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Advance factory planned for Tuam IDA lands

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A planning application is being submitted to Galway County Council for the construction of an advance factory on IDA-owned lands on the outskirts of Tuam.

East Galway’s two ministers are combining their resources to ensure that a major advance factory is provided so that it can whet the appetites of potential investors in the town.

Deputy Sean Canney who is Minister for the Office of Public Works and Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor (originally from Milltown) who has responsibility for Jobs and Innovation are to meet over the coming week to discuss the employment situation in Tuam.

They have confirmed that plans will be submitted for an advance factory on the IDA-owned lands on the Dunmore Road out of Tuam. These lands have been vacant for several years.

It has been stated that no new manufacturing industry will come to Tuam unless there is factory space available to them. It is an issue that has been raised on a continuous basis by the Cathaoirleach of the Tuam Municipal Council, Cllr Tom McHugh.

There has been a demand that the IDA apply for planning permission for two advance factories for their 27 acre business park in Tuam which has been idle for almost two decades.

Anger has been expressed that since an IDA representative attended a meeting of Tuam Municipal Council last year, there had been no progress on this front.

Cllr Tom McHugh of Fine Gael is livid over the fact that there has been no response from the IDA since that meeting with regard to their plans for this extensive site on the outskirts of Tuam.

There were calls on the IDA at the time to seek planning permission for two advance factories on the site at Dunmore Road in Tuam but they have failed to lodge any application in this regard.

Cllr McHugh asked a recent of Tuam Municipal Council if there had been any response from the IDA since a representative from the body attended a previous meeting in 2015.

Director of Services Liam Gavin said that there had been no response but said that if the councillor wished, the IDA could be asked back to another meeting of Tuam Municipal Council.

Cllr McHugh asked if there was any point as he said that it was obvious that the IDA had very little interest in Tuam. He said that it wasn’t asking for much for them to just apply for planning permission – if was not that they were being asked to construct the advance factories.

At the meeting last year several councillors urged the IDA not to forget the smaller towns and villages when it came to job creation. However, they were told that this was a huge challenge as investors were targeting the bigger centres of population.

The meeting was attended a Business Development Manager with the IDA, who said that they represented four major employers in Tuam who had created 440 new full time jobs in the town over the past five years.

She specifically referred to Valeo Visions Systems which currently provides more than 1,000 full time and part time jobs at its car components plant on the Dunmore Road.

Cllr McHugh said that this company was currently operating out of at least four different premises and could be accommodated in one unit within the extensive IDA Business Park.

Connacht Tribune

Locals in fundraising drive to protect some of Connemara’s finest beauty spots

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The world-famous beaches Gurteen Bay and Dogs Bay will disappear unless work is carried out immediately to save them for the next generation.
A local conservation committee has been set up which is fundraising to carry out the work in September. They plan to remove the old fencing from the headland, which is dangerous for people and animals.
They will also want to install new fencing on the headland to keep animals off the sand dunes and to have clear access pathways to people to enjoy the dunes without causing them damage.
Sustainable chestnut fencing is then needed to re-establish the sand dunes and to save them from further collapse.
Finally the hope to replant marram grass to further stabalise the dunes.
Kieran Mullen, owner of the Gurteen Bay caravan and camping park, explained that the work was so urgent that they cannot wait another year to carry it out.
“Atlantic storms are becoming more frequent and powerful. If they find a weakness in the dunes a one metre gap is created. The next storm that widens to two and three metres and soon they’re gone forever,” he remarked.
“I know people might say I’m doing this because they’re part of my livelihood but these beaches are key to the bigger economy of Connemara. Everyone’s tied into tourism here – the shops, the builders. It only takes one influencer to post a picture on Instagram and the next week the place is packed.”
His father Pat, along with James Conneely and Joe Rafferty, undertook extensive projects such as planting marram grass, erecting fencing and stone gabions along one section of Dogs Bay beach back in the 1990s. They managed to protect and regenerate part of a highly degraded dune system.
“If it wasn’t for the huge amount of work they did back then, the beaches wouldn’t be here today. There was an Italian electrical company who came in and took away 50 tonnes of sand and my father stopped them at the gate and made them drop it off.
“They filmed Into The West here and the film donated some money to the beach and that’s how they paid for a lot of the work.”
The committee is meeting with planners to secure an exemption on planning for the work.
“Time is not on our side so that’s why we’ve gone ahead to raise the money and hope to get it done in September when the place is quieter.”
Both beaches, located outside Roundstone, regularly make the list of top 100 beaches of the world by travel guides.

To make a donation, visit GoFundMe page.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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