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Speed traps slammed as ‘ridiculous’ by local TD



Galway drivers are being caught for speeding, fined and hit with penalty points — for going barely above the legal speed limits.

That’s according to Galway West TD Noel Grealish, who has called for a system of staggered penalties for those who drive too fast, and plans to raise the issue in the Dáil next month.

And he has accused the government of using the GoSafe speed detecting vans to make money rather than contribute to safety.

Deputy Grealish said he had been struck by the number of drivers who had complained to him about being caught for speeding recently on certain stretches of road when they were only just over the limit.

The complaints particularly centred around GoSafe vans with speed detecting cameras located on the Dublin Road leading up to Renmore, the Tuam Road, and Connolly Avenue, which is the link road between Monivea Road and the Tuam Road.

“It’s like shooting fish in a barrel — one taxi driver I spoke to this week was doing seven kilometres an hour over the 50km limit going out the Tuam Road, and two or three days later he was caught again at a similar speed.

“He’s been landed with six penalty points on his licence — for travelling at only seven kilometres an hour above the limit. It’s ridiculous.”

The Galway West Independent TD has called for a gradually increasing penalty system for drivers.

“Look at the situation with regard to drink driving. If you’ve a certain level of alcohol in your blood you’re fined, if you go above that level you get a bigger fine and a six months ban, and depending on the level of alcohol after that you’re put off the road for two or three years

“We should have something similar for speeding offences. Going out the Tuam Road, if you’re caught doing 5 km above the speed limit, it should be just a fine, say a €40 or €50 fine.

“But if you’re caught doing 20 km above the limit, maybe it should be a bigger fine and one penalty point, with increasing penalties the greater the speed involved.”

He pointed out that many insurance companies hiked premiums for drivers with six points by anything from €300 to €500, which meant drivers were being penalised on the double.

“And if you are caught four times, you’re put off the road,” he added.

Deputy Grealish hit out at the Government and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald for not making road safety the top priority for the GoSafe speed detecting vans.

“This is only a revenue generating exercise — it’s ridiculous the places where these vans are being placed in the city and county,” he said.

Meanwhile, the City Council has said that it will be reviewing speed limits in the city later this year, when requests for an increased limit on the Tuam Road will be considered.

This was confirmed in a letter from Joe O’Neill, Director of Services for Planning & Transportation in response to Cllr Jim Cuddy, who said he had been “inundated” with complaints from motorists over the 50km an hour limit, between the entrance to the An Post sorting office and the entrance to Roadstone.

Cllr Cuddy said that drivers approaching the city from the Tuam direction went directly from 100 km/h to 50km/h, and there was big public support for increasing the limit on this wide road to 60 or 80km/h.

“Recently I was contacted by an old age pensioner who is looking after his sick wife at home and he was caught twice the one day for exceeding the 50km speed limit on this part of the road and got notices for a €160 fine and penalty points. Surely that was not the intention of the speed limit regulations,” he added.

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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