Date Published: 22-Jun-2011
AIB should vacate its city centre premises and lease it as a public civic building at a nominal yearly rent of €1, as a gesture of the financial institute’s “atonement” and to “repent for its sins” that contributed to the country’s financial collapse, a former government minister suggested this week.
Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív (FF) has urged Finance Minister Michael Noonan to ask AIB, which is effectively a state-owned bank, to consider leasing Lynch’s Castle on Shop Street in the heart of Galway City to either the city council or Civic Trust at a ‘peppercorn rent’.
He said the bank, which has contributed to the financial ruin of the country, should lease the property on a 999-year ‘peppercorn’ lease – effectively a nominal rent usually of €1 per annum – so that the building could be used as a “public civic building” for the local community and tourists to enjoy.
Deputy Ó Cuív said the landmark building, which is steeped in history, should never have been occupied by a financial institution in the first place.
He told the Connacht Tribune that by leasing the premises to a public body, the bank could “atone” for its “sins” and its contribution to the current economic crisis.
“Lynch’s Castle in Shop Street is a very historic landmark building, which is owned by AIB. It is . . . one of the finest historic buildings in the city. The AIB is, in turn, effectively owned by the State, which is its largest shareholder, and without whose support the bank would not be financially viable.
“Galway is very short of suitable public spaces for civic events for people from home and abroad and this is a disadvantage when attracting major conferences and events to Galway.
“In view of the debacle in relation to AIB and the burden placed on the taxpayer, it would send a positive signal if the building was leased on a 999-year peppercorn lease to Galway City Council or a Civic Trust as a public civic building,” said Deputy Ó Cuív in a letter to Minister Noonan.
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement
Date Published: 07-May-2013
Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.
It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.
Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores
This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.
However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.
Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.
That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.
The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.
Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.
Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.
He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.
Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.