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Farmers to meet over flooding in Shannon Callows

Francis Farragher

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Recurring flood problems impacting on thousands of farmers and householders in the Shannon Callows area will be the focus of a public consultation day by the Office of Public Works (OPW) next week.

The consultation day – at the Shannon Harbour Community Hall, Shannon Harbour, Offaly (12 noon to 7.30pm) on Tuesday, February 10 – comes as special draft flood maps are being produced by the OPW.

The draft flood maps have been drawn up as part of Ireland’s requirements under the EU’s Floods Directive with the aim of providing a comprehensive flood risk assessment on 300 areas of significant flood risk.

Next Tuesday’s consultation day will focus on areas including Belmont, Banagher and south of Banagher along the Shannon taking in Meelick, Esker, Banagher and Clonfert.

“Work on the draft flood maps has involved extensive surveying and analysis of river flows and the development of computer models to determine how flooding occurs. Based on this work, a range of draft flood maps has been produced,” the OPW said in a statement issued this week.

According to the OPW, the drawing up of the draft flood plans – a task carried out by the Jacob Engineering group – is part of a process leading to the development of long-term, sustainable plans to reduce and manage flood risk.

The flood maps, the OPW state, ‘will be a vital step’ towards identifying potential solutions to reduce and manage the flood risk and are also important for other reasons such as:

  • The flood maps will inform sustainable planning, to help ensure that we avoid building in flood prone areas into the future.
  • The maps will inform the emergency response authorities to help ensure an effective response to reduce damage during flood events.
  • Local residents and businesses will be able to determine if they are at risk from flooding, and if so, to be able to prepare for flood events. Practical advice on preparing for flood events is provided on www.flooding.ie.

“The maps have been developed using state-of-the-art technology and make use of all available information. However, local residents may have some information or knowledge that can further improve the flood maps. OPW wants to give people the opportunity to comment on the draft flood maps before they are finalised.

“Please come along on the day, view the draft maps and provide any comments you may have on them. You can make a formal submission on the maps at the public consultation.

“The CFRAM (National Catchment-based Flood Risk Assessment and Management Programme) project teams and OPW will consider all submissions made. Public consultation days for other locations deemed to be at risk of flooding in Co. Galway will be held in due course,” the OPW stated.

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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