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Red card for fouling dog owners

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The amount of dog excrement that is left in parts of Salthill including the Prom and Cappagh Park is angering residents who are now demanding that pet owners become more responsible.

And a letter written by a Lower Salthill Road resident to both members of Galway City Council and Galway County Council expresses the frustration of those who have actually stepped on it.

It has prompted renewed calls for dog owners to clean up after their pets foul the pavements or areas that are accessed by the public.

Cllr Donal Lyons said that it was a major problem throughout the summer and particularly along the prom where walkers and runners had to avoid dog excrement on a daily basis.

“There are laws in place which punish the owners of dogs who foul the pavements. But I really don’t know if they have been acted upon by the City Council . . . but it is about time they did,” Cllr Lyons added.

The female resident from Lower Salthill Road told councillors in a letter that she was reversing her bike out the front door of her dwelling.

“I stood on the most enormous lump of dog excrement which I have ever come across. Not only was it big but the dog was also inflicted with a bad case of diarrhea.

“As you can imagine when I re-entered the house to get my raincoat I noticed the trail behind me and was immediately angered again by this. This was not the first time for this to happen this week.

“About six or seven months ago I attended my first community residents meeting and lo-and-behold at the top of the agenda was the issue of dog excrement on our footpaths.

“This does not apply to just Lower Salthill Road as it is nearly impossible to take a jog or walk on the prom without having to step over waste from some lazy individual’s dog.

“I use the Prom most mornings and evenings and I do not think it fair that our beautiful amenity be ruined by some selfish individuals,” the letter writer stated.

Cllr Lyons said that the presence of dog excrement on the prom and in Cappagh Park was a health and safety issue for children and has again appealed to dog owners to be more vigilant.

He also said that it was an issue for people with special needs and particularly those on wheelchairs who used the prom.

“A lot of dog owners are very responsible and clean up after them. Indeed, there is an individual who is not a dog owner who cleans up dog poo on the Prom which is very commendable,” Cllr Lyons added.

Connacht Tribune

Confusion reigns – but publicans continue serving pints outdoors

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Galway City publicans continued this week to serve alcohol in newly created on-street outdoor dining sections – despite warnings from Gardaí that it was against licensing laws.

The local branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) said it is hoping Government will, if necessary, introduce legislation that facilitates pubs serving alcohol in public spaces reclaimed for outdoor hospitality.

On Friday last, our sister newspaper, Galway City Tribune revealed that Gardaí had visited a number of city pubs warning they were not legally permitted to serve alcohol outdoors in temporary on-street seating areas created by Galway City Council.

Publicans were told that if they continued to flout the rules, files would be sent to the DPP.

When the crux subsequently hit the national headlines, Justice Minister Heather Humphreys urged Gardaí to ‘use their discretion’.

“The overwhelming majority of licensed premises are operating safely, and we in Government are determined to continue to support them. If local issues arise, I would urge local authorities, Gardaí and businesses to engage.

“However, I will also examine whether further measures are required from Government. Licensing law is a complex area but I have spoken to the Attorney General this morning and we will take further action if necessary,” Minister Humphreys said.

Read 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

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Connacht Tribune

Apple plans second bite at Athenry data centre

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An artist's impression of the proposed Apple Data Centre.

Apple intends to have another bite at plans to build a data centre in Athenry.  Apple Operations Europe has applied to Galway County Council for more time to construct a controversial data centre on a greenfield site at Derrydonnell.

The company said it will identify “interested parties to develop the project” between now and 2026 to meet global growth in demand for data storage facilities.

It will spark hope in the County Galway town of a revival of the €850 million project that was dogged for years by planning delays and court appeals and was subsequently shelved. It may also attract fresh objections.

The world’s largest technology company was granted planning permission to build a €850 million data centre near Athenry in 2015.

An appeal to An Bórd Pleanála by a handful of local residents was not successful, and the planning appeals board confirmed the local authority’s decision in 2016.

But the company ultimately aborted its plans for County Galway in 2018 after three objectors sought a review of the decision through the courts.

Read 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

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Connacht Tribune

Mum’s dream holiday turns to nightmare after cancer diagnosis

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Julia McAndrew, in hospital in Mexico.

A mother who went to Mexico on a dream holiday to spend Christmas with family is too weak to return home after being diagnosed with advanced cancer.

From the minute Julia McAndrew landed in the South American country, her health took a major downward spiral.

Her son and daughter were shocked when she asked for a wheelchair to make it through the airport.

She and daughter Eliska had flown out to see her son Patrick, who had relocated to Mexico to run an online learning business.

They initially thought she had fallen ill due to the rigours of a 22-hour, multi-stop flight.

But when her stomach problems did not improve and she began to lose a lot of weight and suffered from very low energy, they sought medical help.

This had to be done privately and without the financial help of an insurance company, Patrick reveals.

She was initially diagnosed with anaemia and kidney failure and underwent various treatments, including blood transfusions that appeared to be working.

But three weeks ago, medics discovered that what she had was Stage 4 breast cancer. Julia had cancer a decade ago but was given the all-clear after receiving treatment and a major change in lifestyle.

“It’s returned with a vengeance this time around. It’s spread to her pelvis, ribs and lungs,” reflects Patrick.

The cost of the treatment is $40,000 (€33,000) a month. Her family are hoping to build up her strength enough to endure the long flight home to Oranmore.

They have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise €280,000 to pay for her treatment and in less than a week a phenomenal €36,000 has been donated.

Read 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

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