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Connacht Tribune

Simon eases the plight for many – but West’s figures continue to grow

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Galway continues to buck the national trend on homelessness – because while the overall figure showed a small fall-off in recent months, the number of people in emergency accommodation in the West actually increased.

That’s according to the Simon Community as it launched its new campaign, Closing the Door on Homelessness.

That aims to build on the success of its efforts over the last year, which saw Simon Communities around the country ‘close the door’ for more than 2,400 men, women and children – helping them move out of homelessness and into a secure home.

That homelessness and housing crisis is being felt acutely in the West with 534 people, including 199 children, in emergency accommodation in hotels, hostels and B & B’s at the end of June.

And those figures contrast to the national picture which actually saw a decrease in June, meaning that Galway Simon is busier than ever as it marks its own 40th anniversary this year.

Karen Golden of Galway Simon Community said that the vision remained the same for the country’s Simon Communities as it has over its half-century history – supporting those experiencing homelessness to find a place that they can call home.

“The end goal remains the same today as it was in 1969 – making home a reality,” she said.

“We continue to protect those who are at their most vulnerable and help them change the course of their lives by providing the physical door to a home of their own.

“We are helping people to close the door on the mental strain of homelessness, on fear, insecurity, addiction or ill-health,” she added.

Through the Closing Doors Campaign, Simon hopes to raise awareness of the experience of homelessness and how the charity is helping people find somewhere safe they can call home.

The Simon Community was founded in Ireland in February 1969, when a small number of volunteers made up of students from University College Dublin and Trinity College, packed up their flasks of soup and sandwiches and set out on the streets of Dublin to provide food and support to people experiencing homelessness.

In 1979, a number of volunteers and students at NUI Galway similarly started a soup run in Galway, and Galway Simon Community was formed to support those experiencing homelessness in the West.

Connacht Tribune

Galway’s newest garden centre has arrived at McD’s in Galway Crystal

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Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building

For over 10 years people have been flocking to McD’s Garden Centre in Loughrea to get the very best range for garden, home and much much more.

This weekend McD’s are proud to announce the opening of a brand new Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building.

Nicely located with good parking and serviced by the 404 Newcastle to Oranmore bus, McD’s Garden Centre at Galway Crystal is a must visit location if you need anything from plants, shrubs, pots, garden furniture and more. They have a dedicated solar garden lights section, gorgeous array of water features and garden ornaments and practically everything you need for your garden.

Visit their Facebook today where they are running competitions and keep track of other promotions too. You can visit their website online at www.McDs.ie

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Connacht Tribune

UHG nurse battles for her life in ICU

Dara Bradley

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Leona Paula Leoncio...in ICU.

UHG remains braced to rapidly respond to any rise in Covid-19 patients as a result of a second surge – but the plight of one of their own colleagues this week showed just how precarious this pandemic can be.

Because while senior management at the Saolta Group vowed to stay ‘vigilant and alert’, a staff nurse at UHG was battling for her life in the hospital’s own ICU.

Leona Paula Leoncio, a 36-year-old mother of two boys, tested positive for Covid-19 last week, and was moved to ICU on Monday where she was intubated and ventilated.

The staff nurse, who had no underlying health conditions, is now battling for life in ICU at UHG, according to the Philippine Consulate in Dublin, which has urged people to pray for her.

Ms Leoncio moved to Ireland in 2017, with her husband and two children, to work in the country’s health system.

“We might have different faiths and beliefs but can I ask of you . . . to take a pause and say a prayer of healing and strength for her and her family,” said Chuck Giner, her nursing colleague at UHG, in a posting relayed on the Philippine Consulate’s social media.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – along with all of the latest news on the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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Connacht Tribune

Gort boy reunites Tipp star with broken hurl from famous point

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Liam Linnane from Gort holding Brendan Maher's broken hurley from the All-Ireland semi-final club game. Photo: Hardiman Photography.

Tipperary All-Star hurler Brendan Maher has revealed that a young lad in Gort has found his long-lost hurl – the one he used to score one of the points of the last sporting year.

The broken hurl, the one that broke the hearts of St Thomas’ fans back in January, was used to fire over a point in Borris-Illeigh’s All-Ireland semi-final victory over the Galway club at the Gaelic Grounds.

Maher revealed last week that he tried to retrieve the hurl after the match to keep as a memento, but couldn’t find it. He subsequently got a letter from twelve year old Liam Linnane from Gort, who had found it.

“After I scored the point I got kind of carried away and I threw it over my shoulder into the open stand in the Gaelic Grounds. After the match, I thought I would really like to have that hurley but we could not find it and the club even contacted the Gaelic Grounds afterwards to see if it was found.

“Several weeks had passed and I’d given up on it when I got a letter from a young fella in Gort and I read down through it. He said he was twelve years old and that he was at the game where I scored the point with the broken hurley and that he had the hurley.”

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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