Galway

  • Counting of votes is now underway across the region and across the country.

    It will be an interesting count, following the exit poll last night which shows a three-way tie between the main parties.

    The Ipsos MRBI poll for RTÉ, TG4 and the Irish Times shows the most fractured political landscape in recent memory.

    The exit poll of more than 5,000 people shows Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil all on 22 per cent support.

    The RTÉ/Irish Time survey has the Greens on 7.9, Labour on 4.6, the Social Democrats on 3.4, Solidarity People Before Profit on 2.8 and Independents and others with 14.5 per cent of the vote.

    In Mayo, 15 candidates are seeking the 4 Dail seats  -boxes are now being opened at the TF Royal Theatre in Castlebar, where Teresa O'Malley and her team of analysts are bringing us tally results as they're available.

    Also over the course of today, tonight and into tomorrow, we will bring you all the latest from the count centres in Roscommon-Galway, Galway East, Galway West and Sligo Leitrim.

  • The Court of Appeal has been told that a dispute between a woman and her stepson over a €3.3m winning lotto ticket has been resolved.

    Last year, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys ruled that Mary Walsh of Perrsepark, Ballinasloe, Co Galway, must pay €560,000 to her stepson David Walsh of Knocknagreena, Ballinasloe,  plus his legal costs after finding her stepson was part owner of and entitled to a one-sixth share of the winning ticket purchased in Ballinasloe in January 2011.

    Mrs Walsh appealed that decision, which was opposed.

    Yesterday, Mr Walsh's senior counsel told Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the Court of Appeal that the matter had been "resolved entirely".

    It was agreed there would be no order for costs and the plaintiff's High Court claim would be struck out.

    No other details of the settlement, which are understood to be confidential, were given to the court.

    In his action Mr Walsh sued his stepmother Mrs Walsh, and argued he was entitled to his share -approximately €560,000 - on the grounds that his signature was among six that were written on the back of the winning ticket. 

    He had claimed his late father had told him, shortly after the win, he would be looked after and would not have to worry about money again, but he claimed he did not get his share.

    Mrs Walsh, who was married to Mr Walsh's late father Peter who died in December 2011, denied this and had argued that the ticket was hers.

    Last year in his judgment, following a seven-day hearing, Mr Justice Humphreys rejected Mrs Walsh's arguments and found in favour of Mr Walsh.

     

     

  • A creche in Co Galway has been closed, following an outbreak of E-coli.

    The creche in the Dunmore area has been temporarily closed after three children were diagnosed with a serious form of gastroenteritis last week, while a further four cases have been detected this week.

    Two of the young children involved are being treated in hospital in Dublin, where it's understood they were placed on dialysis.

    The HSE says an investigation into the cause of the outbreak is continuing.

    It is understood that both staff and children at the facility have taken ill. All are being monitored and will not be allowed into other childcare centres until tests show they are completely free of infection and pose no risk to others.

     

     

  • 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.

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    The Department of Justice has confirmed plans to lease 35 properties in Galway city centre to house asylum seekers.

    The apartments and town houses are located on Dominick Street and on Munster Avenue.

    It's understood the  properties in question have been used for student accommodation and short term tourist rental purposes in the past.

    The Department has agreed to lease the units for an initial duration of two years.

    Comprising 30 apartments and five town houses, the "Own-Door Accommodation Centre" in Galway will open this week.

    The one and two bedroom units all have separate front doors and are fully self contained with kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms.

    When full, the units will house in the region of 140 people.

    Families will be moved into the new centre on a phased basis over the coming days - from a Direct provision centre in Galway.

     

     

     

     

  • 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.