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CITY TRIBUNE

Vote validity uncertain as Council chaos reigns

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Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column with Dara Bradley 

The latest Galway City Council meeting ended in such chaos that a question mark hangs over decisions taken at the end of proceedings.
The meeting, which started at 2.30pm, was due to finish at 7pm, but midway through councillors agreed to suspend standing orders, take a tea break around 6pm-ish, and finish at 7.30pm.
This suited the Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, who had a 7.45pm function to attend afterwards; and the Fianna Fáil councillors – Mike and Ollie Crowe and Peter Keane – who had a party meeting at 8pm.
But when 7.30pm came around the Mayor, Niall McNelis, wanted to extend the meeting again by 15 minutes.
Brendan McGrath was reluctant – 15 minutes, after all, is never 15 minutes when it comes to Council meetings.
Ollie Crowe was having none of it, either.
Mayor McNelis ploughed on regardless and attempted to take notices of motions. Ollie became irate. “You said we’d finish at 7.30pm, and it’s now 7.32pm,” he roared.
Mayor McNelis was undeterred. Ollie got angrier. Just to emphasise that he was not allowing the meeting to proceed past the deadline, he stood up and put on his jacket indicating he was ‘good to go’.
“Don’t be pandering to other councillors,” Ollie told the Mayor, and reiterated that the meeting had officially ended at 7.30pm.
There was commotion on all sides of the chamber. Some councillors upped and left. Others were packing their bags readying to go. More were trying to get their notices of motion agreed. Chaos reigned.
Colette Connolly (Ind) had a motion she wanted passed, and was willing to have it voted on, without debate. No can do, said the Mayor. As a sop, he agreed to put it as the first item of the agenda of the next meeting.
The Shinners – Mark Lohan and Maireád Farrell – also had a motion, and were willing to take it without debate. This one related to the housing crisis. It wasn’t accepted, the Mayor said, but it too would be first on the agenda next time.
Interestingly, during the ruckus, Mayor McNelis managed to get a proposer and seconder to agree item eight on the agenda: approving attendances at conferences and training courses in November, for which, incidentally, councillors are reimbursed with expenses.
Leaving aside the fact that a vote approving attendance at conferences took precedence over a notice of motion about building affordable homes – which sends out all the wrong signals – the validity of that vote is now in doubt because it took place after 7.30pm, when the meeting officially ended.

CITY TRIBUNE

Cigarettes, drugs and cash seized in Galway

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Officers from the Divisional Drugs Unit seized more than €73,000 worth of cigarettes, cash and drugs after a car and residence were searched in Galway today.
As part of Operation Tara – which is targeting the sale and supply of drugs and related criminal activity in the Galway area – Gardaí  searched a car in the Knocknacarra area. Cash and cannabis were seized.

A follow up search was carried out at a residence in Salthill, where cigarettes worth €70,000, along with €3,100 in cash and a small quantity of suspected amphetamine were recovered.

No arrests were made, but Gardaí say they are following a definite line of inquiry.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Matriarch of Scotty’s Diner donates kidney to her son!

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A well-known family in the Galway restaurant trade have swapped chef whites for hospital gowns after the matriarch donated a kidney to her son.

Jenny and Andrew Ishmael, synonymous with Scotty’s Diner in Cúirt na Coiribe on the Headford Road in Terryland, are recovering in Beaumont Hospital after the marathon live donor operation.

It took place last Monday and staff are so impressed by the quick recovery of mother and son that they could be discharged as early as this weekend.

“It went really well. I’m still a bit sore. We’re still on the mend. It’s working perfectly,” says Andrew from the isolation ward of the hospital’s Kidney Centre.  “My creatine was over 1,000 when I came in and it’s already around 260.

“I felt weak after the surgery, but I could feel that bit of life in me again straight away. It’s amazing how quick it works. Mom wasn’t too great after the surgery – it was her first ever. She was quite sore, a bit iffy, but she’s good now.

“We have rooms back-to-back. We’ve been going for walks, going for breakfast together. It’s nice to spend that time together.”

Andrew – or Drew as he’s known to family and friends –  was diagnosed with kidney disease when he was just 16.

Berger’s Disease occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin builds up in the kidneys and results in inflammation, which over time, can hamper the kidneys’ ability to filter waste from the blood.

He managed the condition well for over a decade without too much impact on his life.

The son of classically trained chefs who studied together at Johnson and Wales College in Rhode Island, he grew up working in his parents’ American-style diner, trading since 1991.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

New River Corrib rescue boat to be deployed following ‘significant donation’

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The provision of a specialist rescue craft on the Corrib – upstream from the Weir – could now happen over the coming weeks or months following a ‘significant voluntary donation’ in the past few weeks, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

Water safety issues on the Corrib were highlighted last month when up to 10 rowers had to be rescued after their two boats were sucked in by the currents towards the Weir.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has launched an investigation into the circumstances of the potentially catastrophic incident which occurred around midday on Saturday, January 14.

A specialist D Class lifeboat is now being sourced as part of a multi-agency approach to try and improve emergency rescue operations upstream from the Weir which would be accessible on a 24/7 basis.

While the cost would be in the region of €40,000 to €50,000, the overall figure would rise to around €80,000 to €90,000 when specialist personnel training costs were included.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune that he was aware of a lot of work going on behind the scenes to try and get the Corrib rescue craft in place as soon as possible.

“I suppose we’re all trying to work together to ensure that a full-time rescue craft is provided on the Corrib and I believe that real progress is being made in this regard. This would be very good news for everyone,” said Mr Swan.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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