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CITY TRIBUNE

Call for future needs analysis for Galway’s east side

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A future needs analysis of the east side of the city would serve as a catalyst for the proper development of an area that ‘is being treated like the poor relation’.

That’s according to local councillor Alan Cheevers (FF) who said a widescale investigation of the requirements in areas such as Doughiska and Ballybane would allow Galway City Council to form a strategy to ensure no area is left behind.

Cllr Cheevers said he would be putting down a motion at the next City Council meeting to seek support for such a study which he said should cost in the region of €250,000, and should draw on the expertise of NUI Galway and GMIT.

“It was done for the Doughiska-Roscam-Ardaun area a number of years ago and established the need for a school, a resource centre and various other community facilities, but I think we now need a broader picture of the situation,” said the Fianna Fáil councillor.

“In my view, investment in the east side of the city is poor, relative to City West and City Central.”

As much as lack of investment was a problem, investment in the wrong type of infrastructure was also an issue, said Cllr Cheevers.

“As an example, in a current Capital Spending Budget, there is funding for a hurling wall for each of the three areas in the city and the cost is €150,000 per wall. A hurling wall is all well and good, but that €150,000 could have been spent on floodlighting for Doughiska Park to make it an all-year-round facility.

One of the people heavily involved in the future needs analysis carried out for the Doughiska-Roscam-Ardaun area in 2009 was local priest Fr Martin Glynn, who says the time has come to replicate that for the entirety of City East.

The analysis of the DRA area enabled the creation of a strategy that delivered two schools, sports facilities and community cohesion in Doughiska, he said.

“It is so important to engage with local people when planning for an area so that you can respond to their needs as they see them,” added Fr Martin, who coordinates several parishes in the Galway East Pastoral Area.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the extended feature on the east side, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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