Date Published: 22-Jun-2011
As the Gardaí packed their bags and their blue uniforms to up sticks from Templemore forever, the Government swiftly steered a replacement gravy train into the station in the shape of a giant casino dropping out of thin air into the middle of the Golden Vale.
And in one fell swoop, Tipperary’s longest established cottage industry was wiped out and a new era was ushered in by that keeper of the community flame, Michael Lowry, turning a substantial portion of the Premier County into a landlocked Las Vegas.
The bitter irony of a ban on Garda recruitment – and the consequential closure of the training facility in Templemore – in the week that permission was granted for a €460 million casino up the road in Two Mile Borris would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic.
Ireland needs a super casino like Charlie Sheen needs another drink – and even if we did require a relaxation of the gaming laws, we most certainly do not need this abomination dropped into the middle of our rolling hills.
The developer Richard Quirke is himself a former Garda and clearly a wealthy man who has made his money from his Dublin casino business.
His sidekick, Independent TD Michael Lowry, is a great man to have on your side when you want something done – and boy did he put his shoulder to the wheel on this one. But then again backing the right horse is something Lowry has long had a talent for.
Naturally the closure of Templemore was blamed on the last Government, but it was supported by Alan Shatter’s belief that we have enough Gardaí to keep going for a few years anyway.
We certainly have enough of them in North Mayo, protecting the interests of our colonial friends from Shell as they attempt to take our gas inshore for buttons before using it to make billions in profits for their multi-millionaire shareholders.
And there was a fair few of them gainfully employed when the Queen and Barack Obama were in town. But with the overtime they incurred there, we might be a little thin on the ground when it comes to solving crime for a little while now.
Nonetheless Alan Shatter seems to think that we’ll be alright without any new ones for the next few years, which has to be good news for burglars and paramilitaries and drug dealers everywhere. At least we’ll have one growth industry – even if it’s only crime.
Of course thanks to Michael Lowry and his Trojan efforts, Tipp can now look forward to a new industrial era, as gamblers from the four corners of the globe fly in to spend their fortunes in the Vegas of the Golden Vale.
They’ll refloat our struggling economy with a few bob on red or black, as they deliberate whether to hold ‘em or fold ‘em – or they’ll be able to back one of Aidan O’Brien’s oul’ horses without leaving the comfort of Quirkey’s new emporium.
Of course the fly in this particular ointment might be the fact that gambling of this magnitude is still illegal in Ireland and facilitating a 6,000 square metre den of iniquity would require a change in the law.
Still, with Michael Lowry on your side, that is a mere formality; any man that can oversee the bidding for Ireland’s first mobile phone licence so thoroughly is clearly capable of sorting out a mere passage of legislation.
And then the high rollers can turn off at the Horse and Jockey and book in to the 500-bed hotel with its replicated White House facade before heading downstairs for a go on the one-armed bandits before heading for the roulette wheel.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.