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€7m in pipeline to plug city water leaks

Dara Bradley

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Irish Water plans to upgrade the city’s leaky pipe network with a €7.3 million investment.

The replacement of about 20 kilometres of defective water mains pipes throughout the city forms part of the company’s water conservation plan for Galway.

It is one project of many announced by Irish Water in its new €36 million programme of work to develop new and upgrade existing water and wastewater infrastructure throughout Galway.

The central plank of the city aspect of the Galway plan includes upgrading of 20 kilometres of defective pipes.

Irish Water said “site investigation” work on the city’s pipe network will begin this coming January and construction work is expected to begin in the first three months of 2017.

The company said, “sections of water mains in the poorest condition will be replaced first,” and the entire upgrade is due to be completed in the autumn of 2018.

The remainder of the ‘new’ elements in this latest announcement by Irish Water are for projects located in the county.

Some €3 million has been set aside for the upgrade of Oughterard wastewater treatment plant, which will have a significant impact on the quality of water sources supplying city homes and businesses. The project will go to tender next month and is expected to be finished by 2017.

Irish Water said: “The upgraded wastewater treatment plant will result in a significant improvement in water quality, will allow for growth and will reduce the risk of pollution to the Owenriff River and Lough Corrib, one of the premier fishing lakes in the country and the drinking water source for much of Galway City and County.”

Other new announcements in the latest investment plan include upgrading water supply schemes in Leenane, An Cheathrú Rua, Inis Oírr, Inis Meáin, and Williamston. All five schemes are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s remedial action list. The boil water notices in place in Leenane and Williamstown will be lifted once the works are complete.

Meanwhile, Irish Water used this latest announcement to give updates on city projects that are underway and nearing completion. The replacement of water mains on Thomas Hynes Road in the city are on schedule to be completed later this month, the company said. This €420,000 project began last June and was needed “to alleviate water supply problems” that have been experienced in the area for more than a year.

The upgrade of Mutton Island wastewater treatment plant is due to be finished before Christmas. The €5.7 million works will almost double the capacity of the plant from 91,000 population equivalent to 170,000 population equivalent.

Galway West Fine Gael TD, Seán Kyne welcomed the investment and said it was made possible through the people of Galway paying water charges.

Deputy Kyne said: “Investment of this scale in our wastewater network will help end the discharge of untreated waste into rivers in Galway and off the Galway coast which will improve the environment and protect the water supply.

“The substantial investment is being made after decades of under-investment in our water and wastewater services. Undoubtedly this investment will be welcomed by public representatives who are opposed to paying for treated water and the proper and safe disposal of wastewater.

“It must, however, be recognised that this substantial and necessary investment is only possible through the combination of central Government funding and the revenue being collected by Irish Water through the payment of water charges by many citizens across Galway.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Party-goers in Galway hit with Covid fines

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway’s most senior Garda has issued a renewed appeal this week for young people to desist from organising or attending any house parties as the local Covid-19 situation worsens – last week Gardaí were called to break up a number of gatherings in different parts of the city.

A total of 15 people were found to be attending one house party in the Salthill area last weekend while Gardaí were called to two other smaller gatherings – one in the Doughiska area and the other in Rahoon.

Cautions and Fixed Payment Notices (fines) were issued to a number of those involved. This week, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley has pleaded with young people ‘to stay away at all costs’ from such gatherings.

“We have very high Covid incidence rates in the Galway area over the past week; death rates from the disease are at their highest ever level; and the last thing we need now is groups of people coming together in confined settings.

“If one person has Covid at such a gathering then, in all probability, most others there will pick it up too and spread it their contacts and family members. I am pleading for people just not to do this.

“We are entering into our most critical period in trying to contain the spread of Covid-19, with the next month or so absolutely vital in our efforts to keep everyone healthy and safe and to try and avoid further loss of life,” he said.
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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Community gives new lease of life to Merlin allotments

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – In 2018, the allotments in Merlin Woods were in danger of falling by the wayside, with declining numbers and underuse blighting a facility that had huge potential.

Since then, the community has pulled together to create a space that locals are proud of and one that its advocates are hoping could be a template for other communities across the city.

Chairperson of the Committee behind this new lease of life is Michael Tully, who says the allotments have become a focal point for area, bringing together locals from all walks of life.

“It’s all about netting the community together and the response we’re getting has been unbelievable,” says Michael, who joined the committee in 2018.

“I started off as a user of Merlin Woods, walking by the allotments and thinking to myself that it would be great to grow my own fruit and veg.

“I started talking to a few of the plot-holders like John Rabbitte, Martin Lohan, Jim McCormack and Daithí O’Brien and they told me how to apply. I applied to the City Council and got my allotment in early 2018 and there were about eight allotments in use at that stage, all of us working away on our own.”

Two years later, all 42 allotments are in use, but it took the cooperation of Galway City Council and Trojan work from the community to get it to this point, explains Michael.

“We came down here every Saturday to clear the paths, dig out the weeds and make the place better. The sense of community was unbelievable. Anyone who couldn’t dig was bringing down flasks of tea and cakes to those that were,” he laughs.
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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

National Transport Authority to progress Galway’s Park and Ride

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A dedicated unit established within the National Transport Authority will look at the potential of Park and Ride to help solve Galway City’s traffic congestion problem.

Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, said that Park and Ride facilities should not be restricted to the east, and sites needed to be located to the west and north-west to take account of commuters from Connemara.

Mr McGrath said Park and Ride would be advanced this year as part of the Galway Transport Strategy. He said that the Council, in conjunction with the dedicated unit within the NTA, would investigate feasible sites for the location of Park and Ride facilities.

Mr McGrath said that site selection and acquisition of land could commence in the second quarter of this year. He said he expected that Park and Ride would be progressed well before the Galway City Ring Road was built.

Director of Services for Transport, Ruth McNally, also said that the NTA was looking at the potential of sites in the city for Park and Ride and she insisted that money – or a lack of it – was not halting progress.

“Money is not a major issue for capital projects,” she said.

They were responding at Monday’s City Council meeting to councillors who lamented the slow progress on developing Park and Ride.
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.

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