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Connacht Tribune

Court approves alcohol licence for new Tuam supermarket

Declan Tierney

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A new discount supermarket planned for Tuam has been granted a licence to sell alcohol – construction of the new premises will commence in early January.

Tuam Court granted an off-licence to the new Lidl store that is opening on the Galway Road. It will be located to the rear of the existing discount supermarket but will be much larger in size.

An application came before Tuam Court for a licence for the new outlet and it was stated that it had recently been granted full planning permission.

Architect Frank Kenny, for Lidl, told Barrister Constance Cassidy that the existing store would remain in place until the new one was built. The old store would then be demolished.

He explained that the new store would be much bigger, have wider aisles, have an enlarged ‘offers’ area and bakery as well as allowing for increased deliveries. The off-licence will also be increased in size compared to the existing facility.

The architect also informed the court that it was hoped to commence construction of the new discount store early in January.

The existing store has been in operation since 2004, it was stated, and Judge Marie Keane granted the application for the liquor licence for the new outlet.

Recently An Bord Pleanala gave the go-ahead for the demolition of the existing Lidl discount foodstore and the development of a new single-storey supermarket and off-licence, measuring almost 2,500 square metres on a four acre site.

The new store will be accessed through a proposed upgraded shared access with the adjacent Steeltech Shed along with a filling station, forecourt and ‘drive thru’ facility.

The Planning Appeals Board ruled that the new discount foodstore wold not adversely affect the vitality and viability of the Tuam town centre and was, therefore, in accordance with proper planning and development of the area.

Lidl stated, in response to the opposition to the new store, that it provides valuable employment in Tuam and also point out that the Draft Local Area Plan for Tuam identifies a 22% vacancy in the town which is mainly isolated to one development with a number of small units.

The decision to grant planning permission for a new larger discount supermarket in Tuam is expected to encourage other major retailers to seek located in the town.

There have been calls for the likes of Tesco and Aldi to express an interest in acquiring sites on the outskirts of Tuam as it has been said that is a big demand for them to be located there.

Connacht Tribune

Student nurses face all the risk – for no reward

Dara Bradley

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Working on the children’s ward of a busy hospital during a global pandemic is no joke; less funny still when you’re not getting paid for your toil.

All the risk and none of the rewards of qualified staff – that’s the lot of Edel Moore, a student nurse who is currently on placement at University Hospital Galway.

Edel, and hundreds of student nurses like her on placement in UHG and Portiuncula in Ballinasloe, want more than a round of applause and platitudes from Government.

“None of us want a pat on the back for struggling. We’d just like to be recognised,” she said.

“The Government are full-time talking about front-line workers, and they want to give them a ‘clap hands’. Then you see Junior Ministers getting massive raises. For what? What have they done for us, the student nurses, that they’re getting a €16,000 wage increase?

“We’ve put ourselves through a four year degree but all I’m worth is a clap? Thanks! It’s ridiculous. They say that front-line workers deserve all the help they can get but it just seems that the ones who are able to give us the help we need are not going to give us the help that we deserve.”

Edel Moore is a mature student originally from Westmeath but living in Leitir Mealláin in Connemara with her husband and three children.

A third year student nurse of NUIG, she is currently on placement at the paediatric ward at UHG.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Island museum gets the green light

Declan Tierney

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An artist's impression of the proposed Inishbofin museum.

Work is expected to begin shortly on the construction of a museum on Inishbofin after planners gave the green light to the project.

The museum at Middlequarter is being developed by local historian and photographer Marie Coyne – and when completed, it will be home to items of historical significance from both Inishbofin and Inishark.

There is an existing museum on the island but it is too small to house the amount of artefacts, photographs and family histories that have been assembled over the years.

The new building will also include a photographic exhibition room, restoration workshop along with a gift shop and coffee dock. It is proposed that the new 3,400 square feet museum will be built on a site at the rear of Ms Coyne’s home.

Eamon Gavin of Eamon Gavin Architects based in Cornamona told the Connacht Tribune that this was an important project for the island and it was a welcome decision.

And he said that the green light would kickstart the process of conserving the vast and unique artefacts and archives built up over the years.

“As a practice, we have a long history of dealing with planning consultancy on unique rural sites in Connemara and the islands, therefore we fully understood how sensitive the proposed location of the project would be – the site is located in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and National Heritage Area,” he said.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Tuam woman a picture of health a year after Covid crisis

Declan Tierney

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Tuam's Kitty Farrell with her dog Lulu a year after her Covid diagnosis.

Last year was a Mother’s Day like no other for Kitty Farrell who spent it in the back of an ambulance being rushed to hospital with Covid – but the 80 year old Tuam woman can look forward to a more sedate celebration this time out….thankfully restored back to full health.

Kitty, from Ballygaddy Road, had developed a debilitating cough the previous week – and when she was admitted to UHG on Mother’s Day, she tested positive for the coronavirus despite a lack of symptoms.

The retired businesswoman spent the next nine days seriously ill in isolation – and all alone as her four children could not visit her.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to come through it but I was so sick that at times, it didn’t really matter. But the thought of passing away in isolation made a bad situation even worse,” Kitty said at the time.

A year on, she is back to full health, and while she restricts her movements, Kitty told The Connacht Tribune that she is just happy to be alive and she spends her days ‘pottering about’ and looking forward to the arrival of family members.

“Even though I don’t particularly agree with the current lockdown because everyone should be responsible for their own behaviour, I am living a life of relative isolation at the moment,” she said.

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

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