Christmas holidays

  • Castlebar is reviving an old Christmas tradition this year, that had been lost for some years now, in an effort to raise funds for the Mayo Roscommon Hospice.

    The Waits, started almost 150 years ago in Castlebar, was a group of people walking through the town’s streets late at night in the run up to Christmas, calling out the names of all the Castlebar families.

    Well known Waits participant/cryer in the recent past was Stephen Guthrie who will reprise his traditional role at 8pm on Saturday 20th December when he will cry out names from Rush street to Ellison St.

    Michael Baynes, Tourism Officer for Castlebar, told Midwest News that in the past the Waits tradition was part of the magic of Christmas.

  • The Human Resource (HR) department of Galway University Hospital is not computerised and as a result the HSE West executive said it had not got the resources available, to answer a direct question submitted by Galway Fine Gael councillor Padraig Conneely to a recent HSE West Forum meeting.

    The councillor asked how many medics and nurses were on leave in UHG and Merlin Park hospitals during the festive season last year(2017), and  are scheduled to be off this Christmas (2019).

    In response to Cllr Conneely, Ann Cosgrove, Chief operating Officer for Saolta University Health Care Group said to provide the answer, all rosters for the Christmas and New Year period last year would have to be manually reviewed and she said that was not feasible.

    The councillor said in this modern age of computers he found it difficult to believe that someone could not press a computer key and get details of the number of staff on duty in any given day in both hospitals.

    However, Ms Cosgrove said HR at the hospitals is not computerised. She said she wished it was but the reality is that it is not.

    She added that the rosters for this Christmas period are still being prepared.

    Councillor Conneely  told Midwest News that he is astounded by this response.