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Connacht Tribune

Cinema, homes, retail and offices planned for Ballinasloe site

Enda Cunningham

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A masterplan is being drawn up for a multi-million euro development in Ballinasloe, which will include almost 100 homes, a cinema, nursing home, offices, retail units and a drive-thru restaurant.

It is potentially the biggest investment the town has seen in well over a decade, running into tens of millions of euro.

Already, a planning application has been lodged with Galway County Council for Phase 1 of the development at Dunlo, and involves the construction of 95 new homes and a childcare facility, at an estimated cost of around €14 million.

Provisional designs are also being considered for a cinema, nursing home “and maybe some retail units and a drive-thru restaurant” on the extensive site at Harbour Road and Dunlo – although these have not been finalised.

Jacqueline Kenny and Cian O’Connell from Claregalway, directors of Limehill Esker Ltd, have sought permission for the development on an 8.5-acre site at Dunlo, adjacent to Tesco.

According to the application, the site is part of a larger master plan scheme for the Dunlo area.

“The overall scheme consists of retail, leisure, office spaces, a creche and residential units along with carparking and open space. The subject site incorporates Phase 1 of the development. Any further developments relating to this scheme will be subsequent to separate planning applications,” the application reads.

The company owns an extensive tranche of land surrounding Tesco.

Phase 1 involves the construction of: 30 two-bed apartments; 25 two-bed terraced; 26 three-bed terraced; 14 four-bed semi-detached houses, 641 square metre creche and 154 parking spaces.

According to documentation submitted with the application, it is difficult to project selling prices for the second quarter of 2020, but it is envisaged that the asking prices would be €225,000 for two-bed units; €282,500 to €300,000 for three-bed units and €317,500 for four-bed units.

An agreement in principle has been reached to transfer 10 of the homes to the County Council to meet social housing requirements.

According to an Ecological Impact Assessment submitted with the application, the development is confined to habitats which are “considered to be of local importance (lower value)”.

“The established hedgerows along the northern boundary of the site will be retained as they are of local biodiversity value. There will be some loss of hedgerow to the west of the site.

“No significant habitat for bird species, including wintering or breeding habitat occurs within the site.

“It is considered that the proposed housing development will not result in the loss of habitats and species of high ecological significance and will not have any significant impacts on the ecology of the wider area,” the study reads.

The ‘decision due’ date on the application for Phase 1 is November 21, although Council planners are expected to request further information due to the scale of the plans.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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