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CITY TRIBUNE

Pinches of salt needed as polls can tell porkies!

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Galway West FG TD Hildegarde Naughton, who is recycling her 2016 posters, will be interested in Tuesday's TG4 opinion poll

Bradley Bytes – A Sort of Political Column with Dara Bradley 

TG4 has commissioned an opinion poll for the Galway West constituency; let’s hope it’s more accurate than its last one.
The Irish language TV station, based in Baile na hAbhann, has asked Ipsos/MRBI to carry out the Galway West poll, as well as polls in the two other counties which have large Gaeltacht areas, Donegal and Kerry.
Opinion polls aren’t cheap if they’re done properly, and so TG4 must be commended for investing in them as part of its ‘Vóta 2020’ coverage. The station’s current affairs team will be live from Galway next Tuesday, January 28, to analyse, discuss and dissect the results.
As with all polls, the results should come with a health warning. Remember the RTÉ/TG4 exit poll last year for the European Elections predicted Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan would lose his seat in Midlands-North West; and it had the Green Party’s Saoirse McHugh a shoe-in for a seat? Wrong and wrong again.
In the 2016 General Election in Galway West, Ipsos/MRBI carried out a poll for TG4, which was also inaccurate. Though it was wrong for most candidates, it was spectacularly so for Noel Grealish, whom it put at 7%, in danger of losing his seat. He actually polled 11% and cruised in.
The reverse was true for Fine Gael senator John O’Mahony – he was at 11% in the poll and got just 7% on the day. Some of the predictions were within the margin of error but many candidates argued afterwards that the poll was so off that it influenced voters – for instance, Fianna Fáil’s John Connolly was a no-hoper according to the poll and he would argue that many FF die-hards switched their vote from him to Éamon Ó Cuív to secure at least one seat for the party. Pinches of salt at the ready!

For more election-special Bradley Bytes see this week’s Galway City Tribune 

CITY TRIBUNE

Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.

It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.

General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.

She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.

Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.

Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.

Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.

She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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