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Priest’s trial for sex abuse at county school collapses



The trial of a priest charged with the sexual abuse of two brothers in a Co.Galway school in the 1970’s collapsed today at Galway Circuit Criminal Court.

The priest had denied ten charges of sexual assault which were alleged to have occurred in 1970 and 1971 in the school.

Archbishop of Tuam, Dr. Michael Neary, a witness for the prosecution, gave evidence today on the third day of the trial.

The Archbishop confirmed he had made a statement to Gardai on January 19, 2006 in which he stated that at some time between August and September, 1995 he had been informed that one of the alleged victims had made an allegation of abuse against a priest, claiming he had been sexually abused by him between 1969 and 1974.

He said the alleged victim called to see himself in the Bishop’s Palace in Tuam on September 4,1995 to discuss the matter but had declined to name the priest involved.

The man eventually named his alleged abuser in May, 1996, to another priest appointed by the Archbishop to investigate the complaint.

The man made a complaint to Gardai in 2006 and when his older brother was interviewed by Gardai in relation to that, he too claimed to have been abused by the same priest.

Following lengthy legal argument today, Judge Rory McCabe directed the jury to find the accused not guilty on all charges and he walked free from court.

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🎧 Fiona Murtagh’s twin Alan says she’ll be known forever as an Olympic medallist



Galway Bay fm newsroom – History was made today at the Tokyo Olympics- and two Galway women were at the forefront.

Furbo’s Aifric Keogh and Fiona Murtagh from Moycullen were part of the team that took a bronze medal in the Women’s Four rowing in the early hours of this morning.

The other team members are Eimear Lambe from Dublin and Emily Hegarty from Cork.

All four of the team are now household names this evening after becoming the first female Irish athletes to win Olympic rowing medals.

It’s expected they could be returning home as soon as this weekend – no doubt to the well deserved red carpet treatment.

David Nevin has more on the historic event:

Fiona Murtagh’s twin Alan says the family were watching through their fingers in the early hours of this morning.

And he says she’ll be known forever as an Olympic medallist.

Photo – Rowing Ireland

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SIPTU members at St Brigid’s Ballinasloe to ballot for strike action this week



Galway Bay fm newsroom – SIPTU workers at St Brigid’s Mental Health Unit in Ballinasloe are set to ballot for strike action this week.

The union has confirmed it will begin balloting members working as care assistants and care workers at the facility from tomorrow.

SIPTU argues its members have been left with no option but to ballot for strike action because HSE senior management is outsourcing work contrary to public service agreements.

The union says its members feel overlooked by the HSE’s decision to seek tenders from private health care support agencies to carry-out work which is currently being done by SIPTU workers.

In a statement, the HSE says an external review of the needs of service users was undertaken in 2017 and a change process subsequently commenced.

It adds the service is in the process of transitioning to a social care model which will deliver better outcomes and quality of life for the service users.

The HSE has stated it is incumbent on Galway Roscommon Mental Health Service to support evidence-based best practice and change the service delivery to a social care model in line with all other intellectual disability services provided in this country.

SIPTU Assistant Industrial Organiser Yvonne McGrath says the HSE made its decision without any consultation.

To hear more, tune into Galway Bay fm news.

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1,408 new cases of Covid-19 nationwide



Statement from the National Public Health Emergency Team 

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 1,408* confirmed cases of COVID-19.  

As of 8am today, 152 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 26 are in ICU. 

Dr. Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “Currently, 2% of cases are being hospitalised. We know that we would be experiencing many more cases and hospitalisations were it not for the great progress being made in taking up vaccination. We need to keep this up as we move to vaccinate the remaining, mostly younger, cohorts of our population.  

“The more people vaccinated in this country, the less opportunity COVID-19 has to inflict severe illness and disruption on us. If you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination and have yet to register, please do so as soon as possible.” 

“If you are waiting to be fully vaccinated, please continue to follow the public health advice; manage your social contacts, meet outdoors, stay 2m apart, wear masks, wash/sanitize hands regularly and avoid non-essential travel abroad. If you are experiencing symptoms of cold and flu: headache, sore throat, runny nose, stay at home and get tested as soon as possible for COVID-19.” 

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “Vaccination is having a very positive impact on the risk profile of COVID-19 in Ireland. As more people get fully vaccinated we can expect to see a higher proportion of cases in fully vaccinated people. This does not mean that vaccines are not working and, for those who have been fully vaccinated, their risk of severe illness or hospitalisation as result of COVID-19 is much lower than if they had not been vaccinated.  

“It is vital that as many people as possible take the opportunity to get vaccinated in the weeks ahead – both for their own protection and for the protection of their families and friends. Walk-in centres for vaccination will open this weekend – please take the opportunity to get vaccinated.” 

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, “Today we are reporting 1,408 cases of COVID-19 with a median age of 24. The current trajectory of the more transmissible Delta variant across the country means that unvaccinated people remain at high risk of contracting COVID-19.  

“The pace at which our vaccination programme is operating means that it will not be long before you can avail of a vaccine. In the meantime, unvaccinated people should take all public health precautions to avoid contracting the disease.” 

Professor Karina Butler, Chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee, said; “The National Immunisation Advisory Committee examined and recommended the use of mRNA vaccines for 12-15 year olds. Clinical trials estimated efficacy of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as 100% in these age groups, making them extremely effective in preventing infection in this age cohort.  

“I would strongly encourage those aged 12-15 years of age with underlying medical conditions, those living with a younger child with complex medical needs, or with an immunocompromised adult to accept vaccination as soon as it is offered.” 

Dr Cillian De Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, said; “With more than 90% of all cases now caused by the more transmissible Delta variant, it’s vital we continue to exercise individual caution until each of us is fully vaccinated.” 

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