Over 7,600 patients were treated on trolleys in Galway’s public hospitals during 2015, according to figures released by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
Portiuncula had its highest ever number of patients treated on trolleys at 1,100, while University Hospital Galway had 6,514, just marginally lower than the highest figure of 6,544 in 2011. That’s 7,614 in total.
And that has led Sinn Féin’s Roscommon/Galway election candidate, Claire Kerrane, to slam the Government for ‘failing spectacularly to keep its promise to end the trolley crisis’.
Ms Kerrane’s comments coincide with her party’s publication of a Private Member’s motion on the crisis in hospital emergency departments, which will be debated on and voted on in the Dáíl this week.
“The figures released by the INMO are a damning indictment of this Government – they reveal that 92,998 people were cared for on hospital trolleys across this state in 2015 – the highest ever number recorded during the Trolley Watch Campaign, which began in 2006.
“This is completely unacceptable – anyone who is not committed to ending this scandal once and for all is not fit to be elected to office.
“Our motion calls for the recruitment of front line staff, the provision of additional funding to the Fair Deal Scheme, the provision of additional nursing home beds, a significant increase to home help and homecare packages and the establishment of an Emergency Department Taskforce on a permanent basis,” she added.
Gardaí bid to identify body recovered near Mutton Island
Gardai have launched an investigation following the discovery of a body in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon.
A member of the public raised the alarm after spotting the body in the water while walking on the causeway to Mutton Island.
Galway Fire Service, Gardai and the RNLI attended the scene and recovered the body at around 4pm, before it was taken to University Hospital Galway for a post mortem.
It is understood that the body may have been in the water for some time.
Gardaí are currently examining a list of missing people in the city.
Gardaí investigate fatal Carraroe crash
A man in his 30s has died following a road crash in Carraroe in the early hours of this morning.
At 3.50am, Gardaí and emergency services attended at a single car collision on a minor road.
The driver of the car, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later. A passenger in the car, a male in his 30s, was taken by ambulance to Galway University Hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.
The road is currently closed and local diversions are in place. Garda forensic collision investigators will examine the crash site this morning.
Land Development Agency rules out Merlin ‘land grab’
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Campaigners have warned the Land Development Agency (LDA) to keep its hands off Merlin Woods.
Local community group Friends of Merlin Woods said that the amenity on the east side of the city is not suitable for residential development.
It has sought clarification on whether the LDA has earmarked part of the recreational and amenity lands for housing, after it appeared on its online database of publicly-owned lands.
In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, the LDA said its database compiles a list of all State lands, not just land for development.
In relation to Merlin Woods, the LDA said: “Those lands aren’t included in the LDA developments in Galway. The lands database is a map-based tool which compiles all State lands and has no reflection on development potential.”
It came after Caroline Stanley of Friends of Merlin Woods raised concern that land within Merlin Woods had been earmarked for development.
“I’d be concerned that it’s marked as residential when it’s in RA (Recreational and Amenity) land. Some is marked ‘open space’ but some is marked as ‘new proposed residential’ on its [LDA’s] database. It makes us wonder why. We’d like clarity and to clear it up.
“The message we’d like to get out there is we need clarification, whether it’s a mistake on the Land Development Agency’s part, or whether it is an area that they consider as a residential area, which the community would be opposed to. We need clarity. It could be something that is in line for development later on, we don’t know, and we need clarity.”
Councillor Owen Hanley explained that the fears around Merlin Woods stem from legislation currently making its way through the Oireachtas that would strip councillors of powers to veto the transfer of land to the LDA for housing projects.
The Bill would also allow Government to direct what public lands – including those owned by local authorities – can be transferred to the LDA for development of social and affordable housing.
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.