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Suicidal woman is turned away twice from University Hospital Galway

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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).

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
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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