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Flooding concerns over plans for new school wall

Declan Tierney



Residents living in the west side of the city are concerned that the construction of a wall at a local primary school could lead to a potential flood risk.

City planners have given permission to Galway Educate Together National School at Thomas Hynes Road, Newcastle to construct an eight-foot high wall at their property. This decision has now been appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

The primary school was provided back in 2000 and underwent extensions in both 2010 and 2013, with the latter being the most significant with a two-storey eight-classroom extension being provided.

But now the Department of Education has received planning permission to erect a new plastered and capped wall along with a soakaway to remove any surface water generated by the development.

It is stated in the application that the existing storage would have the capacity to take any additional water generated by the construction of the wall – but local residents are concerned over this.

However, the proposed development was assessed by the drainage section of Galway City Council and, following an assessment, they considered the proposals as submitted to be acceptable and they had no objections.

The Department informed city planners that the school authorities will be responsible for the maintenance of the storage tank and soakaway and when the new community centre is provided in the area, there will be a shared agreement entered into.

It has also been confirmed by engineers appointed by the Department that there is no underground stream or underground water feeding into the system. The engineers have indicated how the system will work in an unusual storm or rainfall event with water being diverted into the public mains.

In granting permission for the wall, the City Council imposed three conditions – one of those stated that the construction and commissioning of the surface water soakaway and its connection to the collection tank will be monitored by a fully qualified engineer.

This engineer will submit a report to the City Council certifying the construction and installation of the soakaway and this is in the interest of protecting the residential amenities of the area.

The opposition to the construction of the wall came from Aengus Munnelly and Dr Fiona Gavin from Upper Newcastle Road and Eoin Kelly, Anne Kelly and PJ Costello with an address at Lisheenkyle, Athenry.

It is stated that during the construction of the school and extensions, water was pumped from the site and caused local flooding. Water is continually being pumped from the school grounds, it is claimed.

The objectors have no issue with the new wall being provided as long as it does not lead to an exacerbation of flooding in the immediate area. A decision on the planning appeal will be known in November.


Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors will be asked next month to consider a sweeping overhaul of traffic flow in the city centre as the local authority seeks to create a more pedestrian-friendly core in the wake of Covid-19.

Currently under proposal in City Hall are major alterations to traffic flow which will allow for restricted car access to Middle Street – creating additional outdoor seating space for businesses in the area struggling to cope amid social distancing requirements.

Senior Engineer at City Hall, Uinsinn Finn, said they are currently considering three different proposals to alter traffic flow on Merchants Road, Augustine Street and Flood Street to reduce the need for car access to Middle Street, while still maintaining access for residents.

“We already pedestrianised Cross Street and we will be maintaining that, and there will be a proposal for Middle Street and Augustine Street.

“Businesses in the area are very much in favour of pedestrianisation – one business has objections but the others are supportive. Another consideration is that there are residents there with parking spaces and we are trying to encourage people to live in the city centre,” said Mr Finn.

The Latin Quarter business group submitted proposals for the temporary pedestrianisation of Middle Street and Abbeygate Street Lower but Mr Finn said the proposals the Council were considering were more in the line of creating adequate space for pedestrians while still allowing residents vehicular access.

This would involve creating a circuit for car traffic moving through Merchants Road around onto Augustine Street and exiting at Flood Street.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in part of Knocknacarra are calling for the closure of a laneway and for more Community Gardaí to be put on the beat following the discovery of a ‘viable’ pipe-bomb type device in the area last weekend.

Up to 13 homes in the Cimín Mór and Manor Court estates had to be evacuated on Friday evening last when the incendiary device was discovered by Gardaí concealed in an unlit laneway, leading to the emergency services being notified.

An Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called to the scene and removed the device – according to local residents and councillors, the Gardaí have confirmed that the device was viable.

Gardaí have declined to comment on the detail of the case but have confirmed that the matter is being ‘actively and vigorously investigated’.

Chairman of the Cimín Mór Residents’ Association, Pat McCarthy, told the Galway City Tribune that the discovery of the viable device on the narrow laneway that links their estate to Manor Court was extremely frightening for all concerned.

“For the best part of the past 20 years, we have been seeking action to be taken on this laneway which has been used for dumping and unsociable behaviour on a repeated basis.

“But what happened last Friday evening was really the last straw for us. This could have resulted in serious injury to innocent people and what is also of concern to us is how close this was to the two schools in the area,” said Mr McCarthy.

He said that over the coming days, the residents’ association would be petitioning all residents in the three estates concerned – the other two being Manor Court and Garraí Dhónaill – for action to be taken on the laneway.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara



Kate Middleton wearing the necklace designed by Aisling O'Brien

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A Galway jewellery designer is the latest to experience the ‘Kate effect’ after fans tracked down the woman who created a necklace for the Duchess of Cambridge which she has worn several times since it was gifted to her during her trip to the city last March.

Aisling O’Brien’s website crashed on Wednesday night when orders poured in for the piece from around the world. The necklace costs €109 with initials, while the earrings retail for €49.

“I’d never sold more than two things outside of Ireland before. I only had three of Kate’s necklaces in stock – and now I have orders for at least 50. I’ll have to start recruiting some elves,” laughs Aisling, who only set up her website during lockdown.

The 14-carat gold necklace and earrings set was designed by Aisling specially for Kate after examining her style – “understated, elegant, simplicity” is how the Tuam native describes it.

She was contacted about the commission by physiotherapist Thérèse Tully, who wanted to give the future queen a gift as she was using her room to change at Árus Bóthar na Trá beside Pearse Stadium when the royal couple were meeting with GAA teams.

(Photo: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wearing the necklace)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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