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CITY TRIBUNE

Series of new Covid-19 restrictions to be introduced

Enda Cunningham

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The Government has agreed a series of new Covid-19 restrictions, including a ban on spectators at all sporting events and indoor events and household gatherings being restricted to six people.

Legislation will also be introduced to give Gardaí the power to immediately shut down any pub or other premises not adhering to public health guidelines.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said the decision had been made to introduce “significant restrictions” following an increase in Covid-19 cases, referring to “multiple significant outbreaks”. Today’s figures show 190 new cases.

All businesses have been told to allow staff to work remotely where possible, and people have been told to avoid public transport.

People over the age of 70 have been told to limit their interactions to a small number of people and do their shopping during designated hours.

The measures will remain in place until at least September 13.

“The evidence is a large number of people are acting as if the virus is no threat to them or that it’s okay to take a few more risks,” said the Taoiseach.

The main points of this evening’s announcement includes:

  • All businesses should allow staff to work from home where possible.
  • outdoor events and gatherings will be limited to 15 people (down from 200)
  • Visits to homes will be limited to six people from outside that home and from no more than three households. This applies to both indoor and outdoor gatherings.
  • Indoor events will be reduced from 50 people to just six people, except for businesses such as shops and restaurants.
  • All sporting events will now take place behind closed doors. Training sessions must follow the rule of six people indoors and 15 outdoors.
  • Indoor weddings and masses are exempt from the new restrictions and can hold up to 50 people.
  • A mandatory closing time of 11.30pm has been introduced for pubs and restaurants.
  • Public transport should be avoided where possible. (School transport arrangements will continue as planned).
  • People over the age of 70 are advised to limit their interactions to a small network, avoid public transport, and shop during designated hours.

CITY TRIBUNE

€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.

The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.

A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.

Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.

The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.

“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.

“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”

Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.

“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.

The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools

Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.

“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.

“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.

A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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