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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Everything will be OK’

Enda Cunningham

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5-year-old Hannah Loughney from Oranmore and her 'Everything Will Be OK' drawing

“Everything will be OK”.

The words of an innocent 5-year-old girl, but they are words which will reverberate at a time when we need optimism, positivity, and the indomitable spirit of the Irish to envelope our communities.

We truly are in uncharted territory and that, for many, is a desperately frightening situation in which to find ourselves.

In Galway alone, thousands of workers in the pub, hotel and restaurant sector are out of a job. Many more in the retail sector, childcare, education, office and factory workers and call centre operators are left wondering when or if their next pay cheque will arrive. Parents, in many cases, have been forced to take unpaid leave or holiday leave.

People are afraid – terrified even – of what the days, weeks and months ahead will hold.

But strength comes from struggle, and during the past week, our highly-skilled frontline healthcare workers have been a beacon of inspiration to others – going above and beyond the call of duty in the fight against this insidious illness and putting themselves and their families at risk.

Their example, and that of the Gardaí and other emergency services, supermarket workers and so many others has strengthened the resolve of our families, friends and neighbours.

The caring and compassionate spirit of camaraderie displayed within our communities will prevail – strangers who have just lost their jobs offering to run errands for the elderly and vulnerable; people volunteering to mind healthcare workers’ children, collect prescriptions or even just to have a chat on the phone with those feeling the loneliness of self-isolation. It’s the spirit of meitheal.

The scale of the challenge we face is like nothing we have ever faced before, but it will not break our spirit – that same spirit which saw people take to their cars on St Patrick’s Day for an impromptu ‘parade’ or classical tenor Frank Naughton perform in the rain for his neighbours.

While you read this, outside your window, our history is being written.

Let’s be remembered for the strength and resilience shown by communities across Galway, Ireland and indeed the world.

Stay safe. – Enda Cunningham, Editor

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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