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


Tribunal told man turned down apartment in ‘wrong part of town’



A claim by a homeless Eastern European man that Galway City Council discriminated against him has been thrown out by the Equality Tribunal.

Jurijs Kozlovs, a Russian-speaking Latvian, claimed the local authority discriminated against him on grounds of gender, race and family status with regard to providing social housing.

However, the Equality Tribunal, in a ruling issued this week, said Mr Kozlovs failed to make a prima facie case of discrimination on any of the three grounds.

The man and his teenage son were evicted from private rented accommodation in the city due to rent arrears in May, 2012.

The Council provided him with emergency accommodation in a three-star hotel for 18 nights.

He said he would prefer an apartment because the pair had to leave each day while the hotel room was cleaned by housekeeping. Mr Kozlovs argued if he was a mother, an apartment would have been provided.

They were asked to leave the hotel just as they were beginning to settle in, because the hotel was fully booked. He argued this was discrimination and would not have happened to an Irish person.

The City Council offered him an apartment in Doughiska but he said it was “the wrong part of town”, and that it was “dirty and smelly” and there were “undesirables” living in the area. He argued the Doughiska apartment would not have been offered to an Irish person.

He found his own private accommodation instead but this didn’t work out and again he presented as homeless at the City Council on July 6. However, he was no longer deemed emergency homeless as the Department of Social Protection had informed the Council that he and his son were co-habiting with his partner. Mr Kozlovs denied this and became irate.

The Council official he was speaking to offered to provide a train ticket to Dublin where he could attend his Embassy, but he said this was “very patronising” and would not be said to an Irish person.

The City Council said Mr Kozlovs was put up in a three-star hotel with swimming pool at taxpayer’s expense, and enjoyed “better accommodation than many people presenting themselves as emergency homeless did”.

The hotel rents rooms to the Council at preferential rates and “reserves the right to ask the Council to move people if more lucrative bookings emerge”.

The Council “utterly refuted” the claim that the apartment he was shown in Doughiska was in a state of disrepair and the next person who saw the property “eagerly accepted it”.

The Council also refuted the charge about Doughiska being undesirable. It said there is very little crime or anti-social behaviour in Doughiska.

The Council also pointed out the irony in his case – Mr Kozlovs turned his nose up at Doughiska because there were too many ‘ethnics’ living there and yet he is taking the case against the Council on grounds of racial discrimination.

The local authority gave evidence that it was prepared to offer alternatives if he hadn’t found his own accommodation.

The City Council said offering to financially support the man in seeking consular assistance was “good public service” and not discriminatory.

It said it had a duty to protect the Exchequer against fraudulent claims for accommodation, which is why it relied on information from the Department of Social Protection in an example of good joined-up thinking.

An Equality Tribunal found against the complainant on all three grounds of discrimination and ruled in favour of the Council.

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