Construction work on converting a fourth city roundabout to a signalised junction will commence in June, Galway City Council has confirmed.
The Galway Transportation Unit has confirmed that the tenders for the job of converting Bodkin Roundabout (at the Galway Shopping Centre) to a traffic lights junction are all in.
The successful contractor will be announced in the coming weeks and workers are expected ‘on the ground’ in June.
Initially, workers will be involved in preliminary works ‘around’ the roundabout, which is not expected to cause much disruption.
The major part of the work, removing the actual roundabout, will commence in mid-August and, given that it is the busiest junction in the city, motorists can expect traffic chaos for several weeks in late August and September, when the schools return.
The contract will stipulate, however, that the conversion must be completed by the end of November or the first week of December at the latest, according to Fianna Fáil City Councillor Mike Crowe.
Cllr Crowe, who has supported the controversial M6 Multi-Modal Corridor Improvement Scheme since it was conceived a few years back, said the removal of Bodkin roundabout will bring even more improvements to motorists once it is complete.
“This is the fourth roundabout to be removed, and in my opinion it is the one that will have the most positive difference to the traffic congestion. The other three roundabouts that were removed at Briarhill, Ballybane and the Tuam Road have all resulted in improvements in congestion.
“Anecdotally you can see it but also there are figures at City Hall that show the improvements in waiting times at the junctions and that’s with more throughput of traffic because people are not rat-running as much through estates now that the new junctions are in place.
“The backlogs are just not there anymore, and certainly not like what they used to be when the roundabouts are there. I think the Bodkin roundabout, while it will be difficult for a period during the construction stage, will bring huge improvements for people west of the city in the morning and evening,” said Cllr Crowe.
Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues
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.
Galway rowers aim for Olympic gold!
Best of luck to two Galway rowers – Aifric Keogh of Aill an Phréacháin in Na Forbacha, and Fiona Murtagh from Gortachalla in Moycullen – who are part of Team Ireland’s Women’s Coxless Fours team who compete in an Olympic final in Tokyo at 1.50am (Irish time) Wednesday.
Coverage on RTÉ 2 television begins from 1am.
Ireland – who were second in their heat after Australia, who set a new Olympic Record – are in lane two, with Great Britain on their outside, and Australia, favourites for a gold medal, in lane three.
The Netherlands, China and Poland are in lanes four, five and six at the Sea Forest Waterway.
Poor weather meant some rowing events were re-scheduled but the Women’s Fours final was not impacted.
Jim Keogh, Aifric’s father, told the Tribune he was hopeful ahead of the final.
“To make the Olympics is tough, to make the final is tough, to make the medal is tougher,” he said.
Photo: Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty.
*Full coverage of the race and reaction in this week’s Connacht Tribune and Galway City Tribune
Paedophile sentenced to a further 17 months in prison
A convicted paedophile, described by a Garda as ‘a prolific child abuser’, has had a 17-month prison sentence added to a 13-year sentence he is already serving for the rape and sexual abuse of children.
Disgraced primary school teacher and summer school bus driver, 69-year-old Seosamh Ó Ceallaigh, a native of Tuirín, Béal a’ Daingin, Conamara, had at all times denied two charges of indecently assaulting a ten-year-old boy at a Gaeltacht summer school in Béal a’ Daingin in 1979.
The offence carries a maximum two-year sentence.
A jury found him guilty by majority verdict following a four-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last month.
At his sentence hearing last week, Detective Paul Duffy described Ó Ceallaigh as a prolific child abuser who had amassed 125 child abuse convictions, committed while he was a primary school teacher in Dublin and while he operated an Irish language summer school in Beal a’ Daingin.
They included convictions for rape and sexual assault for which he is currently serving sentences totalling 13 years.
Those sentences were due to expire in August 2024, but last week, Judge Rory McCabe imposed two, concurrent 17-month sentences on Ó Ceallaigh, before directing the sentences begin at the termination of the sentences he is currently serving.
The judge noted Ó Ceallaigh’s denial and lack of remorse and the lifelong detrimental effect the abuse had on the victim as aggravating factors.