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Face mask compliance: a patchy exercise on buses and trains

Jane Henry, complete with face mask, was one of 186 passengers who alighted onto the platform at Galway’s Ceannt railway station on Monday morning from the 8.35am Limerick train. “Seventy five per cent of people wore masks, and there was obvious social distancing on board,” the 20-year-old said, “It’s more important to be safe than offend someone, if someone wasn’t wearing a mask, I would just move away.” Normally, the 8.35am from Limerick carries 350 passengers by the time it arrives in Ceann

The river Shannon – an income stream struggling to recover from coronavirus

Barbara Smyth’s family has run Silver Line Cruisers from its base on the river Shannon in Banagher, Co Offaly, for nearly 50 years. There have been good times and bad, but few periods have been like the last few months. Silver Line is now the only Irish-owned cruiser company operating on the Shannon. The 12-week closure ordered due to the Covid-19 restrictions cost it some 2,500 customers and the majority of its annual income. In normal times Silver Line cruisers is booked out from Easter on,

Galway city: ‘You wouldn’t even know it’s race week’

Usually during Galway’s race week, Eyre Square would be packed with punters getting ready to travel out to Ballybrit. This year, the races are closed to the public, the shuttle buses are absent. So far, the city is noticeably emptier. Nevertheless, hotels across the city are fully booked, or nearly so, “but not with the usual race-goers”, said Rory Fitzpatrick, general manager of the Clayton Hotel near the racecourse. “They have been replaced by families and ‘staycationers’ who wouldn’t normal

Publicans ‘devastated’ that pubs will not open on August 10th

Michael Pearl, who has leased the Barr An Chaladh pub in Woodquay, Galway for the past 15 years, sat and listened to the radio on Tuesday when Taoiseach Micheál Martin came to the microphone in Dublin Castle. Mr Martin’s decision not to open pubs on August 10th left him “devastated”, he said: “It’s like a death. I had publican friends ringing me who were devastated, we couldn’t believe it. It’s a disaster,” he said. Unlike others, Mr Pearl is open because he now serves food, but he is not find

Portumna publican’s frustration at boiling point following Government decision

Eoin Fahy leased Portumna, Co Galway pub, An Caisleán last September, having worked there since he was 15. Following the Government’s decision not to allow all pubs to reopen, he now believes it could threaten his livelihood. “They’re telling us nothing, it’s so frustrating that we don’t even have a date,” said an obviously-upset Mr Fahy, “It’s a kick in the teeth. I have so much stock I’m worried it will be gone off, it’s a huge loss of revenue. “It’s not fair that they’re treating us all the

Galway reopening: ‘This is hitting tourism hard’

Jonathan Margetts, who owns Thomas Dillon’s Claddagh Gold Jewellers on Galway’s Quay Street, has sold Claddagh rings to generations of American tourists. Normally, he would be doing so again this year, except they are nowhere to be found. Some 80 per cent of the summer sales of a store that opened in 1750 have been lost because of the fall in US tourist numbers. “We are operating without our two part-time staff, and with reduced opening hours, but we are managing. It’s picking up,” Margetts sa

NUI Galway MSc programmes lead way in cardiovascular disease prevention, diabetes and obesity

Given the growing prevalence and resulting impact on healthcare resources, there is an urgent need to provide specialist training in preventative health. A suite of masters programmes at NUI Galway are focussed on circulatory disease prevention and control which remains one of Ireland’s top three killers. The scientific evidence for prevention is compelling with up to 80 per cent of heart attacks and strokes being avoidable. Negative trends in obesity and diabetes further drive chronic health c

Entrepreneurial spirit leading challenge to meet sanitiser gel demand

As pharmacies and shops in Tuam try to replenish stocks of hand sanitiser, a former student of the town is very much hands-on in manufacturing the much sought-after product. Aiden Corcoran, who grew up in Kilconly and attended St Jarlath’s College in Tuam, is the CEO and owner of cosmetic manufacturing company Cosmetic Creations in Claremorris. This company has set about making its own brand of sanitising gel to meet the demand caused by the Coronavirus.

Sharon Shannon battles a wet wipe take-over on Claddagh Beach

Sharon arrived with her six dogs and introduced each of them by name. The keen animal lover quickly began to pick rubbish off the beach with her companions by her side. They were very visibly enjoying the salty fresh air of the beach, digging their noses into the mucky wipe infested seaweed. Sharon Shannon is a successful Irish musician and member of the Claddagh Beach Volunteer Clean-Up Group. The group regularly clean-up the beach and raise awareness of the wet wipe problem on Claddagh Beach

Busking Bylaws Harming Galway Street Culture

Nicole strummed lightly on her guitar, feeling out the cords with her fingertips. Her husky deep voice sung a melody before it slowly filled the room. Nicole had invited me into her home, where I sat patiently on a blanket-covered couch in front of a warm open fire. Nicole Bleu has been busking in Galway for 12 years and is now the leader of the Galway Busking community. Many know her just by sight and sound. The thick black frames of her glasses and rustic perm give her a unique appearance. Busking is her life and her main source of income.

Status Quo Survives Sinn Fein Scare in Galway East

It was an unsurprising result in Galway East, as the rural constituency returned the same three candidates. Sean Canney (Independent), Ciarán Cannon (Fine Gael) and Anne Rabbitte (Fianna Fáil) held onto their seats, but the constituency saw an unexpected surge of support for the Sinn Féin candidate. Previously dismissed as a threat during the campaign, the youthquake of Sinn Féin made waves in the rural constituency. The talk of the day was on 22-year-old candidate Louis O’Hara. O’Hara was pol

It's a blizzard- Galway's cocaine use out of control

As unofficial RAG week approaches next week, Galway’s cocaine problem has been described as a “blizzard”. “It’s not snowing in Galway, there is a blizzard”, said HSE clinical specialist in addiction Joe Treacy at the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting in Galway. The HSE specialist has described the drug problem in Galway as the worst he had seen in his 28 years in working in addiction services in Ireland, the UK and Australia. Cocaine with a purity of up to 94% is now being sold in Galway

Caife na Gaeilge reopens its doors

After a short closure, Caifé na Gaeilge is reopening in NUI Galway under new management. 2020 has gotten off to a welcome start for Irish speakers in NUI Galway, as Caifé na Gaeilge has once again opened its doors to the Gaeilgóirí on campus. The caifé will run under the new management of catering company Master Chefs. “We are delighted to be taking it over, it’s going to be completely Irish speaking again.” Said Connor Flemming, Master Chefs’ Operations Manager in NUI Galway. Master Chefs i
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