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Connacht Tribune

Park at Ballinasloe Harbour in a ‘terrible state’

Declan Tierney



Boating visitors to Ballinasloe are greeted by a park which has become overgrown while the picnic benches that are located there are the worse for wear.

And while it has been conceded that the grass on the green areas are being cut, it is claimed that the overall maintenance is extremely poor.

The park in question is Sli na hAbhainn which is located adjacent to Ballinasloe Harbour where a lot of boats on the Shannon pull in for either an overnight stay or to explore the locality.

But Cllr Aidan Donohue has highlighted the fact that there are overgrown weeds on the tarmac walkways while the benches are in a terrible state.

He raised the matter at a meeting of Ballinasloe Municipal Council where he asked officials to provide funding for the upkeep of the park.

Then what annoyed the Fine Gael councillor more was when he was told that the Council horticulturist has now been replaced by “a general operative” to do the same work.

“It just seems as if the Council is scaling back on all of the services it provides and that those in senior positions are not being replaced.

“It is a situation that has to be addressed as it seems to be happening at all levels in the Council. The bottom line is that we want Ballinasloe to look well for boating tourists,” Cllr Donohue added.

The Fine Gael councillor was referring to the fact that the pathways along Sli na hAbhainn have become overgrown with weeds in recent months.

The benches, which are regularly occupied by those drinking outdoor, have also fallen into a state of disrepair and are in need of painting and maintaining.

It is suggested that members of a state-funded scheme like a Community Employment Scheme could be utilised to maintain the park on an occasional basis.

Cllr Donohue said that he was not happy to be continually told by Galway County Council that funding was an issue when there were alternatives available.

He said that there were works being carried out in Ballinasloe to provide additional water and sewerage services as well as a town centre enhancement project.

“The park is the first thing that those visiting Ballinasloe by boat will see and the least we can do is make it look presentable but at the moment this is certainly not the case.

“It wouldn’t take a lot of work to tidy the place up but officials just keep saying that they do not have a maintenance budget which is not acceptable – and particularly as we are trying to attract tourists.

“When people get off their boats, the first thing they see are pathways with weeds and five park benches which are in desperate need of maintenance. They are in a terrible state.

“A couple of lads in a state-funded scheme would have the place cleaned up and made look presentable in two or three days,” Cllr Donohue added.

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Connacht Tribune

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

Denise McNamara



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

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara



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

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Connacht Tribune

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

Dave O'Connell



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

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