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City planners turn down proposal to expand Skeffington Arms Hotel

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – City planners have turned down a proposal for a significant expansion of to the Skeffingon Arms Hotel.

The project would have seen the demolition of the existing nightclub building at Ballalley Lane to make way for a seven-storey building over the existing basement.

This would make way for 44 hotel bedrooms.

The project led by Skeffington Arms Limited also involved realignment structural consolidation and re-cladding of the existing, established second storey bridge linking to the main hotel building to provide an upper level link between the existing hotel and the proposed extension.

The existing basement would have remained in-situ, while the ground floor and sixth floors would also have contained customer facilities including reception, foyer, restaurant, café/breakfast area.

Part of the proposed development is located within the Eyre Square Architectural Conservation Area and the site is adjacent to a number of protected structures.

In making their decision, city planners cited two factors.

One stated the overall poor design including the scale, massing, height and low quality visual appearance of the proposed extension, the resulting expression onto the city centre streetscape, the unacceptable interface with the neighbouring protected structures and impact on the Eyre Square architectural conservation area all contribute to the unacceptable nature of the development.

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TD says alternative strategy needed to vaccinate island communities

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The government is being urged to consider an alternative strategy for the vaccination of communities on the Aran Islands.

Galway West Sinn Fein TD Mairéad Farrell has made the proposal to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and Minister Heather Humphreys following a visit to Inis Oírr.

There are approximately 900 residents on Inis Mór, 300 on Inis Oírr and 200 on Inis Meáin.

Island community groups advised the Deputy that while older vulnerable age groups have received the vaccine through the local GP, other cohorts are expected to attend the mass vaccination centre at Ballybrit.

Deputy Farrell argues it is unreasonable to expect islanders to travel by ferry or plane and alternative arrangements must be made.

The Sinn Fein TD also argues it would be preferable to vaccinate the entire island population at the same time locally to protect them as a community unit, which regularly accommodates high numbers of visitors.

To hear more, tune into Galway Bay fm news.

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Local TD urges Taoiseach to provide immediate respite for “exhausted” frontline workers

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A local TD has used the Dáil to urge the Taoiseach to recognise the fact that front-line healthcare workers are physically and mentally exhausted.

The issue was raised by Roscommon-Galway Deputy Denis Naughten, who said respite for these workers is urgently needed.

He pointed out to Taoiseach Micheal Martin that healthcare workers have now managed 3 waves of the virus as well as the recent cyber-attack.

Deputy Naughten also noted that the Taoiseach had committed to examining proposals last July – but nothing has happened since.

He further pointed out that last December, the Scottish Goverment pledged to pay every NHS and social care worker a £500 Covid bonus.

Deputy Naughten said something must be done to recognise the work of our own frontline workers who are now exhausted.

To hear more, tune into Galway Bay fm news.

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Two working groups established to address anti-social behaviour in Tuam

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Two working groups have been established to address anti-social behaviour and estate management issues in Tuam.

The County Council says the estate management team will support residents associations to work on estates and common areas.

Meanwhile, the anti-social behaviour group is looking at CCTV options and possible exclusion orders for people from particular estates.

The Local Authority has confirmed that both groups are now meeting and working on a number of initiatives in estates including the STEER estate, Parkmore and Tirboy.

Local Fianna Fáil Councillor Colm Keaveney sits on the anti-social behaviour group, while Fine Gael Councillor Andrew Reddington is set to lead a separate taskforce dedicated to youth outreach in the district.

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