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Councillor claims Tuam is dying on its feet

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By Declan Tierney

The town of Tuam is dying on its feet . . . this was the claim made by a local town councillor and prominent businessman as he vowed to try and bring in a new industry.

And Cllr Paul O’Grady, auctioneer and former President of the Vintners Federation, believes that the key to a renaissance could be an IDA advance factory on a 30 acre field on the outskirts of the town which is already in their ownership.

He said that things were so bad in Tuam that even the number of priests in the town was decreasing as one of the three was being relocated to Castlebar.

“The town is dying,” Cllr O’Grady declared. “If you drive through the centre of Tuam you will find that half of the shops are closed and there are more to follow”.

He acknowledge the presence of major employers like Valeo and Transitions Optical which he said provided vital employment for Tuam – but there was need for another major industry, he said.

He referred to the fact that the IDA had a 30 acre site on the outskirts of the town which had not been developed. “Let them build an advance factory and we will get the industry to occupy it,” he promised.

Cllr O’Grady said that, in the past, the town had rallied to secure employment and would do so again if the infrastructure was provided to allow this to happen.

“People who pass through this town think half of the businesses are closed”, he said and then referred to a number of pubs that had shut down as well as a number of smaller retail outlets which have ceased trading.

He added: “One of the big problems with Tuam is that it does not have any of the major retail players. There is no Dunnes Stores or no Tesco. There should be room for everyone in a town the size of this.

“We are suffering because of it. A number of pubs in this town have closed down and come the end of the summer, more of them will close their doors because it is not viable for them to remain open”.

Cllr O’Grady then promised that he was going to take the matter to Jobs Minister Richard Bruton and would pester him until he approved the construction of an advance factory for Tuam.

He was supported by Cllr Mary Loftus who said that the streets of Tuam were vacant at the weekends and the town had been suffering badly for the past five years.

She then took a swipe at Tuam Chamber of Commerce who she accused of coming up with “ridiculous suggestions” in the past that had not benefited the town.

Connacht Tribune

Galway passengers are all smiles at Shannon!

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Shannon Airport
Shannon Airport

The smiles on the faces at Shannon Airport very much told its own story this week – with passengers taking to skies as the easing of restrictions and the first day of the European Digital COVID Certificates took effect.

And it wasn’t just the joy of travel starting to resume that lifted spirits at the airport but also the announcement by Ryanair of a new once-weekly service to Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) to commence on August 7 – the third new service announcement for Shannon Airport over recent weeks.

There was a real sense of excitement as passengers of all ages became very much at ease with the heightened public safety measures in a ‘back-to-the-future’ day for the West of Ireland gateway airport.

There were reunions as inbound flights arrived but also a palpable degree of anticipation as others got set to depart on the earliest flight out of the airport today, the 7:10am flight to Gatwick.

Among those boarding was Clarenbridge native Claire Tomlin and her husband Jake, together with their three children, including their twins who turn a year old next week.

“It’s been amazing to get back. The kids saw their grandparents for the first time and their cousins and aunties and uncles, so it was fantastic,” said Claire.

“Shannon is just so convenient for us because it’s only about 40 minutes’ drive. So, it just makes everything a lot easier in terms of getting to and from places with little ones. So, yeah, Shannon is a great resource for us. Really, really good. We hope to be able to go back more and more.”

It was smiles all around for Shannon Airport staff as they got back to doing what they do best. “Well, today is a great day because you can see the atmosphere around the place, people are at ease here and they’re glad to be back, they’re glad to get up in the sky again,” said Shannon Duty Free Sales Associate Helen Quinlivan.

“It’s great to see the excitement. People are really looking forward to going back and seeing their loved ones and they’re very at ease.”

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Connacht Tribune

Skillnet reports record year

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Minister Simon Harris...welcomed report.

Skillnet Ireland has reported an 18% increase in supports to Irish businesses across 2020 – and an investment of €51 million in upskilling programmes for companies across the economy.

In its 2020 annual report, it also revealed that 6,846 Galway-based employees and 1,590 Galway-based companies participated in upskilling programmes over those twelve months.

That aligned with the national trends, despite the challenging year for businesses and the workforce, which saw 81,895 people participate in upskilling programmes through Skillnet Ireland – a 17% increase on the previous year.

It also reported an increase in the number of companies engaging with the organisation in 2020, up 18% on the previous year, at 21,695. 94% of the companies Skillnet Ireland supported in 2020 are SMEs.

Skillnet Ireland delivered 9,110 different programmes spanning industry and professional certified courses, management development programmes, specialised upskilling, new industry and academia collaborations, and many innovation and research-based projects in 2020.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris welcomed the report – and the record figures.

“Talent is at the heart of our national competitiveness. It has been instrumental in helping businesses navigate a challenging year and will be especially important in preparing businesses for future challenges such as climate change and digital transformation,” he said.

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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Connacht Tribune

New website offers real-time information on local water supply

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Yvonne Harris, Head of Customer Operations at Irish Water.

Householders across the county can now avail of quick access to relevant information on their water supply, based on where they live – thanks to the rollout of a newly designed Irish Water website.

The changes will allow people in Galway to immediately see what works and projects are ongoing in their locality by setting their location at www.water.ie

Designed to work on a mobile phone or any other device, the state of the art website lets you set your location with updates and news relevant to your locality served upfront on the homepage.

It also enables Irish Water to deliver important public health messages and reassurance to the public that we are working every day to provide a clean and safe supply of drinking water for our customers while returning wastewater safely to the environment.

Head of Customer Operations with Irish Water, Yvonne Harris explains how this dynamic, new-look website will better serve customers: “We have upgraded our website so it is more user-friendly. We talked to our customers, we listened to their feedback and made changes to better improve the user experience for all.

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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