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Ballinasloe and Loughrea Municipal Districts pass their budgets

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Ballinasloe councillors have controversially passed the draft budget for the Municipal District.
At a meeting this week, Ballinasloe councillors were presented with an indicative expenditure figure of 5.8 million euro for 2019.
This is up from 4.7 million euro for 2018, due to an increase in road funding nationally.
However all councillors were concerned that the funding for things such as parks and open spaces and recreational development has not changed.
Director of Services with the county council, Ger Mullarkey told members that Ballinasloe Municipal District has no extra funds apart from a slight increase in rates to bring them in line with county rates by 2020.
Councillor Dermot Connolly proposed that the draft Budget be rejected and was supported by Councillor Tim Broderick.
Leas Cathaoirleach Michael Finnerty and Councillor Aidan Donohue supported adopting the Budget, which was passed as the Leas Cathaoirleach had the casting vote.
Councillors Michael Connolly and Donal Burke were absent.
Councillor Tim Broderick says he didn’t feel a Budget should be passed when boundaries will be changed half way through next year.
Councillor Michael Finnerty says he understands the concerns about boundaries, but it’s better to pass a Budget.
Meanwhile, Loughrea councillors have voted to pass a budget for the municipal district for 2019.
Councillors met this week to discuss the proposed budget, which stands at €7.4m – up from €5.7m for this year.
Although the budget was adopted, a number of issues were raised – including lack of clarity over how allocations are actually being spent.
Councillor Shane Donnellan also took issue with the lack of funding for traffic management measures in Loughrea town and across the district.
He noted that despite the issue being raised repeatedly, just a token – and ultimately useless – amount of €10 thousand is being set aside to cover the entire area.
Other discussion points included lack of disabled access at Loughrea Lake – and funding concerns related to the upcoming expansion of the municipal district.
There was also confusion over funding for open spaces in Loughrea – something Councillor Michael ‘Moegie’ Maher is confident will be sorted.

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Portumna native Minister says proposed redevelopment of harbour will transform town

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Junior Minister and Portumna native, Anne Rabbitte, says the proposed major redevelopment of a well-known harbour will transform the town as a tourist attraction.

Connaught Harbour is located just across the bridge into Portumna from the Tipperary side of the border, behind the Emerald Star/Le Boat premises.

It’s set to be significantly overhauled as part of a new masterplan for the River Shannon, which has been published today.

The masterplan sets out to invest more than €70 million in visitor facilities in the Shannon river region by 2030 and aims to boost visitor numbers by 400,000 over the next 9 years.

Works at Connaught Harbour will include additional mooring berths, picnic areas, extra car parking, considerable visual upgrades and a new cycling and walking trail into Portumna.

Fianna Fail Minister Rabbitte says the works will help realise the full potential of Portumna as a place to visit – to hear an extended interview on this, tune in to FYI Galway@5

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Plans progressing for new audiology testing centre in Tuam

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Plans are progressing to develop a new audiology testing centre in Tuam.

Galway East TD Sean Canney has received confirmation from the HSE that a local audiology service, including a specialist audiology testing facility, is being designed for the Tuam primary care centre.

It comes as currently patients must travel to Sea Road in the city for audiology services.

Deputy Canney says this latest announcement by the HSE reaffirms the potential of the Tuam primary care centre to deliver servcies locally….

To hear more, tune into Galway Bay fm news….

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Galway’s five day COVID-19 rate still significantly higher than neighbouring counties in West

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The five day COVID-19 case average in Galway is reducing but is still significantly higher than neigbouring counties in the West.

Galway’s 5-day average stands at 39, while Mayo has a rate of 17 and Roscommon has a rate of 7.

The 14 day infection rate in Galway stands at 258, while the rate in Mayo stands at 232 and 114 in Roscommon.

Director of Public Health for the HSE West Dr. Breda Smyth says the rollout of vaccines and the gradual reopening of schools is providing some much needed hope.

However she has appealed to parents across the city and county not to congregate at school gates at drop off or collection and to wear a face covering.

Dr. Smyth says restrictions cannot be eased further until daily case numbers in Galway and other counties are reducing further – to hear more, tune in to Galway Bay fm news on the hour…

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