieving this,” he added.

Economist with the Northern and Western Regional Assembly John Daly described it as ‘remarkable’ that the Northern and Western Region of Ireland is in the bottom 20 EU Regions in terms of transport infrastructure.

“With notable underinvestment also evident across the region’s higher education, research, water, road and rail network, it is no surprise to see that regional inequalities in Ireland have continued to rise as population, employment and income growth remains overly concentrated around the Greater Dublin Area,” he said.

“All this considered, the delivery of our 13 priority infrastructure projects – at a cost of between €4.8 to €6.8 billion – represents significant value for money for the State in the long-term, with the delivery of these projects having the potential to rejuvenate our region, while simultaneously supporting our climate targets and growing the all-island economy; all at a cost considerably lower compared to, for example, the latest cost estimates for Dublin Metro,” he added.

Pictured: John Daly, NWRA economist, Cathaoirleach Jarlath Munnelly, NWRA director Denis Kelly and Cllr Niamh Kennedy, Donegal County Council, launching the Regional Infrastructure Tracker for the Northern and Western Region on the N17 Collooney to Ireland West Airport Knock route.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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