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Connacht Tribune

Businesses move online in quest to survive



Upbeat...McD’s owner Seán McDonagh.

Galway retailers are once again relying on ‘click and collect’ and online trade to survive – along with state supports – after Government closed all non-essential retail on New Year’s Eve for four weeks at least.

And while most retail businesses are cursing the third Lockdown, there was some good news for bargain hunters – January sales, which had initially been ruled out by Government, are now allowed to proceed online.

Family-run businesses such as Dervan’s Fashion on Main Street, Loughrea have been hit hard by another Lockdown, so soon after November restrictions were lifted.

But they’re grateful for customers who are determined to shop local now more than ever.

“It’s been a real shock to the system to be locked down, but an understandable shock, I want to emphasise that. The country is in a bad place. I’m not a denier of what’s going on, but that doesn’t take away from the devastating effect it’s having,” said Gerard Dervan.

“The support from customers has been phenomenal. There was a huge appetite to shop local among younger and older people, everybody, and not just here, I’m hearing it from other people in business around the country, and without that it would be very, very hard to survive but people genuinely are making an effort to buy local. We’re grateful for that,” he said.

McD’s garden and home store in Loughrea remains open for essentials and it is having a massive ‘click and collect’ Christmas clearance sale at its Galway Crystal store on the Dublin Road in the city with up to 70% off.

Owner Seán McDonald, despite the uncertainty the pandemic has created, remains upbeat about 2021.

“We were busy last spring but I anticipate that this spring will be busier. I’m a glass is half-full person. There is that uncertainty, we just don’t know.

“The plan I had two weeks ago is different to the plan I have right now and it could be a different plan next week. Whether shops are open or closed in spring, we’ll be ready,” he said.


See full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download your digital copy from

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area



A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised



Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’



Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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