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CITY TRIBUNE

City Museum on long list which impressed Tidy Towns judges

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The Galway City Museum, one of the highlights for the Tidy Towns judge.

Galway City Tribune – The museum, NUI Galway, Spanish Arch, the Cathedral and the colour and variety of shopfronts impressed adjudicators from the Tidy Towns committee enough to award Galway City a silver medal.

The city scored a total of 318 points (out of a potential 470) for 2019, which was up eight points on last year.

The medal was awarded for an area with a population of more than 25,000 people, with Swords in Co Dublin also securing a silver medal.

The Tidy Towns adjudicator said it was “a delight” to visit the city for the first time.

“Your high degree of planning and implementation are acknowledged and accordingly you have raised your marks again this year. Your involvement stretches to all parts of the city and to all communities. You embrace the spirit of the Tidy Towns movement as a community movement aimed at improving the quality of life for your citizens, and at the same time recognising the commercial necessity to generate new and viable projects,” the adjudicator said.

“Your challenge is immense but your achievements are obvious to this adjudicator and our miles of walking during our adjudication gave us a good insight of the challenge and achievements. The traffic was extremely busy and not a day for city driving but our walking was enjoyed and enabled us to traverse the many lanes and side entrances that form part of the adjudication process. There was an air of enjoyment throughout the city which was favoured by a beautiful sunny day.

“Galway City is endowed with a great amount of wonderful building of all vintage. We were impressed with the great numbers of shopfronts and we list the following as an example: Blue Note, Secret Garden, Crane Bar, Colleran and Sons, The Galway Simon Shop, Kai Restaurant, Róisín Dubh, Cupán Tae, Cobwebs, Seodóireacht Cheilteach an Ghladaigh, Músaem Na Cathrach, Riordans, Tig Cóilí, Treasure Chest, Matt O’Flaherty, Brown Thomas, Lazlo Jewellers, A Hartmann and Sons. No doubt the Civic Trust can be of immense help to you in ensuring the good maintenance of these valuable buildings.

“Public buildings are well presented, but for this adjudicator the Galway City Museum stands out. We enjoyed the presence of Padraic O Conaire, but hope the inscription as Gaeilge could be refurbished as it is no longer legible.

“Our visit to the Cathedral was much enjoyed, together with St Ignatius Jesuit Church which we notice is under repair and improvement. We loved the presentation of NUI with its wonderful mature trees and building façade. Our visit To Galway West End and Nuns Island was much enjoyed and the Nuns Island Theatre was well presented. The Railway Station was well presented and the toilets were inspected.”
This is a preview only. To read the rest of the judge’s citation and for details and photos of the Tidy Towns Garden Competition winners, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
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

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
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

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
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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