7th January 2021

Welcome to this edition of GCCN Network News. Below we have information on:

GCCN Network News

  • Public consultation on Galway City Development Plan 2023-2029 launched - read here

COVID-19 Related Updates

  • COVID-19 Emergency Fund (2nd Round) - read here
  • Ireland is now Under Level 5: Additional public health restrictions - read here
  • Message from Covid-19 Stakeholder Communications Support and Updates: 23 Dec - read here
  • Galway City COVID-19 Community Call Helpline - read here
  • Keep Well Campaign - read here
  • Reminder: Support for the Older People - read here
  • Galway City Community Response Map - read here

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GCCN Network News

Your City, Your Future
Have your say on the future of Galway City!

Public consultation on Galway City Development Plan 2023-2029 launched

Galway City Council has launched a public consultation process for the preparation of the City Development Plan 2023-2029. This plan will provide the framework for how the city will grow and develop to 2029 and beyond, building on the current City Development Plan 2017-2023.

The City Development Plan will focus on a wide range of issues that influence our day-to-day lives including housing, transportation and sustainable mobility, economic activity, climate change and adaptation, community development, recreation facilities, parks, open spaces, arts, culture, heritage and tourism.

An Issues Paper ‘Our City, Our Future’ has been prepared to prompt discussion and engagement around key themes and issues that are important to the future direction of development in Galway City. The Issues Paper is available to view and download at, and is available to view by appointment at the Planning Section, Galway City Hall. Submissions are invited from now until Friday 5th March 2021.

Submissions or observations can be made through Galway City Council’s online consultation portal at A submission or observation can also be made by post to Senior Planner, Planning Department, City Hall, College Road, Galway, H91 X4K8 or via email
The public consultation period is open until Friday 5th March 2021.

The preparation of a City Development Plan is a two-year process. This first stage is Stage1 ‘Pre-Draft Public Consultation’ and runs from Thursday 7th January 2021 to Friday 5th March 2021.
For more information and updates visit and this page here.
You can also contact the Development Plan Team via email or 091 536599.

The public notice attached here outlines how submissions/observations regarding the review are invited from members of the public and other interested parties, noting that the closing date for receipt of submissions/observations is Friday 5th March 2021.  

COVID-19 Related Updates

COVID-19 Emergency Fund (2nd Round)
Call for Applications for Funding

Galway City Council through the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) invites applications under the 2nd round of COVID-19 Emergency Funding within the Galway City Administrative area from community groups/organisations.

The closing date for applications online under the COVID-19 Emergency Fund (2nd Round) is Friday, 5th February 2021 at 4.00pm.

An information webinar will be facilitated by GCCN and Galway City Council on Monday, 18th January. Further information on this and the registration link will be circulated in the coming days.

Under the programme, grants will be provided to community groups to assist them to adapt their services and operations to fit the new COVID-19 reality. Examples of measures supported could be adapting premises to allow for social distancing; offering on-line activities; providing social supports and friendly calls by phone etc.

Grants will also be provided to assist groups to become more involved in the Government's 'Keep Well' campaign. The grants are aimed at assisting participation in the campaign, in particular with the three themes: staying connected, switching off & being creative and minding your mood. 

The grants may also be provided to support groups (including those involved in the Galway City Community Call) with day to day running costs if needed. Some funding is ring-fenced to provide small capital grants of €1,000 or less.

Applications can be completed online and guidelines are available to view at

For any queries please email

Further details are available on the Galway City Council website here.

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Ireland is now Under Level 5
Additional public health restrictions

On Wednesday, 6th January 2021, the Government has agreed that additional public health restrictions will apply under Level 5 of the Plan for Living with COVID. Noting the advice from NPHET that the current situation with the virus has deteriorated to the point where there is an absolute need to reduce the level of mobility and congregation in order to reduce all opportunities for transmission, people continue to be urged to stay at home except for absolutely essential reasons. The following measures have been put in place to support this:

Closed until 1 Feb with some specific exceptions for final year Leaving Cert students, special education and specialised settings

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
The resumption of the ECCE programme is delayed until 1 Feb

Closed with exceptions for vulnerable children and children of essential workers

Construction will close from 6pm on Friday 8 Jan, with limited exceptions

Essential retail only. Click and collect from non-essential retail outlets will no longer be permitted after existing orders are fulfilled. Click and deliver will continue

Travel into Ireland
No travellers from Great Britain or South Africa until 9 Jan. All travellers from those locations after that date must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test result (COVID-19 not detected) within 72 hours prior to arrival.

For further details please visit the links here and here.

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Message from Covid-19 Stakeholder Communications Support
Wednesday 23rd December 2020

Dear Colleague,

We are grateful for your continuing support in helping to share information about COVID-19. Below are a few communications updates for you.

Public Health Measures

Ireland is moving to Level 5.

You can see the measures in place here.

HSE COVID-19 Test and Trace is open this Christmas

When you need a test for COVID-19, our health service works hard to make this as quick and safe as possible for you. If you feel unwell on a public holiday, the weekend or in the evening, the GP out of hours service can refer you for a test too. The GP referral and test are both free of charge. Most people will get a test appointment within 24 hours.

A new Test and Trace video is available here and sets out step by step how test and trace works.

Contact tracers will continue to call people who test positive for COVID-19 and trace their close contacts to give them public health advice throughout the Christmas and New Year. Contact tracers will advise close contacts to restrict their movements for 14 days and arrange a COVID-19 test. People who test positive and/or who have symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate in a room on their own and avoid other people. This will help stop the spread of the virus.

GP out of hours services are available throughout the country at weekends and evenings this Christmas. You can find contact details for your local GP Out of Hours Service here.

COVID 19 Guidance for staff working in residential care facilities for older people

Guidance for healthcare workers and managers delivering care in residential settings for older people is available here. This section of the website has been set up as a central point of contact for residential care facilities to access up-to-date clinical guidance, information and links to inform care and supports in these settings.

Residents of nursing homes have been identified as a particularly vulnerable group. They have a significantly higher risk of contracting COVID-19 than the general population of similar age. Particular attention is needed when caring for Older People to support the prevention of COVID-19, identification of symptoms and clinical management of residents in these settings.

Keeping well this winter

The Keeping Well this Winter campaign has some further interviews aimed particularly at older and vulnerable people. See the Partner Pack here.

You can watch Dr Vida Hamilton, HSE’s Clinical Advisor for Acute Hospitals chat to Daíthí and Sinéad on RTE’s Today show here. Vida has lots of advice on accessing routine and emergency healthcare services, the protective measures that staff have taken in healthcare settings along with what to do if you think you have COVID-19.

Anne Rizzo, Regional Programme Manager Limerick City and County Council talks to journalist Eoghan Corry for a Senior Times podcast on the actions and initiatives of county council staff and volunteers around the country since the COVID-19 pandemic began. You can listen to Anne outline the councils’ Community Call initiatives here.

Prof Martin Cormican, HSE’s Clinical Lead on Infection Control, talks to journalist Charlie Bird for a Senior Times podcast on keeping well this winter. Martin gives very good advice on when you might need antibiotics and why taking them when you don’t need them may do you more harm than good. He also chats to Charlie about the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines. Listen the interview here.

Please feel free to share these interviews.

Community Call supporting vulnerable people 7 days a week 8 am – 8 pm on 0818 222 024

If you are caring for people who would benefit from help with collection and delivery of essential items like food, ‘meals-on-wheels’, fuel or medicine or who are socially isolated you can call the Community Call line. Community Call has been significantly expanded to reach out to anyone who is vulnerable or isolated regardless of age or location.

Community Call is supported by the HSE, An Garda Siochana, Local Authorities, An Post, charities and residents’ associations.

Call 0818 222 024 (open 7 days a week 8 am – 8 pm).

Updated illustrated guide for children about COVID-19 tests

An illustrated guide for children about going to a COVID-19 test centre has been updated. This reflects changes to how children are being tested for COVID-19. The test that children have is simpler than the test adults have. Their test sample is taken using a nasal swab. It's easier and quicker for your child. The guide for children is available here. For more information on tests for children, see this advice for parents.

Free flu vaccine extended to children up to the age of 17

The flu vaccine and its administration has been made available for free for the first time in Ireland for children and young people aged from two to 17 years. Originally available for children aged two to 12 years, nearly 200,000 children have received the nasal flu vaccine through GP practices and pharmacies across the country.

The first batches of nasal flu vaccine are due to expire in the middle of January so it’s important for parents to come forward to get their children vaccinated now. You can find more information here.

How to stay safe from COVID-19 this Christmas

You can read advice here on how to stay safe this Christmas during Christmas day, Christmas visiting, shopping and going to cafes, restaurants or pubs.

Contact Calculator

Even though it's Christmas and we want to celebrate, we're all still at risk from COVID-19. If we all keep our number of contacts low, we can help to slow the spread of the virus.

You can use the handy Contact Calculator available here to plan your Christmas activities and count your contacts.

COVID Christmas Bubbles #SafeChristmas

The HSE COVID Christmas Bubbles campaign recreates the social distancing Bubbles ad developed in October. The ad uses the effective visual reminder of the protection we can share when we follow public health actions, and how easy it can be lost. The bubble idea makes the invisible visible.

COVID is still very much here, so even as the green shoots of hope start to come through, we need to continue to keep our guard up. We know that people will want to spend time with the people that matter to them over the Christmas season. This means increased risk of the virus spreading, making it more important than ever that we understand how protective measures can keep us all safe and slow the spread of the virus.

The campaign launched on 14th December and includes: a TV ad, Radio ad and on Social media. Please find attached here a campaign partner pack with all of the details.

Stay safe this Christmas Traveller information video

The HSE National Social Inclusion office, in partnership with Pavee Point, developed the Stay safe this Christmas Traveller information video available here

New Bereavement Support line to assist staff and public during the COVID-19 pandemic

A new national free phone bereavement support line has been launched by the Irish Hospice Foundation in conjunction with the HSE. The national free phone service, 1800 80 70 77 is available Monday to Friday from 10am to 1pm.

The support line aims to provide a confidential space for people to speak about their experience or ask questions relating to bereavement.  Callers will be listened to with compassion and be provided with emotional support and information on any practical issues that may be helpful. Read more about the new Bereavement Support line here.

Public Health Information

As always, for the most up to date information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to: and Clinical and professional guidance relating to COVID-19 is available on where you’ll find up to date guidance for healthcare settings and non-clinical settings.

Please check here for the most up to date partner resources for COVID-19.

Please also check the Healthy Ireland site here with further resources and information on the Keep Well campaign.

You can view the latest information on how Ireland is responding to cases of COVID-19 here.

Ireland’s COVID-19 Data Hub is available here.


Many thanks for your continued support,

COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement

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Important Reminders


The Galway City Community Call Helpline
New Flyer Graphics
The helpline is open to anyone who needs it
from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.
If you need support or help to get access to shopping, food, medication or if you feel isolated or lonely and need someone to talk to, please get in touch at:
☎️ 1800 400 150

Keep Well Campaign
The Keep Well campaign provides guidelines, information, and tips on how we can add healthy and helpful habits to our daily and weekly routines around five simple actions: keeping active, keeping in contact, switching off and getting creative, eating well and minding your mood
Support for the Older People This Winter
With the winter months approaching, we would like to share once again some of the main helplines for older people to access, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 alert.
  • Galway City COVID-19 Community Call Helpline: 1800 400 150
  • COPE Galway Helpline: 085  87 67 785
  • Alone Helpline: 0818 222 024
  • Senior Line: 1800 804 591
We highly encourage you to share these numbers with any older person you know.
Galway City Community Response Map

As part of the ongoing work of the Galway City Community Response Forum, Galway City Community Network and Galway City Council have developed a map of the COVID-19 related responses, activities and services available to people in Galway City.

The map is publicly available and can be used as a useful information resource both for individuals made vulnerable by COVID-19 and by organisations or agencies that need to know where they may refer their clients to for support.

The map is online at the following links:
Further details are available on the GCCN Website.


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