Date Published: 09-Jun-2011
Former minister Eamon Ó Cuív TD has revealed that crucial advice from bodies such as the IDA, Fáilte Ireland and Enterprise Ireland warned that cutting funding to Galway Airport could have serious implications for future investment in the region.
Ó Cuív said that during the weeks of controversy over whether the Government would come up with the €1 million-plus subvention to pay the airport operating costs, he had held discussions in the background with a number of bodies he considered crucial.
Ó Cuív said that the key consideration had to be whether a decision to refuse the finance to Galway Airport, was disproportionate to the risks involved. According to the Industrial Development Agency, he said, the idea of keeping a functioning airport was important.
“In decision-making such as that involved in Foreign Direct Investment, of course issues like tax rates are important, but when all the financial issues are done out and taken into consideration, then the so-called ‘softer’ things come into play.
“These include things like access, lifestyle, executive lifestyle, good educational facilities, good hospitals and, of course, air access comes into it. It is a consideration that comes into play even if there is a motorway link to Dublin,” he said.
He said that for a company setting up here on
an island off mainland Europe, people would want to see that getting into and out of the place was not a hindrance.
“The question was whether it was worth a figure like €1.5 million to possibly prejudice investment into the region. In fact it is totally disproportionate to the possible saving and certainly according to the IDA the risk is there.”
Ó Cuív said his discussions had included background consultations with bodies such as the IDA, Fáilte Ireland and Enterprise Ireland and the county managers . . . his opinion following this was that “the airport was of significance” in future development.
He said that Transport Minister Leo Varadkar had handled the controversy poorly from the start . . . announcing a decision first so that any variation would be more difficult. It put the minister in a position of real difficulty in any decision to change or vary.
Ó Cuív said he refused to believe that Varadkar could not have found funds in a Department allocation of over €600 million – before he made a move like publicly announcing that there would be no operating expenses funding for Galway.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.