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Council is urged to act over rat run through estate

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Ballinfoile Park has been described as a ‘rat run’ for motorists wishing to avoid the Kirwan roundabout.

Councillor Mike Cubbard is calling on the council for a solution to the “unacceptable” occurrence which sees anything from 200 to 300 cars pass through the residential estate during peak morning times.

Each morning between 7.30 and 8.45am, cars can be seen filing through the estate to get to the Dyke road to avoid the heavy traffic at the Kirwan roundabout.

A total number of 280 cars were counted by Cllr Cubbard last Wednesday as they travelled in single file through the estate.

“In an estate with a large number of children going to school on foot, this is not acceptable and raises serious safety concerns,” said Cllr Cubbard.

The councillor has been in contact with Director of Services, Joe O’Neill, to intervene and set about monitoring the estate for himself during these times and then work with residents to come to a solution.

“A residential estate is just that and should not be accepted as a rat run for traffic of this proportion.”

This is not an isolated incident as residents in Tirellan Heights are also being affected by the increased volume of cars passing through the estate.

“Children in a residential estate should be able to walk to school without their parents fearing for their safety,” he said.

The situation has been ongoing for several years, but it’s only in the past two that the traffic has escalated and become a serious issue, according to residents.

It has been suggested that the entrance nearest the green about half away up the estate could be closed for an hour or so during the period of the morning which is worst affected.

Another suggestion was to allow only residents to enter the estate, but as for monitoring the cars, Cllr Cubbard is unsure how this would be put into action and carried out effectively, be it through the Gardai or the council.

Ballinfoile Park residents have been working with Cllr Cubbard and hope to develop the green area into a play area for the children living in the estate – however, none of this can be achieved until the traffic problem is dealt with.

“Both go hand in hand. You can’t develop a play area or a pitch for the community in an area where there are serious safety concerns. The traffic issue has to be tackled first,” said Cllr Cubbard.

Connacht Tribune

Confusion reigns – but publicans continue serving pints outdoors

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Galway City publicans continued this week to serve alcohol in newly created on-street outdoor dining sections – despite warnings from Gardaí that it was against licensing laws.

The local branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) said it is hoping Government will, if necessary, introduce legislation that facilitates pubs serving alcohol in public spaces reclaimed for outdoor hospitality.

On Friday last, our sister newspaper, Galway City Tribune revealed that Gardaí had visited a number of city pubs warning they were not legally permitted to serve alcohol outdoors in temporary on-street seating areas created by Galway City Council.

Publicans were told that if they continued to flout the rules, files would be sent to the DPP.

When the crux subsequently hit the national headlines, Justice Minister Heather Humphreys urged Gardaí to ‘use their discretion’.

“The overwhelming majority of licensed premises are operating safely, and we in Government are determined to continue to support them. If local issues arise, I would urge local authorities, Gardaí and businesses to engage.

“However, I will also examine whether further measures are required from Government. Licensing law is a complex area but I have spoken to the Attorney General this morning and we will take further action if necessary,” Minister Humphreys said.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Apple plans second bite at Athenry data centre

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An artist's impression of the proposed Apple Data Centre.

Apple intends to have another bite at plans to build a data centre in Athenry.  Apple Operations Europe has applied to Galway County Council for more time to construct a controversial data centre on a greenfield site at Derrydonnell.

The company said it will identify “interested parties to develop the project” between now and 2026 to meet global growth in demand for data storage facilities.

It will spark hope in the County Galway town of a revival of the €850 million project that was dogged for years by planning delays and court appeals and was subsequently shelved. It may also attract fresh objections.

The world’s largest technology company was granted planning permission to build a €850 million data centre near Athenry in 2015.

An appeal to An Bórd Pleanála by a handful of local residents was not successful, and the planning appeals board confirmed the local authority’s decision in 2016.

But the company ultimately aborted its plans for County Galway in 2018 after three objectors sought a review of the decision through the courts.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Mum’s dream holiday turns to nightmare after cancer diagnosis

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Julia McAndrew, in hospital in Mexico.

A mother who went to Mexico on a dream holiday to spend Christmas with family is too weak to return home after being diagnosed with advanced cancer.

From the minute Julia McAndrew landed in the South American country, her health took a major downward spiral.

Her son and daughter were shocked when she asked for a wheelchair to make it through the airport.

She and daughter Eliska had flown out to see her son Patrick, who had relocated to Mexico to run an online learning business.

They initially thought she had fallen ill due to the rigours of a 22-hour, multi-stop flight.

But when her stomach problems did not improve and she began to lose a lot of weight and suffered from very low energy, they sought medical help.

This had to be done privately and without the financial help of an insurance company, Patrick reveals.

She was initially diagnosed with anaemia and kidney failure and underwent various treatments, including blood transfusions that appeared to be working.

But three weeks ago, medics discovered that what she had was Stage 4 breast cancer. Julia had cancer a decade ago but was given the all-clear after receiving treatment and a major change in lifestyle.

“It’s returned with a vengeance this time around. It’s spread to her pelvis, ribs and lungs,” reflects Patrick.

The cost of the treatment is $40,000 (€33,000) a month. Her family are hoping to build up her strength enough to endure the long flight home to Oranmore.

They have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise €280,000 to pay for her treatment and in less than a week a phenomenal €36,000 has been donated.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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