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CITY TRIBUNE

Award-winning author Doireann finds truth ‘in little rituals of life’

Stephen Glennon

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Doireann Ní Ghríofa, whose book A Ghost in the Throat won this year’s An Post Non-fiction Book of the Year Award, took her first breath in Galvia Hospital – now the Bon Secours.

When A Ghost in the Throat, the beautifully-written book by Galway-born author Doireann Ní Ghríofa, was announced as the An Post Non-fiction Book of the Year winner last week, the news came as little surprise to those who’ve read it.

Since its publication, A Ghost in the Throat has received rave reviews. Interweaving lyrical passages with striking prose, it tells the story of a present-day young mother who is drawn to the life of 18th century-poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill and her poem, Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire.

Although this was Doireann’s first book of prose, she is far from unknown, having written six critically-acclaimed poetry collections. These have earned her numerous awards including the Seamus Heaney Fellowship and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.

Arranged a week in advance, the phone call from the Tribune in the wake of the awards announcement proves to be a timely one. Doireann is giddy with excitement. “I am delighted. The funny thing is that it doesn’t just feel like a win for the book; it feels like a win for the way this book tries to tell the stories of women.”

This is hugely important to Doireann – A Ghost in the Throat begins and ends with the line, ‘This is a female text’ – and she hopes the book is viewed as a celebration of the lives of women, past and present, and the work they do, visible and invisible. “That still often goes overlooked,” she says.

As with Emile Pine’s Notes to Self, Doireann casts light on issues affecting women by sharing intimate details of her life. And it’s not just the big themes she gives consideration to, but life’s banalities. When added together, these can also become a burden.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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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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