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CITY TRIBUNE

Another Galway summer stuffed with success!

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Double Vision with Charlie Adley

Buster he sold the heat … with a rock steady be-eat …” High above me, pumping out of the tannoy speakers in the warehouse roof, this booming voice announced itself by speaking Jamaican words with a white London accent. A couple of seconds later the air was filled with a sublime fusion of ska, reggae and pop, all wrapped up in cockney and Caribbean rhythms.
It was 1979 and we’d never heard anything like it. All round the warehouse blokes stopped in their tracks, smiles stretching their faces as they soaked up the exuberance of Madness.
I was 19, a middle class lad working in a world of hardened working class men.
Industrial Temping was an ancestor of today’s Gig Economy. The agency sent me off to factories and warehouses, sometimes for a day, sometimes for months. The work was hard, the pay poor, but for me it was perfect. As soon as I’d saved up enough money I was free to board the ferry to France once again, to spend a few months hitching around Europe.
That summer the sounds of 2 Tone exploded into our lives. After years of going to three gigs a week during punk, live music was then the backbone of my existence. For years Rastas and Punks had mixed at gigs and been friendly, sharing a common enemy in Skinheads, but this new driving dance music, this monster sound had its roots in ska, which had always been Skinhead music.
Amazing gigs at the Electric Ballroom and the Hammersmith Palais followed, where Black, White, Punk, Skin, Rude Boy, Mod and Rasta all danced together, unified by the joyous music.
I remember huge line-ups, with The Specials, The Selector, Madness, The Modettes, Dexy’s Midnight Runners and The Beat all performing on the same night.
2 Tone spoke our language, sometimes politically scathing, at others touchingly sympathetic to love-lorn youth.
By the time all the bands had left 2 Tone to form their own labels we’d enjoyed a bucket load of unbridled joy, and once you’ve shared the glory of a raucous gig, there can be no further animosity.
If only that had been the case at my place of work. I remember well that day I first heard Madness, because it coincided with the breaking of Tony’s mug.
With his lank long greasy hair, yellowed buckled teeth and sad weary eyes, Tony was an unlikely figure of fear, but he was the foreman, and emaciated in his faded Humble Pie T-Shirt and skull belt-buckle, he ruled that warehouse like a stoned Stalin.
During tea break I got distracted while chatting to young Jimmy about that new band we’d just heard, and my finger flipped Tony’s mug onto the concrete floor, where of course it shattered.
“Shit mate. Now you’ve done it. That’s Tony’s mug. He loves that mug.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Work expected to start on Galway City cycleways next summer

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The first six projects in the city’s major new cycle network are expected to begin construction by next June.

In an update on developments that are in train to improve the lot of cyclists, councillors at this week’s local authority meeting were told that the Martin Roundabout (near the Galway Clinic) would next be changed to a junction and the BusConnects, involving priority bus lanes from Moneenageisha to University Hospital Galway, were advancing.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has approved a raised cycle lane north of Railway Bridge on Doughiska Road South and for a shared street south of the bridge.

Eglinton Canal will turn into a shared cycle and pedestrian path. Four weeks of public consultation on both of these is set to begin in October, with the projects set to go to detailed design and tender following final NTA approval.

Ballybane, Castlepark and Bóthar Stiofáin Roads will also go to public consultation for “raised adjacent cycle schemes” a month after that.

The six projects are expected to begin construction by the end of June or early July next year.

Millars Lane is currently in preliminary design stage after clearing works were carried out last November.

Options are being examined and parking survey prepared for Threadneedle, Bishop O’Donnell, Dr Mannix, Devon Park, Salthill Road Upper and Lower Roads with input and designs from the Parkmore Strategic Framework awaited for the Monivea and Doughiska North Roads.

Active Travel Schemes had been approved in principle by the NTA for Ballyloughane and Clybaun South Roads, involving pedestrian crossings, traffic calming, signalisation of junctions and the integration of safe school routes.

Cllr John Connolly (FF) noted that the first quarter of 2021 was when some of these projects were to go to construction, according to a previous timetable.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Racecourse Park and Ride a non-runner for Christmas in Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The lack of a park and ride service this Christmas will drive shoppers out of town at a time when businesses are struggling to recover from months in lockdown, the Mayor has warned.

This is after it was revealed that the City Council has failed to secure an alternative location for the service – with its usual base at Galway Racecourse out of action due to the ongoing vaccination programme.

The service, which had previously operated for the three-week period in the run up to Christmas, enabled motorists to park their cars in Ballybrit and take a return trip by bus to town at a cost of just €2 – taking hundreds of cars out of the city centre.

The Mayor, Cllr Colette Connolly, said it was ‘completely ludicrous’ that it would not be in operation this year, in a city that was already gridlocked with car traffic.

“I think that it is a retrograde step not to proceed with the Christmas Park and Ride because we know what will happen – we’ve seen before what happens at the Corrib Centre around Christmas where traffic backs up and people get stuck in the car park,” said the Mayor.

This would result in shoppers from outside the city avoiding coming in, while others would go to other towns and cities to avoid traffic misery.

“They will go to Limerick or to Dublin, which is only two-and-a-half hours away. They will go to Athlone, because they may as well go there, rather than spend two hours sitting in traffic on Lough Atalia,” added the Independent councillor.

In Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath’s report to councillors, it is stated that “it is looking unlikely that Galway City Council will be able to run the Christmas Park and Ride in 2021”.

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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