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$200m harbour area plan to be unveiled



Date Published: 06-Nov-2009

CITY councillors are to be given a detailed presentation on proposals for the new €200m Galway Port next week, in a key move by the Harbour Company to secure their support.

On Monday evening, the Galway Harbour Company will make a presentation in the City Council chamber to officials and elected representatives, and will be seeking their support.

Already, the nine ‘controlling’ members of the local authority – comprising the Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and former PD councillors – have voiced their support for the proposals, which will see large elements of the new-look Galway Port in place by 2015.

The plans – exclusively revealed in the Galway City Tribune a fortnight ago – will see luxury cruise liners docking in the city in around five years’ time.

Harbour Company CEO Éamon Bradshaw is keen to win the support of councillors for the project.

But Cllr Mike Crowe – FF party whip on the City Council – has said the nine councillors involved in the current Mayoral ‘pact’ will support the proposals and if required, will look into rezoning land for the Port plans, and do everything possible to “make the proposals a reality”.

Last month, the City Tribune reported that the €200m plan already received the backing of Transport Minister Noel Dempsey.

And a planning application for the two-phase project – set to be fully completed by 2020 – will be lodged directly with An Bórd Pleanála next April, because it is regarded as a Strategic Infrastructure Development.

When finished, the new Galway Port will span more than 50 acres and create a new ‘Cultural Quarter’ for the city, as well as a marina with 200 berths and a terminal building for cruise liners.

The new Port could see up to 50 cruise ships docking each year, injecting tens of millions into the local economy.

Following the presentation to councillors next Monday, the plans for the new Outer Port will be put on public display to allow for submissions to be made.

The first phase, to be completed by 2015, will see the creation of a new quay wall stretching from the Harbour Enterprise Park to a line between Hare Island and Mutton Island.

That will involve dredging from the seabed, with the dredge being used to create a massive extension to the Enterprise Park. It will also include a terminal building for cruise liners and a ‘marine leisure port’, while Phase 2 will involve creating a new oil terminal, moving the existing facility from the Docks.

The marine leisure element will include a nautical centre for all types of water activities and sports, such as deep-sea diving. The Waterfront City will also host civic and cultural areas, tourist activities and generate funding for the Harbour Company.

The project will be developed in tandem with the €1billion regeneration plans for the 14-acre CIE site at Ceannt Station.


Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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