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Former landfill back into use until end of 2018



A controversial landfill site in East Galway that closed several years ago is to be reopened by the County Council for the next two years and it will take in domestic waste.

The dump at Kilconnell had been operated by Greenstar but it closed back in 2012 after a receiver was appointed to the company. The County Council now has responsibility for the site.

The local authority have now confirmed that they will reopen the dump for domestic waste and will be employing eight workers on the site until the end of 2018.

It will be taking in 100,000 tons of waste each year from some of the major waste companies in the county and will then close. The Council will then implement an aftercare service which could take 30 years to implement.

Director of Services for the Environment Jim Cullen said that the odours from the site would be limited as there was a company extracting the gasses from the contents of the dump.

The dump in Kilconnell was formerly operated by Greenstar and was a source of major controversy and objection when it was established in 2005 to serve the waste disposal needs of the Connacht region.

A receiver was appointed to Greenstar in 2012 and the dump is now inactive. The county council has been charged with the aftercare of the site.

There are currently a number of waste cells that are uncapped and could pose a potential health risk if they are left untouched. There is room in these cells for up to 300,000 tons of waste.

Senior Executive Engineer Mike Melody explained that it was a 60 hectare site (148 acres) and its aftercare could take as long as 30 years so as to comply with regulations set down by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr Melody said that the Council had established that there was quite a lot of interest in the depositing of waste at the site in Kilconnell and that it would be open from Monday to Friday.

Cllr Timmy Broderick said that he was happy that assurances were being given by Galway County Council about the operation of the landfill site. “I trust Jim Cullen that the site will be maintained and utilised into the future”, he added.

Cllr Broderick also asked officials to ensure that trucks delivering domestic waste to the site not be allowed travel through Kilconnell village.

Mr Cullen responded by saying that the Council had more control of the licence and that this would be a stipulation for anyone using the facility.

Cllr Aidan Donohue said that even he got the smell from the dump where he is living. He asked officials to ensure that during the continuation of the use of the landfill site that odours be monitored on a continuous basis.

Connacht Tribune

Man in his 70s killed in South Galway crash



A man in his 70s has died following a crash in South Galway on Tuesday afternoon.

Gardaí are currently at the scene of the two-car crash, which occurred at around 3.35pm on the N18 at Kiltartan.

The driver and sole occupant of one of the vehicles, a man in his 70s, was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was taken to University Hospital Galway where a post-mortem examination will be conducted at a later date.

The driver and sole occupant of the other vehicle involved, a man in his 30s, was taken to University Hospital Galway for treatment of his injuries which are believed to be non-life threatening.

The road is currently closed and will be closed overnight awaiting an examination by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators have been requested.

Gardaí have appealed for any witnesses or road users with dash cam footage to contact them. 

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Connacht Tribune

Schools and colleges in Galway advised to close for Storm Barra



Schools in Galway have begun informing parents that they will not open tomorrow, following advice from the Department of Education.

The Dept said this evening that schools, colleges and universities in areas where a Status Orange or Red warning apply for Storm Barra should not open.

A spokesperson said: “Met Éireann has advised that there is a strong possibility that the status of parts of these counties currently in Status Orange are likely to change and escalate to Status Red.

“Due to the significant nature of Storm Barra, as forecast by Met Éireann and to give sufficient notice to institutions of further and higher education, the department is advising that all universities, colleges and further education facilities covered by the Red Alert and Orange warning from Met Éireann should not open tomorrow, 7 December.

“All schools and third level institutions should keep up-to-date with the current weather warnings which are carried on all national and local news bulletins and in particular any change in the status warning for their area.”

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Emergency accommodation for rough sleepers in Galway during Storm Barra



Arrangements have been made to provide emergency accommodation for rough sleepers ahead of Storm Barra hitting Galway in the morning.

Accommodation will be provided at locations including The Glenoaks in the Westside, the Fairgreen in the city centre and Osterley Lodge in Salthill (Contact 085 8009709 or 085 8009641).

The COPE Galway Day Centre will remain open all day Tuesday from 8.30am to closing.

Meanwhile, Galway City Council has warned that a number of roads may be closed in the morning ahead of high tide, including Salthill Prom.

Following ongoing meetings of the Inter-Agency Co-ordination group today and based on the latest information available, a number of precautionary measures have been put in place.

Road Closures:

  • Closure of Silverstrand Beach at 6pm Monday
  • Closure of Ballyloughane Beach at midnight (Local Traffic only)
  • Closure of Rosshill Road at 6am Tuesday
  • Closure of Salthill Promenade at midnight:
  • Blackrock Tower to Seapoint and onto Grattan Road. (Closure of Grattan Road may be required. Monitoring in place to decide.)
  • Potential closure of roads along the Claddagh, Docks and Spanish Arch from 5am Tuesday

A spokesperson said: “There may be further closures throughout the city as required and the situation will be closely monitored and regular updates given.  Motorists will experience delays as a result.”

The carparks at Toft Park and on the Promenade have been closed and all vehicle owners have been asked to move their vehicles from car parks and along the Prom.

Sand bags are now available at the following manned locations: the former Tourist Kiosk in Salthill (behind Seapoint); Claddagh Hall; Galway Fire Station; Spanish Arch; the Docks (beside the pedestrian crossing at St Nicholas Street).

“Anyone who avails of sandbags should retain them in their possession for use throughout the upcoming winter season. Please do not take any more sandbags than you need,” the Council spokesperson said.

“The main impacts will include strong winds, falling trees and potential flooding.  High tide in Galway Bay will be at 6.45am Tuesday.

“Some trees may be compromised due to saturated soils at the moment, and with more rain forecast with Storm Barra some disruption due to falling trees/branches is likely. Heavy rain, coupled with falling leaves may block drains and gullies, leading to surface flooding. Galway City Council staff have been carrying out drainage maintenance across the city in advance of the storm to minimise potential flooding risks.

“Storm Barra will produce significant swell, high waves and sizeable storm surges. This will lead to wave overtopping, some coastal flooding and damage, especially along western and southern coasts,” the Council said.

Business owners and homeowners are advised to check their own drains and secure any loose objects within their property in advance of the warning taking effect.

“Galway City Council advises remaining indoors during the period of the warning and, as always, to avoid coastal areas. Parks and other wooded areas should also be avoided, due to the danger of falling trees. If absolutely essential to travel, please exercise extreme caution out and about especially on coastal roads and exposed shores.

“City Council staff will be on standby for clean-up following the passing of Storm Barra and the associated warning once it has been deemed safe to do so.  Please note the associated clean-up which will commence on Wednesday morning may impact on traffic.”

Galway City Council Customer Services phone lines are available to deal with emergency calls on 091 536400. For the Galway County Council area, the phone number is 091 509069.

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