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Bohermore student accommodation block approved

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A vacant city office block is to be converted into student and tourist accommodation for up to 90 people.

Galway City Council has given the green light for the redevelopment of the block at Sandyfort Business Centre beside Cemetery Cross.

‘Swuite Bohermore’ will be run by an international accommodation company and some student residents will be appointed as paid ‘wardens’ to police anti-social behaviour.

Earlier this year, Kildare-based Tim Sheahan of IVS Student Development Bohermore Ltd sought permission for a change of use of the building to 77 professionally-managed student and self-catering holiday apartment suites (65 single suites, 8 twin suites and 4 two-bed suites); a reception area, TV/cinema lounge, juice bar and games area, roof terrace with seating and basement parking for 57 cars and 63 bicycles.

IVS is part of the Iveragh Student Accommodation group, which has extensive experience in designing and developing purpose-built student accommodation in Ireland, the UK and Germany.

“Swuite Bohermore offers high quality and professionally-managed student and holiday self-catering apartment suites and ancillary facilities specifically designed for use during the college semester by senior undergraduates, post-graduates and visiting academics and in the summer season by short-term tourist visitors,” the planning application reads.

The suites are single and twin occupancy and are fitted with private en suite bathrooms, wardrobe and under-bed storage, double size bed and kitchenette.

A management team will be employed by IVS and will include a full-time operations manager, an administrator, a site maintenance worker and cleaning staff.

“During the academic semesters, out-of-hours times will be covered by a concierge or overnight security professional and retained student wardens with a mature outlook and who are resident on site and fully-trained in Health & Safety matters,” the application reads.

Following concerns from local residents, the applicant said that access to the roof terrace will be facilitated by management on a pre-arranged basis.

“The area will be designated a ‘quiet zone’ and all activities will be monitored by staff on CCTV. All users of this space will be reminded of their Health & Safety obligations and the need to demonstrate good neighbourliness.

“All residents must abide by the Code of Conduct accompanying their tenancy agreement in the development.

“Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated in this area or any other area of the facility and any breaches will be severely deal with,” the applicant said.

The residents from a house at adjacent Grealishtown told planners: “Our rear garden is an amenity that is very precious to us. It is very calm, peaceful and secluded. The thought of being overlooked by strangers between the hours of 10am to 9.30pm fills us with dread.”

Connacht Tribune

Development hailed as major boost in tackling local housing demand

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Artist’s impression...the proposed Claregalway housing development.

The green light has been given to a sizeable residential development in Claregalway, which was the subject both of strenuous opposition and support in the area.

An Bord Pleanála have granted planning permission for 111 houses and apartments in Claregalway following a strategic housing development application by K King Construction for the development at Lakeview, Claregalway.

Local councillor David Collins (FG) welcomed the decision saying that there was an urgent need for new housing in Claregalway given the demand.

And he also paid tribute to developer Walter King for offering land for the development of community facilities to the local area.

“We need the houses and we need the land so this decision satisfies Claregalway on both fronts,” Cllr Collins added.

The Athenry Oranmore area councillor also said that requirement that a certain number of houses be reserved for Irish speakers was also a boost to developing the language in the area – Claregalway is part of the Gaeltacht.

The higher planning authority ruled that the proposed development would constitute an acceptable residential density at this location and was also acceptable in terms of traffic and pedestrian safety.

They also said that the site could be drained satisfactorily and that surface water would not be an issue.

The site for the development measures over twelve acres in size and is located at the junction of the Lydican Road about three quarters of a mile from the village off the main Oranmore road.

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Carna’s Community Café raises a cuppa – and funds – for new Ukrainian arrivals

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Carna Community Café volunteers presenting a cheque to Irish Red Cross Conamara Area Director Niall O'Meachair (third from right); pictured are (from left) Máirín Ní Churraion, Kate Mulkerrins, Siobhán Kennedy, Tom Lane and Máire Ní Domhnaill.

Carna’s new Community Cafe has donated €1,000 to the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal – thanks to the village’s love of tea, cake, and a good old chat.

The brainchild of a group of sea-swimming enthusiasts living in the area, the weekly café started just before Easter as a way to help people begin socialising again after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

Looking to simply cover costs – with the café’s bakers and servers all volunteering and charging just a euro for a cup of tea or a piece of cake – the team decided any excess income would be donated to charity.

Little did they know that just five weeks later they would be passing on €1,000 to the Red Cross.

“The aim initially wasn’t to raise money at all, we just wanted to provide a friendly, welcoming and affordable place where people could come and have a chat and see each other again,” said Máirín Ní Churraoin, who runs the local Post Office.

“But it’s been proving more popular than we could have imagined, so we decided that any income generated has to go to a good cause – for this first donation we all felt the Red Cross Ukraine appeal was an obvious choice.”

The Ukraine appeal is even more fitting given the location of the Café: the dining room of the Carna Bay Hotel, which is currently providing accommodation to people who have fled the conflict.

“We’re delighted to be able to support this fantastic initiative, it’s just brilliant to see people coming out and socialising over a bit of cake again,” said Karl Rogers from the Carna Bay Hotel.

“And with the tea, musicians and chat, it’s a great way for our guests from Ukraine to meet local people and experience Irish culture first-hand.”

At the most recent event on Saturday May 7th, Irish Red Cross Conamara Area Director, Niall O’Meachair was on hand to collect a cheque for €1,000.

“We’re absolutely delighted to receive this money from the Community Café in Carna, and through the work of the Red Cross we’ll make sure it goes to helping people affected by this awful, awful conflict.”

The Community Café is held every Saturday in the Carna Bay Hotel, 10am to 12:30pm.

 

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Old stone-carved bank sign to be retained after community lobby

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Deputy Sean Canney outside the old Bank of Ireland building at Shop Street in Tuam.

An old stone carved sign on the front of a former bank building in the heart of Tuam is to be retained, following intense representations from the local business community.

The building is currently being renovated by the Department of Social Protection which is moving into the property over the coming months

Galway East TD Sean Canney received confirmation from the Department that the red brick building on Shop Street will retain the old Bank of Ireland name.

The Bank of Ireland was originally located at Shop Street in Tuam before moving to its current location at Dublin Road several decades ago.

The building on Shop Street was then occupied by the town library, which has since moved to the local Council offices, and now it is being renovated so that it can be occupied by the Department of Social Protection.

During the renovations of the old library building on Shop Street to make way for the new Intreo Centre, which brings together various social welfare services, the old stone carved sign was revealed.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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