A decision is due later this month on ambitious plans by NUI Galway for a new Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance – including an auditorium, box office and bar.
City planners had sought clarification on the amount of students and staff that would be using the new centre and the potential impact on car and bicycle parking spaces.
The plans involve the transformation of around two-thirds of the IMI building on Earl’s Island to include:
- 120-seater flexible auditorium with teaching facilities, control desk and stage management
- Public foyer with box office and a small bar
- Backstage changing facilities
- Three rehearsal rooms, workshop and storage
- Seminar room with seating for 30 people
- Administration offices
However, planners sought clarification on the number of students and staff.
“The number of undergraduate students in the NUI Galway Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance is 160 in the four year course with an intake of 40 new students each year and an additional six to ten post-grad students.
“These students are currently located at an inadequate building and will relocate to the new Centre upon completion. The total number of students will not be affected. Currently there are six in the Centre which will remain unchanged.
“The caparking is included for in the overall NUI Galway campus carparking masterplan, with the main volume of parking for the campus catered for in the Park & Ride facility on the North Campus.
“A 160-space secure bike parking area with CCTV coverage is located within 100 yards to the Centre. In addition, ten spaces will be provided close to the entrance.
“The university has a growing ambition in providing teaching and facilities for music and drama. The School of Drama, Theatre and Performance is a comparatively new teaching department and a major priority for the university.
“Currently, there are very limited facilities on the campus for drama and this project represents an ambitious proposal to give the department performance, rehearsal, seminar, workshop and administrative space.
“It is anticipated that the building will be ready for occupation in September 2015,” the application reads.
Part of the building is already used as the college bar and for the Bank of Ireland Theatre. The Marine Science Department occupied more than half of the building, but will be vacating it entirely.
The building dates back to the 1850s, and was a factory and warehouse before being converted for IMI, Irish Metal Industries in the 1930s.
A decision on the plans is expected from the City Council before the end of the month.
Water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna due to burst watermain
Galway Bay fm newsroom – There are water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna this morning due to a burst watermain
The burst is in a rising main from Clifton Hill in Galway City to Tonabrucky Reservoir
The city council and Irish Water says while every effort is being made to maintain supply to as many customers as possible, the burst has caused water levels in Tonabrucky Reservoir to deplete
Houses and businesses in Knocknacarra, Barna and surrounding areas will experience low pressure and outages.
Dedicated water service crews have mobilised and repairs are underway and are expected to be completed by mid-afternoon.
Traffic management will be in place and Letteragh Road will be closed between Sliabh Rua and Tonabrucky Cross until 6pm.
Householders and businessses are being asked to conserve water where possible to reduce the pressure on local supplies and allow reservoir levels to restore.
Woman sustains serious injuries after being struck by firework in Eyre Square
Gardaí are appealing for witnesses after a young woman was struck in the face by a firework in Eyre Square in the city overnight.
It happened shortly after midnight and gardai say it’s understood the firework had been launched from close to the Tourist Information Kiosk.
The young woman suffered serious injuries and was hospitalised as a result.
Gardaí understand there was a large group of people in Eyre Square at the time and are now asking that any person who may have witnessed the incident make contact with the investigating team.
In particular Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have video footage of the incident, either on mobile phone, CCTV or dash-cam to make contact with them.
This incident comes just days after a policing committee meeting was told of increasing concern about anti social behaviour around Eyre Square.
Garda chief suggests closing Eyre Square to curb anti-social behaviour
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Closing Eyre Square at night-time was among the radical suggestions put forward by Galway’s top Garda this week – in response to claims that the city centre’s famous landmark had become a ‘no-go area’ after dark.
It comes as Gardaí confirmed that since January they issued almost 500 fines for breaches of the city’s alcohol bylaws, which prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public spaces.
Responding to claims that people were afraid to visit parts of the city centre at night due to anti-social behaviour, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said that the authorities might have to look at closing Eyre Square at certain times.
Chief Supt Curley also said that improved lighting and better CCTV were other tools that could be used to deter anti-social behaviour and to detect crime in the city centre.
“I’d need another five officers in there – and I haven’t got them,” said Chief Supt Curley of the requirement for more Gardaí on patrol in Eyre Square.
He was responding to a charge by former mayor of Galway, Councillor Frank Fahy, who said Eyre Square was dangerous at night. “It’s a no-go area,” he said at a City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting this week.
Cllr Fahy said that the illegal activity and anti-social behaviour in the city centre was a product of the Covid-19 pandemic and people socialising outdoors. Eyre Square was safe pre-Covid, he said.
In a written reply to the JPC, Chief Supt Curley said that anti-social behaviour issues had been ‘de-escalated’ along the city’s canals, Woodquay and Spanish Arch ‘as a result of extra Garda patrols’.
“The resulting consequences have led to crowd movement from these areas (and they) are now congregating at Eyre Square. Garda attention is concentrated on Eyre Square, however the return of students and the continued restrictions has led to increased numbers,” he said.
(Photo: a scene from Eyre Square at night this week taken from a video circulated on social media)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.