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Strategy to reuse vacant Galway properties as recorded in the census could ease crisis

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A fresh focus on the reuse of vacant properties in Galway in the short term will provide homes for those who urgently need them across the city and county.
That’s according to Galway Simon Community following the publication of the Government’s National Vacant Housing Reuse Strategy .
The strategy aims to bring vacant properties back into active use and proposes the use of taxation measures on vacant homes.
2016 Census figures show there were 9,646 vacant homes in county Galway, a vacant rate of 12.3%.
The CSO data records 2,841 in the city with a vacant rate of 8.4%.
Karen Golden, CEO of Galway Simon Community says the strategy could make an impact in addressing the current crisis.

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3,350 waiting on outpatient eye-care at UHG

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Optometry Ireland says there are deliverable opportunities to reform eye-care to have patients seen quicker and at less cost in the Galway area and nationwide.

It comes as 3,350 people are on a waiting list for outpatient ophthalmology appointments at UHG.

A further 689 are waiting for inpatient or day case procedures at UHG.

National Treatment Purchase Fund figures to August 2021 show that almost 41,200 people nationwide are on the outpatient eye-care waiting list.

Almost 19,000 were waiting more than a year, and 14,800 more than 18 months.

Optometry Ireland President John Weldon says as the HSE has to manage healthcare budgets with the additional pressures COVID-19 has created, there is an opportunity to address this in eye-care through greater use of optometrists.

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Galway selected as one of seven counties to pilot community volunteers programme

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway has been selected as one of seven counties to pilot a community volunteers programme.

The initiative is built on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and designed to ensure that communities are better placed to respond quickly and effectively.

The programme has been launched in partnership with Volunteer Ireland and Volunteer Centres, supported by Local Authorities.

It aims to offer a new way to bridge the gap between communities that need support and the people who want to help.

The initiative also offers people the opportunity to get involved in local events and festivals while also supporting more urgent needs that arise unexpectedly, like the community response to COVID-19.

Brendan McGrath, Chief Executive, Galway City Council says the project is a very positive development for Galway City, learning from lessons over the last two years but also as a new service available to the city to help communities run events where people can re-engage with their neighbours and the wider area.

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Galway Your to Discover on Galway Talks

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This week on Galway Talks Keith Finnegan has an in depth look at the wealth of culture and heritage around Galway City and County. He highlights some of our niche artisan food producers and talks with local people who are passionate about their local community and environment.

On Monday we start by heading to Portumna, Woodford, Abbey and Sliabh Aughty. Keith spoke with Dr Christy Cuniffe, Noel Leahy & Teresa Roche about their food products, Maria Kennedy from Finnerty’s Mills and finishing with David Broderick from the Irish Workhouse Centre.   

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On Tuesday, we Keith focussed on the area from Moycullen to Clifden, stopping to speak with Hazel Morrisson in Moycullen, Mary Kyne who takes us for a walk in Oughterard, Jim Deegan who is reviving the railway in Maam Cross and Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill who takes us on a hidden tour in the centre of Clifden town.  

On Wednesday we the Galway talks team visited Ballygar, Mountbellew, Williamstown and Glenamaddy. Keith started out with Paul Conolly in Ballygar and moved on to Jimmy Noone in Mountbellew. Then Keith headed to Williamstown to Noel Finnegan who talks about the bog walk and after recovering from that Keith moves on to Patricia Scarry in Glenamaddy.  

Thursday see Keith visit Clarinbridge, Athenry and Loughrea. Here he start in Loughrea with Monsignor Cathal Geraghty, moving on to Athenry Heritage Centre to Alan Burgees, and finishes in the Reddington Estate in Kilcornan Clarinbridge with Sean Conneally.  

On the final leg on Friday Keith explores the Lough Corrib Drive, starting in Annaghdown with Des Nolan, moving to Headford with Mags Sheehan to the community orchard and finishing up in Clonbur/Cornamona with Trish Walsh.  

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