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Connacht Tribune

Call for action on Tuam Road bus corridor

Declan Tierney

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The provision of a designated bus corridor from Claregalway into the Galway City should be put in the hands of a group who are capable of delivering the project swiftly, a county councillor has claimed.

At the moment, the scheme is a joint venture between Galway County Council and Galway City Council, with the city being the lead agency.

But it has been suggested that it be taken out of the responsibility of the City Council, as there are claims that they are ‘sitting on their hands’ on the matter.

One of the main bus operators between Tuam and Galway say it is now taking more than an hour to reach Eyre Square during peak morning periods. It is frustrating for both passengers and the bus companies.

Traffic now grinds to a halt shortly after Claregalway on the morning inward journeys from Tuam – there are proposals for a bus corridor from there to the lights at Fleming’s Garage at the top of Bóthar na dTreabh in the city.

However, there has been little progress on this despite TDs in both Galway East and Galway West making various statements over the past year demanding that the councils make progress.

Regular bus user from Tuam, Cllr Shaun Cunniffe, told Tuam Municipal Council that he has been in touch with Burkesbus and they are ‘less than impressed’ with the lack of advance being made in providing a bus lane.

“The whole purpose of this initiative is to keep cars away from the city centre but Galway City Council are doing nothing to achieve this. They should be removed as the lead agency in this process.

“Even if we got a bus lane from Parkmore into the Leader’s shop area [at Castlegar], it would be a bonus and this would not even require compulsory purchase orders. It seems straightforward but the City Council are sitting on their hands.

“Eventually, a bus corridor all the way from Claregalway into the city is the most desirable option, but that seems to be a million miles away at the moment,” Cllr Cunniffe said.

City Council officials stated earlier this year that a designated bus corridor along the N83 (formerly the N17) is at a detailed design stage and a previous meeting of the Council was informed that the corridor would effectively run from Claregalway to Wellpark – Phase One of the Tuam Road bus corridor would encompass the stretch from Claregalway to the junction at Fleming’s Garage.

The meeting heard this phase could be done relatively quickly as compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) would not be needed as far as Castlegar church. The second phase, to run from Fleming’s to Wellpark, would involve CPOs and therefore would take longer.

Chief Executive of the City Council, Brendan McGrath said there are some concerns about potentially eliminating the N83 right turn up to Parkmore when coming out from the city.

Connacht Tribune

Homemade Wimbledon is a different bale game!

Francis Farragher

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James Craughwell about to serve over the tape – and the sheep gates – to brother Christopher with mum, Anne, in the background. The family dog Prince is showing a keen interest in taking up the role of ‘ball boy’. The brollies on the deck chairs were actually purchased at the Wimbledon tournament that the Craughwells attended in 2017.

WIMBLEDON mightn’t be happening for the tennis professionals this year due to COVID-19 – but one North Galway family are planning their own version of the tournament.

The younger members of the Craughwell family in Menlough village have had a tradition over the years of lining out their own court on the silage slab that’s available for recreation purposes during the early weeks of the Summer.

The three sons of Jarlath and Anne Craughwell – Christopher, Shane and James – rarely missed the opportunity through the years to ‘get the silage slab ready’ for their own Wimbledon tournament.

“The dimensions of the silage slab are almost exactly the same as a tennis court [78 feet X 36 feet} so back the years we always organised our own games. When the silage was made, then that was always it for another year,” Christopher Craughwell told the Connacht Tribune.

As the lads grew older the summer tennis court hadn’t been used for a few years but in 2020 with the introduction of the coronavirus restrictions, it seemed like a perfect time to bring it back.

“This year we took it a stage further. We used the sheep gates for the net with a line of white electric fence tape along the top so this is probably the best job we’ve ever made of it.

“The silage won’t be made for at least another month so were planning to stage our own family tournament over the coming weeks. With the weather so good, it’s been a great way to pass the time,” said Christopher.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

City Council houses Travellers in county

Declan Tierney

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Cllr Donagh Killilea.

Galway City Council will spend close to half a million euro to house a Traveller family – in a property well outside its own local authority boundary.

Instead the family of four, who previously lived on the Carrabrowne halting site, will be accommodated in the house at Kiltulla near Carnmore, which is deep in Galway County Council’s local government area.

The City Council is understood to have paid €388,000 for the property which will require another €50,000 to refurbish – leaving little change out of half a million euro.

Angry residents, who were unaware of the plan, have now organised a petition to City Council CEO Brendan McGrath to voice their objection to the move.

But Cllr Donagh Killilea believes that there is a bigger issue at stake – with Galway City Council acquiring property wherever they like.

And Senator Ollie Crowe said that he believed the City Council – of which he was a member up to his Seanad election – should be acquiring property within their own area and that this acquisition was ‘unprecedented’.

He said that it was his view that there would be nothing bought outside the city boundary and that the money spent on this property would refurbish a lot of the City Council’s housing stock that had fallen into a state of dilapidation.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

Long drives still out of bounds for golfers

Declan Tierney

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Teeing off from the 12th tee at Galway Bay Golf Resort in Oranmore this week on the re-opening of golf courses around the country. There is nothing to suggest that any golfers travelled more than 5km to play in Oranmore. Photo: Keith Kelly.

This week’s relaxation of travel restrictions saw an exodus to the garden centres and the golf courses – but Gardaí have this week reiterated their warning to those planning to excede their five kilometre limit that they may find themselves in the heavy rough.

The first phase of a return to ‘normality’ went to plan, despite the early rush to newly reopened facilities. Even the rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of furloughed golfers, who were on the first tee from daylight.

Time sheets for golf clubs across the county were choc-a-bloc as they opened their doors to members for the first time since the end of March – but many clubs privately admitted that more than half of those who played had travelled way beyond the 5k restriction.

That led Gardaí to warn that they will be mounting checkpoints and turning people back home – adding that the golf clubs themselves have a responsibility to advise members on the travel rules.

Tuam Sergeant Pat Hastings confirmed that Gardaí had the power under the Health Preservation and Protection Act 2020 to turn back individuals travelling more than 5k from their homes.

He warned that a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions to deal with anyone who continually breached the regulations.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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