Tuam will soon be home to a €40 million health campus employing around 300 full-time and part-time staff.
When all of the developments are complete within the next few years, the campus located on the twelve-acre Grove Hospital site will have a primary care centre, ambulance base, mental day hospital and a community nursing home.
It will represent an investment of more than €40 million in health services in Tuam that began with the opening of the ambulance base two years ago while the Primary Care Centre opened its doors last December.
The new Primary Care Centre will serve a population of over 20,000 people and the services provided include public health nurses, community general nurses, a physiotherapist, dieticians and occupational therapists and they will work in conjunction with local GPs.
The centre will also accommodate around 10,000 x-rays each year – eliminating trips to Galway city for such a service – while it is also the base for the out-of-hours GP service Westdoc.
The next phase of the development involves the renovation of the old Grove Hospital building for the provision of a mental day hospital along with a disability unit.
Planning permission has been secured for this development to proceed and it is expected that works will commence very shortly.
Meanwhile, a millionaire philanthropist has offered to provide a whopping €7 million for the development of a 50 community nursing home on the same site – making it a ‘one stop shop’ for health services in the region.
The businessman will provide the funding once the HSE have a commitment from the Department of Health that the additional monies to build the €12 million nursing home are forthcoming.
“The town has all the health services, bar a mainstream hospital, within the one campus and there is no town of its size across the country that can boast such facilities,” said Deputy Sean Canney.
The Galway East TD said that it was his understanding Tuam will now have the biggest health campus outside any of the major cities as well as providing upwards of 300 jobs.
“While I appreciate that the vast majority of these jobs are not new but it is something similar to Tuam being the beneficiary of a major decentralisation programme.
“As well as the town getting some of the best medical facilities, it will have a huge economic spin-off for Tuam. The fact that 10,000 x-rays will be carried out in the Tuam will be of huge benefit,” Deputy Canney added.
Works are soon to commence on the mental day hospital. This is to provide a mental health services facility, an early intervention and disability services facility and shared services for the HSE West.
It is proposed to carry out the works in two phases. The first phase will involve the part demolition of a two-storey extension that was constructed in the 1960s and the refurbishment of the ground floor and first floor of the existing hospital building.
Shannon back in full flight!
There was a festive atmosphere at Shannon Airport this week as the inaugural Ryanair Corfu service prepared to take flight – ahead of another new service to Gran Canaria, which begins this week.
The new route to the popular Greek Island will operate twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays until the end of October, and the new weekly Ryanair service to Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) begins this Saturday.
All of this means that Shannon Airport is now serving Alicante, Barcelona, Stansted, Gatwick, Kaunas, Krakow, Wroclaw, Warsaw, Manchester, Corfu, Faro, Lanzarote, Malaga, Palma, Tenerife, Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) and Turin.
Passengers on the first Corfu-bound flight enjoyed a pre-departure reception in the airport’s transit lounge which was decorated in festive style.
To celebrate the new routes, the airport gave one lucky passenger a special surprise, return flight tickets for two people to a choice of one of Shannon Airport’s 17 exciting destinations.
A special water cannon salute by the airport’s fire service added an extra sense of occasion as airport staff welcomed passengers and looked after them throughout their time in the airport.
Welcoming the new air services Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group, which owns and manages Shannon Airport said: “The global pandemic has had a huge impact on all our lives and being able to once again welcome our passengers as they take to the skies bound for sun drenched holiday destinations is really wonderful.
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Pixies slot proves time is now for the Clockworks
Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell
When Pixies were announced as Galway International Arts Festival headliners way back in 2019, a promising Loughrea four-piece were fresh from relocating to London and bullishly embracing their role as the new faces of former Oasis manager Alan McGee’s Creation 23 record label.
Two years on, the US alt-rock pioneers are yet to grace the Big Top – but the Clockworks, made up of James McGregor, Tom Freeman, Seán Connolly and Damian Greaney, are set to make a US debut in their company with a series of support slots that cement their place as one of Galway’s biggest artistic exports.
In less than six weeks’ time, Pixies will embark on a September tour of the states with the Clockworks by their side for six gigs. The Galway group play their own maiden headline US show in New York’s Mercury Loung on September 8.
On their horizon too, is an end-of-year Irish tour with Dublin indie-rock outfit Inhaler as well as a host of festival appearances, barring cancellations.
With news of the Pixies tour coming in the same week NewDad were announced as support for Fontaines D.C.’s highly anticipated Belfast show on August 13, it is powerful evidence of the ground Galway acts continue to break.
“It’s very exciting to have loads of gigs lined up after absolutely nothing for so long,” James admits.
“It’s really nice to feel like we’re going to hit the ground running and when Pixies came through, that was just amazing and what a way to start. It’s our first time gigging in America – my first time going there personally.
“All four of us are massive fans of Pixies too. Any time they’d come to Ireland, we’d always try and throw our hat in the ring for a support slot and just to think that now we’ll be going around the States with them is insane.”
Read the full interview in this week’s Groove Tube, in the Connacht Tribune – on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital version from www.connachttribune.ie
All out in force to cheer home one of their own
Sitting on an airplane, mid-air from Japan en route to Dublin, Olympic bronze medallist from Moycullen, Fiona Murtagh was unsure whether anyone would be at the airport to meet her and teammates Aifric Keogh of Na Forbacha, Eimear Lambe and Emily Hegarty when they touched down.
Because of Covid-19 restrictions, there was no big welcoming party planned for Dublin Airport. But Fiona need not have worried; as she strode out of airport security and into Arrivals, all her family were there to hug her.
Fiona hadn’t seen her parents Marguerite and Noel since April because of a pre-Olympic training camp in Italy; and her siblings Pádraig, Lorraine and twin Alan all turned up, too.
“Oh my God, I couldn’t believe it. It was actually really emotional, it was so lovely. I didn’t expect the full family to be there. Tears came to my eyes. I hadn’t seen mom and my dad in seven weeks,” said Fiona.
That was just the first leg of what was to be a heart-warming homecoming for a hero.
The family drove back to Galway with Fiona, who had heard “through the grapevine that there was going to be something in Bushypark”.
“But the scale of it, I didn’t expect it at all, it was incredible, it was so lovely to see everyone come out and support and see me”, she said.
Read the full story over eleven pages of coverage on the homecoming of our Olympic heroes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie