Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Connacht Tribune

Elderly couple’s fear from smouldering forest fire

Published

on

An elderly couple are living in fear that their home could be destroyed by a forest fire which has been smouldering for the past six weeks.

The East Galway couple have hit out at Coillte for not implementing the fire prevention measures to stop the blaze from spreading to neighbouring properties.

Paddy and Teresa Jennings have more than 70 acres under trees around their home near Killure, just a few miles from Ballinasloe, but a nearby Coillte forest has ignited during the recent dry spell.

The fire has been blazing for the past six weeks and has encroached on to neighbouring properties whose residents are keeping a round the clock vigil to ensure that their homes are not under threat.

Paddy Jennings told the Connacht Tribune that the fire on the Coillte forestry spread across around 15 acres and he expressed disappointment that the state agency hadn’t taken all steps to stop it spreading.

The couple, who are in their late seventies, say that they cannot leave their home because of the threat of the fire spreading.

“It is smouldering at the moment but any bit of wind could set it off again. It is a constant worry and has been for the past six weeks.

“We have been onto Coillte and it seems that they are not taking us seriously. We want them to put in fire breaks but they have only put in a very narrow one.

“The fire was very aggressive to begin with but it has slowed down over the past couple of weeks. It is still a major worry as the wind is expected to blow over the coming days which is a source of concern,” Paddy added.

The parents of three have spent a considerable amount of money in the provision of water tankers while they also have a digger on standby in the event of the blaze spreading.

During the dry spell over the past five week there there have been a number of gorse fires but the blaze across the bogs of Ahascragh are amongst the worst witnessed by locals.

The Jennings say that Coillte have no interest in putting fire breaks between the forestry and their property that is literally in the line of fire.

At the moment they have a tanker of water in their farmyard for fear of the fire spreading in their direction.

Roscommon-Galway TD Mick Fitzmaurice has visited their farm over the past few of days and has witnessed the pall of smoke from the Coillte lands spreading over to the Jennings property.

Cllr Michael Finnerty from Ballinasloe said that the state agency should not allow bog forestry fires to get out of control. He added that funding should be available to provide relief measures when required.

“From my understanding Coillte are turning a blind eye to this situation when they should maintain a permanent presence at the site to ensure that the fire does not spread,” the Fine Gael councillor added.

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.

Connacht Tribune

Thousands on waiting list for student accommodation in Galway

Published

on

The student housing crisis is ‘the worst it’s ever been’ – with thousands on waiting lists for rooms; hundreds relying on hostels and friends’ sofas; and countless more facing deferral or dropping out altogether.

The President of NUI Galway’s Students’ Union, Róisín Nic Lochlainn, told the Connacht Tribune that students had been left in a desperate situation, as she called for mass protests to have the issue addressed.

According to Ms Nic Lochlainn, 3,000 students were currently on the waiting lists for NUIG’s on-campus accommodation – Corrib Village and Goldcrest Village – with around 500 in line for any bed that might come up in the Westwood.

“Gort na Coiribe and Dunaras have told us their waiting lists are well into the hundreds too. I’ve only got to contact two of the hostels around town, but Kinlay and Snoozles have almost 200 students between them already – and they’re expecting more.

“The first years haven’t even arrived yet, and on top of all that, you have people in B&Bs and staying on their friends’ sofas,” said Ms Nic Lochlainn.

Pressure on the student rental market had been building for years, she said, but it had gone off the cliff edge this year as a perfect storm was created by increased student numbers and reduced bed availability.

“[Minister for Further and Higher Education] Simon Harris created new places on courses this year and talked about maximum access to education . . . I’m not sure how that works for students who are homeless.

“Because there weren’t many students around last year, some private landlords might have moved on. There was no new purpose-built accommodation delivered, and then Simon Harris creates new places with no new beds,” said Ms Nic Lochlainn of the causes of this year’s problems.”

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Government asked to “do everything” to ensure Intel chooses Oranmore as base

Published

on

The Taoiseach and Tánaiste will be asked to do “everything in their power” to ensure technology giant Intel selects Oranmore as the location for its new microchip manufacturing plant – which could create 10,000 jobs and transform the West of Ireland economy.

The 540-acre site is owned by the Defence Forces and was selected by IDA Ireland as the preferred site for the company’s new EU ‘chip’ base.

BY STEPHEN CORRIGAN
AND DARA BRADLEY

Oranmore is up against sites in Poland, France and Germany and Intel confirmed to Taoiseach Micheál Martin that the site is under consideration.

Galway East TD Ciarán Cannon said the development would be “transformative” and would be Intel’s largest microchip manufacturing plant in the world.

Meanwhile, at a meeting of the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District this week, councillors backed a proposal from Cllr Liam Carroll to write to Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar to urge them to push forward the plan.

“This would be a game-changer, not just for Oranmore but for the whole of Connacht. Imagine 10,000 directly employed at some stage in the future, and the spinoff from that,” he said.

The Oranmore site is reported to have been selected ahead of three other locations in Ireland.

It is on Intel’s short-list for the proposed project, which would involve building eight factory modules on a single campus at the site off the M6 motorway, northeast of Oranmore, the newspaper reported.

The American multinational tech company has whittled down its short-list to 10 finalists; Oranmore is up against sites in Poland, France and Germany.

The Sunday Times reported at the weekend that if it proceeds, the new Oranmore ‘mega-fab’ would dwarf Intel’s existing site in Leixlip, which employs almost 5,000.

Galway East TD, Ciaran Cannon (FG) said: “It would put Galway on the map internationally as a place for high-tech investment and it would serve to rebalance the economic imbalance that exists in our country where all of the weight is on the east coast.

“The IDA has a formula where every one new job created in that industry creates about eight or nine more jobs downstream in terms of the supply chain and services. They’re saying 10,000 jobs on site – twice the population of Athenry – on one campus and then another 80-90,000 jobs off site. The figures are phenomenal, mind boggling,” said Deputy Cannon.

The demand for the facility arose during Covid-19 when the supply chain between Asia and Europe broke down.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Fraudsters ‘spoof’ Galway Garda Station’s phone number

Published

on

Fraudsters replicated the phone number of Galway Garda Station and used it to call a local woman to demand money.

Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Michael Walsh, said that the number ‘091 538000’ was somehow used by criminals who attempted to extract money – in the form of the online currency Bitcoin – from the victim.   Despite the phone call appearing to come from the Garda station at Mill Street, the woman became suspicious and reported it to Gardaí.

Sgt Walsh said it was the latest in a series of ‘spoofing’ phone calls to have occurred this year.

Spoofing is where fraudsters change the caller ID to ring unsuspecting members of the public to try to extract money or personal information off them.

He said that the number of spoofing incidents reported to Galway Gardaí has more than doubled in the past year.

“It is top of my agenda,” he said.

He pointed out that criminals can obtain a ‘ready to go’ phone and SIM card, relatively cheaply, and it was “very difficult” for Gardaí to trace the caller.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story and more details on fraud figures in Galway, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending