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Almost half of local garda stations not connected to PULSE



The Minister for Justice has revealed that almost half of all Garda stations in the Galway are not connected to the PULSE computer system.

The news comes in the same week that it was revealed there are four Garda Stations in County Galway that no longer have a Garda permanently assigned to them.

Minister Frances Fitzgerald has admitted that 24 out of the 46 Garda stations – right across the county – have no access to PULSE.

The figures were released to Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Anne Rabbitte, who said this week that she was shocked by revelation.

“The fact that only half of Garda stations in the county are connected to PULSE is extremely worrying.  This is the Gardaí’s primary method of recording information and evidence and is an essential tool in the fight against crime,” she said.

Among the stations without access to PULSE are Corrandulla, Monivea, Killimor, Woodford, Eyrecourt, Kilrickle, Ardrahan, Ballygar, Ahascragh, Kilconnell, Kiltormer, Moylough, Williamstown, Milltown, Glenamaddy and Corofin.

Connemara stations without access include Recess, Letterfrack, Maam, Roundstone, Ros Muc, Indreabhán, Leitir Móir and Cill Rónáin on the Aran Islands.

“The majority of these stations are in rural areas – many of these communities have seen marked decreases in Garda numbers and are fearful about crime levels.  These latest revelations will do nothing to appease their concerns,” said Deputy Rabbitte.

“The point of a national system is to have all stations feeding their data in so that a national picture of the incidences of crime can be monitored, and remedial action, in terms of resourcing and planning, can be taken.

“The Minister must work with the Garda management to ensure all of our stations are feeding into the PULSE system as quickly as possible,” she added.

Meanwhile there are four Garda Stations in County Galway that no longer have a Garda permanently assigned to them.

The four unmanned rural Garda Stations include Kiltormer, Ardrahan, Corofin and Milltown; Corofin lost its permanent Garda since 2015.

The stations are policed by Gardaí from neighbouring stations.

The figures were released to the Ireland edition of The Times, an online sister publication of the Sunday Times.

An Garda Síochána had resisted releasing information about staffing levels at each station across the country, following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from The Times.

However, it provided a breakdown of the number of Gardaí at each of the 564 stations in Ireland after being directed to do so by the Information Commission.

The figures reveal that some seven per cent of all Garda stations nationally, or 37 out of 564, no longer have a permanent Garda assigned to them and are policed by officers from other stations.

The four unmanned Garda stations in Galway are in addition to the ten that were closed a few years ago.

In 2013, the Government closed the doors on ten Garda stations in the county.

The closed stations were Ballymoe and Kilconly in the Tuam District; Kilchreest, Kilcolgan and Shanaglish in the former Gort District, which is now downgraded; Kiltullagh in the Galway District; Leenane in the Clifden District; Menlough in the Ballinasloe District; and New Inn and Tynagh in the Loughrea District.

The cost of maintaining County Galway’s network of shut-down rural Garda stations amounts to nearly twice as much as the savings accrued from the closures.

The Government confirmed the net-cost to the Exchequer of maintaining the 10 rural Garda stations that were closed in Galway in 2013 is €3,000 per station per year.

The Department of Justice has confirmed that the annual saving arising from the closure of 139 Garda stations in 2013 is €4,000 per Garda station. But the Office of Public Works (OPW) has conceded that it is spending some €7,000 per station every year to maintain the closed buildings.

Connacht Tribune

West has lower cancer survival rates than rest



Significant state investment is required to address ‘shocking’ inequalities that leave cancer patients in the West at greater risk of succumbing to the disease.

A meeting of Regional Health Forum West heard that survival rates for breast, lung and colorectal cancers than the national average, and with the most deprived quintile of the population, the West’s residents faced poorer outcomes from a cancer diagnosis.

For breast cancer patients, the five-year survival rate was 80% in the West versus 85% nationally; for lung cancer patients it was 16.7% in the west against a 19.5% national survival rate; and in the West’s colorectal cancer patients, there was a 62.6% survival rate where the national average was 63.1%.

These startling statistics were provided in answer to a question from Ballinasloe-based Cllr Evelyn Parsons (Ind) who said it was yet another reminder that cancer treatment infrastructure in the West was in dire need of improvement.

“The situation is pretty stark. In the Western Regional Health Forum area, we have the highest incidence of deprivation and the highest health inequalities because of that – we have the highest incidences of cancer nationally because of that,” said Cllr Parsons, who is also a general practitioner.

In details provided by CEO of Saolta Health Care Group, which operates Galway’s hospitals, it was stated that a number of factors were impacting on patient outcomes.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Marathon Man plans to call a halt – but not before he hits 160 races



Loughrea’s Marathon Man Jarlath Fitzgerald.

On the eve of completing his 150th marathon, an odyssey that has taken him across 53 countries, Loughrea’s Marathon Man has announced that he is planning to hang up his running shoes.

But not before Jarlath Fitzgerald completes another ten races, making it 160 marathons on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

“I want to draw the line in 2026. I turn 57 in October and when I reach 60 it’s the finishing line. The longer races are taking it out of me. I did 20 miles there two weeks ago and didn’t feel good. It’s getting harder,” he reveals.

“I’ve arthritis in both hips and there’s wear and tear in the knees.”

We speak as he is about to head out for a run before his shift in Supervalu Loughrea. Despite his physical complaints, he still clocks up 30 miles every second week and generally runs four days a week.

Jarlath receives injections to his left hip to keep the pain at bay while running on the road.

To give his joints a break, during the winter he runs cross country and often does a five-mile trek around Kylebrack Wood.

He is planning on running his 150th marathon in Cork on June 4, where a group of 20 made up of work colleagues, friends and running mates from Loughrea Athletics Club will join him.

Some are doing the 10k, others are doing the half marathon, but all will be there on the finishing line to cheer him on in the phenomenal achievement.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Galway ‘masterplan’ needed to tackle housing and transport crises



From the Galway City Tribune – An impassioned plea for a ‘masterplan’ that would guide Galway City into the future has been made in the Dáil. Galway West TD Catherine Connolly stated this week that there needed to be an all-inclusive approach with “vision and leadership” in order to build a sustainable city.

Deputy Connolly spoke at length at the crisis surrounding traffic and housing in Galway city and said that not all of the blame could be laid at the door of the local authority.

She said that her preference would be the provision of light rail as the main form of public transport, but that this would have to be driven by the government.

“I sat on the local council for 17 years and despaired at all of the solutions going down one road, metaphorically and literally. In 2005 we put Park & Ride into the development plan, but that has not been rolled out. A 2016 transport strategy was outdated at the time and still has not been updated.

“Due to the housing crisis in the city, a task force was set up in 2019. Not a single report or analysis has been published on the cause of the crisis,” added Deputy Connolly.

She then referred to a report from the Land Development Agency (LDA) that identified lands suitable for the provision of housing. But she said that two-thirds of these had significant problems and a large portion was in Merlin Park University Hospital which, she said, would never have housing built on it.

In response, Minister Simon Harris spoke of the continuing job investment in the city and also in higher education, which is his portfolio.

But turning his attention to traffic congestion, he accepted that there were “real issues” when it came to transport, mobility and accessibility around Galway.

“We share the view that we need a Park & Ride facility and I understand there are also Bus Connects plans.

“I also suggest that the City Council reflect on her comments. I am proud to be in a Government that is providing unparalleled levels of investment to local authorities and unparalleled opportunities for local authorities to draw down,” he said.

Then Minister Harris referred to the controversial Galway City Outer Ring Road which he said was “struck down by An Bord Pleanála”, despite a lot of energy having been put into that project.

However, Deputy Connolly picked up on this and pointed out that An Bord Pleanála did not say ‘No’ to the ring road.

“The High Court said ‘No’ to the ring road because An Bord Pleanála acknowledged it failed utterly to consider climate change and our climate change obligations.

“That tells us something about An Bord Pleanála and the management that submitted such a plan.”

In the end, Minister Harris agreed that there needed to be a masterplan for Galway City.

“I suggest it is for the local authority to come up with a vision and then work with the Government to try to fund and implement that.”

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