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Pat McDonagh says he has been blackmailed over a number of planning applications

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Supermac’s boss Pat McDonagh says he has been blackmailed over the planning process a number of times in the past.
The report in the Sunday Business Post follows recent controversy over alleged fake submissions on a planning application for a service station in Co. Clare.
Mr. McDonagh says while blackmail and extortion are common, he has never negotiated or engaged with any company or individual engaging in such practices.

According to the Sunday Business Post, Pat McDonagh has revealed that he’s been blackmailed several times over planning applications.
It reports that a number of businesses have attempted to extort money from the Galway businessman in return for the withdrawal of such applications.
He further claims companies have tried to force him into supplier agreements or business arrangements in return for withdrawing objections to other applications.
It’s alleged that in one case, an individual attempted to extort a high six-figure sum from Supermac’s in exchange for retracting a negative submission from a planning file.
Mr. McDonagh says while attempted blackmail or extortion is common, he has never negotiated or engaged with any company or individual attempting such practices against either himself or Supermac’s.
The revelations follow recent controversy over alleged fake submissions on a motorway service station earmarked for the Galway-Limerick motorway.
The signatures of dozens of people were used without their permission in submissions of support – and in one case, involved the signature of a man who died in 2003.
A planning consultant hired by Supermac’s recently confirmed he submitted the controversial letters – but argued they were gathered by other parties and submitted in good faith.
Howard Williams of Inis Environmental Consultants also said Mr. McDonagh had no input into the submissions and apologised for any upset caused.
Previously, Supermac’s said it was shocked by the situation – stated it would never support such practices – and called for a Garda investigation into the matter.

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Minister questioned in Seanad over major delays for new national school in Ballinasloe

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Education Minister has come under pressure over what has been described as a a multi-decade delay in providing a new school building for Ballinasloe National School.

Speaking in the Seanad, Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan said Scoil an Chroí Naofa has been waiting 20 years for a purpose built facility.

She noted that planning was granted in 2011 and an extension was approved in 2016, yet there’s still been very little progress.

Senator Dolan argued that generations of children are passing through school buildings that date back to the 1930s and 1960s.

Currently, the project is at Stage 2(b), which is detailed design.

Senator Dolan said the whole project from start to finish should take around 5 years, yet decades later there’s been little progress.

Speaking in response, Minister Josepha Madigan acknowledged it was ‘extraordinary’ that the project has not come to fruitition despite the multi-decade timeline.

She said she understood the frustration involved and pledged to raise the issue with Minister Norma Foley.

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Concern over significant waiting times for orthodontic assessments in Galway

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A local TD has voiced concerns over the significant waiting times experienced by some patients for orthodontic assessments in Galway.

Galway East TD Sean Canney has received confirmation from the HSE that individuals may have to wait for up to six months in emergency cases, while routinely it can take up to two years for an initial assessment.

According to figures released by the HSE, there are currently 1,321 patients awaiting an assessment in the city and county.

There are a further 1,845 individuals on the treatment waiting list – with waiting times for urgent cases taking up to one year, and up four and half years for routine cases.

Deputy Canney argues children who may need dental work are being treated unfairly and their confidence is being shattered.

He says the HSE and the Department of Health need to tackle the issue as a matter of urgency.

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Post-mortem exam following discovery of man’s body in Corrandulla area

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A post-mortem examination is due to take place following the discovery of a man’s body in the Corrandulla area yesterday.

The body of a man in his 70s was found at around 11am on a local bog road following an extensive search of the area involving Gardai from Galway and Athenry, assisted by the Coastguard.

The man’s body was removed from the scene and taken to UHG for a post-mortem examination.

It’s understood no foul play is suspected.

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