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Connacht Tribune

Construction to get underway on €14 million school development

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Works are finally expected to commence in the autumn on the provision of a new €14 million school for Presentation College Athenry at a greenfield site on the outskirts of the town.

Planning permission for the new facility – on what is known locally as the Raheen Woods site – was granted and the tendering process is already well advanced.

There was opposition from the IDA to the school going ahead at this location. The 20 site is located beside extensive IDA-owned lands which were purchased from Teagasc in recent years.

When a new Pres secondary school was being mooted, the Department of Education confirmed that the IDA had concerns in relation to the development because of the “potential impact on enterprise development”.

This sparked a lot of local anger as the school, with more than 1,100 students on its roll, is currently bursting at the seams and is using 25 prefabricated buildings in addition to its existing premises, which was designed in the 1980s for 400 students and has no outdoor playing facilities.

But now Minister Sean Canney, who has responsibility for the Office of Public Works, has said he expects work on a new school to start by next September as the tendering process is now well advanced.

Minister Canney has confirmed that he also expects the preferred bidder to be selected by the late summer. A new building for a 1,000 plus student school is part of an overall plan by the Department of Education to relocate four schools in Athenry town.

“The tendering process is well advanced and I expect the contractor to be appointed by the late summer with the preferred bidder likely to be on site by this coming September”.

“The news is very welcome as delays and frustrations have unfortunately been part and parcel of a long running saga surrounding this project.

“I am delighted to note that progressing of the tendering process is the first major step in providing the new school building that is so earnestly needed for the pupils, parents and teachers in Athenry”, added Minister Canney.

The new building will be two storeys in height, with a linked single storey sports facility as well as on-site parking. The school will be located on a site already owned by the school, opposite the Raheen Woods Hotel.

Local FG councillor Peter Feeney said that it was a much needed development and would provide essential parking and playing pitches for the students.

“It is brilliant news for the town and the students as they are currently operating in very cramped conditions. I am led to believe that the new school will be completed by the end of 2018,” Cllr Feeney added.

Around eight years ago Presentation College in Athenry acquired a 20 acre site for the provision of a new school – it is situated close to IDA-owned lands and the authority have expressed concerns over its impact on enterprise development.

The Department were intent on lodging a planning application around that but the process was stalled when it became known that the IDA were likely to lodge an objection.

Department officials spent a lot of time trying to acquire an alternative site and the options were a seven acre site on the Tuam Road beside a Community Council-owned pitch and a four acre site, which was deemed much too small to accommodate a school with a student population in excess of 1,100.

Connacht Tribune

Magnificent property boasts all the elegance of a showhouse

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High standard of finish: Bóthar na Mias in Kinvara.

Farrell Auctioneers are handling the sale of this magnificent home at Bóthar na Mias in Kinvara.

Number 19 simply oozes style and there’s no question it’s right up there with the best of showhouses.

It boasts character and comfort with its design allowing light to flow brightly throughout – thanks to the large glass wall window it features.

A three-bed property, there is also potential for a fourth bedroom on the ground floor. The living area and kitchen are tastefully designed and laid out with modern day comforts in mind.

The bespoke kitchen is every homemakers dream, with its floor to ceiling kitchen units as well as many other features.

This beautiful residence is located within walking distance of Kinvara Bay which is one of the most desirable places to live in the world. Not alone would the property make a beautiful family home and the occupants would have the benefit of the unrivalled natural beauty that the area has to offer, but this lively picturesque village has all amenities needed for everyday living such as schools, childcare, post office, a host of restaurants/cafes/bars, playground, medical centre, hotel, GAA facilities not to mention the instant access to a selection of beaches dotted along the Wild Atlantic way.

Selling agent Colm Farrell said: “This property has to be viewed to appreciate both the dwelling and the stunning setting.”

 The asking price is €450,000. For further information or to arrange a viewing, contact Farrell Auctioneers on 091 632688.

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Country Living

Bemoaning loss of innocence in a sport driven by big bucks

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Brazil dazzled the world of football in 1970 with their mix of pace, grace and sheer footballing class.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

I’m not big into trying to resolve the huge issues of the world like wars, climate change or attempting to dethrone the obnoxious Elon Musks of this world, primarily on the basis that my influence would be akin to a moth trying to stop a herd of charging elephants.

And, I suppose at this stage, I have to accept that it’s far too late to try and call a halt to the World Cup proceedings in Qatar but for the life of me, the event doesn’t even send a sliver of enthusiasm through my nervous system.

Maybe, it’s an old-fashioned streak that’s there inside of me, but the thought of watching World Cup matches in the run-up to Christmas just doesn’t seem right. Okay, so it will be about 30°C in the heart of the Qatar desert but watching a World Cup semi-final in the middle of the Christmas office party is just a stretch too far for me.

Alas, World Cup memories go back a long way with me to a late Sunday in July 1966 when as a ‘small boy’ I was given the job of ‘minding’ the house while the ‘rest of them’ saved a small field of hay a couple of miles away from the house.

Of course, at the time there wasn’t even a faint chance of a black-and-white TV in the house, while visits to any abode that might have a telly, were strictly confined to a Sunday with the stipulation that Galway footballers had to be involved.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Tractor run will remember a local legend

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Some members of the 10-person organising committee for the PJ Mahoney Memorial Tractor Run that takes place in Ardrahan on Sunday, December 11. (Left to right): Anthony Whelan, Brian Kilkelly, Declan Sylver, Patrick Mahoney and Aonghusa Fahy. Absent from the photo are: Mary Forde, Lena Taylor, Conor O’Dea, Gerald Harney and Mícheál Kelly.

THE PJ Mahoney Memorial Tractor Run will take place on Sunday, December 11, in memory of a very well-known and highly regarded figure within the Ardrahan and South Galway local community, who passed away just a year ago this month.

PJ Mahoney was steeped in farming and the GAA and for this he was known far and wide. He was a talisman for Ardrahan GAA, playing in goals for the senior hurling team when they won county hurling titles in 1974, 1975 and 1978.

All down through the years, he was a most dedicated and guiding servant to the club up until his untimely death in a road accident last year.

PJ farmed locally throughout his life and was well known as an agricultural contractor in both Galway and North Clare, a business carried on by his son Patrick.

There are many tales and anecdotes of PJ Mahoney that still bring a smile to the faces of those recalling them.

He was a keystone in the local community, the neighbour you could always call on, and indeed the neighbour that didn’t need to be called upon as he would turn up to help regardless.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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