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Traffic tsar says Galway revamp a ‘disaster’

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One of Ireland’s most respected traffic tsars has urged Galway City Council: Stop converting roundabouts to signalised junctions.

Cormac Rabbitte, a leading engineer and transport specialist, this week criticised the design of the new traffic lights junction that replaced the Bodkin Roundabout (Headford Road).

He said that “no further roundabout replacement (should take place) until there is an evaluation of the existing” junctions that have been converted.

He also called for a complete redesign of the Briarhill junction, which was also controversially converted from a roundabout by the Council; and for improvements to the junction at Parkmore industrial estate.

Mr Rabbitte said elements of the conversion of Bodkin Roundabout (the most recent one to change over) was a “disaster” and could have been done better.

He said it could have been better designed from a ‘planning and cityscape’ point of view. He advised the Council to carry out a “redesign of Briarhill junction to ensure that it operates more effectively” and that “access to Parkmore business estate could be better managed”.

 “The Briarhill and Parkmore junctions in the city are not working effectively, and need a substantial makeover,” he said.

Meanwhile, he suggested a roundabout should replace a traffic lights junction at one of the busiest intersections west of the city where Taylor’s Hill meets Threadneedle Road.

“Put a pilot or trial roundabout into that junction to see how it would run; there’s a lot that you could do on that junction just with better road markings . . . it would be very simple to improve,” he said.

Cormac Rabbitte is a respected transport professional. His work includes the roll-out of the country’s motorways, the successful upgrade of the Red Cow interchange in Dublin, and conceiving of the Metro.

Mr Rabbitte was an expert guest speaker at public meeting on Tuesday about transport in the west organised by Engineers Ireland’s West regional branch.

 

For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Progress stalls on setting up Eating Disorder Community Health Team

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Despite an increasing number of young people experiencing eating disorders, a new specialist community team has yet to be set up in Galway well over a year after it was announced.

The delay is mainly due to a difficulty recruiting a consultant psychiatrist to lead the team, this week’s HSE West Regional Health Forum meeting was told.

Councillor John Connolly (FF) queried the progress on the new Eating Disorder Community Health Team within the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) after the HSE revealed in September 2021 that it would be set up in response to the hike in youths presenting for treatment.

Chief Officer of HSE Community Healthcare West, Breda Crehan-Roche, said interviews had been conducted to recruit a clinical lead, but so far none had been appointed. Six other staff had been appointed and these had been assigned to existing teams within CAMHS while a psychiatrist could come on board to manage the team.

“We have difficulty getting locum cover. Interviews were held. It’s a priority. We are doing a running recruitment process,” she told this month’s meeting.

It took between six and nine months to appoint a person to such a senior post.

“There is a lot of work in specialist intervention in the eating disorders team.”

She admitted that there were no records of how much of an increase there had been in referrals to CAMHS Galway for youths troubled by an eating disorder as all records were on paper rather than on computer.

“I can’t ask clinicians and therapists to pull together manual figures,” she stated. But the indication from staff on the ground was that there had been a downward trend in referrals post-Covid.

There was a move to keeping digital records by the middle of next year.

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Connacht Tribune

Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan dies aged 78

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Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan has passed away at the age of 78.

Born in Kilkenny in 1944, Bishop Drennan studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth from where he was ordained in 1968

As a priest, the then Fr Drennan served as curate in both St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Kilkenny and then in Ballycallan.

From 1975 he taught Sacred Scripture at St. Kieran’s College, returning to Rome in 1980 to become Spiritual Director at the Irish College there for the next five years.

When Fr. Martin again returned home he became a Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997.

Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was chosen as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and was installed on 3rd July 2005 in Galway Cathedral serving to his retirement in 2016.

A brief statement released by the Diocese of Galway this afternoon confirmed his passing and offered their sympathies to Bishop Drennan’s family and all those who mourn his loss.

Funeral arrangements for the late Bishop Drennan will be announced later

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Connacht Tribune

Gardaí appeal for help to locate missing man

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Gardaí are seeking help from the public in locating a 66-year-old man who has been missing from Clonbur since Thursday.

Michael Harte is described as being 5’ 9” in height, of slim build with short grey hair. When last seen, he was wearing blue jeans, a blue jumper, a tan / khaki padded jacket and tan boots.

He is understood to have access to a black Renault Megane with a 02 C registration.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Clifden Garda Station on 095 2250,  the Garda confidential line on 1800 666111 or any Garda station.

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