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Specialist cancer unit hits planning snag

Enda Cunningham

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Planners have raised concerns over parking and access to a proposed state-of-the-art cancer treatment centre on the grounds of University Hospital Galway.

The €20 million project is planning as part of the roll-out of the National Plan for Radiation Oncology (NPRO), and will span almost 8,500 square metres over three storeys.

However, planners have pointed out that the patient carparking – with 38 spaces – appears to be barrier controlled, while they have also taken issue with the size of the parking spaces and aisles between rows of cars.

Concerns have also been expressed about vehicular access, and that a fire engine may have to mount a footpath, possibly endangering pedestrians.

Planners have asked for clarification on how the public will enter the carpark given the proposed barrier system.

They ordered revised carpark drawings, pointing out that the current City Development Plan states carparking spaces should be 2.5m x 5m, but a number of proposed spaces were below this standard.

“An aisle of six metres is recommended between car parking aisles to allow sufficient space for vehicles to manoeuvre into and out of spaces. Some of the aisle widths illustrated are below this standard. Submit a revised layout which will address this issue,” planners said.

They also requested further drawings in relation to visibility from the vehicular access and to examine the access junction overall in terms of safety.

The HSE now has up to six months to submit their revised proposals and clarifications.

The plans involve the demolition of the existing psychiatric unit and link corridor to the paediatric unit, and the construction of a three storey building and an enclosed pedestrian ground floor link connecting the existing ward block to the east and the paediatric unit to the new centre.

The centre is likely to be funded as a Public Private Partnership project and is aimed at enhancing the existing cancer treatment capacity.

“The proposed development is fundamental to the provision of quality healthcare oncology facilities in the region and is ideally located with the UHG campus, where it can benefit from and contribute to the existing healthcare facilities.

“The proposed development has been designed to ensure there are no adverse residential impacts on the nearby residential dwellings, in particular those on Costello Road,” the application reads.

Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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