Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Seanad seat left vacant by former Connemara Senator Trevor O’ Clochartaigh has been filled by anti-Brexit campaigner and unionist, Ian Marshall.
Former Sinn Féin senator O’ Clochartaigh resigned from the Seanad earlier this year to take up a role as Communications Manager with TG4.
The polls closed this morning and counting of votes got underway with Ian Marshall, who’s a former President of the Ulster Farmer’s Union, elected after the fourth count to Trevor O’ Clochartaigh’s old seat.
A by-election was also held to find a replacement for Labour’s Denis Landy, who resigned from the Seanad late last year on health grounds.
Former Fine Gael T.D for Kildare North, Anthony Lawler has been voted in to take that seat.
Only TDs and senators are eligible to vote in Seanad by-elections.
Public appeal over low uptake of vaccines at Ballybrit among younger age groups
Galway Bay fm newsroom – There’s a significantly reduced uptake in Covid-19 vaccinations at Ballybrit among the 18 to 30 year old age group.
That’s according to Saolta Chief Director of Nursing Paul Hooton, who says the drop-off is very significant when compared to older age coherts, most of which have an over 90 percent uptake.
But he says among 18 to 30 year olds, who are now being vaccinated, registration rates are only around 65 percent.
Overall, over 140 thousand people have been vaccinated at the Ballybrit center so far, with 2,500 people receiving a dose per day at peak operation.
Paul Hooton is urging younger people to get registered and get vaccinated.
Plan for major high rise student accommodation on Headford road approved by An Bord Pleanála
Galway Bay fm newsroom – A plan for a major high rise student accommodation development on the Headford road has been approved by An Bord Pleanála.
The proposed eight storey development adjacent to Galway Retail Park was approved by city planners in February and was later appealed by An Taisce.
The plan sets out to see the creation of 254 student beds, four retail units and a gym.
The application is led by Cleverson Ltd and includes a mix of one and two bed studio apartments along with four, five, six and seven bed units across six floors.
The plans would also see the demolition of an existing ESB unit enclosure and the creation of a 2,385 square metre development.
City planners approved the proposal in February with 28 conditions attached.
An Taisce then appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanála.
Among the concerns listed in the grounds of appeal is an argument that the application decision was premature and failed to acknowledge directions voted for in the 2011-2017 Development Plan which called for the preparation of a local area plan incorporating lands in this area.
It’s also argued that the current City Development Plan also calls for a density and building heights study, through variation number 5.
The board has now backed the city council decision to approve the development and has attached 28 revised conditions.
One states the development is only to be used as student accommodation but can be used as visitor accommodation outside of the academic terms.
Galway TD slams Government disregard for Irish language communities during pandemic
Galway Bay fm newsroom – A Galway TD is slamming the Government’s disregard for Irish language communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Deputy Mairead Farrell first points to a recent situation where Irish names were spelled incorrectly on the EU Digital Covid Certificate.
She further notes it’s not possible to register for the vaccine through Irish.
Deputy Farrell says the Health Minister has since indicated that they intend to fully develop the registration portal to ensure people can register in Irish.
However, she points out this vague commitment is being given seven months after the commencement of the vaccine programme.
Deputy Farrell also says there are plans to offer an Irish language version of the EU Digital Covid Certificate.
But she questions if we’ll be left waiting another seven months for that document to be made available as well.
To hear more, tune into Galway Bay fm news.