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Connacht Tribune

Filling station and drive thrus plan refused for Loughrea

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Galway County Council has refused planning permission for a filling station and two drive-thru restaurants adjacent to the carpark of Loughrea Shopping Centre.

There was strong local opposition to the plans, with almost 40 local residents putting their names to one of five objections.

Aidan McGuinness sought permission to develop a 138 square metre and a 302 sq m restaurant/take-away, a 31 sq m lobby for both premises and a two-lane drive-thru facility, as well as an outdoor seating area on a site of around one-third-of-an-acre adjacent to the shopping centre carpark.

A second application on two-thirds-of-an-acre sought permission for a filling station and forecourt with four pumps and three underground tanks with a total capacity of 100,000 litres.

Issuing a refusal for both applications, planners said the development would seriously injure the amenities of the area and depreciate the value of residential properties in the area and potentially create a traffic hazard which would endanger public safety.

“Having regard to the nature of the proposed development in such close proximity to residential properties, the traffic movements, noise, smells and general disturbance during night time hours associated with the type of development proposed, the Planning Authority consider it would seriously injure the amenities, or depreciate the value of property in the vicinity.

“It is considered that the development would endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard or obstruction of road users or otherwise,” planners ruled.

They added that it would create a traffic hazard “due to the potential for collision of vehicles and pedestrians”.

There were four objections to the filling station plans, including one signed by 37 residents of the adjacent The Maltings and Cois Furáin estates.

The main concern related to the fuel tanks being located so close to homes, and directly behind the back walls of a number of the homeowners. Locals also expressed fears that the ground works could undermine the foundations of houses, while the businesses would create high levels of noise.

Concerns were also raised about carcinogenic fumes from the filling station and the risk of contamination from leaking pipes, as well as the devaluing of properties.

Another objection pointed out there are four housing estates adjacent to the site, with around 350 to 400 residents, which make it a “high risk” development. It added that there are already three filling stations in Loughrea (including one less than 100 metres from the development), and a 24-hour facility just 7km from the town.

A single objection – from a resident of an adjacent housing estate – was lodged against the drive thru application, on the grounds that it would result in over-development of the site, create a nuisance for residents and would cause additional traffic in an already congested location.

In the applications, Mr McGuinness’ representatives said the developments would provide an economic boost for the town.

“The proposal will result in the beneficial development of a vacant infill site within the settlement boundary of Loughrea. The development will create employment and contribute to the economic prosperity of the town.

“The proposal results in a development which accords fully with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area, while providing an attractive, high quality, contemporary building which reflects the existing character and amenity of the area and enhances Loughrea as a whole,” the application reads.

Connacht Tribune

Clifden break new ground with a five-star final show

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Clifden's Gearoid King, who has Michael O'Toole in support, breaking out of defence against St Ronan's of Roscommon during Saturday's Connacht Club Junior Football Final at Hyde Park. Photos: Bernie O'Farrell.

Clifden 1-16

St Ronan’s 0-10

John McIntyre at Hyde Park

A lot can change in one year. Just ask the mould-breaking Clifden junior Gaelic footballers for confirmation.

In the space of 12 months, Galway’s most westerly Gaelic football bastion has gone from fighting relegation to being crowned Connacht champions.

It’s some turnaround in fortunes by any standards, and Clifden are not finished yet with an All-Ireland Club semi-final to look forward to in early January.

Having taken out highly-rated Islandeady of Mayo in the semi-final, suddenly the burden of favouritism for provincial glory fell on Clifden’s shoulders, but they made light of this new-found status at Hyde Park on Saturday.

Coming up against St Ronan’s of Roscommon – a club which was fighting for survival itself just five years ago – in the Connacht final, a progressive Clifden outfit carried too much firepower and quality for opponents who are based close to the Sligo border.

Having suffered defeat in the club’s two previous provincial final appearances – in 2006 and 2015 – Clifden were determined to make it third-time lucky and the fact their supporters rarely had cause for concern underlines how much they were in control.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

An Spidéal raise their game after being hit by black card

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Kinvara full forward Joshua O’Connor is challenged by Liam Ó Fatharta and Eoin Ó Conghaile of An Spidéal during Saturday's County U19 B Football Final at Tuam Stadium. Photos: Iain McDonald.

An Spidéal 1-10

Kinvara 1-6

Eanna O’Reilly at Tuam Stadium

AN Spidéal claimed the county under 19 B football title on Saturday following an entertaining contest with North board winners Kinvara at Tuam Stadium.

The Connemara side were deserving winners on the day as they played the superior football for long spells. Nevertheless, they were well tested by a hard working Kinvara side, who produced a strong third quarter performance and took the lead in the 43rd minute.

An Spidéal weathered the storm however, to take control of the contest in the final quarter, scoring the final five points of the game to deservedly take the title.They displayed a greater ability to generate scores from play, which made all the difference in the end. An Spidéal’s tallied 1-6 from open play, while Kinvara were held to 0-3 by comparison.

Both sides deserve credit for serving up an entertaining spectacle in tricky conditions at Tuam Stadium. Kinvara played against the wind in the opening half but made a bright start when Oisín Ivers pointed from the right corner.

An Spidéal replied with their first score, which proved to be a major one. A strong run from Liam Ó Conghaile saw him break through Kinvara’s defence before firing a shot to the bottom corner past Shaun Philips.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Country Living

A glimpse back to darker days when we turned on each other

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A photo taken in happier pre-civil war times on October 27, 1921, at the wedding of Kevin O’Higgins (centre) to Birdie Cole (centre front). O’Higgins is flanked to his right by Eamon de Valera and on his left by Rory O’Connor, the latter to be executed just over a year later on the orders of O’Higgins. Photo: Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of my regrets in childhood and younger life was that I never really got to know my ageing father. There was a rural way of life back through the 20th century where older farmers tended to marry younger women, one of the consequences being that by the time the youngest of the children had reached teenage years, their father would have slipped into old age.

It wasn’t all bad though and as a child, I’d hear first-hand stories of what times were like during The Troubles from the War of Independence through to the Civil War. My father wouldn’t always talk about it that often, but here and there, he’d mention tales of hiding behind walls when they’d hear the sound of Crossley Tenders – lightweight lorries which carried parties of Black-and-Tans across the country to ‘put manners’ on the restless natives.

Tales of guns and ambushes were quite frightening but also somewhat alluring yarns for a young lad of 11 or 12 summers as here and there, my father would mention that what followed on after the hated Black-and-Tans was even worse. He would recount tales from the Civil War and how even the closest of families were torn apart, depending on whether they were pro-Treaty or not.

He would point to a spot on a field where IRA members fired shots at the Free State-controlled railway station in Ballyglunin, or maybe a house where two brothers fought on opposite sides during the Civil War. As years passed, and elderly parents moved on, talks of the Tans and the Treaty faded, but of late with the 100th anniversary of so many awful events in 1922 now being recalled, curiosity again took hold.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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.

 

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