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Boutique hotel for Nuns’ Island in Galway

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New hotel for Nuns' Island in Galway

Work is expected to begin by the end of this year on a boutique hotel development at Nuns’ Island, after the project backer secured funding.

The mortgages for the two properties had been tied up for four years following the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank, and the was subsequently granted a three-year of extension of time to build. The project is set for completion in December 2015.

Geoff Canavan was granted permission in 2009 for the demolition of Numbers 26 (Canavan House) and 34 Nuns’ Island and to replace them with a three-storey office building and a three-storey boutique hotel to the rear.

“Due to economic issues beyond the control of the applicant, the development has been prevented from being commenced to date. In 2009, the then mortgage and construction funding was with Anglo Irish Bank.

“Around this time, the bank was abruptly nationalised and began to wind down to form the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), which was liquidated by KPMG.

“KPMG sold off the mortgages/assets (including the mortgage on the property at 26 and 34 Nuns’ Island) to a venture capital fund. During this period (2009-13), the mortgage on the property was tied into (frozen within) Anglo/IBRC and it was impossible to raise finance to progress the building works.

“In 2013, with the sale of IBRC assets, the mortgage on Nuns Island was released/sold on, which finally made it possible to source financing for the development.

“Mr Canavan has now secured funding to progress the permitted development and would anticipate to start construction works on site towards the end of 2014,” the application reads.

According to the original planning application lodged in 2008: “It consists of a redevelopment of a run-down site in the heart of Galway City. It will provide high quality office accommodation in place of the poor quality offices there at present, as well as a modern boutique hotel in place of the 1930s style house at the rear.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Garda chief suggests closing Eyre Square to curb anti-social behaviour

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Closing Eyre Square at night-time was among the radical suggestions put forward by Galway’s top Garda this week – in response to claims that the city centre’s famous landmark had become a ‘no-go area’ after dark.

It comes as Gardaí confirmed that since January they issued almost 500 fines for breaches of the city’s alcohol bylaws, which prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public spaces.

Responding to claims that people were afraid to visit parts of the city centre at night due to anti-social behaviour, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said that the authorities might have to look at closing Eyre Square at certain times.

Chief Supt Curley also said that improved lighting and better CCTV were other tools that could be used to deter anti-social behaviour and to detect crime in the city centre.

“I’d need another five officers in there – and I haven’t got them,” said Chief Supt Curley of the requirement for more Gardaí on patrol in Eyre Square.

He was responding to a charge by former mayor of Galway, Councillor Frank Fahy, who said Eyre Square was dangerous at night. “It’s a no-go area,” he said at a City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting this week.

Cllr Fahy said that the illegal activity and anti-social behaviour in the city centre was a product of the Covid-19 pandemic and people socialising outdoors. Eyre Square was safe pre-Covid, he said.

In a written reply to the JPC, Chief Supt Curley said that anti-social behaviour issues had been ‘de-escalated’ along the city’s canals, Woodquay and Spanish Arch ‘as a result of extra Garda patrols’.

“The resulting consequences have led to crowd movement from these areas (and they) are now congregating at Eyre Square. Garda attention is concentrated on Eyre Square, however the return of students and the continued restrictions has led to increased numbers,” he said.

(Photo: a scene from Eyre Square at night this week taken from a video circulated on social media)

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

Tourists duped in Galway City rental accommodation scam

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have issued another ‘beware’ warning in relation to scammers offering fictitious properties to rent in the city area.

The advice comes after a report of a several separate tourists from overseas calling to a house in Shantalla over recent weeks, thinking that they had booked rental accommodation.

It is understood that the fake rental offer had been made through a booking website, but it turned out to be a scam with the tourists having ‘parted’ weeks earlier with a deposit of several hundred euro.

Galway Garda Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Michael Walsh, said that such rental scams were an ongoing reality in relation to the accommodation sector, especially in cities like Galway with huge rental markets for long-term and short-term lets.

He said that the first pieces of advice for anyone seeking to rent a property was to only do business with an established bona-fide rental agency and to always meet the prospective landlord in the accommodation to be rented.

Sgt Walsh said that the scammers also tended to be more active at times of the year when accommodation was in major demand as in the late-Summer/early-Autumn period as students returned to third level colleges.

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

‘Unquantified amounts’ of raw sewage flowing to Galway Bay

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Unquantified amounts of raw sewage will continue to flow into the sea at Long Walk until next year at least, the authorities have conceded.

Irish Water (IW) and Galway City Council confirmed they plan to install a sensor at the outfall, which takes all of the foul sewage from the east side of the city and Oranmore.

This will measure the amount of sewage flowing into the bay, and the frequency of ‘overflow events’.

They also plan to repair a leak in the overflow pipe “early next year”.

“It is envisaged that these works will reduce the frequency of the overflows in the future and the event monitor will enable us to quantify the activation of this chamber,” the City Council said.

Remedial works were carried out by contractors for the local authority and IW in June of this year when a new tide-flex valve was fitted, which prevents tidal water entering while allowing flows from the chamber.

This followed surveys and inspections in June and November last year. But the problem of raw sewage flowing into the city’s most picturesque area persists.

The issue – highlighted in the Galway City Tribune on a number of occasions – came to the fore again this week after drone footage was shared online showing sewage flowing out into the Corrib.

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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