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Asylum seekers in hotels for fourteen years

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The former Eglinto Hotel in Salthill: home to asylum seekers.

Families have been living in rooms in former hotels and hostels in Galway city for 14 years and have still not had their applications for asylum assessed.
But even more concerning is the fact that their children cannot access third level education despite having done very well in the recent Leaving Cert results .
It has prompted criticism of the Government that so many families living in city hotel bedrooms for almost a decade and a half are being ignored by the State.
A city councillor has said that residents in the city were not being afforded refugee status and therefore it impacted on their children availing of third level education.
According to Cllr Cathal O’Conchúir there are families living in hotel bedrooms in Galway city for 14 years awaiting for the applications for refugee status to be processed.
They are living under a system of ‘direct provision’ which provides them with accommodation and food as they await decisions of their asylum applications.
But Cllr. O’Conchúir said that while their children were given primary and secondary education, their access to third level college was not there.
He pointed out that some students received in excess of 500 points in their Leaving but now their education had come to a full stop.
“While they can go to college, it requires their parents to come up with at least €10,000 which they haven’t got. And it could cost even more than that . . . maybe up to €30,000 for some courses.
“Their parents are on €19 per week which obviously makes it impossible for them to afford third level education for their children.
“It is grossly unfair, unjust and shameful. They are not given assistance to complete third level education and they are prevented from engaging in normally family life,” Cllr. O’Conchúir added.
Direct Provision is intended to provide for the welfare of asylum seekers and their families as they await decisions on their asylum application.
It provides essential services, medical care and accommodation and board with three meals a day provided at set times.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill as event confirmed

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill this weekend as an event has been announced for Sunday.

It’s been confirmed by organisers on social media – who say they’re being unfairly portrayed in a negative light.

In a statement, the Galway Car Scene group say they pay road tax like all other road users – and they have “every right” to be in Salthill this weekend.

It comes as they’ve confirmed the event will be taking place there on Sunday as originally planned.

They add it’s unfair to accuse them of blocking up Salthill and other parts of the city given the chronic traffic issues every day of the week.

They’ve also created an online petition calling for a designated place for car enthusiasts to go – which has so far gathered almost 250 signatures.

It claims the car enthusiast community in Galway has been unfairly painted as a negative and anti-social group.

The group say they’re happy to go elsewhere, but say any time they try to find a venue they’re shut out.

The event planned for Sunday has encountered significant opposition, much of which is based on a previous “Salthill Sundays” event held in May.

Those opposed say they’re not against an event of this kind in principle – but they strongly feel that Salthill just isn’t the right venue.

It’s also argued that if the organisers want to be taken seriously, they have to engage with stakeholders like Galway City Council and Gardaí to ensure a well-planned and safe event.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cars down to one-way system on Salthill Promenade

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A one-way system of traffic may be introduced along the Promenade in Salthill to facilitate the introduction of temporary cycle lanes.

The suggestion appeared to come as a shock to some City Council members who supported the cycle lane in a vote last month – one has called for a “full discussion again” on what exactly they had actually approved.

Councillors had voted 17-1 in favour of the principle of providing a cycleway that will stretch from Grattan Road all along the Prom.

The motion that passed at the September meeting proposed that the Council “shall urgently seek” to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of the Prom.

It was agreed that from the Blackrock Tower junction to the Barna Road would be a one-way cycle track.

The motion was voted on without debate, which meant Council officials did not have an opportunity to question the proposal.

At a meeting on Monday, the debate was revisited when Uinsinn Finn, Director of Services for Transportation, indicated that a one-way traffic system would be introduced in Salthill to facilitate a two-way cycle lane from Grattan Road to Blackrock.

This could mean that the outbound lane of traffic, closest to the sea, could be closed to all traffic bar bikes.

Mr Finn said that he would have sought clarity at the previous meeting – if debate were allowed – about what was meant by ‘temporary’.

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

Galway Christmas Market gets go-ahead for next month

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s the first real sign of a restoration of normality in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors in the city – the return of the Christmas Market next month to Eyre Square.

This week, the City Council’s planning department gave the go-ahead for the outdoor retail and gourmet food ‘spread’ that has been part of the festive season in Galway since 2010.

The exception was last year when, like so many other public gatherings since the Covid crisis broke in March 2020, the event had to be cancelled because of public health concerns.

Christmas Market Organiser, Maria Moynihan Lee, Managing Director of Milestone Inventive, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that she had received official confirmation on Thursday from the City Council of the go-ahead being given for the event.

“This is really wonderful news for the city and especially so in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors. For every €1 spent at the market another €3 will be spent on the high street – this will be a real boost for Galway,” she said.

Maria Moynihan Lee confirmed that the market would have an earlier than usual start of Friday, November 12 and would run through until the Wednesday evening of December 22.

(Photo: Declan Colohan)

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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