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CITY TRIBUNE

Cinema goes mainstream to put bums on Picture Palace seats

Dara Bradley

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'White elephant': the Picture Palace arthouse cinema.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

The doors of the jinxed arthouse cinema were thrown open to Galway City councillors.  About half of the 18 elected members turned up for a tour of the half-finished building and presentation given by Element Pictures, the new operators of the Picture Palace.

These are the guys who run the arthouse Lighthouse Cinema in Dublin, which is quite successful by all accounts.

The public, who have footed most of the bill, are sick, sore and tired of the arthouse cinema debacle.

It has missed more deadlines than there are Rocky films, and it’s gobbled up millions of euro that would easily pay to make another Sylvester Stallone blockbuster.

And yet despite all these years and all that public money, it is not altogether clear that the city actually needs another cinema, be it for arthouse screenings or any other types of films.

Apart from the Galway Film Festival, a week-long event once a year, it is not apparent where the demand is going to come from to fill this costly white elephant.

And what exactly constitutes arthouse?

The top-three films that were shown by Lighthouse in 2016 were Room, Sing Street and A Date for Mad Mary.

All three of those films were available to audiences in Galway City, too, without an arthouse cinema, because they were screened at the mainstream Eye Cinema.

Surely, we cannot condone the massive State subsidy of one “arthouse” cinema, to compete with a private operator, who is happy to screen those movies if and when there is a demand for them?

Keane’s canvassers are able

Keane by name, keen by nature. Though he was reluctant to contest the most recent general election, Peter Keane looks increasingly keen to stand for Fianna Fáil in the next one. What a difference a few opinion polls make.

With FF seemingly out of the sinbin, thanks to an amnesiac electorate, the party is eyeing up a return to the glory days of two seats in Galway West.

Peter is eager to join Dev Óg in the Dáil, and already has his canvassers out knocking on doors and distributing literature in Knocknacarra. Watch this space: The Man With The Red Trousers is coming to a doorstep near you.

Meanwhile, eager Peter, and his party and City Council colleague Ollie Crowe, were among the Soldiers of Destiny who turned up outside city churches – including Salthill – this week, trying to get a few bob out of hard-pressed massgoers.

It raised eyebrows among some political opponents, including Mike Cubbard, the Independent.

Mike said: “Separating the church from the State is a current topic up for debate and is one I agree wholeheartedly with. The National Maternity Hospital should be State-run, simple as that! Ironic though that in the height of this debate I see Fianna Fáil having a national collection day to raise money – outside the churches!”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

 

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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