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CITY TRIBUNE

Claim that Galway 2020 paid €440k to ensure confidentiality

Stephen Corrigan

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It will cost €440,000 to pay for the departure of Galway 2020’s former Artistic Director, a city councillor has alleged.

Cllr Pádraig Connelly (FG) told a meeting of Galway City Council this week that members had been misled on the matter by Galway 2020 officials.

In a fiery exchange, Cllr Conneely said he had repeatedly raised concerns about the Artistic Director Chris Baldwin’s departure in May – in particular, surrounding a confidentiality agreement and whether or not Mr Baldwin’s agreed salary would be honoured.

Galway 2020 Chief Executive and Chairperson, Hannah Kiely and Aideen McGinley, were before the Council last month to face questions from councillors – and at Monday’s meeting, Cllr Conneely said they had misled  public representatives.

“In my opinion, we were lied to in certain questions I posed, in particular, relating to the departure of Creative Director, Chris Baldwin.

“I have here in front of me a document from [Galway 2020] board representative, Declan McGonagle, to the Department, dated May 29,” exclaimed Cllr Conneely.

Brandishing the document, Cllr Conneely said it confirmed details of an agreement “which has now been signed by Chris”.

“I asked was there any confidentiality agreement,” said Cllr Conneely. “I was told no.”

Councillors had also been misled over Mr Baldwin’s departure terms, claimed Cllr Conneely, who said he would receive €110,000 per year for four years, as per his original contract.

“That’s €440,000 of ratepayers’ money that’s being paid out. I was told [at the last meeting] there was none – I was misled in this Chamber.

“Will the same now happen with the Business Director that was appointed, given a contract, signed a contract and then had it withdrawn?” asked Cllr Conneely.

To read the rest of the report on Monday’s meeting and details of the management walk-out, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or alternatively download the app for Android or iPhone.

CITY TRIBUNE

€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.

The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.

A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.

Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.

The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.

“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.

“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”

Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.

“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.

The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools

Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.

“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.

“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.

A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
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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