THE ‘storm from hell’ last Friday morning and subsequent flooding over the following days has left the Salthill area with a damages bill likely to exceed €1 million, as the clean-up operation continues this week.
Business premises in the Spanish Parade also took a big hit on Friday when the combination of storm force winds, heavy rains and a huge tidal surge breached most defences – relief has been expressed that there was no loss of life or serious injury.
At one stage on Friday morning, there were fears that a homeless man could have been trapped in a car at the back of the former Waterfront Hotel in Salthill leading to an emergency rescue operation being launched by local Fire Brigade members.
Water was pumped out of the car-park and the vehicles were checked by the Fire Brigade members but all were found to be unoccupied after the search.
Galway Fire Officer, Michael Raftery, told the Sentinel that their priority on Friday morning was to ensure the safety of life and they were relieved to find that there was no-one in any of the cars.
Meanwhile, Galway Chamber President Jim Fennell said the city must look to the development of proper long term flood defences as temporary measures are clearly not adequate.
If necessary, Mr Fennell added, Government must be called upon to provide the requisite capital funding t
City Councillor Billy Cameron urged the city manager, Brendan McGrath, to apply for money from OPW under the minor flood mitigation works and coastal protection scheme.
Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel
Transplant man’s gratitude for new lease of life
A Galway electrician and father-of-one is embracing his new lease of life after his brother donated one of his kidneys – and now his family want to show their appreciation by raising funds for the charity that helped them through their darkest days.
Liam Kenny (31) from Laurencetown had a serious kidney condition that saw him require dialysis eight hours a day, three days a week prior to his operation – a reality that was impacting on his life and work.
But since he received a kidney from his 33-year-old brother James, he hasn’t looked back – and in gratitude the family has now organised a special day on Saturday, October 1, with the highlight a charity barn dance in the village.
It was back in 2014 when Liam Kenny, who works with an electrician, was diagnosed with chronic kidney reflux, resulting in only one functioning kidney at 15%. Liam’s quality of life deteriorated as he fought this disease.
This led to Liam receiving dialysis eight hours a day, three days a week and his ability to work was impacted.
Liam’s family volunteered to be tested for compatibility for a transplant – and fortunately, his older brother James, who is employed in an abattoir, proved a match.
In October 2017, after a long and emotional journey, Liam and James attended Beaumont Hospital to undergo a mammoth surgery.
Although this surgery was a success, there was always a possibility that Liam’s body could reject the transplant.
During this time, the Irish Kidney Association supported the entire family to ensure they were close to the lads by providing free on-site accommodation.
This, his sister Megan Kenny says, was pivotal in supporting their family through the surgery’s worry, stress and financial strain.
Long-lost video shows Galway faith healer enjoying trip back home
Long-lost video footage of a County Galway ‘faith healer and visionary’ has been discovered after more than two decades.
The video diaries of Mary Malone, a faith healer from Mountbellew, have been released on social media platform, YouTube. One of the videos shows Ms Malone, and her husband Malcolm, returning on a visit to Mountbellew in 2000.
As well as offering a unique view of the North-East Galway town at the turn of the millennium, it features several local people who are filmed speaking with Mary Malone as part of the documentary.
It portrays a village in more innocent times. Footage of a market in full-swing, old cars lining the streets, and interviews with locals welcoming Mary Malone home offer a glimpse of rural Ireland at the time.
In one section of film, a young Mountbellew man on a bike, reminisces with Mary Malone about life growing up, which included collecting call cards.
“I love coming back to Mountbellew,” she declared in the film, and joked with another man: “I’ve put ye on the map!”
They discuss how Mountbellew was a fine tourism town and all that it needs was a hotel.
Over the course of the half-hour footage, locals ask Mary Malone for help to heal their sick relatives.
Among those interviewed was Joe Noone, a cousin of hers, and mechanic and businessman. “It’s great to see you,” he said. They chit-chat about her home in England, their familial links, and her husband’s love of fishing, and Mary Malone’s ‘healing’ of his mother.
It also features footage of the couple in her cousin’s house a mile outside Mountbellew, where they stayed before they embarked on a healing tour of Ireland.
Draft fishing bye-laws are just watered down
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) stands accused of a policy climb-down over the protection of non-native species such as pike on Lough Corrib.
Last year, IFI admitted that fishing bye-laws that afford non-native predatory species equal protection to native salmon and trout, were ‘contrary to the aims of the Habitats Directive and fisheries legislation’.
But in a new draft policy document issued last week, IFI stops short of recommending that the bye-laws be repealed.
Instead it has published a plan that’s described as advocating a ‘mixed fishery’ model, contrary to the wishes of salmon and trout anglers in the west.
IFI published a 50-page draft plan last week called the ‘Long Term Management Plan for the Great Western Lakes’.
The organisation invited feedback from the public on the plan, and the consultation period is until September 20, the deadline for public submissions.
Already, however, the plan is causing disquiet among fishing organisations who are galvanising support against it.
Local angling groups want the Great Western Lakes, including Corrib, to be maintained as salmonid fisheries.
They claim this new draft plan keeps the current ‘unacceptable’ position, which protects predatory pike and coarse fish on the Corrib system, which is an SAC (Special Area of Conservation).
Anglers in Galway and Mayo want the pike and coarse byelaws repealed, so that removing pike and coarse fish from the Corrib is not a criminal act.
Campaigner Mike Donnellan, a member of Oughterard Anglers, urged people to make their opposition to the draft plan known through the public consultation process that has commenced.