A pest control company is currently investigating the source of a rat infestation in a city housing estate.
Residents in Ballinfoile Park have reported an increased presence of rats in their estate, particularly on the green.
Galway City Council has engaged a pest control company to investigate and once the source or the nest is discovered, this company of exterminators will decide how best to tackle the problem.
The pest control company started their investigations during the week with a view to getting rid of the rodents over the weekend.
Apparently, the rat population is higher than normal this winter because of the fine weather experienced over the summer. Rodents are very prolific ordinarily and can have 12 litters a year, but this can be even higher in good weather.
A City Council spokesman said that the complaints from residents in Ballinfoile – or indeed anywhere else around the city – were being taken seriously and that they contacted one of a number of exterminating companies immediately to get on the case.
“We believe that because the rats have been seen on the green, that people might have been leaving food out for birds which then attracted the rodents. We would obviously ask that people not deposit any foodstuff on the green or in any outdoor public space for that reason.
“We do not believe though that the presence of rats in Ballinfoile Park has anything to do with any other problems experienced on the housing estate in recent years, namely a problem with sewer pipes. We have thoroughly investigated the sewers there and dealt with a pong, which I believe has been addressed,” said the spokesman.
A few months ago residents from The West contacted City Council about another rat problem, this time on the site of the former Connacht Laundry building.
The owners of the site were given one month by the Council to implement a rodent control plan to ensure the rats didn’t migrate to Scoil Iognáid and local businesses or indeed to private residences.
The HSE’s Environmental Health Service also demanded that a rodent extermination programme be put in place prior to the demolition of the building, which hasn’t taken place yet.
Pedestrian seriously injured in Furbo hit and run
A man in his 40s is in a serious condition in hospital following a hit and run in Furbo last night.
He was a pedestrian who was walking on the R336 road near Furbo Church, when he was hit by a car around 8.30pm.
The driver of the car failed to remain at the scene.
The road is currently closed with diversions in place while Garda Forensic Collision Investigators conduct an examination of the scene.
Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to the collision to come forward, particularly any road users who may have dash-cam footage recorded in the area between 8pm and 9pm.
Drug use in Galway at ‘frightening levels’ says top Garda
Use of illegal drugs has reached ‘fairly frightening’ levels across the city and county, according to Galway’s top Garda.
Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said that only about 10% of the drugs in circulation in society are detected by Gardaí.
He said that there had been increases in detection of drugs for sale or supply and for simple possession in the city and county so far this year.
Cocaine in particular was an issue in Galway, he said, but increased drug use was evident in “every village and town in the country”.
In his report to the latest Galway City Joint Policing Committee, Chief Supt Curley said that there had been a 22% increase in detection of drugs for sale or supply in Galway, up 14 to 78 at the end of September.
There had been 108 incidents of drugs for simple possession, up by 15%.
The amount of cocaine seized in the first nine months of the year amounted to €538,838. The level of cannabis seized amounted to €361,872.
Ecstasy (€640) and heroin (€2,410) were also seized, according to the Garda report.
Councillor Donal Lyons (Ind) said it was a concern that cocaine had overtaken cannabis for the first time, in terms of the street value of the amounts seized.
Councillor Eddie Hoare (FG) said that the Garda Drugs Unit needed to be commended for the seizures.
Councillor Alan Cheevers (FF) said it was concerning that use of cocaine had escalated.
In response to Chair of the JPC, Councillor Niall McNelis (Lab), Chief Supt Curley said there were some instances where parents or siblings were being pursued by criminals over drug debts accrued by family members.
He added he would continue to allocate resources to the drugs problem.
Up to 20-week waiting period for youth mental health service in Galway
Young people in Galway have highest waiting times in the state for an appointment with the Jigsaw youth mental health service.
That’s according to Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell who revealed that waiting times for an appointment here are currently up to 20 weeks.
“Figures released through a Parliamentary Question have shown there are significant wait times for counselling appointments with Jigsaw, the mental health service which provides vital supports to young people, in Galway,” she said.
“Demand for the Jigsaw service in Galway and across the State continues to grow, however, as a result youths are waiting up to 20 weeks to get an appointment. With young people from Galway currently experiencing the longest wait times at 20 weeks.
“Every expert in child and adolescent mental health will tell you that early intervention is absolutely vital in avoiding enduring and worsening problems in the future.
“Yet, these figures reveal that if a child or young person seeks out care they are in all likelihood going to be faced with extended waiting periods which are simply unacceptable and put them and their mental health at a very serious risk,” she added.
Deputy Farrell said that young peoples’ mental health had been adversely affected during the pandemic – with loss of schooling, sports, peer supports and even their ability to socialise with friends impacting.
“Jigsaw have experienced a 42% increase in the demand for their services and this cry for help from our young people cannot fall on deaf ears,” she said.
“There is also an element of postcode politics, that depending on where you live you may get treated quicker. Some areas have a three-week waiting time while others are left waiting for 20 weeks.
“Uniformed mental health treatment is needed – so our young people can access the care they need, when they need it and where they need it.
“I have called on the Minister to urgently engage with the service to provide a solution,” she concluded.