Galway

  • Cura, the Catholic agency that assists women dealing with crisis pregnancies, is to close today (Friday).

    The agency, which was founded in 1977 by the late Bishop of Elphin Christopher Jones, has offices in Galway and Sligo.

    Cura says it has been reviewing its situation since 2015, and will close its offices and helpline services from today - 15th June.

    The agency employs two fulltime and 14 part-time staff with over 70 counsellors proving services to clients at about 30 locations nationwide - many on a voluntary basis.

    In a statement, Cura said it was one of just two agencies providing advice on crisis pregnancies when it was set up in 1977.

    Today, there are 14 various services operating in a new regulatory environment.

    It said the decision was further reinforced by a recent announcement by the Health Minister Simon Harris on regulation the counselling and psychotherapy professions.

    Cura has extended thanks to their many volunteers and supporters, and says that, since records were collected in 1996, Cura has provided over 163,000 counselling sessions to clients.

  • The Dail will vote today to approve a cabinet re-shuffle by the Taoiseach.

    Richard Bruton will be confirmed as the new Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

    Donegal's Joe McHugh will become the Minister for Education and Séan Kyne from Galway West will take up the role of Government Chief Whip.

    While Independent Galway East TD Sean Canney is set to become a junior minister.

    The changes follow the resignation of Communications Minister Denis Naughten last week.

     

     

  • Three-time All Star Damien Hayes has retired from hurling after helping his club Portumna retain their status in the top flight of Galway hurling at the weekend.

    The 37-year-old played for the Tribesmen for 14 years and retired after the 2014 campaign, but he continued for another 5 seasons with his native Portumna, who won their first senior title in 2003.

    Damien Hayes won 27 senior titles in 21 seasons - including six Galway senior hurling championship crowns, four All-Ireland titles as well as All-Ireland Sevens, Connacht championships, county leagues and minor wins.

     

     

  • Thousands of people across the region will be up before dawn tomorrow morning for the annual Darkness Into Light walks.

    Over 5,000 people in Mayo took part in the event last year, to raise funds for suicide prevention.

    The pre-dawn walks get underway at 4.15am at 9 locations across Co Mayo - in Achill, Ballina, Castlebar, Clare Island, Claremorris, Belmullet, Inisturk, Swinford and Westport.

    Four walks are planned in Co Roscommon - in Ballaghadereen, Boyle, Castlerea and Roscommon Town, with four also in Sligo - in Ballymote, Banada, Dromore West and Sligo Town, and walks will take place at 18 locations across Co Galway.

     

    Darkness Into Light is the annual fundraising and awareness event for Pieta House, which now has 15 centres across Ireland, offering free counselling to those with suicidal tendencies and people engaging in self-harm.

    Pieta also operates a Suicide Bereavement Counselling Service for people and families bereaved by suicide, and also operates a free 24-hour suicide helpline on 1800 247 247.

     

     

     

     

  • Davy Fitzgerald has committed his future to the Wexford senior hurlers.

    The Clare man will take charge of the Model County for a further two years.

    Fitzgerald guided Wexford to the Leinster Championship title this summer.

    He was the subject of reported interest from Galway.

  • A team from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group is examining a dead sperm whale which has beached at Streedagh in Co Sligo.

    The whale, which is about 12 metres long, is one of three which washed ashore from counties Galway to Donegal in the past week.

    A spokesman for the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group says it's very unusual to have this number of beached sperm whales in a small geographic area in a short space of time.

    The whale will undergo a post mortem to try to determine how it died and see if there is a common link with the other beached whales.

    Staff from Sligo County Council are at the beach with diggers to assist the operation, and are currently examining what options are available regarding the disposal of the whale.

    On Sunday, a sperm whale was discovered washed ashore in Mace Head near Carna in Connemara, while last week another sperm whale was washed up in Co Donegal.

     

  • The death has taken place of legendary Galway personality Michael 'Chick' Gillen at the age of 87.

    Chick is best known as the founder of the Olympic Boxing Club in Galway in 1988, being the coach of Olympic flag bearer Francie Barrett at Atlanta 1996 and running a successful barber shop on Dominick Street for almost 50 years.

    Chick himself was a Connacht champion boxer and went on to train 28 national champions.

  • Debenhams Irish operation is going into liquidation, causing major job losses at its Galway City Store.

    2,000 jobs will be lost in its 11 stores across the country, according to the Mandate trade union.

    The union says the company suspended trading due to the Covid 19 pandemic and confirmed to staff in a letter today that the shops are not expected to reopen.

  • The Department of Justice last night described the death of a transgender woman in a direct provision centre in Galway as unexplained.

    The woman is believed to be from Africa.

    The exact circumstances of the woman's death are unclear but the Department of Justice confirmed she fell ill at the direct provision centre.  A spokeserson says a post mortem examination is due to take place and until results are known the department will make no further statement.

    Two LGBT resource centres in Galway, Amach and Teach Solais, have issued a statement of condolence describing the woman as a 'great friend'. 

    The Transgender Equality Network says it has been in contact with Gardai and relevant authorities to offer assistance if needed.

    In a statement, the Green Party has claimed the woman came to Ireland legally seeking asylum and described the death as a tragedy

     

  • Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne TD, has announced today that his Department has reached agreement with Galway Aviation Services Limited (trading as Aer Arann Islands) in relation to the Aran Islands air service and Connemara Airport.

    Under this arrangement, Heads of Agreement setting out a process under which negotiations can proceed with regard to the potential purchase of Connemara Airport by the Department, has been signed by both parties.

    The contract under which the airport is made available for the provision of the air service has been extended up until September 2021 and Aer Arann Islands has agreed to continue providing the air service up until 20 December 2018.  These agreements will allow both parties to conclude the above-mentioned negotiations in the months ahead.  Also during this period, the Department will immediately issue a Request for Tender for interim service, under a contract which will operate from 21st December 2018 to 30th September 2019.  A further tender process to award a four-year contract will be undertaken while this short-term contract is in operation.

  • Galway deputy Hildegarde Naughten has stepped aside from an Oireachtas committee examining the votegate controversy.

    The investigation is examining complaints about TDs voting for members who were not in the chamber at the time.

    The Fine Gael deouty recused herself from the investigation on legal advice.

    She admitted to voting on behalf of another TD while they were in the Dáil chamber.

  • The tragic death of a man on the grounds of Galway City Council is the second death of a homeless person in Galway city in the space of ten months and is a stark indictment of government policy, according to Galway West Independent deputy Catherine Connolly.

    The deputy told Midwest News today that these deaths are not inevitable and are a direct consequence of the housing crisis which is the result of the policy of this government and the previous Fine Gael/Labour government.

    Deputy Connolly says in Galway there are housing applicants waiting since 2002 on the housing list with no prospect of a local authority house any time soon, there is  a lack of housing falling within HAP thresholds, an unregulated Air B&B market gobbling up houses; and not a single social house constructed between 2009 and the first quarter of 2018, and then only 14 houses coming on stream.

    In view of the scale of the crisis, the Minister for Housing must not only visit Galway, as called for by the Mayor Of Galway today Labour Cllr Niall McNelis in the wake of yesterday’s death, but rather deputy Connolly says the Minister  must have an urgent meeting with the local authorities with a view to rolling out an urgent housing construction plan.

  • A design team has been appointed for the proposed  new 50 bed HSE residential care home in Tuam. That’s according to local Fianna Fail councillor Daragh Killalea. The councillor is a member of the HSE West Forum and earlier this week he raised progress on the facility with HSE management.

    Afterwards councillor Killalea told Midwest News that the HSE acknowledged the generous gift of the late Joe O’Toole, a business man in Tuam, and his family in progressing this 7 million euro development.

  • A design team has been appointed to a project in Clifden that will see a new 50-bed unit replace the Clifden District Hospital and St Anne's Community Nursing Home.

    The new unit will be built at the site of the existing hospital and nursing home, and will provide for a ten-bed dementia specific unit, according to Galway West Fianna Fail TD Eamon O'Cuiv.

    He's welcomed confirmed that a design team has now been appointed for the new unit in Clifden, but says the overspend on the National Children's Hospital must not result in a delay to other projects needed urgently outside of Dublin.

     

     

  • Irish Water says a Do Not Use water notice, which was put in place earlier this week for a number of businesses at the Liosbaun Industrial Estate in Galway has now been lifted.

    The alert was issued earlier this week for 40 businesses in the Kilkerrin Park section of the estate as a precaution, following the accidental break of a sewer and watermain located in close proximity to each other which may have resulted in contamination of the drinking water supply.

    Following consultation with the HSE, Irish Water has now lifted the notice and says the issue has been resolved.

     

  • A Do Not Use notice has been issued on the water supply in a section of the Liosbaun Industrial estate in Galway city.

    Irish Water has issued a Do Not Use notice for 40 commercial properties located in the Kilkerrin Park section of Liosbaun Industrial Estate as a precaution, following the accidental break of a sewer and watermain located near each other, which may have resulted in contamination of the drinking water supply.

    All impacted customers have been contacted directly, and no other part of the industrial estate or Galway city are affected.

     

     

  • Dog owners in the Mayo/Galway area are being warned to keep their dogs safe, following reports that a number of dogs have been poisoned and died due to alga scum.

    Some algae can develop on the surface of ponds and lakes can produce toxins that can be fatal to dogs.

    The blue-green algae can sometimes wash-up or accumulate on shorelines and in humans can cause skin rashes and illnesses.

    According to The Journal.ie, the algae is more common during the calm summer weather and following the deaths of a number of dogs in the Mayo/Galway region, investigations were carried out into whether algae was to blame.

    It is understood that autopsies carried out on the dogs were inconclusive in determining whether algae was to blame for the harm to dogs.

    The EPA has said the algae can pose a danger to animals and pointed to a previously confirmed incident when a dog died in 2016 from eating algae.

    Dog owners are being advised to take a number of precautions – if dogs encounter algae, hose them down to prevent them from cleaning their coats, feed and water a dog before a trip to a lake to reduce the chance of consuming algae, toxins in the algae are fast acting, so if a dog encounters an accumulation, owners are being told to inform a vet as soon as possible and when presenting to a vet, photos of the algae are useful as are notes of the dog’s activities.

  • The DPP has appealed the sentence handed down to a drunk driver who killed a pedestrian and injured two Gardaí.

    Adrian Nestor from Keamsella, Kilcolgan, Co. Galway was given 240 hours community service instead of a four year prison sentence.

    In the early hours of Feb 1st 2016, two Gardaí found 66 year old Liam McDonnell on a stretch of the N18 in Ardrahan, Co. Galway.

    He'd been reported missing from a nearby nursing home and they were trying to get him into a patrol car when Adrian Nestor crashed into them.

    Mr. McDonnell was pronounced dead at the scene and the two Gardaí were hospitalised.

    Mr. Nestor later admitted being drunk behind the wheel and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and serious injury.

    Mr. McDonnell's widow didn't want him to go to jail and he was sentenced to 240 hours of community service in lieu of a four year prison term.

    The DPP has now appealed that decision accusing the judge of taking the mitigating factors into account not once but twice thereby "double discounting"

    Counsel for Mr. Nestor claimed what the judge did was "reasonable" given the circumstances.

    A judgement is due to be delivered tomorrow week.

     

     

  • A Co Galway Parish is offering locals drive thru ashes once again this Ash Wednesday.

    St. Patrick's Church in Glenamaddy is making receiving the blessing easier for people in the area.

    Parishioners can drive their car, bike, truck or tractor into the church grounds this morning to receive their ashes from the local priest or a volunteer.

     

     

  • A motorist in Co Galway was caught driving at 113 km an hour in an 80 km zone last Friday, during the Garda National Slow Down Day which took place over a 24-hour period.

    In total, Gardai and GoSafe checkted over 132,000 vehicles, and found 211 were driving over the permitted speed limit.

     

    In the West of Ireland, a driver was found travelling at 113 km and hour in an 80 km zone at Aughrim in Co Galway,while in Mayo, a driver was caught driving at 93 km an hour in an 80 km zone at Cartron, Kiltimagh.

    In Sligo, a motorist was caught doing 119 km an hour in a 100 km zone on the N4 at Knoxspark, Ballisodare.

     

    Gardai are reminding drivers to think about the consequences of speeding the next time they get behind the wheel, and reduce speed accordingly.