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Simon project to tackle homelessness among young

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A new project aimed at addressing homelessness among young people is being planned for Galway.

The Galway Simon Community aims to secure funding for the programme, which will target those aged under 30 who are at risk of homelessness or are struggling to get secure accommodation.

The problem of young people at risk of homelessness was particularly worrying in Galway, according to the CEO of the Galway Simon, Bill Griffin

“When the social welfare was reduced to €100 per week two years ago we saw a big increase in the numbers of people aged between 18 and 29. When they come to us, we have to reduce the rent to give them something to live on, so the chance of them moving on is nil,” he said.

“Many of them can’t get back into education and have complex needs.”

Homelessness among the younger generation was often hidden, as they resorted to ‘couch surfing’ or relying on friends and family for short periods for a roof over their heads.

The project currently being set in train is looking to set up supports to get young people back into education, training or help them find work.

“We really need to look at providing a separate programme to keep these young people away from homelessness in the long term.”

The launch of the Galway Simon’s annual report for 2013 showed that 120 people – nearly double the number of people – have accessed their outreach services so far this year compared to the whole of 2012.

The controversies in the CRC and Rehab Group over senior pay and the expenditure of statutory funding in the charity sector resulted in a 15% decrease in its Christmas appeal.

There were 60 men and women who were given a variety of long-term and short-term accommodation and social care by Galway Simon last year at various locations around the city.

Most nights on the streets of Galway around nine people are sleeping rough at any one time, with 26 men and 13 women – some of them with families – in emergency homeless accommodation.

Connacht Tribune

Progress stalls on setting up Eating Disorder Community Health Team

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Despite an increasing number of young people experiencing eating disorders, a new specialist community team has yet to be set up in Galway well over a year after it was announced.

The delay is mainly due to a difficulty recruiting a consultant psychiatrist to lead the team, this week’s HSE West Regional Health Forum meeting was told.

Councillor John Connolly (FF) queried the progress on the new Eating Disorder Community Health Team within the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) after the HSE revealed in September 2021 that it would be set up in response to the hike in youths presenting for treatment.

Chief Officer of HSE Community Healthcare West, Breda Crehan-Roche, said interviews had been conducted to recruit a clinical lead, but so far none had been appointed. Six other staff had been appointed and these had been assigned to existing teams within CAMHS while a psychiatrist could come on board to manage the team.

“We have difficulty getting locum cover. Interviews were held. It’s a priority. We are doing a running recruitment process,” she told this month’s meeting.

It took between six and nine months to appoint a person to such a senior post.

“There is a lot of work in specialist intervention in the eating disorders team.”

She admitted that there were no records of how much of an increase there had been in referrals to CAMHS Galway for youths troubled by an eating disorder as all records were on paper rather than on computer.

“I can’t ask clinicians and therapists to pull together manual figures,” she stated. But the indication from staff on the ground was that there had been a downward trend in referrals post-Covid.

There was a move to keeping digital records by the middle of next year.

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Connacht Tribune

Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan dies aged 78

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Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan has passed away at the age of 78.

Born in Kilkenny in 1944, Bishop Drennan studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth from where he was ordained in 1968

As a priest, the then Fr Drennan served as curate in both St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Kilkenny and then in Ballycallan.

From 1975 he taught Sacred Scripture at St. Kieran’s College, returning to Rome in 1980 to become Spiritual Director at the Irish College there for the next five years.

When Fr. Martin again returned home he became a Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997.

Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was chosen as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and was installed on 3rd July 2005 in Galway Cathedral serving to his retirement in 2016.

A brief statement released by the Diocese of Galway this afternoon confirmed his passing and offered their sympathies to Bishop Drennan’s family and all those who mourn his loss.

Funeral arrangements for the late Bishop Drennan will be announced later

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Connacht Tribune

Gardaí appeal for help to locate missing man

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Gardaí are seeking help from the public in locating a 66-year-old man who has been missing from Clonbur since Thursday.

Michael Harte is described as being 5’ 9” in height, of slim build with short grey hair. When last seen, he was wearing blue jeans, a blue jumper, a tan / khaki padded jacket and tan boots.

He is understood to have access to a black Renault Megane with a 02 C registration.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Clifden Garda Station on 095 2250,  the Garda confidential line on 1800 666111 or any Garda station.

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