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Controversial new road removed from city plan



Date Published: 29-Jan-2010

A SPECIFIC reference to the proposed construction of a controversial new road through a city park has been taken out of Galway’s planning ‘bible’, while attempts to insert a specific reference to a GLUAS or light rail network in the City Development Plan for the next five years have also been thwarted.

The original Draft Galway City Development Plan 2011-2017 contained a pledge to construct an access road linking the Dyke Road and the N6, but this was deleted after objections by city councillors at Thursday night’s meeting.

The planned new road has been criticised and resisted by local residents and community groups because it would cut through the ‘lungs of the city’, Terryland Forest Park.

A proposal to delete the specific reference to the new road in the five year plan was made by Labour Councillor Derek Nolan, who said the merits of a road could be debated at another time and in another context.

He was supported by Independent councillor Catherine Connolly, who slammed City Hall officials for ploughing ahead with plans for the road despite receiving a petition with around 10,000 signatures opposing it. “Why do you continue to ignore the public?” she asked.

Director of Services for Planning, Tom Connell, argued that the reference to the road should remain in the plan because “this linkage is promoted by the Galway Transportation Unit as critical to future traffic management on the road network”.

He said the Council is seeking to put the road into the draft plan so as to spark public debate and invite submissions from the public on it. But despite Mr Connell’s pleas, 13 councillors voted to delete the road from the draft plan with only Fianna Fáil’s Mike Crowe voting against the proposal and his party colleague and brother, Ollie, abstaining.

Meanwhile, proposals by Labour’s Neil McNelis and Fine Gael’s Hildergarde Naughton that made specific reference to an integrated light rail or GLUAS system were not agreed.

The draft plan includes reference to a Rapid Transit Route running from Ballyburke in the west to Ardaun in the east, via the city centre. Planners argued that putting in a specific reference to light rail would be prejudging the outcome of a study, which is due to be published shortly, into the best suitable form of transport (rapid bus or light rail) for Rapid Transit Route.

Cllr Naughton withdrew her motion after getting assurances that the study would come before a full Council meeting when it is published. Cllr McNelis’s proposal was defeated.

For more on the draft City Development Plan see page 11of this week’s City Tribune 

See also

Page 1 – Concern over plans to close city streets to cars

Page 13 – Head Shops and Casinos to be controlled

Page 2 – Council to implement Taxi agreement 


Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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