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CITY TRIBUNE

We’re all angry, but can we agree to pay student nurses?

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

Everyone is impacted by the country’s move to Level 5. And everyone is angry at Lockdown 2.

The GAA. Publicans. The hospitality and entertainment sector. Airlines. Theatres. Cinemas. Hairdressers. Gym users. Gym owners. Non-essential retail. Brides-to-be. Grooms-to-be. Funeral-home directors. Mass goers. House party-goers. Off-licences. Cancer patients. Patients on hospital waiting-lists. Pensioners. Landlords. Students. Renters. Young people. Older people. Middle-aged people. Women. Men. Children.

All constrained. All complaining. All angry. And they all have valid reasons to be.

Heck, even sectors of society that are open aren’t happy.

Teachers. Builders. Bus drivers. Gardaí. Supermarket workers. An Post staff. Meat factory workers. Some elite senior inter-county GAA players.

They’re all wondering are they safe. Those still in jobs are overworked. Those without them, and who lost jobs this week, fret about Christmas costs, mortgage repayments and keeping the wolf from their door.

Whether you supporter tighter lockdown restrictions or not, nobody wants them. It’s true that most people will answer ‘yes’ when asked by pollsters if they agree that Level 5 restrictions were necessary.

But nobody actually wants curbs on their freedoms. Everyone is aggrieved by the protective measures. Some are more aggrieved than others, and some are more inconvenienced by them than others. One boozer’s Dry November is another nail in the coffin of someone’s boozer, and livelihood.

What everyone wants is to go back to normal. Or something resembling normal. And if Level 5 for six weeks is what it takes, then most will suck it up. Reluctantly. Because we’re told it will save lives.

It’s difficult to create a hierarchy of the most put-upon. Are those living in Direct Provision worse off than mostly-foreign workers in meat factories? The GAA can have a senior inter-county championship, but safe gyms can’t open. Sporty children can train in pods of 15 outdoors but kids with other interests can’t go the library, or Irish dancing, or speech and drama.

Another lockdown is sh*t. Those bar staff or publicans who have, perhaps, pulled their last pint know it. The minor or U20 inter-county hurlers and footballers, whose season has been postponed, indefinitely, know it. The teachers living in fear that the 30 children in their class could infect them know it.

We all know it. But do you know who really knows it? Student nurses.

Student nurses and midwives on placements in our hospitals get either nothing or a €50 allowance per week. They are effectively asked to do the same job as staff nurses, without reward but with similar Covid-19 risks.

They can’t supplement their income while on placement by working in nursing homes, because of the risk of cross-infection. In Lockdown 1, we paid them healthcare assistant salaries. It didn’t break the bank. We should do it again. Immediately. Channel your anger at that exploitation, not at each other.
(Photo shows a nurses’ strike outside UHG last year)
For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

CITY TRIBUNE

WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!

Enda Cunningham

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Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.

A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.

Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.

Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down. 

The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.

Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.

However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.

“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.

Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.

“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.

There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
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

Council removes ‘shop local’ signage despite agreement with Latin Quarter

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Signage promoting a ‘eat, drink and shop local’ campaign, erected by a local business group, was removed by the Galway City Council – despite an understanding that permission had been granted.

The bilingual signage was placed on a number of solar compactor bins and bollard-control boxes in the city centre by the Latin Quarter business group, in an attempt to promote local businesses grappling with the effects of Covid-19.

A source in the group told the Galway City Tribune that the signage cost around €3,500 and that permission to erect it had been given by a ‘senior Council official’.

The signs were put up in mid-October but only lasted around two weeks when City Hall’s Environment Department had them removed, claiming that they had not been consulted.

“There was clearly a breakdown in communications in City Hall because we had permission from a senior official to proceed, and then the Environment Department took issue with the signs and insisted that they had to be removed,” said the source.

A Council spokesperson said they were currently in discussions with the Latin Quarter to provide promotional material and added “there’s been no falling out here”.
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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