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CITY TRIBUNE

Council asked to allocate money for Liam Mellows commemoration

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Fianna Fáil has called on Galway City Council to allocate money to enable community groups to commemorate significant historic events from 100 years ago.

Councillor John Connolly (FF) said he regrets the “inertia” that surrounded the organisation of local commemorations for the War of Independence.

It comes after approaches for funding from military historian Damien Quinn for a centenary conference, was turned down by the Council.

The conference, with 12 speakers – including Cllr Connolly – proceeded last week from the Crane Bar and was screened online.

Mr Quinn hailed it a “massive success”, but he criticised the Council for not funding the event.

He first approached the local authority in February and several requests for funding were ignored.

Cllr Níall McNelis of Labour donated €200 towards the cost of the conference but it was still short about €500, which would have covered the cost of making a digital book of the event.

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media confirmed to Mr Quinn that “all decisions regarding the commemorative programme in Galway City Council are a matter for the local authority”.

A spokesperson for the Council confirmed to Mr Quinn that an open call for expressions of interest to be included in the programme did not happen.

“Galway City Council worked with the Galway City Creative Ireland Team including the Heritage Officer Jim Higgins in the development of the Decade of Centenaries programme. An open call was not a requirement nationally and I believe that less than a quarter of all local authorities opted for an open call process,” a spokesperson said.

Cllr John Connolly said that he regretted Mr Quinn’s project was not supported by the Council, but he urged him to consider now applying for future events.

“I am conscious that December 8, 2022 will mark the centenary of the execution of Liam Mellows. This should be commemorated in Galway. I would be delighted to help again the organising of such an event,” he said.

Cllr Connolly said that Fianna Fáil proposed on two occasions at the 2020 budget meeting to provide €50,000 towards a fund for community groups to commemorate the centenary of incidents that occurred in Galway between 1920 and 1921.

“Unfortunately, a majority of elected council members in their wisdom voted against the proposal. The proposal we suggested was to enable community groups to seek funding to organise commemorative events,” he said.

“In autumn 2019, I also wrote to the then mayor in a further bid to urge the local authority to make some provision for civic commemoration of the lives lost and events of significance within the city in the 1920-21 period. I regret the inertia that there has been surrounding the organisation of commemorations but do acknowledge the impact public health restrictions have had on efforts to do so,” Cllr Connolly added.

CITY TRIBUNE

Drinks set to flow again in two landmark Galway premises

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Two popular Galway pubs that had been closed are to be given a new lease of life by an extended family.

The refurbishment of the former Central Bar in Woodquay has been almost completed and new owner Michael Gilmore will open the doors this weekend – just in time for the busy Christmas season.

The pub, in recent years known as The Lough Inn, had closed during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Mr Gilmore is a well-known publican in the city, running the Cellar Bar on Eglinton Street and Seven on Bridge Street. He also has a pub in the heart of Westport called An File.

Earlier this year his two nephews, Mark and Vinny Gilmore, bought Kelehan’s in Bushypark. They are overseeing a major overhaul on the large premises after many years behind closed doors.

Due to setbacks with building supplies, a planned opening by Christmas has now been pushed back until the spring.


This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 9 edition of the Galway City Tribune.  You can buy a digital edition HERE.


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CITY TRIBUNE

Warning to parents after Galway homes raided in child sexual abuse material investigation

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A senior Garda, who heads up Galway’s Protective Services unit, has advised parents to ‘tune into’ the daily dangers lurking on the internet in relation to child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

Detective Inspector Peter Conlon – who confirmed that four search warrants had been issued to search residences in the city over recent weeks for CSAM – urged all parents and guardians closely monitor their children’s access to the internet.

He told the Galway City Tribune it was critical that parents did not allow their children ‘unfettered access’ to the internet given the prevalence of sexual predators – often from other jurisdictions – who were trawling the net to make contact with children.

“Children may believe that they are making contact with other children but instead it may be adults seeking to establish a relationship with them and to get pictures of them.


This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 9 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.


“I would ask all parents to seriously and carefully consider the age at which they should give mobile phones to their children – any such decision needs to be age appropriate and where this happens it needs to be monitored closely by the parents,” said Det Insp Conlon.

He also said that parents and guardians should acquaint themselves, where practical, with the latest technologies which make it possible for them to be linked into their children’s phone or devices to monitor content and contacts at all times.

The searches in the city over the past two weeks resulted in the seizure of laptops and other electronic devices from three residences – they are currently being examined in detail by Garda technical experts at their regional HQ in Renmore. Det Insp Conlon said that while there had been no arrests in the city following the latest searches, the course of their investigations would be determined by the content and material found in the devices seized.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Just 85 affordable homes to be built in Galway City by 2025

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  A total of just 85 affordable homes will be built in Galway City during the remainder of the Government’s lifetime, it was revealed during a debate in the Seanad this week.

An animated Senator Ollie Crowe (FF) told Seanad Éireann that there would be “riots on the streets of Galway” at the disappointing news that was imparted to him by a junior minister.

In the Dáil, Junior Housing Minister, Malcolm Noonan, confirmed that it was planned to provide 85 affordable homes as part of a Merlin Woods development between now and 2025.

He understood that there were sites identified for affordable housing schemes in other parts of the city, but no applications had been received for funding.

“Housing delivery in Galway City Council is a matter for Galway City Council and it is down to the local authority to strike the balance in respect of social and affordable housing delivery.

“If the Senator feels that the local authority is not delivering enough in that regard, it is really a matter for them to drive a more ambitious agenda. The Department will not be found wanting in funding schemes,” Minister Noonan added.

But Senator Crowe yesterday told the Galway City Tribune that it was an incredibly disappointing and unacceptable answer that there would only be 85 new builds when it came to affordable homes.

(Image: Minister Malcolm Noonan said the new Merlin Woods development will include 85 affordable homes).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article,  see the December 9 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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