Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us


‘Homeless’ families turfed out of hotels for Races



Some city families are allegedly being be ‘turfed out’ of their temporary hotel room homes this week to free up capacity for the lucrative Race Week market.

It is understood up to 22 homeless families living in emergency accommodation in city B&Bs, hotels, hostels and holiday units will be ‘moved out’ this week as race-goers take priority.

The homeless in hotels, in particular, are being forced to leave because the hotels have been pre-booked months in advance due to soaring demand during the city’s busiest time of year, Galway Race Week. This is the latest twist in the ongoing housing crisis that continues to worsen in Galway.

Galway City councillor, Mike Cubbard says the situation is a disgrace.

“These families have nowhere to go. Some of them haven’t a clue where they will go. I know one mother with six children who has to leave a hotel – she’s been told to go live with her family out the country. I know several people in this position.

“The homeless people who are living temporarily in B&Bs, hotels and hostels were on the RAS (Rental Accommodation Scheme) but the landlords pulled out and either left the scheme, sold up or moved back in themselves. They are in the temporary accommodation like hotels while they wait to get into two houses the Council has for people who are waiting to get a permanent Council house.

“But there’s only two – you could have 10 of them at least. And it’s like a conveyor belt. The problem is there are not enough houses. We need more houses,” said Cllr Cubbard.

The City Council pays for people’s hotel rooms as emergency accommodation and it is reimbursed by Government. Cllr Cubbard says the money would be better spent by bringing the scores of vacant Council houses back into use.

Meanwhile, Independent City Councillor Catherine Connolly has new figures, which confirm the housing crisis is real and worsening. There are some 4,474 households on the city’s housing waiting list, which equates to around 15,000 people. Some applicants for house on the list are waiting as long as 15 years for two-beds; and yet Galway City Council has plans to build just 13 houses over the next year, said Cllr Connolly. The waiting list figures do not include the 472 households who are on a Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) or the 117 households on Long-Term Leasing.

These two schemes will be replaced by HAP (Housing Assistance Payments) later this year, a policy, according to Cllr Connolly that “copper fastens reliance on the private sector” to provide housing.

Cllr Connolly said it is the, “most fundamental shift in social housing policy since the foundation of the state”.

“This HAP scheme will mean that as a matter of housing policy any tenant renting a private house and receiving this payment will be considered adequately housed and their name removed from the housing waiting list. In reality what has happened is that with simply a stroke of a pen, without any discussion and under the pretence and illusion of providing social housing, a housing applicant’s right to a local authority house has been removed,” she said.

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading


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.”

Continue Reading