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Students book into hostels for first semester

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Around 100 students will stay in hostel accommodation – sharing dormitories with up to six people – for at least the first semester due to a lack of more suitable housing in the city.

The accommodation crisis for students in Galway is the worst for many years, with the NUI Galway Students’ Union office reporting a deluge of calls from people enquiring about how to defer their courses due to a lack of accommodation.

Kinlay Hostel off Eyre Square offered the student accommodation last year on a separate floor from other guests and is expecting to have its quota of 100 student beds booked out by this weekend when more offers for courses are sent out this week.

Such was the positive experience, some of this year’s occupants are returning students, explained manager Jessica Conneely.

“For a lot of people, it’s not their first choice sharing with that many people but then they see it includes free wifi, heating, breakfast, they like the social aspect as so many are coming on their own and they stop looking for alternatives,” she revealed.

“Most of them study at the college. There’s a large dining area, living room, we have free iMacs. We put on activities such as soccer every Wednesday, we’ve a pool table, movie nights . . . to be honest the feedback from students is very positive.”

The rate for a four-bed dormitory for five nights, Sunday to Friday, is €80, dropping to €70 sharing with six. There are also seven-day rates, costing €120 and €110. A deposit of €300 is required.

The students live on a dedicated student floor in the hostel, which accommodates 220 people and was voted the best hostel in Ireland two years in a row and best large hostel in the world by hostelworld.com.

The hostel had no problem accepting first year students and had no complaints about noise for their guests which range from backpackers to families, insists Jessica.

“We don’t tolerate noise in the corridors of the rooms after 11pm and we found them very respectful of that. We have a 24-hour reception and night porter so any problems are dealt with quickly. Last year most of the students did stay on for the full year.”

Accommodation at the NUI Galway residences – Donegan Court (54 students), Atlantis (80), Menlo Park (140), Cúirt na Coiribe (389), Dúnáras (409) and Gort na Coiribe (657) are full since February.

For more on the student accommodation crisis, see this week’s Galway City Tribune

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50 domestic abuse 999 calls to Galway Gardaí cancelled

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway’s Garda Chief has committed to a ‘root and branch investigation’ after an internal review unearthed over 50 domestic abuse calls that were cancelled by local Gardaí.

An internal Garda inquiry has revealed that nationally, members of the force cancelled between 3,000 and 4,000 domestic abuse-related ‘999’ calls between 2019 and 2020.

At a meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) on Monday, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley told members that the inquiry found 53 such calls in the Galway Division.

He said he had been tasked by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to sift through the calls and follow up on how they were handled by Gardaí.

“In relation to domestic incidents where calls were cancelled, I have 53 from my division. I am carrying out a root and branch investigation and perhaps at the next JPC meeting, I will be able to give an update of the findings.

“I have only listened to a number of the calls at the moment and I’d rather be in possession of the full facts before commenting any further,” said Chief Supt Curley.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Councillor claims dealers are using jet skis to bring drugs to Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Drugs are being delivered into the city by jet skis coming down the Corrib, a meeting of the city’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) heard on Monday.

Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said there had been reports of dealers using jet skis to come down the river from areas around Headford and Cong, dropping deliveries in the city without fear of detection.

“Do we have a Garda water unit in Galway City to deal with that,” asked Cllr Fahy.

The Chief Superintendent, Tom Curley, said he was not aware of the practice but if anyone had any information on these deliveries, they should bring it to Gardaí.

“We haven’t got a water unit in the city but there is one in Athlone that is available to us any day of the week,” he added.

This came as the JPC was informed that drugs seizures have soared in the city, with year-on-year figures for detection of dealing up 84% in the first five months of 2021.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Walk-in Covid test facility to open in city centre next week

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Galway City Tribune – A new walk-in Covid testing centre will open in the old tourist office off Forster Street next Tuesday.

The centre will replace the one at NUIG, where students were being encouraged to get tested without an appointment if they showed symptoms or were close contacts of somebody who tested positive.

It will be open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm.

The new location will be a more convenient base for people visiting the city to check for the virus over the coming weeks as the tourist season ramps up.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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