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Connacht Tribune

Border issue a Rubix cube where someone moved all the colours

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Crossing the border... how will it change?

World of Politics with Harry McGee – harrymcgee@gmail.com

We were in Donegal at the weekend to visit my brother and his family. The trip takes you through Co Tyrone. Nowadays, there is no physical barrier. A few kilometres north of Emyvale, the markings on the road change, and suddenly there is no Irish on the road signs and all speed limits are in miles.

There may be no border, but sometimes when you hear people talk about the ‘invisible border’, you would think that Ireland has already been united.

For sure, when the border infrastructure started coming down almost a quarter of a century ago, it made a huge difference. Until the mid-1990s, going to the Six Counties was never an easy jaunt.

The border itself was intimidating. There were these huge corrugated security stations, complete with cameras and rifle-bearing soldiers. The checkpoint process was tense for those not used to it.

For that reason lots of Southern people were reluctant to make the journey north during the years of the Troubles.

Sure for Northerners, that overbearing security presence had become part of the fabric of their society and they had normalised it. For southerners who went up once or twice a year, it was a very different kind of experience.

And so gradually, that easy journey south for North had its reverse experience, the easy journey north for southerners.

The trip to Newry to buy cheap booze. The weekend away in Belfast to see the Titanic Quarter and experience the city’s food and culture (even the Belfast of the Troubles became a tourist destination – the Black Taxi tour of the loyalist and republican areas is now de rigeur for visitors).

But all that happened after the Border came into existence after Independence almost a century ago created a difference that has not been fully undone.

For one, the Troubles forced communities into default positions expressed by their religious backgrounds – Catholic and Protestants.

That manifested in a sectarian edge never experienced in the south. Sure, the South was unashamedly Catholic but is quick evolution into a secular society over the past generation has not been matched in the North.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Opposition waits to see effect of fall-out to end of eviction ban

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Senator Pauline O’Reilly...stern warning.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

An Opposition party is a bit like an invading army trying to surmount the defences of a seemingly impregnable fortress – constantly surveying the moat, the drawbridge, the doors and the battlements to spot any weakness.

For a Government party, the chink usually reveals itself when it tries to push through a deeply unpopular policy – like, for example, the decision to bring the eviction ban to a close at the end of March.

The Government’s thinking was that, by delaying the end of it, it was storing up problems for itself. The longer it left the measure in place, the bigger the queue of landlords who wished to sell up when the restrictions were lifted, triggering a huge number of evictions.

As it was, even ending the restriction now, according to campaigners such as Peter McVerry, was going to cause a “tsunami” of evictions.

Senior Coalition figures admitted that it was going to have an impact on homelessness in the short term.

As soon as the Government announced it was lifting the ban, there was a hue and cry from the Opposition.

Several back benchers in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael expressed concern but were brought around by assurances from senior Ministers that local authorities and approved housing bodies would be given the go-ahead to buy properties from landlords who were selling up and leaving tenants in situ.

However, if there are any upsides to the move, they will not become apparent for months at the very least, by which time there could be a big spike in the homelessness figures.

From the moment the decision was made, the Green Party TD for Dublin Central Neasa Hourigan signalled she opposed the move.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Connacht Tribune

Marine Park looks dead in the water

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An artist’s impression of the proposed Páirc na Mara complex in Cill Chiaráin.

Plans to develop a marine park in Conamara were dealt a major blow this week after An Bórd Pleanála refused to grant planning permission for the development.

Galway County Council had already rejected proposals by Údarás na Gaeltachta to develop Páirc na Mara on lands east of Cill Chiaráin village.

The regional authority responsible for economic, social and cultural development of the Gaeltacht, appealed the decision to the planning appeals board but it too has refused to grant permission.

This latest decision blows a big hole in Údarás na Gaeltachta’s job creation plans for Conamara – its five-year employment strategy launched last year hinged on jobs growth from Páirc na Mara.

Reacting, in a statement to the Connacht Tribune, Údarás na Gaeltachta said it was awaiting ABP’s Inspector’s Report.

“This will help to inform how we proceed in the coming weeks. We remain committed to the Páirc na Mara project and to sustainable development and job creation in the Iorras Aithneach Gaeltacht area,” it added.

In a letter from ABP member, Chris McGarry, the Board gave two reasons for refusing the plan.

They related to the lack of information about the potential impacts of climate change; and the potential impact on water levels and the water supply in nearby water sources.

The proposal involved phase one of the continued development of a marine innovation park on a brownfield site of nine hectares, to include a number of marine-based industrial facilities and educational and applied research sites at Cill Chiaráin.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway wrap up campaign with big victory in Mullingar

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Galway defender Tiernan Killeen who was one of their goal scorers in Sunday's comprehensive National League win over Westmeath in Mullingar.

Galway 4-27

Westmeath 1-12

Ivan Smyth at Cusack Park

GALWAY hurlers fired in 2-8 without reply in the final 15 minutes of this National League tie as they secured a flattering 24-point victory over a gutsy but outclassed Westmeath outfit.

On Sunday, Conor Cooney looked sharp as he fired over five points from play for the second game running. Daithí Burke was solid once more at centre back and even though Westmeath moved Davy Glennon on him in the second half with the aim of dragging the Turloughmore man away from goal, Burke went about his business in a typically quiet and efficient manner.

With brothers Davy and Ronan Glennon facing off on opposite sides, this was a unique occasion for the pair. Davy did fire over a point but was starved of quality ball. From a Galway perspective, Padraic Mannion and TJ Brennan were the next best in defence as the pair both grabbed a point apiece. Evan Niland was reliable from the dead ball and when he moved out from the full forward line, he was more effective in linking the play.

Galway clearly possessed the superior stickmen and never trailed but after a promising start they faded out of the game, going 11 minutes without a score. They finished the first-half strong to see their lead increase from three points after 27 minutes to nine at the break. The third quarter was sloppy from a Galway perspective as they were outscored by six points to four in the first 20 minutes of the final period before the reinforcements arrived against a tiring Westmeath.

Galway then rattled in 3-9 and conceded just a solitary point thereafter with Declan McLoughlin and Jason Flynn grabbing goals before wing back Tiernan Killeen added another late on. After a poor start in Ennis seven days prior, Galway raced out of the blocks notching five points in as many minutes.

Cianan Fahy opened the scoring after eight seconds while Brian Concannon, Liam Collins, Niland (’65) and Conor Cooney gave Galway the ideal start. Cooney could have had a goal before arrowing over but Tommy Doyle produced a brave block, one which saw him retire injured moments later.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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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