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Connacht Tribune

Airport team hopeful Pope will fly into Knock

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Management of the airport at Knock are hoping their prayers will be answered in the coming months – with a visit by Pope Francis and the commencement of transatlantic flights, the ‘Holy Grail’ of aviation.

Officials from Ireland West Airport said the signs are positive that the Pontiff will fly into the Mayo airfield at the beginning of his State visit in August.

When asked about reports the Pope would visit Knock, Joe Gilmore, managing director of the airport, said: “We’ve heard nothing official yet but we’re very hopeful. The soundings are positive, so we are very hopeful.”

He was responding this week to queries from Labour City Councillor Niall McNelis, after giving a presentation to Galway City Council about Knock.

Mr Gilmore also outlined how that the airport was “hopeful” of securing an agreement with an airline to operate transatlantic flights to and from America.

Regarding US flights, he said he’d “love to say it will happen in twelve months” and he was “very hopeful” of it happening within 18 months.

He cautioned that there was “a lot of uncertainty” globally in the aviation industry; and takeovers and mergers of airlines can scupper the ongoing work and talks that have been happening with transatlantic operators.

Mr Gilmore, and his colleague Donal Healy, gave a brief ‘business update’ in the City Council chamber on Monday.

They outlined that the total investment contribution from both Galway City Council and Galway County Council was €912,500 each.

The duo was seeking a further one-off investment of €14,500 from both Galway Councils to complete the construction of a visitor discovery centre in the arrivals.

They said 2017 was a record year for Ireland West Airport with 750,000 passengers. This year they plan to expand further into the UK market with 16,000 extra seats on flights to Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester with Flybe. Ryanair is also increasing capacity on its Milan flight by 35% and Mr Gilmore said there are plans for more services to Netherlands, France and Germany. Brexit would have a short-term impact, they predicted, but that is why they were diversifying routes.

In response to questions from Cllr Ollie Crowe (FF), Mr Gilmore agreed the compulsory €10 charge, payable by every passenger before going through security, was “very contentious” but without it, he said, Knock would not be there because it covers about 40% of its operating costs.

A number of elected members criticised the poor quality public transport links with the airport to Galway, notwithstanding that the Derry-Galway Bus Éireann service now stops at the airport six times per day.

Passenger surveys found that 19% of the airport’s outbound passengers originate in Galway; and 40% of visitors going through the airport visit Galway.

According to the survey, they spend €35m plus in Galway and generate 100,000+ bed nights per annum.

Councillors will vote on the €14,500 grant at the June meeting

Connacht Tribune

Magnificent property boasts all the elegance of a showhouse

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High standard of finish: Bóthar na Mias in Kinvara.

Farrell Auctioneers are handling the sale of this magnificent home at Bóthar na Mias in Kinvara.

Number 19 simply oozes style and there’s no question it’s right up there with the best of showhouses.

It boasts character and comfort with its design allowing light to flow brightly throughout – thanks to the large glass wall window it features.

A three-bed property, there is also potential for a fourth bedroom on the ground floor. The living area and kitchen are tastefully designed and laid out with modern day comforts in mind.

The bespoke kitchen is every homemakers dream, with its floor to ceiling kitchen units as well as many other features.

This beautiful residence is located within walking distance of Kinvara Bay which is one of the most desirable places to live in the world. Not alone would the property make a beautiful family home and the occupants would have the benefit of the unrivalled natural beauty that the area has to offer, but this lively picturesque village has all amenities needed for everyday living such as schools, childcare, post office, a host of restaurants/cafes/bars, playground, medical centre, hotel, GAA facilities not to mention the instant access to a selection of beaches dotted along the Wild Atlantic way.

Selling agent Colm Farrell said: “This property has to be viewed to appreciate both the dwelling and the stunning setting.”

 The asking price is €450,000. For further information or to arrange a viewing, contact Farrell Auctioneers on 091 632688.

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Country Living

Bemoaning loss of innocence in a sport driven by big bucks

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Brazil dazzled the world of football in 1970 with their mix of pace, grace and sheer footballing class.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

I’m not big into trying to resolve the huge issues of the world like wars, climate change or attempting to dethrone the obnoxious Elon Musks of this world, primarily on the basis that my influence would be akin to a moth trying to stop a herd of charging elephants.

And, I suppose at this stage, I have to accept that it’s far too late to try and call a halt to the World Cup proceedings in Qatar but for the life of me, the event doesn’t even send a sliver of enthusiasm through my nervous system.

Maybe, it’s an old-fashioned streak that’s there inside of me, but the thought of watching World Cup matches in the run-up to Christmas just doesn’t seem right. Okay, so it will be about 30°C in the heart of the Qatar desert but watching a World Cup semi-final in the middle of the Christmas office party is just a stretch too far for me.

Alas, World Cup memories go back a long way with me to a late Sunday in July 1966 when as a ‘small boy’ I was given the job of ‘minding’ the house while the ‘rest of them’ saved a small field of hay a couple of miles away from the house.

Of course, at the time there wasn’t even a faint chance of a black-and-white TV in the house, while visits to any abode that might have a telly, were strictly confined to a Sunday with the stipulation that Galway footballers had to be involved.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Tractor run will remember a local legend

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Some members of the 10-person organising committee for the PJ Mahoney Memorial Tractor Run that takes place in Ardrahan on Sunday, December 11. (Left to right): Anthony Whelan, Brian Kilkelly, Declan Sylver, Patrick Mahoney and Aonghusa Fahy. Absent from the photo are: Mary Forde, Lena Taylor, Conor O’Dea, Gerald Harney and Mícheál Kelly.

THE PJ Mahoney Memorial Tractor Run will take place on Sunday, December 11, in memory of a very well-known and highly regarded figure within the Ardrahan and South Galway local community, who passed away just a year ago this month.

PJ Mahoney was steeped in farming and the GAA and for this he was known far and wide. He was a talisman for Ardrahan GAA, playing in goals for the senior hurling team when they won county hurling titles in 1974, 1975 and 1978.

All down through the years, he was a most dedicated and guiding servant to the club up until his untimely death in a road accident last year.

PJ farmed locally throughout his life and was well known as an agricultural contractor in both Galway and North Clare, a business carried on by his son Patrick.

There are many tales and anecdotes of PJ Mahoney that still bring a smile to the faces of those recalling them.

He was a keystone in the local community, the neighbour you could always call on, and indeed the neighbour that didn’t need to be called upon as he would turn up to help regardless.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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