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CITY TRIBUNE

City Council approves plans for new 24-hour gym

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The operators behind plans for a 24-hour gym at Citypoint on Prospect Hill have been given the green light for the development, after revisions were made to their proposals.

Snap Fitness – which already has more than 2,000 fitness clubs around the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and India – has sought permission for a change of use of a retail unit at Citypoint (the building which also houses TK Maxx) to a gym.

The upper floors of the building are operated as holiday apartments by the nearby Western Hotel.

Australian investors Scott Paul Jones and Matthew Paul Quinn said the facility would be open to members only, with secure card access, and all members must undertake a club induction.

“The club induction covers all rules and regulations, including club security, noise control to ensure no members drop weights, and incident / complaint reporting,” the application reads.

The club is staffed for 60 hours per week, and outside of hours, managers are on call – duress alarms are also installed in case of medical emergency.

According to the application, the gym will have low volume background music, which is set and locked by the manager in the office.

“No loud bass beats typically associated with most gyms,” the application reads, adding that all equipment has TV screens used with headphones and rubber flooring mitigates potential noise.

“Snap Fitness is a globally recognised 24/7 brand. The ‘24/7’ element is recognised and the facility simply cannot operate without it. It reduces the traffic in the gym at peak times as customers are able to train when it most suits them; this in itself reduces the noise as attendance in any given hour is reduced,” the application reads.

The landlord, Calibrate Advisors – part of the UK-based Calibrate Partners investment fund – has consented to the unit being used as a gym.

The City Council noted the placing of the signage on the building was on an upper floor, and therefore “does not respect the scale of the existing shop front nor to it respect or complement the prevailing character of the street, which is located beside an area identified as the Eyre Square Architectural Conservation Area”.

They asked Snap Fitness to revise the signage, which was subsequently lowered by the applicants.

Planners approved the application following the revisions to the plans.

CITY TRIBUNE

Drinks set to flow again in two landmark Galway premises

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Two popular Galway pubs that had been closed are to be given a new lease of life by an extended family.

The refurbishment of the former Central Bar in Woodquay has been almost completed and new owner Michael Gilmore will open the doors this weekend – just in time for the busy Christmas season.

The pub, in recent years known as The Lough Inn, had closed during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Mr Gilmore is a well-known publican in the city, running the Cellar Bar on Eglinton Street and Seven on Bridge Street. He also has a pub in the heart of Westport called An File.

Earlier this year his two nephews, Mark and Vinny Gilmore, bought Kelehan’s in Bushypark. They are overseeing a major overhaul on the large premises after many years behind closed doors.

Due to setbacks with building supplies, a planned opening by Christmas has now been pushed back until the spring.


This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 9 edition of the Galway City Tribune.  You can buy a digital edition HERE.


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CITY TRIBUNE

Warning to parents after Galway homes raided in child sexual abuse material investigation

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A senior Garda, who heads up Galway’s Protective Services unit, has advised parents to ‘tune into’ the daily dangers lurking on the internet in relation to child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

Detective Inspector Peter Conlon – who confirmed that four search warrants had been issued to search residences in the city over recent weeks for CSAM – urged all parents and guardians closely monitor their children’s access to the internet.

He told the Galway City Tribune it was critical that parents did not allow their children ‘unfettered access’ to the internet given the prevalence of sexual predators – often from other jurisdictions – who were trawling the net to make contact with children.

“Children may believe that they are making contact with other children but instead it may be adults seeking to establish a relationship with them and to get pictures of them.


This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 9 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.


“I would ask all parents to seriously and carefully consider the age at which they should give mobile phones to their children – any such decision needs to be age appropriate and where this happens it needs to be monitored closely by the parents,” said Det Insp Conlon.

He also said that parents and guardians should acquaint themselves, where practical, with the latest technologies which make it possible for them to be linked into their children’s phone or devices to monitor content and contacts at all times.

The searches in the city over the past two weeks resulted in the seizure of laptops and other electronic devices from three residences – they are currently being examined in detail by Garda technical experts at their regional HQ in Renmore. Det Insp Conlon said that while there had been no arrests in the city following the latest searches, the course of their investigations would be determined by the content and material found in the devices seized.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Just 85 affordable homes to be built in Galway City by 2025

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  A total of just 85 affordable homes will be built in Galway City during the remainder of the Government’s lifetime, it was revealed during a debate in the Seanad this week.

An animated Senator Ollie Crowe (FF) told Seanad Éireann that there would be “riots on the streets of Galway” at the disappointing news that was imparted to him by a junior minister.

In the Dáil, Junior Housing Minister, Malcolm Noonan, confirmed that it was planned to provide 85 affordable homes as part of a Merlin Woods development between now and 2025.

He understood that there were sites identified for affordable housing schemes in other parts of the city, but no applications had been received for funding.

“Housing delivery in Galway City Council is a matter for Galway City Council and it is down to the local authority to strike the balance in respect of social and affordable housing delivery.

“If the Senator feels that the local authority is not delivering enough in that regard, it is really a matter for them to drive a more ambitious agenda. The Department will not be found wanting in funding schemes,” Minister Noonan added.

But Senator Crowe yesterday told the Galway City Tribune that it was an incredibly disappointing and unacceptable answer that there would only be 85 new builds when it came to affordable homes.

(Image: Minister Malcolm Noonan said the new Merlin Woods development will include 85 affordable homes).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article,  see the December 9 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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