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Questions over €1.5m set aside for new fire station in Loughrea

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Questions have been raised as to the whereabouts of almost two million euro in funding set aside for a new fire station in Loughrea.
The matter was raised at a recent meeting of the municipal district, where Councillor Michael Moegie Maher requested an update on the project.
He says that funding of 1.5 and 1.7 million was allocated by the Government towards the provision of a new station around two years ago.
For more on this story, tune into Galway Bay fm news at 1…

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33 new COVID-19 cases in Galway, nationally 612 and 6 further deaths

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 6 additional deaths related to COVID-19.

All of these deaths occurred in February.

The median age of those who died was 63 years and the age range was 41 – 86 years.

There has been a total of 4,319 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

As of midnight, Saturday 27th February, the HPSC has been notified of 612 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There is now a total of 219,592 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland. 

Of the cases notified today:

  • 300 are men / 311 are women
  • 72% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 32 years old
  • 289 in Dublin, 45 in Limerick, 34 in Longford, 33 in Galway, 26 in Kildare and the remaining 185 cases are spread across 19 other counties. *

As of 8am today, 554 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 133 are in ICU. 19 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

As of February 25, 409,529 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland:

  • 271,594 people have received their first dose
  • 137,935 people have received their second dose
  • The COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on the key indicators of COVID-19 in the community including daily data on Ireland’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical, the Department of Health said: “Since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Ireland last February, our lives have changed in ways we never thought possible.

“More than 6,300 people on our island have lost their lives with COVID-19. We remember them, and their families and friends, as well as the many people who remain seriously ill or who are dealing with long-term health issues because of this disease.

“The response of colleagues across all parts of our health system has been remarkable. We should be extraordinarily proud, and take great heart, from the dedication and resilience which has been – and continues to be – shown by everyone involved in this response.

“Almost all sectors and communities have experienced loss and have been tested in ways unimaginable to us this time last year. This pandemic and the public health response to it has had a profound impact on lives and livelihoods. But it has also demonstrated the best of us as a people, working together and buying in as a collective to what has been necessary to protect one another.

“Last Spring, we met the challenge presented to us with collective enthusiasm. Ironically, while that enthusiasm has understandably waned and gone, there are more concrete reasons for hope and optimism now than at any time over the last 12 months;

  • We have seen week on week reductions in case numbers over the past six weeks and we are on track to have an incidence which is amongst the lowest in Europe;
  • The number of people in hospital has fallen by 38% over the past fortnight;
  • We have an educated and informed public and most people continue to do most of the right things most of the time – overcoming disinformation and playing their part in solidarity with one another;
  • We have a dedicated and committed health workforce who have consistently stepped up to challenges as they have presented;
  • We have three highly effective vaccines with more on the way, supply is ramping up and we are on course to have given about 80% of adults at least one dose by the end of June;
  • Vaccines are already having a very positive impact here with cases falling dramatically among healthcare workers and in our nursing homes;
  • Evidence is mounting quickly that these vaccines, as well as stopping people getting sick, also help to stop people passing the virus onto others;
  • While new variants have brought uncertainty, the existing vaccines perform well against them and work is already underway to develop booster versions should they be required;

“We still have a way to go. Our case numbers are still far too high and we must continue to do all we can to suppress this disease over the coming weeks. But if we can do this successfully through March, our focus will begin to turn to what we can do, rather than what we cannot.

“Yes, we need to be cautious and yes, there will be challenges over the coming months. But together, through science and solidarity, we will get through this and this pandemic will end.”

*County data should be considered provisional as the national Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting System (CIDR) is a dynamic system and case details are continually being validated and updated.

Today’s cases, 5-day moving average of new cases, 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population and new cases in last 14 days (as of midnight 27 February 2021) (incidence rate based on Census 2016 county population)

CountyToday’s cases**(to midnight 27Feb2021)5-Day Moving Average of New Cases14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population(to 27Feb2021)New Cases during last 14 days(to 27Feb2021)
Ireland612662212.210,103
Offaly920395.1308
Longford3414369.4151
Dublin289264288.93,893
Limerick4544282.7551
Galway3339278.6719
Louth1920261.5337
Laois1414259.7220
Westmeath1920252.3224
Kildare2627248.5553
Monaghan05239.5147
Meath1734227.1443
Mayo1217226.8296
Waterford<511213.5248
Carlow610193.2110
Donegal525188.5300
Tipperary1519186.8298
Cavan<56175.9134
Clare1411153.2182
Leitrim<52152.949
Roscommon<53103.867
Wexford68103.5155
Wicklow12999141
Sligo0388.558
Kilkenny<5481.681
Cork162466.7362
Kerry10951.576

~The 5-day moving average of the number of new cases provides an appropriate indicator of current daily case numbers within a county. It takes account of any validation of cases for previous days and smooths out daily/weekend fluctuations in case numbers.

  • The 7 day incidence rate is 96.0
  • The 5 day moving average is 662
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Ballinasloe Councillor welcomes additional resources to tackle widespread illegal dumping

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Independent Councillor for Ballinasloe Evelyn Parsons has welcomed the confirmation that two additional litter enforcement officers are being resourced by Galway county council to tackle illegal dumping in the area.

It was also confirmed to Councillor Parsons that the bills office are currently progressing legislation for CCTV use that will help identify and prosecute offenders.

“I had it confirmed last week that two additional litter enforcement officers are being resourced with the Council as well as the fact that waste presentation order will be instigated. A new geo mapping initiative will be another huge step forward in identifying non compliant individuals in this war on waste” said Cllr Parsons

“People need to urgently take personal responsibility for how their rubbish gets managed and confirmed that the Bills office are progressing appropriate legislation for CCTV use which will be another important tool to help identify and prosecute offenders” She concluded.

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NUI Galway researchers caution over retrofitting and radon

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Ireland’s residential retrofitting programme should ensure ventilation is carefully considered to avoid an increase in levels of radon gas in homes, researchers at NUI Galway have found.

A team from the University’s School of Physics conducted one of the first studies of its kind to quantify the impact of improved energy-efficiency and airtightness on radon – a radioactive, odourless, colourless and tasteless gas.

With the Government having set a target of 500,000 homes to be retrofitted by 2030, the physicists used advanced computer models to predict how radon levels would be affected by improvements within different types of dwellings. 

Overall, it showed that if appropriate ventilation measures were not considered during the retrofitting process, there is a potential for radon levels to more than double.

However, the study also showed that when appropriate ventilation measures were implemented during the retrofit process, radon levels could be reduced below the initial levels.

The study was carried out by Dr James McGrath and led by Dr Miriam Byrne, both of NUI Galway, as part of research funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It has been published in the international journal, Building and Environment, a leading research journal in the field.  

Dr McGrath, of the School of Physics, NUI Galway, said: “It is important that in our drive to make our buildings more energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that we do not introduce additional risks of negative outcomes.

“The research findings highlight that radon, and indoor air quality overall, needs to be given due consideration as a key element of any proposed retrofitting works.”

Ireland has a higher radon level than the global average. The gas is a known carcinogen. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Ireland and is linked to approximately 300 lung cancer cases every year. 

The NUI Galway study examined a combination of different houses – bungalow, semi-detached and terraced dwellings; outdoor locations – suburban, rural and coastal regions; dwelling ages; and various ventilation measures. 

It also examined how airflow is altered through retrofitting and energy efficiency improvements like increased wall and attic insulation, new windows and doors and draught prevention.

Dr McGrath added: “The results have important policy implications, highlighting that radon needs to be given appropriate consideration during the retrofit process. It is essential that people realise radon is only a problem if ignored. Radon remediation methods are often straightforward and inexpensive with the potential to significantly reduce levels of what is a potentially dangerous gas.” 

The NUI Galway research team also noted that the only way to ensure that a home does not exceed the reference level after energy improvements is to carry out a radon test. 

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