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14% vacancy rate in Galway commercial units



Galway Bay fm newsroom – Almost one thousand nine hundred commerical properties in Galway were vacant at the end of June.
New figures released by GeoDirectory reveal that the city and county’s average commerical vacancy rate increased to 14.8 percent this year – a 1 percent increase when compared to last year.
The figure puts the county significantly above the national average vacancy rate of 12.8 percent.
The report also shows that Galway has the third highest commercial vacancy rate in the country behind Leitrim and Sligo.
CEO of GeoDirectory, Dara Keogh, says that the figure is a valuble indicator of the current state of the local economy.

Breaking News

5,471 new cases of COVID-19 nationally



Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 5,471* confirmed cases of COVID-19.

As of 8am today, 579 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of whom 122 are in ICU.
 Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said:

“The ongoing efforts by parents and children to adhere to the public health advice during this pandemic has been fundamental to our work to drive down the incidence of COVID-19 in the community.

“Our priority continues to be to minimise risk and protect as many people as possible from severe illness. 

“In a very short period of time, we have seen a significant and rapid deterioration in the epidemiological situation, in the as-yet-unvaccinated 5 – 11-year-olds. This has resulted in a sharp increase in incidence in this age group.

“In addition to the public health advice to all of us to reduce discretionary social contact and for at least the next two weeks, the following events and activities should be avoided:

  • Indoor birthday parties and play dates – these should take place outdoors and should be kept small
  • Sleepovers
  • Indoor community gatherings involving children including communions, confirmations, nativity and other seasonal events

“Further to this, parents should:

  • Not let children attend school or creche if they have any symptoms of COVID-19. Help them to isolate at home and arrange a PCR test straight away.
  • Reduce their own contacts. This means work from home unless it is essential to attend the workplace in person, it also means making difficult decisions to avoid indoor social gatherings.
  • Meet others outdoors where possible.
  • Wear a mask if you cannot keep a distance from others.
  • Ensure that your child wears a mask if it is recommended for them
  • If anyone in your household is symptomatic, they should isolate and get a PCR test. You should not use or rely on the results of an antigen test if you have symptoms
  • If your child is a close contact of a case in school, you may be asked to use antigen tests, supplied by the HSE, as an additional tool. If any stage your child develops symptoms of COVID-19 or an antigen test is ‘positive’ they should be isolated at home and parents should arrange a PCR test for them.
  • One in five young adults are not yet vaccinated, please consider vaccination for any older children in your household not yet protected.

“These measures are not what any of us want to hear, particularly at this time of year. We know that it adds an additional burden at what has been a very difficult time for all of us, particularly those with young families.

“NPHET has recommended, on a temporary basis, the wearing of face masks for children:

  • Aged 9 years and over on public transport, in retail and other indoor public settings as currently required for those aged 13 and over, with exemptions as appropriate; and
  • In third class and above in primary school.

This measure will be subject to review by NPHET in mid-February 2022.

“I am hopeful that if we all make a concerted effort to follow these measures for at least the next two weeks, we can make a real difference to incidence of disease in this cohort and in the wider public.”

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Breaking News

Galway City Tidy Towns Garden Competition Results Announced



Galway Bay FM newsroom- The annual Galway City Tidy Towns Garden Competition results have been announced.

The overall winner of the Front Garden Competition was Pat McPhilbin of Mervue. The Best First Time entrant was Margaret Pearl Hession with Betty O’Flaherty taking the prize for the Best Floral Display category. John Connaughton won the Best Front Lawn category and Maria Kim Brown won Best Apartment.

Oaklands Residents Association was awarded the Best Residential Area, under 50 houses. Fort Lorenzo Residents Association was awarded Best Residential Area (50-200 houses) and Highfield Park Residents Association was recognised as the Best Residential Area with 200 houses or more.

Scoil Chroí Íosa scooped the overall winner in the schools category. Cuan na Gaillimhe, Steiner won the Eco School Garden category, and St. Patrick’s National School, Lombard Street won the Best Floral Display.

Best Eco front garden was won by Aileen Ward, while Woodfield Residents Association won Best Eco estate. In the community category, Merlin Neighbourhood Residents won the Community Group Project. St. James Church, Bushy Park came first in the Best Church/Place of worship. Teach na Coiribe were the winners in the Registered Guest Houses/ B&B category. Western Motors took the Garage Category and Bank of Ireland, Eyre Square won the Best Commercial/retail category.

The competition judge had this to say of the overall winning garden, Pat McPhilbin from Mervue:

“This enchanting mature garden on a large corner site is a wonder. While the evergreens marking the boundary are gradually becoming more prominent, the gardener’s work is still presented proudly for all in the community to enjoy. This gardener demonstrates dedication, awareness and talent with regard to design principles, creativity and gardening know-how.”

Full List of Winners

·        Less than 50 Houses Winner – Oaklands Residents Association

·        50-200 Houses Winner – Fort Lorenzo

·        200 Houses or more Winner – Highfield Park Residents Association

·        Apartments Winner – Maria Kim Brown

·        Community Group Project – Merlin Neighbourhood Residents

·        Schools Best Garden – Scoil Chroí Íosa

·        Schools Best Floral Display – St. Patricks National School

·        Eco School Garden – Cuan na Gaillimhe CNS- Steiner

·        Eco Front Garden – Aideen Ward

·        Eco Estate- Woodfield Residents Association

·        Garages/Filling Stations – Western Motors

·        Best Commercial/retail- Bank of Ireland, Eyre Square

·        Best Church/Place of worship- St. James Church, Bushy Park

·        Industial Estates and Premises- Brian Spellman

·        Best window boxes/ floral display – Betty O’Flaherty

·        Overall Front Garden Winner – Pat McPhilbin

·        Best Lawn – John Connaughton

·        Registered Guest House B&B – Teach na Coiribe

·        Best New Entrant – Margaret Pearl Hession

Residential Area Winners:

·        Bushypark/Dangan/Circular Road: Area 1st  –Michael Duffy; Area 2nd –Ann Dillon,

Area 3rd –Tina McHugh

·        Castlegar/ Menlo: Area 1st  – Mary Boyle ; Area 2nd – Maureen Spellman

·        Headford Road: Area 1st – Michael Grealish; Area 2nd – Mary and Sean Hynes

·        City Centre/ Bohermore: Area 1st – Nicholas and Brid Burke;

Area 2nd – Tom and Phyllis Broderick; Area 3rd – Betty O’Flaherty

·        Mervue: Area 1st  –  Pat McPhilbin; Area 2nd – John Connaughton; Area 3rd – Seamus King

·        Renmore/ Murrough: Area 1st –Margaret Pearl Hession ;

Area 2nd – Patricia Ryan; Area 3rd –Maureen Nolan

·        Salthill: Area 1st  – Annamarie O’Brien, Area 2nd– Gerry Murray; Area 3rd –Carmel Mahoney

·        Knocknacarra – Area 1st Tracy Boland–; Area 2nd– Aideen Ward; Area 3rd – Grainne Burke

·        Taylor’s Hill – Area 1st Anne Quinn-; Area 2nd–  Frank McHugh; Area 3rd – James Boland

·        Shantalla – Area 1st – Ursula and Kevin Lally; Area 2nd– Kevin Rice

·        Newcastle – Area 1st– Eileen Fair; Area 2nd –Margaret Gouyet; Area 3rd – Conor Grennan

·        Ballybane – Area 1st–Bernie Molloy; Area 2nd –Rachel Lynch; Area 3rd –Noel and Mary Boyle

·        Claddagh – Area 1st–  Nichola Dalrymple; Area 2nd – Noel Coyne; Area 3rd – Richard Burke

·        Rahoon – Area 1st – Judith O’Lochlann; Area 2nd –Alan Sixsmith; Area 3rd – Elaine Naughton

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Breaking News

Local senator accuses cabinet Minister of turning “blind eye” to illegal peat extraction



Galway Bay FM newsroom- Local Senator Pauline O’ Reilly has accused Minister for Housing and Heritage, Darragh O’ Brien, of turning a blind eye to illegal peat harvesting across the country.

Green Party Senator Pauline O’ Reilly was debating a bill that proposes to allow peat extraction for horticulture purposes for a temporary period.

It aims to reduce the reliance some growers have on imported peat which is typically considerably more expensive than Irish peat.

However, Senator O’ Reilly claimed the bill is not feasible nor compatible with EU law – and is giving “false hope” to growers across the country.

She then accused Government Ministers of continuing to turn a blind eye to illegal peat harvesting across the country.

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