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Some support for Deputy Noel Grealish from rural TDs as row rages on over his comments about African migrants

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Galway bay fm newsroom:

There’s been some support for embattled Galway West Deputy Noel Grealish who’s drawn fierce criticism for comments he made about asylum seekers.

Deputy Grealish made the controversial statements at a public meeting in Oughterard on Wednesday.

Despite a considerable backlash, there’s also been some support for Deputy Grealish – including two rural TD’s who have refused to condemn his comments.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach is the latest to call on Deputy Grealish to break his silence – saying it would be helpful if he could clarify what he said.

Over 800 people attended a meeting in Oughterard on Wednesday evening, which discussed concerns about the possible establishment of a direct provision centre at a former hotel in the village.

An often controversial topic that has divided many communities nationwide – and it’s Galway West Deputy Noel Grealish who now finds himself at the eye of the storm over certain comments he made at the Oughterard meeting.

Deputy Grealish suggested that families fleeing war-torn Syria and the persecution of Islamic State are ‘genuine refugees’ – some of whom have previously settled in Galway.

However, he was far more critical of those seeking asylum from Africa – and it was these comments that sparked the current row.

The Taoiseach has also called on Deputy Grealish to clarify the comments made, saying that it would be ‘helpful’ if he were to do so.

An online petition calling for him to retract and apologise for these statements has now gathered over 1,500 signatures – with many calling for him to resign.

Despite the considerable backlash, there is also strong support for Deputy Grealish being expressed on social media platforms.

Meanwhile, according to the Irish Examiner, two rural TD’s have now refused to condemn Deputy Grealish for the comments.

Cork South West TD Michael Collins claims that Irish people should be the priority, while Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath praised Hungary for allowing conservative views on the topic.

Deputy Grealish has remained tight-lipped on his comments and so far has not sought to clarify, defend, or apologise for the statements made in Oughterard on Wednesday.

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Minister to launch GMIT healthy campus initiative

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Galway Bay fm newsroom:

GMIT will launch it’s healthy campus initiative later this hour (10.45am).

Minister of State at the Department of Health Catherine Byrne will officiate at the official launch at the Dublin Road campus.

It aims to promote health and wellbeing through the Institute’s mission, strategy, policies and practices.

The initiative is being rolled out in all of GMIT’s five campuses.

The Minister will launch the drive at the cafe foyer at GMIT this hour.

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Galway records highest number of accident black spots

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A section of the N59 from Cliften to Leenaune has been recorded as the most dangerous stretch of road nationwide.

Gamma Location Intelligence has released an analysis of the most treacherous road segments in Ireland.

The research shows the roads with the highest collision rates are clustered in Galway, Wexford and Longford.

This is determined by the number of road accidents per 100 million vehicle kilometres.

The most dangerous stretch of road was found to be located just east of Kylemore Lough, from Clifden to near Leenane along the N59.

Galway was also the county that appeared most frequently in the top 20 list with eight of the most dangerous road segments.

The second is between Abbey Square Roundabout and Seamus Rafter Bridge in Enniscorthy.

The third most dangerous stretch is at the Killashee Street, Ballymahon Street and New Street junction in Longford town.

Gamma’s Perilfinder platform has an in-built Road Accident Model which collates data from the Road Safety Authority, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the Central Statistics Office.

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Picket at Ballinasloe meat processing plant comes to an end

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Picketing by beef farmers has ended across the country, with one of the last of the protests coming to an end last night at Liffey Meats in Ballinasloe.

It comes as last week Liffey Meats issued a statement stating the group had over 500 employees anxiously waiting to return to work, and many of its 10,000 farmer suppliers who wanted to sell cattle.

The last of the protests by farmers came to an end last night at plants in Ballyjamesduff in County Cavan and Ballinasloe in County Galway.

It’s after agreement was reached between Meat Industry Ireland and farming organisations over a week ago.

In a statement, the Independent Farmers of Ireland group says it seems last Sunday’s proposal is on the point of being ratified and hopefully this will be the beginning of a new era for the Irish Beef Industry.

It says although there are still many problems that face the sector it feels it can face them from a different position than the picket lines.

It says the newly proposed Taskforce will have the power to oversee all this and the implementation of the proposed solutions are crucial.

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