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Sod turned on replica Claddagh cottage

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Once a poor fishing village just outside the old city walls of Galway, the Claddagh is one of the oldest villages in Ireland with its existence having first been recorded with the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century.

Home to Victoria Cross recipient Thomas Grady, Claddagh locals have supplied the city with seafood up until as recently as the 19th century, and was often the prime location for regular fish markets.

The beautiful authentic Irish cottages that once dotted the area were sadly demolished in 1935 and were replaced by a housing estate scheme, much to the despair of those at the Claddagh Arts Centre who take pride in the Claddagh heritage.

With nothing remaining to remember the cherished history of the area, the Claddagh Arts Centre have teamed up with local campaigners to take matters into their own hands.

Extensive research was carried out by the Centre over the past year, everything from the dimensions of cottages to the construction materials used, and the hard work has since paid off.

The Centre has finally been granted planning permission to construct a brand new authentic Claddagh cottage.

The level of research is clear in the Centre’s promise to keep the cottage as close to the originals as possible, with everything from the doors to the roof to be constructed authentically.

The cottage will serve as a museum where members of the public can have a traditional cup of tea and a scone, or relax in the landscaped gardens.

The cottage and adjacent Arts Centre will offer workshops on stone and wood carving and be available for use for community events such as traditional music nights, Irish language classes and charity fundraisers.

The walls will be built with lime mortar and local stone, some sourced from an original thatched Claddagh cottage before being white washed.

A stone fireplace will similarly be made of locally-sourced stone and the roof will compose of bog oak rafters, cross members of hazel and willow before being topped with bog scraw and finished in wheaten straw thatch.

The floor will consist of local flagstone, the windows of old style timber sash, and the front and back doors will be half doors.

An emotional Kay Conroy, who has been campaigning for the cottage since 1968 finally had her dream realised when she was given the honour of turning the first sod on the build, last Thursday.

Local councillor Catherine Connolly and King of the Claddagh Mike Lynskey said a few words to mark the occasion along with proprietor of the Centre, Cathriona Walsh and her father.

“We have huge community support and we are certain that this project can only add to Galway’s bid for Capital of Culture 2020 and its reputation as a hub for history and the arts,” said Cathriona.

Official construction will commence on October 14, but the Centre has not received a single cent in funding by way of grants, and would be extremely grateful for any donations people would be willing to offer.

Depending on the amount, donations will be rewarded with anything from donor’s names inscribed on a stone of the cottage, to free rental space for events, or matching Claddagh wedding rings designed to the contributor’s specifications amongst other gifts.

Anyone interested in helping out with the project in other ways, such as the construction itself or promotion of the project can call into the Claddagh Arts Centre on Upper Fairhill Road while donations can be made at Fundit.

CITY TRIBUNE

2020 still far short of private funding target

Dara Bradley

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Galway 2020, the company set-up to deliver the European Capital of Culture next year, remains well behind on its target of raising €6.75 million in private funding.

Making Waves, the bid book that won Galway the designation, committed Galway 2020 to raising income totalling €6.75 million from private sponsors and philanthropists.

The bid book specified that this was income to be spent on operating expenditure for the year-long programme of events.

With less than a month to go before the official programme is unveiled, Galway 2020 declined this week to confirm how much money it has raised through sponsorship.

Galway 2020 has consistently said that it intends to raise €6.75m in sponsorship; and this figure has been quoted in several briefing documents prepared for Culture Minister Josepha Madigan, which were released to the Galway City Tribune under Freedom of Information (FOI).

A briefing note for Minister Madigan dated April 10, 2019, under the heading, ‘philanthropy’, mentioned that some €133,477 had been received in total by Galway 2020 in sponsorship and in-kind support as of December 31, 2018.

In March 2019, a financial report by Galway 2020, confirmed that the company had raised less than €30,000 in private sponsorship income last year. This suggests that some €100,000 of the total raised last year, was in-kind.

When asked to clarify how much cash it has raised from sponsorship, minus in-kind support, Galway 2020 said its “fundraising target hasn’t changed”.

“The current value of the fundraising and partnerships pipeline is €4.5m – this includes a combination of commercial as well as trusts and foundations, comprising funds already committed, proposals submitted and further partnerships that are under consideration. These proposals and agreements are a combination of cash and in-kind support,” it said.

Galway 2020 declined to elaborate on how much of this €4.5 million “pipeline” was income and how much was in-kind support. It also did not say how much of that “pipeline” is already ‘banked’, and how much was not yet collected.

Included in that €4.5 million figure was a “significant corporate partnership with Medtronic”, which has become the health partner of Galway 2020 and sponsor of its Wave Maker volunteer programme, it said. However, Galway 2020 did not elaborate on the cash value – as opposed to any in-kind value – of that agreement, which was announced a fortnight ago.

“The nature of the breakdown of partnership agreements are commercially sensitive to each of our partners,” a spokesperson said.

The sole mention of the term “in-kind” in the bid book is on page 89, where it states: “The Promotion & Marketing budget described above will be supplemented by in-kind marketing benefit from our supporters, strategic partners & producers.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

120 households facing eviction

Dara Bradley

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Low-income city households are staring down the barrel of homelessness after a flood of eviction notices were issued this Summer.

Galway City Council has confirmed that landlords have issued a total of 120 Notices to Quit to families and single people in June and July. Twelve were on RAS (Rental Accommodation Scheme) or Long-Term Leasing, and the remaining 108 were on HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) or other social schemes in the private rental sector.

All 120 are on the Council housing wait list, but anecdotally, scores more private tenants have been issued with notices to vacate their apartments and houses – adding more fuel to the ongoing crisis.

The 120-plus evicted tenants are now in the market to find alternative rental accommodation, and are competing with the thousands of third level students who are back in the city this month searching for digs.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Rowing club resists plans for College Bar canopy

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The development of a canopy outside the bar at NUIG is being challenged by a local rowing club on the grounds that some of its elderly members feel intimidated by the drinkers who use the facility.

Concerns relate to the access to the Eglinton Canal –  it was stated that the erection of the new structure would increase the number of patrons using the area along the pathway.

Earlier this year Galway City Council granted planning permission to NUIG Students Union for the development of an external canopy and covered area at An Sult College Bar.

However, this is now the subject of an appeal to An Bord Pleanála by Corrib Rowing and Yachting Club on the grounds that it will impede the club’s right of way along the canal.

The college bar overlooks the Eglinton Canal and is a popular and reasonably priced haunt for students during the college term.

It was proposed to provide a canopy in addition to their external area. The college bar is a protected structure, given that it is a stone building and is the main pedestrian entrance to the university campus.

The applicants say that due to the sensitive nature of the site, the modern structure of the canopy is proposed to contrast against the protected stone structure and also create “an architectural feature” at the main pedestrian entrance.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play

 

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