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Report finds underspend on Traveller accommodation in Galway

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A report by the The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has found a significant underspend on Traveller-specific accommodation budgets in Galway city and county.

Between 2008 and 2018, of the €168 million allocated to local authorities nationally for Traveller-specific accommodation, just two thirds was drawn down.

In Galway city, the figure for 2015 was emergency funding, in respect of which no application was made.

For all other years in the study, the Council reports that the monies drawn down were less than the funds allocated as the relevant projects were completed in subsequent years.

As of October 2019, the Council reports that no application for funds had yet been made that year.

The Council stated that the need for three permanent residential caravan parks in Galway City was identified over the lifetime of the Traveller Accommodation Plan for 2014 to 2018 but noted that none of these capital projects came to fruition for varying reasons, land availability being the primary reason cited.

In the county, of the €1.8 million allocated for Traveller-specific accommodation, the Council only drew down €390,848 in the period from 2015 to 2018.

No sums were drawn down or allocated in 2015 and no sums were drawn down in 2017.

The Commission has now made a series of recommendations, and has asked each council to report to it by the end of August, specifying the actions taken, or intended within specific timeframes.

Chief Commissioner of the IHREC Sinead Gibney, says there’s little feedback taken by local authorities from members of the Travelling Community.

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Fresh calls to renew Galway Dublin bus route in east Galway

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – This week’s meeting of Galway County Council heard renewed calls for the re-instatement of the Galway to Dublin bus route that had been providing a service in the east of the county.

Councillors from the Ballinasloe and Loughrea areas stated that the ending of the service this week was a serious blow to commuters and a backward step for rural Ireland.

Another kick for rural Ireland is how Councillor Ivan Canning from Portumna described the decision by Bus Éireann to end the hourly bus service that took in the towns and villages of east Galway. Councillor Jimmy McClearn said that cities now seemed to be all important and that rural Ireland is the poor relation.

Ballinasloe and Loughrea area Councillors such as Dermot Connolly, Pat Hynes, Shane Curley, Michael ‘Mogie’ Maher and P.J. Murphy all spoke against the change to the bus service.

Councillor Evelyn Parsons said it was a strange decision given the policy of keeping as many cars as possible on the roads low and Councillor Geraldine Donohue expressed concern for students traveling to and from Galway city. She said they could now be left for a lengthy period waiting for transport at the Galway station.

Councillor Alistar McKinstry suggested that Bus Éireann be invited to the County Council to explain the reasoning behind the decision.

County Cathaoirleach, Peter Keaveney urged all Councillors to contact their Dáil and Seanad colleagues in a an effort to have the decision reversed.

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Man arrested in connection with serious assault in Tuam

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A man has been arrested in connection with a serious assault which took place in Tuam earlier this month.

Father of two Adrian Ansbro, a well known electrical contractor, was assaulted at Foster Place in the town in the early hours of July 11th.

He was stabilised at UHG following the incident and later transferred to Beaumount Hospital.

His condition has since been described as stable and improving.

An Garda Síochána have arrested and charged a man in connection with the incident.

The man, who is aged in his late teens, is to appear before a sitting of Ballina District Court this morning.

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Concern as GUH has one of highest patient waiting lists nationwide

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Galway Bay fm newsroom –

Galway University Hospitals Group has one of the highest patient waiting lists nationwide.

Close to 60 thousand unscheduled appointments remain on waiting lists for inpatient and outpatient services at the city’s two public hospitals..

That’s according to Sinn Fein Galway West TD Mairead Farrell who says the health service is facing a tsunami of delayed and missed care.

She argues GUH needs investment in urology and general surgery as more than four thousand people remain on lists for each service – with more than 45% of urology patients waiting for over a year.

Meanwhile, over five thousand children are also on waiting lists between UHG and Merlin Park.

It comes as Sinn Fein has launched its €914 million ‘Tackling Waiting Lists’ plan.

Deputy Farrell says the proposal seeks to give the health service the resources it needs to improve treatment for patients…

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