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Twister on Galway Bay a fake

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JULY 2013 will be fondly remembered for its double dip heatwave but the torrential downpours of recent days has meant that rainfall for the month was well above the average in Galway.

The NUI Galway Automatic Weather Recording Station shows rainfall for July coming in at 106mms. or 4.17 inches, as compared to the average for the month of 77mms. or just over 3 inches.

However, reports yesterday of a tornado over Galway Bay have turned out to be untrue – a photo purporting to show a ‘twister’ on the water was a joke that went viral on the internet, the Galway City Tribune has established.

While the rainfall has been welcomed by the city’s green fingered ranks, its timing for the Galway Races could not have been worse with downpours impacting severely on Plate and Hurdle Day crowds.

The NUIG Weather Station yesterday recorded rainfall of over 17mms. for the three hour period from 12 noon to 3pm, coinciding with the start of racing on Ladies Day.

 “It was an unusual weather month We had a fantastic three week period that brought us heatwave conditions for a time but the rains have really bucketed down over recent days,” said weather recorder, Brendan Geraghty.

 The heatwave brought us our hottest day since 1976, when a high of 29.7°C was recorded on Saturday, July 20.

Meanwhile, a photo showing a tornado over Galway Bay off Salthill went viral on the internet yesterday, both on established sites like RTE’s and the Irish Independent’s as well as on social media like Facebook . . . but it’s a hoax!

It was a joke cooked up by chef Michael O’Meara of Oscars Bistro, Dominick Street, who photoshopped an image of the Bay with an image of a tornado from the internet.

“It was just a bit of fun – I never thought it would take off so much,” he told the Galway City  Tribune. “There had been warnings about the possibilities of tornados  so I went out Salthill today just when it was beginning to rain and took a shot over the Bay, then I took a clipping off the internet of a tornado and put it up on our Facebook page

“But it’s gone completely ballistic – one site had 40,000 ‘shares’ the  last time I looked,” he laughed.

For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
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.

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