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Probe after NUIG laboratory MRSA scare

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A person developed a skin infection while working on disease-causing microorganisms in a biomedical research laboratory at NUI Galway, leading to fears the university was dealing with an outbreak of MRSA.

The individual was treated by their doctor last November and made a full recovery without requiring hospitalisation.

However, the incident was deemed serious enough for a full internal investigation to be carried out.

The laboratory was professionally “deep cleaned” and as a precaution, the laboratory and nearby corridors and public areas were then swabbed for the presence of MRSA by a specialist company.

This prompted a suspicion among workers and students that the laboratory had been hit with an outbreak of the contagious and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

However, the university has categorically denied there was any outbreak of the superbug, which can lead to potentially dangerous infection.

“There was no outbreak of MRSA in NUI Galway. All areas were negative, that is S. aureus or MRSA were not found in any of the samples,” said a spokeswoman.

“This incident was immediately reported and a full internal investigation was carried out. Furthermore, a thorough review and audit of standard operating procedures was carried out and infrastructural improvements to further safeguard against such incidents in future have been implemented.”

Access to the microbiology department in general has now been further restricted and is by swipe card access only.

Although the laboratory was already equipped with one Class 2 Biosafety cabinet, two additional class 2 Biosafety cabinets have been installed in the research laboratory to further enhance pathogen containment.

“Risk assessments, safe operating procedures and the layout of the research laboratory have been reviewed by the university safety officer.”

“Biomedical research, including research on a range of microorganisms that cause disease, is a core activity in NUI Galway,” she stated.

“This research is important for the development of new strategies to prevent and treat infections. Research in this area requires specialised safety equipment and operating procedures.

“With hundreds of staff and students engaged in laboratory research on campus, we place the highest priority on their health and safety. To this end, we continue to place the greatest emphasis on training and equipping individuals to the highest international standards.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill as event confirmed

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill this weekend as an event has been announced for Sunday.

It’s been confirmed by organisers on social media – who say they’re being unfairly portrayed in a negative light.

In a statement, the Galway Car Scene group say they pay road tax like all other road users – and they have “every right” to be in Salthill this weekend.

It comes as they’ve confirmed the event will be taking place there on Sunday as originally planned.

They add it’s unfair to accuse them of blocking up Salthill and other parts of the city given the chronic traffic issues every day of the week.

They’ve also created an online petition calling for a designated place for car enthusiasts to go – which has so far gathered almost 250 signatures.

It claims the car enthusiast community in Galway has been unfairly painted as a negative and anti-social group.

The group say they’re happy to go elsewhere, but say any time they try to find a venue they’re shut out.

The event planned for Sunday has encountered significant opposition, much of which is based on a previous “Salthill Sundays” event held in May.

Those opposed say they’re not against an event of this kind in principle – but they strongly feel that Salthill just isn’t the right venue.

It’s also argued that if the organisers want to be taken seriously, they have to engage with stakeholders like Galway City Council and Gardaí to ensure a well-planned and safe event.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cars down to one-way system on Salthill Promenade

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A one-way system of traffic may be introduced along the Promenade in Salthill to facilitate the introduction of temporary cycle lanes.

The suggestion appeared to come as a shock to some City Council members who supported the cycle lane in a vote last month – one has called for a “full discussion again” on what exactly they had actually approved.

Councillors had voted 17-1 in favour of the principle of providing a cycleway that will stretch from Grattan Road all along the Prom.

The motion that passed at the September meeting proposed that the Council “shall urgently seek” to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of the Prom.

It was agreed that from the Blackrock Tower junction to the Barna Road would be a one-way cycle track.

The motion was voted on without debate, which meant Council officials did not have an opportunity to question the proposal.

At a meeting on Monday, the debate was revisited when Uinsinn Finn, Director of Services for Transportation, indicated that a one-way traffic system would be introduced in Salthill to facilitate a two-way cycle lane from Grattan Road to Blackrock.

This could mean that the outbound lane of traffic, closest to the sea, could be closed to all traffic bar bikes.

Mr Finn said that he would have sought clarity at the previous meeting – if debate were allowed – about what was meant by ‘temporary’.

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

Galway Christmas Market gets go-ahead for next month

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s the first real sign of a restoration of normality in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors in the city – the return of the Christmas Market next month to Eyre Square.

This week, the City Council’s planning department gave the go-ahead for the outdoor retail and gourmet food ‘spread’ that has been part of the festive season in Galway since 2010.

The exception was last year when, like so many other public gatherings since the Covid crisis broke in March 2020, the event had to be cancelled because of public health concerns.

Christmas Market Organiser, Maria Moynihan Lee, Managing Director of Milestone Inventive, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that she had received official confirmation on Thursday from the City Council of the go-ahead being given for the event.

“This is really wonderful news for the city and especially so in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors. For every €1 spent at the market another €3 will be spent on the high street – this will be a real boost for Galway,” she said.

Maria Moynihan Lee confirmed that the market would have an earlier than usual start of Friday, November 12 and would run through until the Wednesday evening of December 22.

(Photo: Declan Colohan)

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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