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Christmas market organisers plan to avoid damage to park

Enda Cunningham

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The operators of Galway’s Continental Christmas Market have a plan in place to avoid a repeat of the “significant damage” caused to Kennedy Park, Eyre Square, last year.

Milestone Inventive – the events company which runs the market on behalf of the City Council and the Galway City Business Association – has blamed the extreme weather conditions last year and an absence of drainage for the damage.

In excess of 400,000 people are expected to visit this year’s market, which will be launched on Friday, November 21, and run until December 22. There will be around 65 concession units and exhibitors, as well as amusements, bier keller, glühwein bar and Bavarian Windmill House.

The organisers say the event will be worth around €16 million to the local economy, based on revenues in recent years.

An event licence application for 32 days has been jointly lodged by the City Council and GCBA at City Hall – members of the public can make submissions on the play until October 31.

“It is acknowledged that significant damage was caused to the grass in 2013 due to the extreme weather conditions and absence of drainage.

“The continuity of bad weather and in particular rainfall, meant that works to repair the damage could not commence until mid-March. Every possible effort will be made to avoid a re-occurrence of this situation,” the application reads.

They have said they will avoid areas where water pools most frequently, while the City Council is carrying out drainage works.

Fertilisers will be applied to the grass areas prior to the construction of the market, and track mats will be put in place, while a new type of grass covering has been sourced “with better long-term protection properties”.

Under the terms of the licence – if approved – the organisers have until January 16 next to make good any damage to Eyre Square or Kennedy Park.

The market will be open Monday to Wednesday from midday to 8pm (bars open until 9pm) and from 10am to 10pm on Thursdays to Sundays.

Read more in this week’s Connacht Sentinel

CITY TRIBUNE

€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.

The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.

A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.

Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.

The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.

“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.

“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”

Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.

“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.

The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools

Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.

“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.

“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.

A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
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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