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Connacht Tribune

Dog park approved despite objections

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Permission has been granted for a new dog park in Athenry – despite objections from a neighbouring school that the noise will drive them barking mad.

But this week Galway County Council gave the go ahead for the development of the park for the ‘exercising and socialising’ of dogs – on condition that no floodlights are permitted.

The development includes the provision of 20 car parking spaces and a six foot high fence, along with rain shelters for the dogs and their owners at Knockaunglas, Athenry.

The adjacent Athenry Boys School was opposed to the development and had submitted a lengthy statement to Council’s planning department outlining their concerns.

According to school, the noise generated by dogs barking will interfere with the teaching of pupils attending there.

They say that they have over 140 pupils and expect this to increase over the coming academic year. A number of parents have expressed their concerns to the school with regard to the development.

“We are all familiar with how loud and occasionally intimidating it can be to hear dogs bark. This can be louder and more intimidating when there are a number of dogs present.

“We are concerned that on occasions when there may be multiple dogs present, the noise will interfere with the class work of the pupils.

“The school currently has a difficulty with stray dogs accessing the school site and fouling the pupils’ play areas. Teachers frequently have to escort stray dogs off the premises.

“While we acknowledge that those pursuing this development are responsible dog owners, we cannot overlook that the dog park might attract more stray dogs to the vicinity of the facility and this is something that places the pupils at risk”, it is stated in the submission.

The Athenry Dog Park Committee was established in 2016 and have been gathering support for an off-lead space in the area “where dogs can socialise, exercise and play and where their owners can be educated about responsible dog ownership and care for our environment”.

They said that in 2018 Athenry Community Council granted them the use of part of a disused field at Knockaunglas to establish a dog park – building on the success of similar parks in Dublin, Waterford, Northern Ireland and the UK.

The committee, made up of Jeni Whittaker, Fiona McDonagh and Jenny Klynsmith, insist that the dog park will help to ensure that the pets are kept in a safe, controlled area as well as ensuring that dog waste is collected.

Connacht Tribune

Schools and colleges in Galway advised to close for Storm Barra

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Schools in Galway have begun informing parents that they will not open tomorrow, following advice from the Department of Education.

The Dept said this evening that schools, colleges and universities in areas where a Status Orange or Red warning apply for Storm Barra should not open.

A spokesperson said: “Met Éireann has advised that there is a strong possibility that the status of parts of these counties currently in Status Orange are likely to change and escalate to Status Red.

“Due to the significant nature of Storm Barra, as forecast by Met Éireann and to give sufficient notice to institutions of further and higher education, the department is advising that all universities, colleges and further education facilities covered by the Red Alert and Orange warning from Met Éireann should not open tomorrow, 7 December.

“All schools and third level institutions should keep up-to-date with the current weather warnings which are carried on all national and local news bulletins and in particular any change in the status warning for their area.”

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Connacht Tribune

Galway Gardaí: ‘Stay at home during Storm Barra’

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Gardaí in Galway have warned people to stay home tomorrow (Tuesday) as Met Éireann forecasted a ‘risk to life’ ahead of Storm Barra’s expected landfall tomorrow morning.

At a meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said the City Council was preparing for the ‘high probability’ of coastal flooding.

A combination of tomorrow’s high tides with the forecast high winds and heavy rainfall would likely lead to a flooding event, he said.

Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said the best advice available was to stay at home but refused to comment on school closures – advising that was a matter for the Department of Education.

Mr McGrath said a number of meetings between local and national agencies had already taken place, with more set to run throughout the day as preparations got underway for this winter’s first severe weather event.

“High tide is at 6.45am tomorrow morning and at 7.20pm tomorrow evening. There is currently a Red Marine Warning in place for the sea area that includes Galway and an Orange Storm Warning for Storm Barra for 6am Tuesday morning to 6am on Wednesday morning,” said Mr McGrath, adding that it was possible this storm warning could be raised to Red later today.

With high tide at 5.45 metres and a forecast storm surge of 1.05m, the risk of flooding was significant. In addition, winds were currently forecast to be South-West to West, said Mr McGrath, conducive to a flooding event in the city.

“It is potentially problematic . . . the hope would be that the storm surge doesn’t happen at the same time as high tide,” he added.

The flood protection barrier had been installed at Spanish Arch over the weekend and storm gullies had been cleaned. Sandbags were to be distributed throughout the day, said Mr McGrath.

Council staff would be on duty throughout the weather event and Gardaí would be operating rolling road closures from early morning. Carparks in Salthill were closed today, while tow trucks were on standby to remove any vehicles not moved by their owners before the high-risk period.

Chief Supt Curley said it was imperative people stayed home where possible.

The best way to say safe was to “leave the bicycle or the car in the driveway” from early tomorrow morning, and to stay indoors until the worst of the storm had passed.

Met Éireann has warned of potential for flooding in the West, with Storm Barra bringing “severe or damaging gusts” of up to 130km/h.

A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork from 6am Tuesday to 6am Wednesday, with southerly winds, later becoming northwesterly, with mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h and gusts of up to 130km/h possibly higher in coastal areas.

“High waves, high tides, heavy rain and storm surge will lead to wave overtopping and a significant possibility of coastal flooding. Disruption to power and travel are likely,” Met Éireann said.

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Connacht Tribune

Storm Barra to bring coastal flooding and disruption to Galway

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Met Éireann has warned of potential for flooding in the West on Tuesday, with Storm Barra bringing “severe or damaging gusts” of up to 130km/h.

A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork from 6am Tuesday to 6am Wednesday, with southerly winds, later becoming northwesterly, with mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h and gusts of up to 130km/h possibly higher in coastal areas.

“High waves, high tides, heavy rain and storm surge will lead to wave overtopping and a significant possibility of coastal flooding. Disruption to power and travel are likely,” Met Éireann said,

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