Surgeries cancelled in Galway and Mayo
Snow falls in west lead to cancellation of many bus services but Knock airport is open
Emergency departments throughout the region remain open but report that they are “busy”
In the west, routine elective surgery and outpatient appointments have been cancelled for Thursday and Friday at University Hospital, Galway, Merlin Park, Portiunucula in Ballinasloe and Mayo University Hospital in Castlebar.
Emergency departments remain open but “busy”, and the Saolta hospital group says that arrangements are being made to ensure continuation of essential services for chemotherapy and dialysis patients and for urgent surgery.
“These patients are being prioritised at this time and are being contacted by the clinical teams in relation to appointments/procedures planned for today and tomorrow,” the hospital group has said. “In circumstances where patients are unable to travel, alternative dates will be provided as soon as possible,” it says.
Saolta is asking radiotherapy patients at UHG to attend “where possible” for their scheduled treatment.
Dialysis patients and transport providers for them to Merlin Park hospital’s renal service in Galway are being contacted, it says. Decisions will be based on clinical need and the travel advice from the National Emergency Co-Ordination Group, it says.
The hospital group says it will continue to do everything possible to maintain all essential services to patients receiving planned cancer and renal treatment, and those appointments that are cancelled will be rescheduled and patients notified.
Snow falls overnight have been heaviest in the east and south of Co Galway, but subzero temperatures have made for treacherous driving conditions on many minor and some main roads throughout Galway and Mayo.
Bus Éireann services are suspended, and in Galway the City Direct bus service has also suspended services until further notice.
The M6 motorway is reported to be extremely icy in places, with large accumulations of snow and slush, particularly in the midlands, and motorists are advised not to drive unless extremely necessary – and not to drive at all after 4pm this afternoon.
GoBus services between Galway and Dublin have been cancelled. Citylink has cancelled its Galway-Cork and multistop commuter services, and is continuing to run its express and Clifden services this morning, but advises intending passengers to check social media for updates.
Ireland West Airport at Knock in Co Mayo is open on Thursday, with a clear runway and a full flight schedule, apart from one cancellation and one delayed arrival from England this morning. Passengers are advised to check on flights beforehand as there may be some disruption on flights leaving Britain.
Campuses at NUI Galway in Galway, Shannon, and Sligo and its “Acadamh” centres in Carna, An Cheathrú Rua and Gaoth Dobhair have closed for Thursday and Friday. NUIG advises staff and students on hospital campuses and on work placement to contact the relevant co-ordinator or line manager for arrangements.
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology has also closed all its campuses for the next two days in Galway city, Letterfrack and Mountbellew, Co Galway, and Castlebar, Co Mayo.
Supply of salt
Galway City Council says it has an ample and reserve supply of salt for gritting roads, and main pedestrianised streets will be salted on Thursday morning. It said requests for salting on roads in estates, car parks and at churches in advance of religious events at the weekend will be facilitated “as best as possible”.
The high-tide warning issued by the Office of Public Works for very high astronomical spring tides from Thursday to Monday (March 1st-5th), extends to Galway, which last experienced serious flash flooding in early January.
The city council says the highest tides listed in this period are on Saturday, but accurate predicted water levels are “not yet available”.
However, the council says it will partially inflate its Aquadam bund at Fishmarket, near Spanish Arch in the city cenre, and roads crews will be on standby in the event of overtopping/flooding – particularly early on Saturday morning.
Galway City Council’s weather assessment and response team is due to meet early on Thursday afternoon.