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Connacht Tribune

Call for new Garda powers to deal with illegal dumping

Stephen Corrigan

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Illegal dumping photographed this week by Deputy Noel Grealish

A local TD has called for radical new powers to be given to Gardaí and local authorities to stamp out illegal dumping – including the powers to seize vehicles.

Galway West deputy Noel Grealish (Ind) said these powers were necessary to stamp out “the scourge” of illegal dumping and the burning of rubbish.

“Additional powers have to be given to local authorities and An Garda Síochána, such as the power to seize vehicles, and I will be seeking emergency legislation in the Dáil to enable this. It might make these people think twice if the van or car they depend on was at risk of being taken away from them,” said Deputy Grealish.

“Hit them where it hurts,” he added.

Deputy Grealish said he had recently visited a site on the outskirts of Galway City that was overrun with rubbish that had been illegally dumped – most of which, he claimed, was being done by members of the Travelling Community.

“I visited a site recently late at night and witnessed the dumping and illegal burning, most of which was being perpetrated by members of the Traveller Community.

“Meanwhile, the perpetrators just carry on dumping and burning, knowing that there’s little chance of them being caught – and even if they were, what would they get but a rap on the knuckles and a fine,” he said.

However, the Galway Traveller Movement said it has been very proactive in tackling illegal dumping and that it was wrong to single out any one community as being the source of fly-tipping or illegal burning.

Margaret O’Riada of the Galway Traveller Movement said illegal dumping came from all sections of society.

“Illegal dumping is a big problem and we all need to work together to develop sustainable communities that meet the needs of everyone in the community while protecting and limiting the damage of the environment.

“No one community should be singled out for blame, as happens far too often for the traveller community,” said Ms O’Riada.

“We need to work towards sustainable communities that are economically, environmentally and socially healthy,” she continued.

Ms O’Riada said they were working hard to raise awareness around issues negatively impacting the environment and pointed to their ‘Bounce Back Recycling Scheme’, a social enterprise set up in 2017 that has recycled over 15,000 mattresses.

“Bounce Back, an innovative project managed by members of the Traveller Community, has taken a lead role in delivering a quality recycling service for the mattress amnesty days with the local authorities across the Connacht/Ulster waste management area,” she said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Grealish confirmed that he had been in contact with the Minister for the Environment, Richard Bruton, to arrange a meeting with him and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, with a view to getting emergency powers through as soon as possible – something he said would give teeth to Gardaí and local wardens dealing with illegal dumpers.

Most people were good, law abiding citizens who paid reputable waste collectors to take away their waste and dispose of it in a legally and environmentally friendly way, said Deputy Grealish.

“Unfortunately, there is a small group of people who just do what they want and don’t care about others and the impact of what their actions might have on the lives of people and livestock who end up ill from poisoned water,” he added.

Connacht Tribune

SMEs set their sights on Euro expansion

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Kevin Moran of IMS Marketing accepting the ‘Excellence in Practice Silver Award’ from the European Foundation for Management Development, with Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon and Nan Gou, Programme Director, ESMT Berlin.

Irish entrepreneurs have the skills, products and services to break down barriers across Europe, according to one Galway-based marketing agency that is helping SMEs enter new markets.

Kevin Moran, Managing Director of IMS Marketing in Galway, said that this creativity and enthusiasm allows Irish entrepreneurs to punch above their weight in new markets.

He was speaking after his IMS Marketing was honoured for its ‘Enter-the-Eurozone’ Programme which has helped 19 SMEs break into Europe.

And he urged all SMEs to continue to set their ambitions on export markets as we emerge from the Covid-19 restrictions and revisit the challenges of Brexit.

Mr Moran said that IMS Marketing, along with its partners, Enterprise Ireland and ESMT Berlin, was delighted to receive the Excellence in Practice Silver Award’ from the European Foundation for Management Development.

“The vision for the ‘Enter the Eurozone’ Programme was to enable progressive Irish SMEs  to enter a new Eurozone market in a strategically led way,” he said.

“Export markets will be more important than ever for Irish companies and jobs as they now face the twin threat of Brexit and a post Covid19 economic recession.”

Accepting the Award’ from the EFMD, Mr Moran said that his company witnessed the strength of the Irish SME sector during the delivery of the award-winning ‘Enter the Eurozone’ programme.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Businesses miss out on restart grant

Stephen Corrigan

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Mr. Kenneth Deery. Photo: Andrew Downes, Xposure
CEO of Galway Chamber Kenny Deery

Just one-third of Galway business eligible for the Government’s Restart Grant have actually applied for the scheme which aims to bolster small enterprise as Covid-19 restrictions ease.

It was revealed this week that businesses in Galway City and County have received almost €4.5 million in grant aid under the scheme which offers grants of between €2,000 and €10,000 to commercial rates-liable enterprises.

To qualify for the €250 million scheme, businesses must have an annual turnover of less than €5 million; have 50 or fewer employee; and have a projected loss of revenue of 25% or more.

CEO of Galway Chamber Kenny Deery said there were many Galway businesses that had yet to apply for the grants, despite the fact that they were entitled to do so.

Only around 1,100 of the about 3,000 businesses in the city and county that may be due a pay-out have applied, and confusion over eligibility was contributing to that issue, he explained.

“Some businesses are of the view that they’re not eligible, but they need to realise that even if they only paid €500 or €1,000 in rates in 2019, they could still be eligible for €2,000,” he said.

Those who were in rates arrears were also entitled to the grant, said Mr Deery, adding that as long as a business had a rates liability in 2019, they could apply for the grant.

“The payment have just started being paid out to those who applied about two months ago, so it has been slow in terms of progressing those applications.

“What I would be saying to small businesses is that they would need to sell a lot of cups of coffee or a lot of sandwiches to make €2,000 or €5,000 in profit,” said Mr Deery.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway embraces Mass changes

Stephen Corrigan

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Parish Priest Fr Hugh Clifford wearing a mask during the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass in St Joseph’s Church, Kinvara, on Saturday evening. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Parishioners in Kinvara made a long-awaited return to weekend services on Saturday at St Joseph’s Church, and while it was far from business as usual, mass-goers expressed delight at their return to the church.

Parish Priest Fr Hugh Clifford said while there were necessary changes to what people would be accustomed to, the congregation was understanding of why that was necessary and thankful that the implementation of these measures meant they could return to services after a four-month absence.

As part of Phase 3 of the easing of restrictions, services of up to 50 people were allowed, and to respect physical distancing, that meant two seats in every three were blocked off, said Fr Hugh.

“Households can sit together, but at the moment, we have the limit of 50 people, but we hope that will change in the next phase. We have to advise people who are more vulnerable that they should consider staying at home for the time being,” he explained.

The obligation to attend Mass has been lifted since the outbreak of the Covid-19 crisis, continued Fr Hugh, meaning that people need not worry if they are unable to attend.

For the Eucharist, the Priest and Eucharistic Ministers wear face coverings and use hand sanitiser to ensure there is no cross-contamination, with Communion administered to people in their seats, said Fr Hugh.

See full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also add the paper to your online grocery delivery; you can purchase a digital edition here, or you can have it delivered at no extra charge by An Post; full details are on this website.

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