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CITY TRIBUNE

Council approves new ambulance base for Galway City

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Galway City Tribune – Planning permission has been granted for a new ambulance base on the grounds of Merlin Park, despite the HSE declining a Galway City Council recommendation to redesign the building.

The HSE said staff morale is suffering because of the existing temporary facilities, and that it has caused significant industrial relations issues.

The new base will replace the temporary facility which was previously declared unfit for purpose and partially moved to the grounds of University Hospital Galway.

The HSE was asked to redesign its proposals for the new base, but declined, saying it wanted to “avoid unnecessary flamboyance”. Instead, other elements such as canopies and feature walls were added.

Last April, the HSE sought permission for the new two-storey base with offices, rest rooms, shower areas, laundry rooms, quiet room and kitchen facilities on a site adjacent to the temporary base.

However, the Council told the HSE to redesign the building and make it more attractive as they found it “quite uniform in design” and added that 78 car parking spaces would be excessive and with no justification.

The building is planned to replace the existing temporary base which opened four years ago – and was only supposed to be in place for six to eight months – and has previously suffered a rat infestation and offered workers “brown and murky water” for showers.

The new base building measures 613 square metres and will have canopied parking bays for 19 ambulances. On the ground floor will be a computer room, 70 lockers, laundry room, shower rooms, open plan office, rest area, kitchenette and dining room, training equipment and major incident store. Upstairs will house offices, meeting rooms, a ‘quiet room’, ICT room and records store.

“In relation to the design/visual appearance of the proposed building, whilst it is acknowledged that the building has been designed to be a functional building, it is considered that it is quite uniform in design and does not represent the most suitable form of architectural quality,” the Council said.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Motorcyclist killed in Galway crash

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A motorcyclist has died following a crash in Renmore this morning.

Shortly after 10am, the motorcyclist – aged in his 40s – was seriously injured when his motorbike collided with a car on the R338 Old Dublin Road at Renmore Park. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

The crash site was fully examined by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators and the road has now reopened to traffic.

The deceased was removed to the mortuary at University Hospital Galway and the Coroner has been notified.

Investigating Gardaí are appealing witnesses to come forward and have asked anyone who was travelling in the area at the time and has dashcam footage to contact them.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Wrecking ball for once-great social hub, the Corrib Great Southern Hotel

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It was the summer of ’69, and the landmark Great Southern Hotel in Eyre Square was booming.

Every evening, 180 guests – mostly American tourists – thronged its dining room for dinner. Similar numbers were served breakfast, with about 150 for lunch.

It was so busy, the semi-state company planned another 160-bedroom sister hotel, the Corrib Great Southern, on the Dublin Road.

Then the Troubles in Northern Ireland started, and “business fell off a cliff”, recalled Richard Lyons, who worked in both hotels, including 35 years as maître d in the newer one.

“They were building the Corrib when the Troubles started and they decided they had to cut back the rooms by 40. That’s how they finished with 120 bedrooms,” he said.

The hotel was opened on May 27, 1971, by Brian Lenihan Snr, the then Minister for Transport and Power, and Bishop of Galway, Michael Browne.

But the legacy of the Troubles lingered for years after, according to Renmore resident Richard – debt from State borrowing to build a new hotel up North, which was twice bombed by the IRA, threatened the very existence of the semi-state hotel group owned by CIÉ.

In the early 1980s, hotel group debt grew to nearly £8 million, and the Fine Gael and Labour Coalition Government headed by Garret Fitzgerald decided to liquidate it.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story of the hotel, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council extends outdoor dining into October

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The summer of alfresco dining looks set to be extended into the late autumn, with Galway City Council confirming this week their plans to extend the outdoor arrangements to October 22.

Local councillors, hospitality representatives and the City Council have said this week that the extension of outdoor dining at five city locations from September 30 to October 22 next, reflects public satisfaction with the current set-up.

This week the City Council published statutory public notices to clear the way for a continuation of the existing road closures required to facilitate outdoor dining on William Street West, Raven Terrace, Dominick Street Upper, Woodquay and the Small Crane.

Johnny Duggan, Chairman of the city branch of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland and proprietor of Taylor’s Bar on Dominick Street, told the Galway City Tribune that the outdoor dining initiative during the summer had been a ‘huge success’ both from a viability and operational viewpoint.

“It has brought a life and vibrancy back into these areas in a very safe and controlled environment – the move makes sense in terms of the October 22 deadline set for the return of normal business,” he said.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story and for a proposal to bring an ice rink back to Leisureland, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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