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Task force forms in Galway in bid to improve mental health services

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A new task force which aims to improve mental health services across Galway has been launched.
The Galway City and County Mental Health Task Forum was formally established following a meeting this week.
The meeting was attended by a number of public representatives including Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte and Galway West TD Eamon O’ Cuiv, as well as various community groups including representatives from the Travelling community.
The group argues there is a serious lack of services for people suffering with mental health issues.
It’s urging local TDs to support the call for more funding in mental health services.

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Galway landowners impacted by proposed greenway routes not subject to March submissions deadline

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway farmers who have land in any of the five potential greenway corridors are being advised that the March 1st deadline for submissions does not apply to them.

Fine Gael Galway East TD Ciaran Cannon has moved to clarify that landowners impacted by the proposed project will have ample time to give their input in the coming weeks.

It comes as the greenway project team based in Ballinasloe has confirmed that consultations with individual farmers along the five potential route corridors will only begin when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and members of the project team can make farm visits.

In the meantime, farmers can make submissions prior to the March 1st deadline if they wish to do so, and any such submissions can guide later discussions when farm visits get underway.

Deputy Cannon argues it makes sense that farmers who are the key stakeholders in the development of the new greenway would have the opportunity to meet on the ground with the project engineers.

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NUIG study finds using mobile gambling for social interaction can lead to problem gambling

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – An NUIG study has found engaging in mobile gambling for social interaction can lead to problem gambling.

The research by the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics was based on a global sample of 327 people who use gambling apps on a weekly basis.

The study focused specifically on mobile gambling, whereby people gamble online using their smartphones through specially designed apps and websites.

It found that mobile gambling differs from more traditional forms of gambling due to its constant accessibility.

Researchers state that using gambling apps to facilitate social interaction and avoid boredom are key motivations for problem gamblers, but not for non-problem gamblers.

Lead author of the study, Dr Eoin Whelan says the pandemic and the lockdowns that followed have led to a surge in people gambling through their smartphones.

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Backlog of 467 applications for primary medical certificate await assessment in the West

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – 467 applications for a primary medical certificate are waiting to be assessed in the Galway, Roscommon and Mayo area.

A primary medical cert is required to qualify for the disabled driver’s tax and VRT exemptions.

Figures provided by the HSE to Galway West TD Eamon O’Cuiv reveal 181 such applications were processed in full in the West last year.

Nationwide, 1,858 applications are waiting to be assessed with 1,273 completed in 2020.

In the response to Deputy O’Cuiv’s parliamentary question, the HSE says there are challenges in some areas in progressing assessments due to the redeployment of medical officers to the COVID vaccine programme and the management of outbreaks in residential care facilities.

It adds the HSE is currently revising its service recovery and restoration plans.

Deputy O’Cuiv says the delay is causing significant stress and worry to applicants with many in the West waiting for feedback since last March.

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