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CITY TRIBUNE

Flood prevention plans suggest raising Salthill Prom

Francis Farragher

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Storm protection measures over the coming year for vulnerable areas of the city such as the Spanish Arch and the Prom are likely to be confined to maintenance and repair works, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

However, work is ongoing in putting together the long-term strategy for the protection of those vulnerable coastal areas in what will involve multi-million-euro protection programmes.

Mayor of Galway, Cllr Niall McNelis, said that with the completion of the Western CFRAMS (Catchment Flood Risk Assessment & Management Study) report, the way was now clear for the preparation of the medium to longer term plan for the protection of the city’s high-risk flood areas.

“The good news is that the money has been ring-fenced for those protection measures to be put in place – what needs to be determined now is who the lead agency will be: either the City Council or the OPW (Office of Public Works).

“In the meantime, a number of shorter-term measures will continue to be put in place along the lines of the floodgates and the new flood protection wall at Toft Park,” said Mayor McNelis.

He said that over the past year, a big effort had also been put into the putting in place of a communications system that involved tenants in vulnerable flood areas being notified well in advance of any major weather/flood-risk event on the way.

“I suppose that the real challenge here is to put in place adequate flood defences while at the same time not diminishing the wonderful amenity value of places like the Spanish Arch and the Prom.

“This will obviously involve a multi-agency approach but I believe that with proper planning and consultation, this twin-aim can be achieved. The reality of climate change is that we can expect more storms and weather events into the future,” said Mayor McNelis.

A spokesperson for the City Council said that over recent years, there was a growing pattern of severe weather events that now required the putting in place of a long-term flood defence strategy.

“We are currently engaged in putting in place a series of maintenance and repair projects that will be undertaken in 2019 while the longer-term plan will involve an input from a number of different agencies.

“As regards the longer-term strategy, the flood protection measures to be put in place will have to embrace environmental and amenity aspects of locations such as the Spanish Arch and the Prom,” said the spokesperson.

Some of the more ‘game changing’ aspects of the longer-term protection plan could involve a raising of the level of the Prom rock armour to cope with the increasing sea surges and a possible relocation of the current main Prom car-park.

Another possible ‘major project’ would involve the construction of a permanent flood barrier in the Docks area to prevent a surge over-topping from following the ‘lie of the land’ and then flooding the Spanish Parade/Spanish Arch areas, as happened with Storm Eleanor on the Tuesday evening of January 2 this year.

CITY TRIBUNE

€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.

The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.

A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.

Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.

The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.

“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.

“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”

Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.

“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.

The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools

Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.

“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.

“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.

A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
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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