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Connacht Tribune

Surgery waiting list grows due to hospital leaking roof

Dara Bradley

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There are 940 people waiting for hip and knee replacements in Galway, and the list is growing by the day due to the ongoing closure of theatres.

A leaking roof at Merlin Park Hospital has resulted in the postponement of orthopaedic surgeries at the city hospital.

Earlier this month we reported that replacement portacabins, to be used as temporary theatres as a stopgap until the leaks are repaired, will not come on stream until January.

Now we can reveal that the waiting lists for orthopaedic is almost 1,000 and they are getting longer every day due to the deferral of theatres at Merlin Park.

Figures obtained by the Connacht Tribune show there are 393 day-cases on the orthopaedics waiting list at Galway University Hospitals, including 26 who have been waiting for over a year.

There are a further 547 inpatients on the orthopaedics waiting list at GUH, including almost 100 waiting over a year.

Galway East Deputy Anne Rabbitte, who was supplied with the figures from the HSE, said it was “a big worry” that the waiting lists will escalate.

“My fear is that the waiting lists, which are already close to 1,000, will get worse before the temporary theatres are brought into use,” said Deputy Rabbitte.

“It’s not looking like we are going to get these theatres back up and running this side of Christmas, which is six or eight weeks, and all the while the waiting lists are going to keep growing and growing and growing.

“You have the winter drawing in now, and people are waiting for their knee and hip operations and some of them are living in fear of falling again and causing more damage. We need to be mindful of the human stories behind the facts and figures. People are suffering the longer they have to wait for surgeries,” she said.

The Fianna Fáil spokesperson for children and youth affairs said the HSE needs to be more proactive in finding a solution to this problem. “Silence is condolence as far as I’m concerned. They have been very quiet on this issue. Why aren’t we using Portiuncula and Roscommon to transfer some of the cases to ease the waiting lists. Why are we not using the National Treatment Purchase Fund to alleviate the lists – the money is there, why not transfer cases to the Bon Secours or to the Galway Clinic. The patient doesn’t care whether it’s a private or public hospital as long as they’re seen to.”

Health Minister Simon Harris was due to visit Galway a fortnight ago, but postponed at the last minute, which has raised the suspicion of Deputy Rabbitte.

“Why did he postpone that visit? Is it because he had no good news announcement about the replacement theatres at Merlin Park. I’m concerned that the temporary solution will take a lot longer to put in place than they are letting on, and all the while waiting lists are growing,” she said.

Chris Kane, general manager at GUH, in a response to Deputy Rabbitte, said an initial assessment of the roof at Merlin Park had taken place, and a more detailed survey was expected. Ms Kane confirmed elective orthopaedic procedures that had been scheduled have been deferred until further notice.

“We are exploring options to facilitate the resumption of some parts of the elective orthopaedic service at UHG and also a temporary modular theatre facility at Merlin Park as short-term solutions.

“The hospital has held joint union meetings with staff and management to assist in planning of staff redeployment as a direct result of the infrastructural issues. We will continue to consult and communicate with staff on an ongoing basis and reassign staff to the areas such as theatres, UHG and areas where deficits have been identified,” added Ms Kane.

Connacht Tribune

Time and history conferred character on this home

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The Hermitage, Ballymoe: on the market with a €425,000 guide price.

The Hermitage at Lisnageeragh, Ballymoe is a property on which time and history has conferred a character that no new property could mirror.

Overlooking 16.3 acres of rolling green fields which are included in the sale, this is indeed a unique house and comes to market with charming well maintained stone buildings. These could provide further family accommodation, holiday rentals or craft studios.

The front hall has a beautiful, curved window and leads to two reception rooms on either side of the house. The sitting room has an open fireplace with a black cast iron surround and wooden floors which gleam from years of care and reflect the light coming from two large windows. To the right-hand side, the dining room also has an attractive bay window and an oil-fired stove and it is indeed the perfect social /entertaining space.

To the rear of the house the kitchen is a classic example of a successful marriage of the old and the new. Bespoke shaker style units combine perfectly with modern recessed lighting, attractive tiling and includes a pantry area to one side. A good-sized bedroom and adjacent bathroom complete the downstairs of the main house.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms one of which has an en suite shower. The main bedroom is a delightful space which leads to another small room, a perfect nursery or walk in wardrobe.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

A time when we learned once more that no man is an island

Francis Farragher

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Country singer Dolly Parton getting the jab: she sang about it and part-funded research on the vaccine.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of the oft-repeated pub jokes whenever the price drink was increased, whether it by Finance Ministers or publicans who felt that their margins were being whittled away, was that: “As long as it doesn’t get scarce, we’ll be happy enough.”

Who could have believed though in the first month or two of 2020 that this scenario would unfold (at least in pubs), where the opportunity to meet friends – and the odd ‘auld enemy’ too – over a couple of pints in the local bar would be snatched away from us?

We probably have learned to adapt to the reality of the pandemic and most of us will remember the real sense of fear and constriction that pervaded our every word and action early last year.

2020 was the universal version of ‘annus horribilis’ – the term made famous by Queen Elizabeth in 1992 when royal marriages started to collapse like cards houses in the breeze.

Being of rural stock, I loved the little video earlier this from country music icon, Dolly Parton, who adapted a verse of her famous Jolene song to mark her first shot of the Moderna vaccine (she also donated $1 million to its research) in a very sincere effort to try and encourage the general public to get inoculated.

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

I’m begging of you not to hesitate,

Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

Cause when you’re dead that’s a bit too late.”

A year before that, times were indeed very strange across Ireland and indeed the world. I remember on the Sunday night before St. Patrick’s Day when a sense of incredulity greeted the news in my own local that ‘a lot of the pubs in Galway city were closing down’. Surely, this couldn’t happen in our own little watering hole in the sticks, but it did.

Michael Karmen’s soundtrack from the Band of Brothers series – a wonder piece of music even to my untrained ear – will always remind me of that early Spring period of lockdown in 2020.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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€4.5m worth of property sold during online event

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This detached house at Seacrest in Knocknacarra attracted a "staggering" level of interest.

More than €4.5 million worth of sales were recorded at the O’Donnellan & Joyce auction last week, where 350 people had pre-registered to bid on the 40 properties which went under the hammer.

80% of the properties sold during the auction or following negotiations immediately afterwards.

Among the properties sold at the auction were:

106 Seacrest, Knocknacarra, Galway. Guiding at €250,000 due to the extent of renovation and upgrade works required, the auctioneers were staggered at the level of interest in this 4-bed detached house.

Siobhra Hennessy, Senior Auction Co-Ordinator, said: “There is an increasing demand for city centre homes in need of repair. Couples want to put their own stamp on a property and often look for properties similar to this.”

Bidding commenced at €250,000 but quickly rose to over €350,000. After intense bidding from a number of internet and telephone bidders, the sale price of €364,000 was reached and the deal was done.

192 Bohermore, Galway. A 2-bed terraced house which attracted great attention, with many enquiries and bidders pre-registering. The house needs complete restoration and modernisation works but obviously appealed to a wide audience. It guided at €120,000, but sold for €179,000, despite the great amount of work required. Again, this is an example of a near-derelict building that offered great potential.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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