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Architects oppose bypass route affecting NUIG

Dara Bradley

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Architects have come out against plans to route the new city bypass through the campus of NUI Galway.

Representatives of seven architects firms who were involved in the design of buildings at NUIG and a ‘master plan’ for its future expansion, have opposed another bridge and road through the campus.

They argue that the existing Quincentenary Bridge already dominates and splits the centre of the campus. “To introduce another would do irreparable damage,” they warn.

In an open letter, the architects ask the National Roads Authority, and Galway County Council, to “consider the importance of the university to the city and the region, and take stock of the enormously negative effects the road options will pose to the built infrastructure of the university and its context.”

The letter is signed by Tony Reddy and Rob Keane of Reddy Architecture and Urbanism; Denis Brereton of RKD Architects; David Clarke of Moloney O’Beirne Architects; Gar Holohan of Aura Holohan Group; Paul Mannion and Scott Tallon of Walker Architects; Eamon McCarney of Taylor Architects; and Edel Tobin of Simon J. Kelly and Partners Architects.

“An elevated dual carriageway through the NUIG campus would be catastrophic. The university has an outstanding landscape setting and is essentially linear in nature, spread along 3km of the River Corrib from the Cathedral to Dangan.

“This also makes it particularly vulnerable and the ring road would divide the university into two parts while also creating a sterile urban environment. We consider that visual and pedestrian connectivity is essential in order to ensure that the university can continue to develop and meet the challenges in the years ahead,” they said.

“The outstanding natural setting of the campus is one of the unique features of NUIG. The river and the historic network of canals and waterways that intersect the campus and form its boundary have influenced the arrangement of buildings, routes and open spaces on the campus.

“The introduction of a significant new multi-lane road and bridge its considerable mass, scale and structural site implications will only negatively affect the setting of the campus. There is no positive precedent in the history of the state for such an intervention.”

Connacht Tribune

Loughrea school’s new arrival is already top dog!

Francis Farragher

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St Raphael’s College, Loughrea, student Tierney Burke welcomes the school community dog “Teal”. Photo: Hany Marzouk

SHE’S only two-years-old but already Teal is both the star pupil and teacher at St. Raphael’s Secondary School in Loughrea.

School Principal, Paul Cafferky, is delighted with the role that the Labrador and Golden Retriever cross, Teal, has made right across the school – but particularly so with a special class of six pupils.

“We had heard about an initiative where Guide Dogs are provided for at schools, hospitals or hospices and we decided to check it out a bit more.

“At the time, we were told we had a chance of getting a dog but there were no promises. We were absolutely thrilled when the Guide Dogs confirmed that Teal would be coming to the school,” said Paul Cafferkey.

Sometimes Guide Dogs ‘mightn’t just make it’ in terms of meeting the needs of visually impaired people and these canines are then offered to places like schools.

Teal is a much-loved addition for all pupils and staff at the school but particularly with Rang Breandan, a special class of six students – four in senior-cycle and two in first-year – who enjoy the presence of Teal in their classroom for a few hours every day.

Principal Paul Cafferky – along with Special Needs Co-ordinator, Mairead McKenna and teacher Mairead Taylor – all went through a 20-hour training course with Teal, while all students at the school were given a Zoom presentation on their new arrival.

You can read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition on www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

TG4 journalists angry at weekend staff cuts

Dara Bradley

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TG4.

RTÉ’s Irish language news workforce fears being downgraded to a ‘translation service’ at weekends because of cutbacks at the national broadcaster.

Journalists and other workers at RTÉ’s Nuacht on TG4 are concerned about cuts to the availability of camera crew on Saturdays and Sundays, and also on Tuesdays.

They argue it will limit the editorial independence of the Irish news service because the decisions on what to film on those days will be made by RTÉ’s English language news teams.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has called on RTÉ to look at alternative ways of saving money.

RTÉ told the Connacht Tribune that the change was ‘modest’ and it was aimed at ‘reducing duplication across RTÉ journalism’.

The issue was highlighted by Conradh na Gaeilge, which accused RTÉ of “targeting” TG4’s news service. Galway West TD and former Gaeltacht Minister Éamon Ó Cuív (FF) said Nuacht TG4 needed an independent budget. Deputy Ó Cuív told Tuairisc.ie the cuts showed that RTÉ had a ‘lack of interest’ in developing Irish language news service.

RTÉ provide TG4 with Nuacht and 7Lá as part of its public service remit.

A number of sources working in RTÉ’s Irish language news service told the Connacht Tribune they are angry and frustrated with the proposed cuts to Nuacht’s camera crew, which are due to come into effect in mid-May.

“This will be a very serious downgrading of our service,” said one worker.

“On the face of it, it’s not a big problem – we won’t have a camera at weekends in Dublin. But it has implications on our news service at weekends and we’d more or less just become a translation service of what the English RTÉ news has.”

You can read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition on www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Neighbours raise the roof after cottage fire

Denise McNamara

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Fundraiser...Kevin Williams’ fire-damaged thatched cottage.

Neighbours of a man whose thatched cottage in Corrandulla was badly damaged by fire last Friday are raising funds to help the owner rebuild his beloved home.

Kevin Williams had a fire down when he heard his dog, Spike, barking in the kennel.

“He’s never barked since the day we got him so I went out to him. When I did, I could smell something and there it was – fire coming out of the chimney. Only for the little dog it would have been burnt to the ground,” he reflects this week.

He went up with a hose to dampen down the thatch until the fire brigade arrived. Unfortunately, the whole roof has to be rethatched, which has to be carried out without the benefit of insurance.

“I haven’t got insurance due to the recession which makes it much worse. We’ve estimated it’s going to cost €15,000. I’m a painter decorator so I can do a lot of the work inside myself but not the roof.”

His neighbour, Neil Haigh, put himself and partner Geraldine Jennings, up for a few days but they have returned to live in the one room that escaped most of the damage.

Neil’s wife, Delia Tobin, has set up an online fundraising page aiming to raise €15,000 to thatch the cottage so that it can continue to be lived in.

You can read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition on www.connachttribune.ie To make a donation, search the Gofundme page: ‘Help Kevin Williams save the cottage’.

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