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CITY TRIBUNE

Art project exploring secrets of the ocean

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Students Èabha, Lauryn and David, from Scòil Pàdraig Naofa, Cregmore, with Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Marine Institute (left) and artist Louise Manifold.

TULCA Festival of Visual art is collaborating with artist Louise Manifold and the Galway Marine Institute in Rinville for a special project as part of this year’s Sea-Fest, which will kick off in late June.

The event is part of the TULCA OFFshore programme, an initiative that helps promote Ireland’s maritime heritage and identity.

Louise is working with fourth-class students at Cregmore National School on a visual art and science project entitled Build your own Unknown.

Students will create an installation and a short film re-enacting the Irish-led marine scientific discovery of the Moytirra deep-sea hydrothermal vent field, the first to be explored along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, north of the Azores, in 2011.

Moytirra was named after a mythological Irish battlefield (meaning plain of pillars). This unique eco-system, 3,000 metres under the sea, consists of gigantic rock formations, lava vents over ten metres high, and unusual marine species.

The Cregmore students will create their own expedition, based on photographs, videos and stills captured by the remotely operated submarine, ROV Holland I. These include rarely seen images from the depths of the ocean.

“As an artist, I’ve always been fascinated by relationship between science and cinema,” says Louise Manifold. “Often, our connections to ocean space is formed through our childhood imagination, from sci-fi films to childhood games and mythical stories.

“Build your own Unknown is not only about understanding our connections to the ocean, it is about valuing human curiosity”, she adds. Louise is confident that the students will “make amazing work that celebrates this.”

TULCA’s Education Co-ordinator Joanne McGlynn feels the role of arts in education is invaluable.

“Learning through the arts encourages reflective thinking, problem solving, decision making, self-expression, experimentation and communication,” she says.

The project will also result in an art-science project module, lesson plans and resources for the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme. These will be available on www.explorers.ie later this year.

Build your own Unknown video and installation will be shown at SeaFest which runs from June 30-July 2 in Galway.

CITY TRIBUNE

Gardaí bid to identify body recovered near Mutton Island

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Gardai have launched an investigation following the discovery of a body in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon.

A member of the public raised the alarm after spotting the body in the water while walking on the causeway to Mutton Island.

Galway Fire Service, Gardai and the RNLI attended the scene and recovered the body at around 4pm, before it was taken to University Hospital Galway for a post mortem.

It is understood that the body may have been in the water for some time.

Gardaí are currently examining a list of missing people in the city.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Land Development Agency rules out Merlin ‘land grab’

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Campaigners have warned the Land Development Agency (LDA) to keep its hands off Merlin Woods.

Local community group Friends of Merlin Woods said that the amenity on the east side of the city is not suitable for residential development.

It has sought clarification on whether the LDA has earmarked part of the recreational and amenity lands for housing, after it appeared on its online database of publicly-owned lands.

In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, the LDA said its database compiles a list of all State lands, not just land for development.

In relation to Merlin Woods, the LDA said: “Those lands aren’t included in the LDA developments in Galway. The lands database is a map-based tool which compiles all State lands and has no reflection on development potential.”

It came after Caroline Stanley of Friends of Merlin Woods raised concern that land within Merlin Woods had been earmarked for development.

“I’d be concerned that it’s marked as residential when it’s in RA (Recreational and Amenity) land. Some is marked ‘open space’ but some is marked as ‘new proposed residential’ on its [LDA’s] database. It makes us wonder why. We’d like clarity and to clear it up.

“The message we’d like to get out there is we need clarification, whether it’s a mistake on the Land Development Agency’s part, or whether it is an area that they consider as a residential area, which the community would be opposed to. We need clarity. It could be something that is in line for development later on, we don’t know, and we need clarity.”

Councillor Owen Hanley explained that the fears around Merlin Woods stem from legislation currently making its way through the Oireachtas that would strip councillors of powers to veto the transfer of land to the LDA for housing projects.

The Bill would also allow Government to direct what public lands – including those owned by local authorities – can be transferred to the LDA for development of social and affordable housing.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Detractors’ could hold up €10m Spanish Arch flood defence scheme

Enda Cunningham

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan has warned that the Office of Public Works and Galway City Council “may end up in the High Court” if they attempt to expedite plans for the €10 million flood defence scheme for the Spanish Arch and Docks areas.

Speaking at an Oireachtas Finance Committee meeting last week, the Minister for the Office of Public Works admitted his frustration at the length of time such projects take.

But he said that if he and the OPW attempted to “shave off time” in moving the project forwards, they would have to be mindful of “detractors” making accusations later and there being a legal challenge.

He was responding to Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell, who said it was likely to be 2028 before the flood prevention works would be completed.

“It was revealed in November that it will be at least eight years before long-awaited flood defences are completed in the Spanish Arch and Docks areas – with the City Council estimating that it will be towards the end of 2028 before works conclude,” said Deputy Farrell.

Minister O’Donovan said: “The OPW is committed. There is money available. We do not have a worry about allocating money for capital spending. I say to Deputy Farrell, and to Galway City Council, that, if we can shave off time in advancing projects, we will gladly do so, but we have to be mindful of the fact that if our detractors make accusations later, we may end up in the High Court. We do not want that.”

(Photo: Flood Street in February 2014. Spanish Arch, Fishmarket Square and the Docks areas were flooded in storm weather during high tide. PHOTO BY JOE O’SHAUGHNESSY)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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