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Suicidal woman is turned away twice from University Hospital Galway

Dara Bradley



Carers for a suicidal woman with special needs have claimed she was repeatedly refused admission to the psychiatric unit at University Hospital Galway.

When the city woman (47) was turned away from the Emergency Department of UHG, she attempted suicide in the sea off Blackrock in Salthill.

The woman was then brought to UHG by ambulance and accompanied by Gardaí but her carer says she was again turned away.

She attempted to gain admission to the psychiatric unit again last Thursday but to no avail.

In desperation, the woman then overdosed on her medication last Thursday night and was finally admitted to the psychiatric unit on Friday morning after first going through the general hospital.

She is currently being treated for her mental health problems at the psychiatric unit.

Teresa Daly, counselling psychologist, explained that the woman was having suicidal thoughts last Tuesday night and they went to the ED to have her admitted to the psychiatric unit at UHG.

“We tried to get her under observation in the psychiatric unit overnight but she was turned away. They wouldn’t admit here. We were told to go home,” she said.

Ms Daly said that on Wednesday a security guard asked her, the woman and her elderly mother to leave the premises. “I said no way. I asked him if he was going to forcibly remove a 47-year-old suicidal woman with special needs and her 84-year-old mother and me from the hospital. He said he wouldn’t but they would ring the Guards, which they didn’t.

“We don’t know why she wasn’t admitted. We were being told she missed an appointment but that has nothing to do with how she is feeling now, and the suicidal thoughts that she is having now. We were days trying to get her in.

“She was turned away but overdosed on Thursday night and was admitted Friday morning. Once you are in you get the treatment you need. But it is shocking to think that in 2015 that this is what you have to do,” she said.

Addiction counsellor, Jim Riddle, who is familiar with the case, said it was “an absolute disgrace” and “completely shocking” the ordeal this woman and her mother were put through. Mr Riddle said it was shameful that someone who was crying out for help had to fight to get it.

Galway City Councillor Pádraig Conneely (FG), who was contacted by the family for help, is to raise the matter at the next meeting of the HSE West Regional health forum.

“I was in the Emergency Department on two occasions with this woman and her 84 year old mother and the way she was treated was just unreal. You couldn’t make it up,” said Cllr Conneely.

“Here was a woman, a very vulnerable woman who has special needs, and she was in a very, very distressed state and yet she was not admitted. You didn’t have to be a medical expert to know that she was in a highly distressed state and she was suffering from serious mental health problems and needed to be in the psychiatric unit.

“She tried to jump into the water at Blackrock and yet she wasn’t admitted. Eventually she was so desperate took an overdose and was admitted but that was after days of trying. The system has failed this woman – why is this allowed to happen. It was just so cruel,” added Cllr Conneely.

A fortnight ago the Galway City Tribune reported a mother of a twelve-year-old suicidal boy was told to ‘ring the guards’ and was turned away from UHG because there was no room at CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).


Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors will be asked next month to consider a sweeping overhaul of traffic flow in the city centre as the local authority seeks to create a more pedestrian-friendly core in the wake of Covid-19.

Currently under proposal in City Hall are major alterations to traffic flow which will allow for restricted car access to Middle Street – creating additional outdoor seating space for businesses in the area struggling to cope amid social distancing requirements.

Senior Engineer at City Hall, Uinsinn Finn, said they are currently considering three different proposals to alter traffic flow on Merchants Road, Augustine Street and Flood Street to reduce the need for car access to Middle Street, while still maintaining access for residents.

“We already pedestrianised Cross Street and we will be maintaining that, and there will be a proposal for Middle Street and Augustine Street.

“Businesses in the area are very much in favour of pedestrianisation – one business has objections but the others are supportive. Another consideration is that there are residents there with parking spaces and we are trying to encourage people to live in the city centre,” said Mr Finn.

The Latin Quarter business group submitted proposals for the temporary pedestrianisation of Middle Street and Abbeygate Street Lower but Mr Finn said the proposals the Council were considering were more in the line of creating adequate space for pedestrians while still allowing residents vehicular access.

This would involve creating a circuit for car traffic moving through Merchants Road around onto Augustine Street and exiting at Flood Street.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in part of Knocknacarra are calling for the closure of a laneway and for more Community Gardaí to be put on the beat following the discovery of a ‘viable’ pipe-bomb type device in the area last weekend.

Up to 13 homes in the Cimín Mór and Manor Court estates had to be evacuated on Friday evening last when the incendiary device was discovered by Gardaí concealed in an unlit laneway, leading to the emergency services being notified.

An Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called to the scene and removed the device – according to local residents and councillors, the Gardaí have confirmed that the device was viable.

Gardaí have declined to comment on the detail of the case but have confirmed that the matter is being ‘actively and vigorously investigated’.

Chairman of the Cimín Mór Residents’ Association, Pat McCarthy, told the Galway City Tribune that the discovery of the viable device on the narrow laneway that links their estate to Manor Court was extremely frightening for all concerned.

“For the best part of the past 20 years, we have been seeking action to be taken on this laneway which has been used for dumping and unsociable behaviour on a repeated basis.

“But what happened last Friday evening was really the last straw for us. This could have resulted in serious injury to innocent people and what is also of concern to us is how close this was to the two schools in the area,” said Mr McCarthy.

He said that over the coming days, the residents’ association would be petitioning all residents in the three estates concerned – the other two being Manor Court and Garraí Dhónaill – for action to be taken on the laneway.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara



Kate Middleton wearing the necklace designed by Aisling O'Brien

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A Galway jewellery designer is the latest to experience the ‘Kate effect’ after fans tracked down the woman who created a necklace for the Duchess of Cambridge which she has worn several times since it was gifted to her during her trip to the city last March.

Aisling O’Brien’s website crashed on Wednesday night when orders poured in for the piece from around the world. The necklace costs €109 with initials, while the earrings retail for €49.

“I’d never sold more than two things outside of Ireland before. I only had three of Kate’s necklaces in stock – and now I have orders for at least 50. I’ll have to start recruiting some elves,” laughs Aisling, who only set up her website during lockdown.

The 14-carat gold necklace and earrings set was designed by Aisling specially for Kate after examining her style – “understated, elegant, simplicity” is how the Tuam native describes it.

She was contacted about the commission by physiotherapist Thérèse Tully, who wanted to give the future queen a gift as she was using her room to change at Árus Bóthar na Trá beside Pearse Stadium when the royal couple were meeting with GAA teams.

(Photo: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wearing the necklace)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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