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Call for Dáil recall to address flooding crisis

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A Galway TD has called for an urgent recall of the Dáil to discuss measures necessary to address the flooding crisis.

Fianna Fáil’s Colm Keaveney has written to the Taoiseach requesting the recall.

“As a representative of one of the worst hit constituencies in the present flooding crisis, I have been frankly appalled at the lack of urgency in the Governments response. The Taoiseach has been invisible in recent days despite numerous warnings issued by Met Éireann about the threat of flooding.

“The UK has been hit by similar flooding and Prime Minister Cameron, to his credit, has been highly visible in affected areas. At the very least, people dealing with the aftermath of flooding in York and other areas can feel that their Government and Prime Minister have noticed their plight. His presence on the ground is providing reassurance to communities.

“With the Dáil heading into its final few weeks before the General Election, time is now limited to agree and implement necessary legislation and funding to deal with the immediate consequences of the flooding and to prepare for future storms.

“Any failure to agree on all necessary measures before the dissolution of this Dáil could result in a delay of two or three months in putting any legislation in place. This will narrow the window of opportunity to begin the installation of flood defences where needed in preparation for the Winter of 2016.

“Any such measures will require significant additional funding to be voted through by the Dáil. I also believe that legislation will be needed to provide for an accelerated planning procedure to be put in place for such flood defences. These measures will need to be debated, agreed and legislated for prior to the dissolution of the Dáil.

“In the shorter term, the people of South Galway, in towns such as Gort, Portumna and Craughwell, and in neighboring counties such as south Roscommon and Tipperary as well as further afield in Cork will require significant financial aid to assist them in coping with the consequences of flood damage.

“The current schemes put in place by the Government are insufficient in terms of the funding available and in terms of their scope. Too many people currently affected by flooding are excluded from these schemes.

“The Government parties also need to give a full account of what measures they have taken in office to tackle flooding. A number of deadlines under the EU Floods Directive have passed under this government. What, if any of them have been met?

“There is little evidence on the ground that the Government parties have done anything to honour this directive and as such they have failed communities throughout the country,” said Deputy Keaveney.

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

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

Planners approve homes for ‘cuckoo fund’ investor

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The green light has been given for the construction of 345 apartments at the Crown Square site in Mervue – the majority of which will be put on the rental market and operated by a ‘cuckoo fund’ for a minimum of fifteen years.

Crown Square Developments, which is owned by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has secured permission from An Bord Pleanála for the ‘Build to Rent’ development, with four blocks ranging ranging from four to nine storeys in height.

There will also be a neighbourhood facility with a gym, a primary care medical centre with pharmacy, a ‘working from home’ lounge, six shops, a games room and a creche.

There will be 240 two-bed apartments, 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds, all of which will be specifically for the rental market and not available to purchase.

A breakdown of the apartments shows there will be 240 two-beds; 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds.

To meet social housing requirements, the developer plans to transfer 35 of the apartments (20 two-bed, 10 one-bed and 5 three-bed) to Galway City Council.

A total of 138 car-parking spaces have been allocated on the lower basement levels of Crown Square for residents, along with shared access to another 109 spaces and another 13 for use by a ‘car club’. There will be 796 secure bicycle parking spaces to serve the apartments.

The Board has ordered that the apartments can only be used as long-term rentals, and none can be used for short-term lettings.

Under ‘Build to Rent’ guidelines, the development must be owned and operated by an institutional entity for a minimum period of 15 years and “where no individual residential units shall be sold separately for that period”. The 15-year period starts from the date of occupation of the first residential unit.

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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