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Connacht Tribune

Business leaders see economic potential of greenway

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Tuam’s business community has stressed the importance of a walking and cycling greenway through the town as the path to increasing footfall significantly and provide a huge economic boost.

Later this month, members of Galway County Council will vote on a motion calling for a feasibility study to be carried out on a greenway between Tuam and Athenry.

But earlier this week, a number of business owners in the town addressed a meeting of Tuam Municipal Council asking them for their support of a greenway and outlined the potential benefits it would have for the whole North Galway area.

The deputation included two restaurant owners, a shopping centre manager and an auctioneer who all supported the idea of a greenway. They came with supporting documentation from several local sporting clubs along with a petition that was signed by around 3,000 people.

Restaurant owner Damien Cosgrove of the Leaf and Bean Cafe told councillors and officials that he started in business this time last year and now employs 12 staff.

He said that Tuam was “an up and coming town” and should have the social amenities that are available to other similar-sized towns around the country.

The provision of a greenway, he believes, would entice even more people into the town and that this would benefit everyone in business.

“We need increased footfall into the town and the provision of a greenway is one of the ways that we can achieve this. It would also have the potential to boost the likes of Athenry and Milltown,” Damien added.

Siobhan Flaherty is the owner of Gather Restaurant on High Street, which employs eight full time and four part time staff, and she too believes that a greenway would be a huge boost.

The Abbeyknockmoy native said that she worked in the hospitality industry in Athenry for three years but saw a great opportunity in Tuam and that is why she moved.

She said that, given their location, they only open from Thursday to Sunday but the provision of a greenway would be on their doorstep and this would allow them open seven days and create more employment.

“A greenway could be of so much benefit to the town. I know that 150,000 people used the Athlone to Mullingar greenway over the past six months so there has to be potential there,” Siobhan said.

Manager of Tuam Shopping Centre Graham Bogle said that he was “crying out for footfall” and believes that the provision of a greenway would achieve this.

He said that the greenway would running be in the vicinity of Tuam Shopping Centre, of which there are 12 units occupied, and that this would help them greatly.

Auctioneer John Joyce, who headed the deputation, said that while the housing market was buoyant, the commercial sector was “on the floor”. He added that the town was littered with disused buildings and he wanted this situation reversed.

He described the old railway track, as it stands, as an eyesore and that a greenway would revitalise the business sector in the town. He also said that there was no longer a safe place around the town for families to go for a walk or leisurely cycle.

He envisages a cycle route from Athenry all the way to Claremorris with the likes of Tuam and Milltown to benefit along the way. He asked councillors for their support of the greenway campaign.

Connacht Tribune

Key moves on animal transport get the nod

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MEP Billy Kelleher: Key amendments passed.

LOCAL and national farm representatives have welcomed the adoption of amendments proposed by an Irish MEP in relation to the transportation of live animals across the EU.

The amendments proposed by Munster Fianna Fáil Munster MEP, Billy Kelleher, means less severe restrictions will apply in relation to calf and pregnant animal travel.

In 2020, the European Parliament set up an ANIT (Committee of Inquiry into Animal Transport) to investigate alleged violations of EU animal transport rules.

The Committee concluded that EU provisions in the area of animal transport were not always complied with in member states and did not fully take into account ‘the different needs of animals’.

Last week, MEPs voted by 557 to 55 (78 absentions) supporting new measures to address animal travel issues, including lack of headroom, water and food supplies, animals for travel being transported, and overcrowding.

However, a number of Irish MEPs led by Billy Kelleher proposed two amendments to the proposals, which were accepted in the overall vote in the European Parliament.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Tuam students have warm welcome for Eddie, the Labrador who is already top of the class

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Eddie the dog, Tuam's Mercy Convent newest addition.

A North Galway school has unveiled their newest member – Eddie, the three-year-old Labrador dog.

The new canine recruit works as a therapy, or education, aid for students in Mercy Secondary School, Tuam – and he has already been a huge hit with students.

Scoil Bhride Principal Gearoid Leen has described the dog as an essential part of the learning process within the school.

The pure-bred Labrador is one of just eight community dogs that have been assigned to schools across the country.

This week, the new arrival was introduced to students and parents as part of the learning process. The presence of the dog relaxes students and, apparently, helps with their concentration.

Eddie’s fourth birthday is on March 18, the day after St Patrick’s Day – and, such is his instant popularity, the students have a special celebration in mind.

The newest addition to the secondary school has been trained by the Irish Guide Dogs Association and Eddie, along with his trained handlers Sarah Molloy and Catherine Murphy, now becomes part of the essential learning process within the school.

The Labrador and his handlers work alongside the teachers and educational staff in the school to help reduce stress and increase the learning potential of the students by goal directed interventions.

Together, Eddie and his handlers participate in classroom activities and work with individual students and groups.

Parents have responded positively to the new arriva, saying that more schools should try and apply for the scheme.

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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Connacht Tribune

Food for the soul

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Chef Martin Ruffley

Lifestyle – Friends Anna King and Martin Ruffley have joined forces to write a unique book based on Martin’s life story. Built around recipes which Martin, a chef and lecturer at GMIT, has created it covers his journey from alcoholism to sobriety and explains how cooking helps him to live in the moment. They tell JUDY MURPHY how it evolved. 

Watching chef Martin Ruffley preparing food was something that intrigued Anna King.

“When he’s cooking, he moves from this hyperactive personality to being peaceful and in the flow. He gives so much of his heart and soul when he’s cooking. It’s a mindful experience,” she says.

As someone whose background is in mindfulness and meditation, with a life-long interest in sustainable food production, Anna was intrigued by how the art of cooking transformed her friend. He agrees.

“When I’m cooking I focus completely on what I’m doing.”

The discussions they’ve had about this and about Martin’s journey from alcoholism to sobriety form the basis of a new book which they’ve co-authored.

Rekindling the Fire: Food and the Journey of Life is Martin’s story, but Anna has brought her writing skills to bear in how the narrative unfolds in this glorious publication, with photos by Julian Dunin and Professor Chaosheng Zhang,

At the heart of the book are Martin’s recipes, grouped together to create seven menus – each forming a chapter.

The first three chapters document his descent into alcoholism and the final four, his life since becoming sober at the age of 44.

But, while it’s listed under the ‘cookery’ genre by booksellers,  this book defies genres. That’s intentional, explains Anna.

“It’s a creative experience and with a view to supporting and helping communities in the way we view alcoholism. Alcoholism isn’t about an individual it’s about people and support and the lack of it.”

“We won’t make a fortune out of it and retire to Italy,” says Martin with a laugh. “That’s not why we’re doing it. If I can help one person who is suffering from addiction, I’ll be happy.”

Anna praises Martin for expressing his vulnerability in the book, while he stresses that, without his trust in her, it wouldn’t have happened.

“I felt such a connection with Martin’s story on many levels,” Anna explains.

And it’s pretty extraordinary.

Born in Bohermore 64 years ago, Martin left school at 13 and trained as a glass-blower at Galway Crystal. When he as was made redundant a few years later, due to the import of cheaper glass, he joined the Army School of Catering and trained as a chef. The Army gave him a good life and he honed his craft during the 21 years in its ranks. He also saw service overseas, with three tours of Lebanon in the 1980s and one in Bosnia in the late 1990s.

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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