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Turfcutters protest at Galway courthouse as trial date fixed for December

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A group of protestors carrying placards and banners staged a peaceful protest near the steps of Galway Courthouse again today, in support of four men facing trial in December for allegedly cutting turf in protected bogs in south Galway last year.

The men are the first to be prosecuted since the EU habitats directive imposed restrictions on turf cutting on 53 Irish bogs, which are designated Special Areas of Conservation.

Michael D’Arcy (43) from Ballycahill, Killimor, Padraic Byrne (57) from Main Street, Killimor, Pat McDonagh (43) from Portumna and Tony Porter (44) from Woodford, face prosecution under the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011, in relation to alleged turf cutting at Clonmoylan Bog, near Killimor in south Galway on May 22nd, 23rd, and August 21st last year.

In court today, the men’s solicitor, Gearoid Geraghty said there would be three separate trials as there were three separate alleged incidents on three separate dates and each would take two to three days.

Mr Justice Raymond Groake listed the matter for trial on December 17.

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Gardai Urge Motorists In Galway to exercise “Extreme” Caution as Weather Warning is extended

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Gardai have advised motorists in the county to exercise extreme caution if making an essential journey today due to icy conditions.

The National Status Yellow snow/ice warning that was due to be lifted at midday has been extended until 7pm

Met Eireann says icy stretches, sleet and snow will remain throughout the day with reports of dangerous road conditions in several parts of the county.

Extreme caution is advised around Clifden and on the N59 between there and Maam Cross after snowfall last night which led to some cars being stranded.

The forecaster has also issued a Status Yellow low temperature warning, which will take effect from 7pm and run until 10 tomorrow morning.

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Shortage of ICU Beds as figures show a drop in Covid 19 Cases in Galway Hospitals but an increase in those needing treatment in ICU

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – A critical shortage of ICU beds are reported in Hospitals in Galway following yesterday evening’s figures released by the HSE.

At 8pm yesterday evening, there were 116 cases in Galway University Hospital and 8 in Portiuncla Hospital Ballinasloe.

Of that number, 18 are in ICU in Galway and 3 in Portiuncula with only two Critical Care beds available in the county. Both at Galway University Hospital.

According to last night’s figures, there are currently none available in Portiuncula Hospital.

The head of the HSE says that nationally, 650 people with Covid-19 are now receiving levels of critical care in hospital.

Paul Reid says 214 patients are in ICU and 436 are on advanced respiratory support.

He says healthcare teams are battling to hold the levels of care and to save lives.

Meanwhile

The Chief Medical Officer says we’re starting to flatten the curve of Covid-19 infection.

However, Dr Tony Holohan says people must avoid meeting others.

The number of new Covid-19 cases has fallen to 1,910 and the 14 day incidence rate has also dropped to 955.5.

But 77 more people have died.

In Galway City and County, the news showed an improvement in Galway’s Incidence Rate figures on previous days with a reported number of 914.9 and 74 cases.

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Cathaoirleach says that Mother and Baby Homes Report will be first item discussed at Monday’s Council meeting

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council James Charity has confirmed that the Mother and Baby Homes report will be the first matter to be discussed at Monday’s council meeting in Corrandulla.

In the Dail this week, the council was criticised for a lack of urgency in addressing its historic links with the Tuam mother and baby home.

Junior Minister and Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte told the Dáil this week that she was ‘horrified’ to see the matter was way down the list of items on Monday’s agenda.

However, despite it being number eight on the agenda, Catherlioch of Galway County Council James Charity today told Galway Bay FM news that it was always going to be the first item discussed at Monday’s meeting.

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