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Connacht Tribune

Connemara drivers angry over roadside shrubbery

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Overgrown bushes have become a serious hazard for road users in West County Galway.

Locals claim that hedgerows are so wild and bushy along regional and local roads in Connemara they are putting lives at risk.

“Safety and visibility is our main concern,” said N59 Action Campaign spokesperson Gerry King of Erris Lannan, near Clifden.

“Bushes along the side of the road have become so overgrown they have grown out a metre either side onto the road. It is no longer safe,” he said.

There has been a recent growth spurt this August, which has made the problem worse than other years.

“There wasn’t much growth in the Spring and then we had the hot Summer, but all of a sudden there’s been a lot of greenery along the side of roads that is encroaching onto the road and is impacting on visibility. They need to be cut right back to the stone walls,” he said.

Mr King said the Wild Atlantic Way is becoming ever-more popular with visitors but that has increased the traffic along the smaller roads of Connemara and they are not in a safe state to accept that traffic, he said.

Roads in Moyard, Clifden, Ballyconneely, Letterfrack and Renvyle are particularly overgrown, he said.

“It’s the usual suspects, but all roads in Connemara, both local and regional, are experiencing this problem. It is Galway County Council’s responsibility to cut the bushes, but I suppose they’ll say that they do not have the money,” said Mr King.

Two cars cannot pass each other along many of the roads, which are narrow enough anyway. It is unsafe, too, for cyclists who meet cars along the road, and worse again if buses or heavy goods vehicles have to pass.

“What you’re getting is a lot of mirrors being clipped and banged and it’s almost impossible to drive along the road without getting clipped,” he said.

Mr King said the cutting season reopened on September 1 and he called on the local authority to put in place a schedule for bush-cutting of the worst affected roads in Connemara.

“Some roads out here haven’t been cut back properly in a couple of years. This is all about visibility and safety,” added Mr King.

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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