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CITY TRIBUNE

Anger over Council’s failure to address illegal dumping

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A city councillor has accused City Hall of neglecting law-abiding residents in a Ballybane housing estate who have had to deal with mounting health hazards as a result of illegal dumping.

Speaking at a meeting of the Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) for Environment, Recreation and Amenity, Independent councillor Colette Connolly said that residents were “sick, sore and tired of the inaction of the Council” and claimed the local authority was “doing nothing” to improve the situation.

Fána Glas has become a black spot for illegal dumping with a small number of residents disposing of rubbish in common areas of the estate.

Items such as broken-down cars, dumped mattresses and scattered household waste – as well as illegally-parked caravans – have blighted the area for a number of years.

Several attempts to tidy the area in the past, by means of community clean-ups and Council-led operations have failed – with the status quo returning shortly after the work is completed.

Cllr Connolly said that it was unacceptable that a small number of residents were able to behave in this manner and called for action from the City Council.

“I am told that there are rats up there now – this is a repeat performance of what we had when Hillside was there.

“It is disgraceful to treat law-abiding residents in this manner,” she exclaimed.

Cllr Connolly demanded that the Director of Services for Housing take direct action and said that those residents who have no regard for their tenancy agreements should be severely reprimanded.

Administrative Officer in the Environment and Climate Change Department, Helen McDonagh, refuted claims that the Council were doing nothing and said that they would soon be piloting a new anti-dumping initiative in Ballybane.

The Council have secured funding for the pilot scheme and as part of its ‘Managing your Waste, Caring for our Environment’ campaign and has been working with residents’ associations and city councillors in the area.

“We held a public meeting in August and invited all the residents in Ballybane where we outlined the initiative. We want people to come in and work with us and we will be sending out press releases and leaflets.

“We will be doing clean-ups but they will only happen after the campaign; we need people to tell us when dumping is happening,” said Ms McDonagh.

In a recent Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) survey carried out by An Taisce, Ballybane was declared ‘clean to European norms’ – with a significant improvement in the area’s cleanliness noted in the results.

However, Fána Glas was highlighted as an area that remained in need of attention.

The survey found that many individual properties in the estate were very well-maintained while others were quite neglected.

It described the overall impression of the estate as one of terrible neglect – overgrown, weeded and heavily littered.

CITY TRIBUNE

Cigarettes, drugs and cash seized in Galway

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Officers from the Divisional Drugs Unit seized more than €73,000 worth of cigarettes, cash and drugs after a car and residence were searched in Galway today.
As part of Operation Tara – which is targeting the sale and supply of drugs and related criminal activity in the Galway area – Gardaí  searched a car in the Knocknacarra area. Cash and cannabis were seized.

A follow up search was carried out at a residence in Salthill, where cigarettes worth €70,000, along with €3,100 in cash and a small quantity of suspected amphetamine were recovered.

No arrests were made, but Gardaí say they are following a definite line of inquiry.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Matriarch of Scotty’s Diner donates kidney to her son!

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A well-known family in the Galway restaurant trade have swapped chef whites for hospital gowns after the matriarch donated a kidney to her son.

Jenny and Andrew Ishmael, synonymous with Scotty’s Diner in Cúirt na Coiribe on the Headford Road in Terryland, are recovering in Beaumont Hospital after the marathon live donor operation.

It took place last Monday and staff are so impressed by the quick recovery of mother and son that they could be discharged as early as this weekend.

“It went really well. I’m still a bit sore. We’re still on the mend. It’s working perfectly,” says Andrew from the isolation ward of the hospital’s Kidney Centre.  “My creatine was over 1,000 when I came in and it’s already around 260.

“I felt weak after the surgery, but I could feel that bit of life in me again straight away. It’s amazing how quick it works. Mom wasn’t too great after the surgery – it was her first ever. She was quite sore, a bit iffy, but she’s good now.

“We have rooms back-to-back. We’ve been going for walks, going for breakfast together. It’s nice to spend that time together.”

Andrew – or Drew as he’s known to family and friends –  was diagnosed with kidney disease when he was just 16.

Berger’s Disease occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin builds up in the kidneys and results in inflammation, which over time, can hamper the kidneys’ ability to filter waste from the blood.

He managed the condition well for over a decade without too much impact on his life.

The son of classically trained chefs who studied together at Johnson and Wales College in Rhode Island, he grew up working in his parents’ American-style diner, trading since 1991.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

New River Corrib rescue boat to be deployed following ‘significant donation’

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The provision of a specialist rescue craft on the Corrib – upstream from the Weir – could now happen over the coming weeks or months following a ‘significant voluntary donation’ in the past few weeks, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

Water safety issues on the Corrib were highlighted last month when up to 10 rowers had to be rescued after their two boats were sucked in by the currents towards the Weir.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has launched an investigation into the circumstances of the potentially catastrophic incident which occurred around midday on Saturday, January 14.

A specialist D Class lifeboat is now being sourced as part of a multi-agency approach to try and improve emergency rescue operations upstream from the Weir which would be accessible on a 24/7 basis.

While the cost would be in the region of €40,000 to €50,000, the overall figure would rise to around €80,000 to €90,000 when specialist personnel training costs were included.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune that he was aware of a lot of work going on behind the scenes to try and get the Corrib rescue craft in place as soon as possible.

“I suppose we’re all trying to work together to ensure that a full-time rescue craft is provided on the Corrib and I believe that real progress is being made in this regard. This would be very good news for everyone,” said Mr Swan.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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