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CITY TRIBUNE

All-rounder Brassil aims for Tokyo after European team silver medal

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Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

After securing a silver medal with the Irish women’s pentathlon team at the European Senior Championships in Hungary recently, Sive Brassil’s dream of representing Ireland at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo is increasingly looking like it can become a reality.
Since winning the Spanish Open in 2015, the Ballinasloe native has steadily been climbing the world rankings but she says the silver medal at the recent European Championships, which she claimed alongside team-mates Natalya Coyle and Eilidh Prise, is one of her finest achievements yet.
“It was really good. The three of us were delighted,” recounts Irish modern pentathlete Brassil, who is home in her native town on a well-earned summer break.
“What was even better was the next day we saw Michael D. Higgins had tweeted about us. That just put the cherry on the top of the cake. We were over the moon with that.”
Overall, Coyle had finished fifth in the individual standings with Prise 11th and Brassil 21st. For all three, it was their highest-ever finish at senior European level, resulting in Ireland finishing just behind team gold medallists Hungary and ahead of third-placed France.
For Brassil, it was the perfect tonic in a year disrupted by injuries. “I could tell my fitness was fully back after the injuries. I qualified really easily for the final, which I was delighted with, and then in the final, the first half of my fencing went really well and I was really excited.
“However, then the second half (of the fencing), I lost almost every single hit so I ended up with a very average fence which put me out of the place I would have liked to have been in. But, my swim was very strong, I had a good ride and then I had a really good run-shoot at the end. So, I finished 21st overall which wasn’t what I was hoping for but considering how poorly the day started, it was okay.”
In any event, the competition will surely stand to her ahead of her next challenge, the World Championships in Mexico in September. On the back of her European silver medal, Brassil will be hoping she can drive on from this and replicate – and maybe even surpass – her results in World Cup events earlier this year.
In February, she finished 14th at the first of four World Cup qualifiers in Los Angeles before securing the exact same placing – 14th – in the second qualifier in Cairo, Egypt the following month.
“Both of those were my first top 15 finishes (at senior elite level). So, I was delighted,” she continues. “It meant I had now qualified for the World Cup final after doing just two rounds, which was great, because it gave me a chance to take a breather.
“I was planning on going to the fourth event but I then had a couple of injury problems. I ended up getting a calf tear and then just when it was better I sprained by ankle so I didn’t end up going to the fourth.”
She returned to full health though just before the World Cup final in Kazakhstan in June but without the stable diet of full-on training behind her, it proved difficult. “It was a bit of a disappointment even though, obviously, I had been injured and I hadn’t a good block of training done before it.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Allegations over Galway homeless hub that’s nominated for award

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A unique social housing development in the city, which has been nominated for an award, was the subject of complaints and allegations by a resident living there.

The Westside Modular Family Hub has been shortlisted for the Irish Council of Social Housing Allianz Community Housing Awards 2021.

Opened in May last year, the purpose-built family homeless service was developed by Galway City Council and Peter McVerry Trust with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, and the Housing Agency.

The 15 units were installed at a cost of €2 million after what Galway City Council described as, “extensive public consultation and engagement with local residents and local representatives in advance and during the project to ensure all issues of concern were addressed”.

In a press release announcing the accommodation was nominated for an award, the City Council said that, “there is strong support from the local community for the development”.

It has been nominated for an award, which is determined by public vote.

However, it has emerged that at least one resident of the hub complained to the City Council about anti-social behaviour.

The resident made allegations of drug-taking, late-night house parties and drinking, and fighting earlier this summer.

The resident detailed an alleged attack in which a woman bit another woman’s shoulder and an ambulance was required.

The complainant also said that families were not being moved-on to longer-term accommodation within six months.

The complaints were made to the Housing Department at City Hall and it’s understood they were referred on to the service-provider, Peter McVerry Trust.

A Peter McVerry Trust spokesperson said: “The service offers good quality accommodation and professional supports to homeless families. Since opening the service in May 2020 we have supported 28 families, comprising of 38 adults and 60 children and helped 13 families move into housing with a further move-on expected in the coming week.

“From time to time issues do arise within the service, and PMVT staff will speedily and assertively respond to such issues to support and protect all residents as best we can. We have 24/7 staff supports on site, intensive key worker assistance and household specific care plans in place. Ultimately, our priority for each family in our care at Westside is to secure a housing pathway for them in order to exit homelessness.”

Asked for comment, a City Council spokesperson said: “I am advised by colleagues in the Housing Directorate that any issues that may arise in the Hub are dealt with by Peter McVerry Trust who are the service providers of this facility and a service level agreement is in place to deal with any issues that may arise.”

When the 15 units were installed in 2020, City Councillor Colette Connolly highlighted at a Council meeting that there was a leak in the roof of some of the homes. The Council confirmed “water ingress” in windows in a number of the units, which would be rectified by the supplier at no additional cost to the local authority.

Announcing the award nomination last week, the Council said the hub was designed to “temporarily house families while they seek a long-term solution to their housing need,” with the assistance of the Peter McVerry Trust management who are on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It features 15 own-door two-bed and three-bed units, each with a kitchen, dining space and bathroom. There is also an on-site playground.

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CITY TRIBUNE

New fire station for Athenry gets stamp of approval

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Councillors have given their stamp of approval to a new fire station for Athenry – voting unanimously to grant planning for the development at Ballygarraun South.

The site of just under two acres, located between the new Presentation College and the railway line, will house a station as well as a training tower and parking.

Chief Fire Officer Paul Duffy told a meeting of the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District this week that they hoped to have a contractor appointed by the end of October, with works to get underway soon afterwards.

“We have worked very hard to get this project to a tangible position and it’s great that the ‘Part 8’ planning application [one which requires a vote by councillors] has been adopted today,” said Mr Duffy.

“This will hopefully get underway this year and we can move on to other stations [in the county], with another one planned for next year and another the year after,” he added.

The plans include the construction of a 361 square metre fire station with finishing materials common to the area which ‘will link the development on the site to the context overall’.

Permission has been granted from the IDA, which owns the site, for Galway County Council to proceed with the development on their lands.

The meeting heard that consideration had been given to the sightlines for exiting fire trucks and that amendments had been made to the original plans to ensure they were adequate.

Local area councillor Gabe Cronnelly (Ind) said the progression of a new fire station for the town was hugely welcome, adding that it had been years in the making.

“We have to give huge credit to Paul Duffy who pursued this. Athenry is one of the busiest stations in the county. We secured an extension for the existing station six years ago and when the Department was granting that, they could see that, from the amount of calls it was getting, that a new station was justified,” said Cllr Cronnelly.

Cllr Shelly Herterich Quinn (FF) said she was ‘delighted’ that the area’s representatives had given the proposal their unanimous backing.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Plan for ‘world-class’ campus with potential for 10,000 jobs at Galway Airport

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From this week’s Galway CIty Tribune – A proposal to transform the former Galway Airport into a ‘world-class’ business and technology campus has been drawn up by Galway County Council – with the potential to create up to 10,000 jobs.

The plan, which was compiled as part of the Draft County Development Plan, proposes a multi-million-euro investment in the 115-acre site owned jointly by the County and City Councils.

According to the vision document, the airport site at Carnmore could become a key economic driver that would “attract and secure long-term investment in Galway and the western region, and underpin the development of the Galway Metropolitan Area”.

Among the sectors identified as potential occupants are renewable energy, biodiversity, food science and logistics.

Some of the structures included for are a ‘landmark building’; commercial units; park amenity and recreation space; a renewable energy park; and a multi-purpose leisure facility.

A contemporary development with the potential to accommodate emerging industries is promised, with projected employment numbers ranging between 3,500 to 10,000 over time.

However, county councillors raised concerns at a meeting this week that the proposal they had seen in the Development Plan had been ‘sitting on a shelf’ since last March – and they still hadn’t seen what was dubbed ‘the masterplan’ for the airport site.

Cllr Liam Carroll (FG) told the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District meeting that the recent news that Oranmore was among the locations being looked at by multinational tech giant, Intel, put fresh focus on the future of the airport.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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