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Connacht Tribune

Additional retail and commercial space in Tuam blueprint

Declan Tierney

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Sorting out additional retail space – to include provision for major supermarkets – is likely to form a key part of the new development blueprint for Tuam.

That would include a new Tesco store with the potential for a new hotel and shop units also under consideration the new plan.

Lands around the town have been rezoned from residential to commercial and retail – and this provides the opportunity for one of the ‘major players’ to arrive in Tuam.

There are plans by Tesco to provide a new store on a 20 acre site on the Milltown Road while there is potential for a new hotel and retail park on the Galway Road.

It now means that Tuam can develop into a retail and commercial hub, declared Cllr Donagh Killilea who proposed the planning designations of three crucial areas in Tam.

The Tuam Area Plan came up for discussion at a meeting of Galway County Council and it was decided by councillors to endorse three particular areas of the town for both retail, commercial and residential development.

Tuam area councillors agreed to provide the town with designations that would allow for major retail development along with housing – it is now hoped that some of the big supermarket chains will apply for planning.

It is known that Tesco are already interested in a major site on the Milltown Road in Tuam – and have been for years – and a planning application to this extent is expected to be lodged within a matter of months.

There is a large site on the Galway Road in Tuam which has been earmarked for ‘mixed use’ development and it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that a new hotel could be located there.

The site would also accommodate a number of retail units but it would prove a major boost for Tuam as all developments would be located between the two new roundabouts that have been provided as part of the overall motorway development.

Meanwhile, around 40 acres of land on the Dublin Road has been designated for housing and could potentially accommodate more than 500 accommodation units.

Cllr Donagh Killilea said that Tuam needed more retail space and that was why he was endorsing additional designations for some of the ‘main players’ to come into the town. He was supported by Fine Gael’s Cllr Tom McHugh.

“For too long, the town has been haemorrhaging business to the likes of Claremorris and Galway city and it is high time that we provided proper retail space for our own.

“We have now agreed that lands have been designated to accommodate some of the main retail chains and at the same time we have made provision for much needed housing in the town.

“It is imperative that we develop Tuam as a retail hub of North Galway and I think that the designations that we have suggested will work and benefit the town into the future,” Cllr Killilea added.

Connacht Tribune

Student nurses face all the risk – for no reward

Dara Bradley

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Working on the children’s ward of a busy hospital during a global pandemic is no joke; less funny still when you’re not getting paid for your toil.

All the risk and none of the rewards of qualified staff – that’s the lot of Edel Moore, a student nurse who is currently on placement at University Hospital Galway.

Edel, and hundreds of student nurses like her on placement in UHG and Portiuncula in Ballinasloe, want more than a round of applause and platitudes from Government.

“None of us want a pat on the back for struggling. We’d just like to be recognised,” she said.

“The Government are full-time talking about front-line workers, and they want to give them a ‘clap hands’. Then you see Junior Ministers getting massive raises. For what? What have they done for us, the student nurses, that they’re getting a €16,000 wage increase?

“We’ve put ourselves through a four year degree but all I’m worth is a clap? Thanks! It’s ridiculous. They say that front-line workers deserve all the help they can get but it just seems that the ones who are able to give us the help we need are not going to give us the help that we deserve.”

Edel Moore is a mature student originally from Westmeath but living in Leitir Mealláin in Connemara with her husband and three children.

A third year student nurse of NUIG, she is currently on placement at the paediatric ward at UHG.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Island museum gets the green light

Declan Tierney

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An artist's impression of the proposed Inishbofin museum.

Work is expected to begin shortly on the construction of a museum on Inishbofin after planners gave the green light to the project.

The museum at Middlequarter is being developed by local historian and photographer Marie Coyne – and when completed, it will be home to items of historical significance from both Inishbofin and Inishark.

There is an existing museum on the island but it is too small to house the amount of artefacts, photographs and family histories that have been assembled over the years.

The new building will also include a photographic exhibition room, restoration workshop along with a gift shop and coffee dock. It is proposed that the new 3,400 square feet museum will be built on a site at the rear of Ms Coyne’s home.

Eamon Gavin of Eamon Gavin Architects based in Cornamona told the Connacht Tribune that this was an important project for the island and it was a welcome decision.

And he said that the green light would kickstart the process of conserving the vast and unique artefacts and archives built up over the years.

“As a practice, we have a long history of dealing with planning consultancy on unique rural sites in Connemara and the islands, therefore we fully understood how sensitive the proposed location of the project would be – the site is located in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and National Heritage Area,” he said.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Tuam woman a picture of health a year after Covid crisis

Declan Tierney

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Tuam's Kitty Farrell with her dog Lulu a year after her Covid diagnosis.

Last year was a Mother’s Day like no other for Kitty Farrell who spent it in the back of an ambulance being rushed to hospital with Covid – but the 80 year old Tuam woman can look forward to a more sedate celebration this time out….thankfully restored back to full health.

Kitty, from Ballygaddy Road, had developed a debilitating cough the previous week – and when she was admitted to UHG on Mother’s Day, she tested positive for the coronavirus despite a lack of symptoms.

The retired businesswoman spent the next nine days seriously ill in isolation – and all alone as her four children could not visit her.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to come through it but I was so sick that at times, it didn’t really matter. But the thought of passing away in isolation made a bad situation even worse,” Kitty said at the time.

A year on, she is back to full health, and while she restricts her movements, Kitty told The Connacht Tribune that she is just happy to be alive and she spends her days ‘pottering about’ and looking forward to the arrival of family members.

“Even though I don’t particularly agree with the current lockdown because everyone should be responsible for their own behaviour, I am living a life of relative isolation at the moment,” she said.

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

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