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Connacht IFA chief tells of  ‘widespread anger and hurt’



Connacht IFA Regional Chairman, Tom Turley, wants everything to 'come out in the wash' at the December 15 National Executive Council meeting of the association. Photo: Hany Marzouk.

Connacht IFA Regional Chairman, Tom Turley, has this week vowed that ‘clarity and transparency’ will be brought to the table when the association’s National Council meet in Dublin on December 15 next.

He told the Connacht Tribune that while there was ‘widespread anger, frustration and hurt’ on the pay levels at the top of the organisation, he was now confident that ‘they would get to the bottom of what went on’ at their meeting on Tuesday week.

“There was a lack of clarity, a lack of transparency, a lack of information and a lack of trust over this pay controversy but on December 15, I expect serious progress to be made on those issues,” Tom Turley told the Connacht Tribune.

He said that the IFA members had a very strong faith and trust in the former Chief Economist of the Association, Con Lucey, who now had been given a very clear brief to review issues of corporate governance and related matters including remuneration.

Mr Turley said that while it had been the most difficult and trying period that he had ever experienced in the IFA, he had been encouraged over the past week by the support of ordinary members on the ground.

“What I have seen emerge is an understanding on the ground through these very difficult times, that voluntary office holders in IFA are not the ones to blame for this terrible mess that we’re now in,” he said.

He said that ordinary members of the IFA could make submissions in strictest confidence to: by next Monday, December 7.

“The Executive Council of the IFA has also made it quite clear that any professional assistance that Con Lucey requires will be provided to him, including a forensic audit expert.

“I expect that we will be in a position following our December 15 Council meeting to be able to issue a clear and transparent statement on the whole pay issue in the IFA,” said Tom Turley.

Connacht Tribune

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Cycle lane will be a ‘disaster’



Salthill Prom: the public are invited to make submissions.

A business representative group has labelled the planned temporary cycle lane along the Promenade as a ‘disaster’ for Salthill that will cause ‘mayhem”.

Groups representing the cycling community have, meanwhile, called for residents, school and sport communities, businesses and visitors to lend their support for the project.

The Village Salthill, which represents businesses in the area, said it welcomed the public consultation process that was initiated by management of Galway City Council last week. But it is opposed to the temporary cycle lane.

“We have maintained right from the outset that this temporary arrangement would be a disaster for Salthill – removing a large amount of parking and driving traffic into and through residential areas in the height of the tourist season.

“The notion of having a properly constructed cycleway in Salthill has never been opposed by the Village group – however we are concerned that any ill thought-out and hastily planned solution will lead to chaos, bad feeling and seriously effect a number of businesses who rely on nearby parking to facilitate their customers,” a spokesperson said.

The Village Salthill said it would engage all city councillors to reinforce its members’ view about the “mayhem that would ensue should this proposal go ahead”.

“We will be consulting with, not only, the residents groups who are directly affected but also the areas that will feel the ‘concertina effect’ of scrambling for parking spaces. We would encourage everybody to have their say on this issue,” a spokesperson said.

The public consultation for the plan to implement a temporary cycle lane along the Prom from March-September of this year is ongoing. Submissions can be made up until 4pm on Friday, January 28.

In a joint statement, Galway Cycling Campaign and Galway Urban Greenway Alliance said they favour option two as outlined by the Council, which retains two-way vehicular access along the Prom.

“We need more blue badge parking, and the parking for people with disabilities at Ladies Beach needs to be on the Prom side of the road for safe and direct access to the beach. There also needs to be more pedestrian crossings along the route,” said Kevin Jennings of Galway Cycling Campaign.

Michelle Smyth of Galway Urban Greenway Alliance said that parking for older people needs to be provided.

“We are again calling for age friendly parking along the seafront in the Seapoint car park. We’ve heard that older people want to be able to sit in their cars and enjoy the stunning views of Galway Bay, and these courtesy parking spots would enable them to do so. It’s very simple to allocate a few spots for older people.”

The groups argue that the 3km cycleway will be an important part of safe routes to primary and secondary schools in Salthill and the city centre, as well as to shops, cafés and restaurants, beaches, leisure facilities and other local attractions.

Mr Jennings added: “It’s important to remember that this cycleway isn’t for people like me – male, middle-aged, able-bodied, confident cycling in traffic. It’s for people you don’t see cycling right now – children, teenagers, women, people with disabilities. It’s for people who would like to cycle to school or shops or work but don’t, because they don’t feel safe sharing the busy road with cars, buses and trucks.”

Submissions can be made in writing to Patrick Greene, Director of Services, Galway City Council, City Hall, College Road Galway or by email to


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Galway City Gardaí in double drugs swoop



Drugs and cash seized by Galway Gardaí as part of Operation Tara.

TWO youths arrested in relation to the latest drugs and cash haul in the east side of the city last week have been released from custody with a file being prepared for forwarding to the DPP – the Galway City Tribune has learned that they are students residing in the Glasan complex on the Ballybane Road

Members of the Galway Garda Divisional Drugs Unit seized a total of €85,000 worth of drugs and cash after searching the accommodation under warrant – a third student is also understood to have been questioned by Gardaí on the evening of the arrest.

Cocaine made up the biggest part of the haul – €53,475 – while €25,000 in cash was also seized in the operation which took place shortly after 8pm on Tuesday last.

A further €4,200 worth of MMDA (ecstasy or molly) was also seized as well as €2,900 worth of cannabis herb – all of the drugs have been sent to Dublin for forensic and laboratory analysis.

Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins told the Galway City Tribune that the latest find was a ‘timely reminder’ of the availability and supply of illegal drugs among members of the student population in Galway city.

“These are people who would not have been previously involved in criminality but who now find themselves caught up in a very serious situation in relation to the procurement, sale and supply of illegal drugs.

“We are strongly advising students – and indeed all young people – not to get caught up in this network of illegal drugs usage, sale and supply. Young people can be sucked into a very dangerous world involving serious criminals.

“They can also end up themselves with a criminal record which can have major implications for their future careers. Stay clear of any such activity is our strong advice,” said Det. Supt. Cummins.

Last November, several Garda and Customs units, targeted houses in the Castle Park and Radharc na Gréine estates, seizing cash and drugs as well as freezing a bank account.

At the time, Garda sources said that the total value of seizures and the bank freezes – as well as previous drugs seizures in the east side of the city – was in the region of €200,000. A 191 Audi car worth close to €50,000 was also seized in the Limerick in relation to the Galway finds.

Last  week’s seizures at the Glasan Student Village on the Ballybane Road are part of Operation Tara which was launched as part of the Garda anti-drugs strategy by Commissioner Drew Harris last July.

The aim of the strategy is to ‘dismantle and prosecute drugs trafficking networks at all levels –– international,national and local – involved in the importation, distribution, cultivation, production, local sale and supply of illegal drugs.



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