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West in unique position to lead on changes to new hospital groupings



the West is in a unique position to lead on changes to the establishment of hospital groupings nationwide.

That’s according to hospital group Chief Bill Maher who addressed members of this afternoon’s Regional Health Forum West on the planned transition to independent hospital trusts.

Under the plan announced by the Health Minister earlier this month, the west/north west composition includes University Hospital Galway, Merlin Park hospital, Portiuncula in Ballinasloe, Sligo Regional, Letterkenny
General, Mayo General and Roscommon general.

The academic partner is NUI Galway.

Galway bay fm reports that Addressing this afternoon’s forum, CEO of the Galway Roscommon Hospital
Group Bill Maher said that it’s the first group which was set up in
January last year.

He said there was no additional headcount added in the formation of the
new grouping.

The CEO also advised that all hospitals are safe in the hands of the group
and that there is no plan to take services from local hospitals and bring
them to level four hospitals, adding that there is no capacity for such a

He concluded by outlining the main priorities for this year as focusing on
group integration and achieving results and autonomy.

Mr. Maher said he wants to deliver on waiting time and trolley targets and
on the items outlined in the wider service plan.

Forum Chairperson Cllr Padraig Conneely said he had a concern over the
geographical spread of the trust to include Sligo and Donegal.

He added that responsibility and accountability may become fragmented.

CEO Bill Maher said while he recognized the geographical spread does pose
a concern, the group has very good governance and systems.

Breaking News

Death announced of former Bishop of Galway



Dr Martin Drennan.

The death has occurred of the former Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora Martin Drennan, six years after he announced his retirement on health grounds. He was aged 78.

The Galway Diocesan Office confirmed the death this (Saturday) afternoon of the Bishop and Apostolic Administrator Emeritus, who oversaw the Diocese for eleven years.

Born on January 2, 1944 in Piltown, County Kilkenny, he studied for the priesthood at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, from where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1968. His brother Michael is also a priest.

Following his ordination, he continued his studies in Rome where he was awarded a Licentiate in both sacred theology and sacred scripture. He returned to Rome in 1980 to become spiritual director at the Pontifical Irish College for the next five years.

He became a lecturer in sacred scripture at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997 with responsibility for East Wicklow and South Dublin.

Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was appointed Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and he was installed on July 3, 2005 in Galway Cathedral.

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Connacht Tribune

O’Flaherty’s promising start



Outgoing Cllr Terry O’Flaherty (Ind) is on course to retain her City Council seat – and top the poll in City East. 

With 33% of the boxes tallied, Cllr O’Flaherty is polling strongly, particularly in Renmore. 

Michael John Crowe is ahead of his running mate Alan Cheevers for the Fianna Fáil vote, according to the early figures, although that could change when Doughiska and Roscam boxes are opened. 

The Green Party’s Claire Hillery is on about 7%, with Fine Gael on 10% and Sinn Fein on 5%.

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Connacht Tribune

Tallies underway as votes are sorted



The opening of boxes for the local elections began at 9am this morning in Leisureland when the tallymen (and women) kicked into gear.

As regards the Galway County Council elections, the smaller areas are being opened first which means that the four-seater Connemara North boxes will be first in the pecking order.

It will be followed by Gort-Kinvara (5 seats), Connemara South (5 seats), Athenry-Oranmore (7 seats), Ballinasloe (6 seats), Loughrea (5 seats) and finally Tuam (7 seats).

The boxes in these areas will be opened and tallied in that particular order before being transferred to the Galway Lawn Tennis Club on Threadneedle Road where the counting will commence around mid-morning.

That is when the fun will really begin – although the tallies should give a good indication as to where most of the seats are destined.

As regards the city, the Galway City East boxes were opened first, followed by Galway City Central and finally Galway City West. These votes will be transferred to the Westside Centre by around 11am for counting.

There are 39 seats on Galway County Council to be filled with 18 on Galway City Council. The City Council count is expected to conclude on Saturday night but the County Council count – with seven electoral areas to be filled – could well go into Monday.

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