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Action urged to reduce speed along accident blackspot

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Three accidents over recent months on a notorious stretch of city roadway are clear warning signs that more safety measures to be put in place, according to local representatives.

A section of the Grattan Road in the Claddagh area – close to the Mutton Island causeway – has once again been the scene of a number of accidents with walls knocked after vehicles went out of control.

Local residents have told the Galway City Tribune that the Grattan Road area has historically been the scene of a number of road fatalities – and warned that more could follow – unless safety measures are put in place.

Resident Jimmy Coffey, said that local people and the Residents’ Association, were extremely concerned at the spate of accidents occurring close to the bend in the road adjacent to the Mutton Island causeway.

“It really has been the luck of God that people haven’t been seriously injured or killed in the latest run of accidents. If pedestrians happened to be in the area at the time, then we’d be talking about another tragedy,” said Mr Coffey.

He said that the core problem along the Grattan Road was the speed at which vehicles were travelling and he also called for an examination of the causeway junctions where five roads were coming together.

“This section of roadway, sadly does not have a good record going back the years, as regards fatal accidents. What we want to ensure now is that measures are put in place to make Grattan Road a safer place for everyone,” said Jimmy Coffey.

Local councillor, Niall McNelis, told the Galway City Tribune, that there was an acceptance at all levels of the need to improve road safety along the Grattan Road.

“Early in the New Year, Grattan Road is to be designated a 30kph zone and this is a speed limit that we’ll all want to see strictly enforced.

“This is essentially a speed problem and designating Grattan Road as a 30kph city speed zone is a very important step forward.

“We will also be trying to get radar speed sign displays along the route which have been proven to help in slowing down motorists.

“The recent accidents along this stretch of roadway have been very worrying and thankfully there was no serious injury or loss of life, but from now on all traffic will have to slow down along this route. It has to be a top priority for all of us,” said Cllr. McNelis.

Grattan Road is one of the most notorious sections of road in the city for fatal accidents – back in December 1998, a young man and woman lost their lives, after the car in which they were travelling, crashed into a concrete seat in the area.

Connacht Tribune

Confusion reigns – but publicans continue serving pints outdoors

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Galway City publicans continued this week to serve alcohol in newly created on-street outdoor dining sections – despite warnings from Gardaí that it was against licensing laws.

The local branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) said it is hoping Government will, if necessary, introduce legislation that facilitates pubs serving alcohol in public spaces reclaimed for outdoor hospitality.

On Friday last, our sister newspaper, Galway City Tribune revealed that Gardaí had visited a number of city pubs warning they were not legally permitted to serve alcohol outdoors in temporary on-street seating areas created by Galway City Council.

Publicans were told that if they continued to flout the rules, files would be sent to the DPP.

When the crux subsequently hit the national headlines, Justice Minister Heather Humphreys urged Gardaí to ‘use their discretion’.

“The overwhelming majority of licensed premises are operating safely, and we in Government are determined to continue to support them. If local issues arise, I would urge local authorities, Gardaí and businesses to engage.

“However, I will also examine whether further measures are required from Government. Licensing law is a complex area but I have spoken to the Attorney General this morning and we will take further action if necessary,” Minister Humphreys said.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Apple plans second bite at Athenry data centre

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An artist's impression of the proposed Apple Data Centre.

Apple intends to have another bite at plans to build a data centre in Athenry.  Apple Operations Europe has applied to Galway County Council for more time to construct a controversial data centre on a greenfield site at Derrydonnell.

The company said it will identify “interested parties to develop the project” between now and 2026 to meet global growth in demand for data storage facilities.

It will spark hope in the County Galway town of a revival of the €850 million project that was dogged for years by planning delays and court appeals and was subsequently shelved. It may also attract fresh objections.

The world’s largest technology company was granted planning permission to build a €850 million data centre near Athenry in 2015.

An appeal to An Bórd Pleanála by a handful of local residents was not successful, and the planning appeals board confirmed the local authority’s decision in 2016.

But the company ultimately aborted its plans for County Galway in 2018 after three objectors sought a review of the decision through the courts.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Mum’s dream holiday turns to nightmare after cancer diagnosis

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Julia McAndrew, in hospital in Mexico.

A mother who went to Mexico on a dream holiday to spend Christmas with family is too weak to return home after being diagnosed with advanced cancer.

From the minute Julia McAndrew landed in the South American country, her health took a major downward spiral.

Her son and daughter were shocked when she asked for a wheelchair to make it through the airport.

She and daughter Eliska had flown out to see her son Patrick, who had relocated to Mexico to run an online learning business.

They initially thought she had fallen ill due to the rigours of a 22-hour, multi-stop flight.

But when her stomach problems did not improve and she began to lose a lot of weight and suffered from very low energy, they sought medical help.

This had to be done privately and without the financial help of an insurance company, Patrick reveals.

She was initially diagnosed with anaemia and kidney failure and underwent various treatments, including blood transfusions that appeared to be working.

But three weeks ago, medics discovered that what she had was Stage 4 breast cancer. Julia had cancer a decade ago but was given the all-clear after receiving treatment and a major change in lifestyle.

“It’s returned with a vengeance this time around. It’s spread to her pelvis, ribs and lungs,” reflects Patrick.

The cost of the treatment is $40,000 (€33,000) a month. Her family are hoping to build up her strength enough to endure the long flight home to Oranmore.

They have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise €280,000 to pay for her treatment and in less than a week a phenomenal €36,000 has been donated.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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