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CITY TRIBUNE

Four-fold increase in homeless children

Stephen Corrigan

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Emergency 'Cold Weather Response' accommodation for being provided by COPE Galway and the City Council at Seamus Quirke Road.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway City councillors gave their backing to Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy this week, despite being told that the numbers of families and children homeless in the region had sky-rocketed by more than 300% in three years.

At a meeting of the local authority on Monday evening, the Draft Region Homelessness Action Plan 2020-2022 was presented to councillors, in which it was revealed that in terms of homelessness, the West is worst – since 2016, the region had the highest increase in the country.

Three years ago, some 130 adults were accessing homeless services through emergency accommodation. In August of this year, that figure had risen to 351.

The number of homeless families stood at 17 in 2016; this year, that figure was at 83 by the end of September.

Some 200 children were homeless at the end of August 2019, a 344% increase on the 47 who were without a home in 2016.

The report notes that 30 people were sleeping rough in Galway City in October, while there were 251 homeless adults in the city by the end of the third quarter – 146 males; 76 families; and 185 dependents.

A series of actions are set out by the plan, with homelessness prevention at the top of the list. This comprises of ensuring early intervention for high-risk categories, including: prison discharges; young people exiting care; hospital discharges; people exiting direct provision; and victims of domestic violence.

The Mayor and Cllr Ollie Crowe (FF) both described the new Housing Task Force established in Galway – which does not include any elected representatives – as a farce, with the Mayor hitting out at the arrogance of the Minister for Housing in saying that things were improving.

“You’ve a situation where you’ve kids going to school and their news of the day is that they’ve moved to a new B&B – and they’re being laughed at in class,” blasted the Mayor.
This is a preview only. For extensive coverage of the issue, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

CITY TRIBUNE

City Council planning €2.5m bailout for Galway 2020

Dara Bradley

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Galway City Council looks set to bail out Galway 2020 – with an additional grant of €2.5 million to cover the European Capital of Culture programming costs.

The local authority has already allocated €6 million for the project, which officially launches on Saturday, February 8, with an event in South Park, Claddagh.

But city councillors will be asked to approve a further €1.25 million in both 2021 and 2022, at a special meeting next Monday.

The city’s ratepayers may ultimately have to cover the extra costs. A 3% higher commercial rate, introduced in the build-up to this year, and retained in 2020 with agreement of business representatives, may be maintained into 2021 and 2022 if management City Hall has its way.

As well as having to find €2.5 million extra for Galway 2020, Chief Executive of the City Council, Brendan McGrath, will ask councillors to sanction a grant of €80,000 to Druid Theatre for a production it is planning for March of this year, which was not part of the original Galway 2020 programme.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Holders Rangers advance but Mervue Utd crash out

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Geoffrey Power scored twice for Connacht Junior Cup defending champions, Corrib Rangers, in their 4-2 win over MCR of Sligo.  

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

The returning Geoffrey Power was to the forefront for Corrib Rangers as the Connacht Junior Cup holders got the defence of their title off to a winning start in Drom on Sunday afternoon with a victory over Sligo visitors, MCR.

Salthill Devon, West United, Maree/Oranmore, East United and Hibernians also all advanced with different degrees of comfort, but there was a big shock as Mervue United suffered a three-goal hammering away against Manulla; while Knocknacarra, Renmore and Merlin Woods/Medtronic also all exited the competition in competitive games.

CONNACHT JUNIOR CUP

Corrib Rangers 4

MCR 2

The break-up of Brendan O’Connor’s Connacht Junior Cup winning side happened probably somewhat faster than the manager might have expected, but the return of Geoffrey Power at the weekend was a huge bonus as the striker contributed two goals as well as lifting a side that just seven months ago won the most coveted trophy in the province.

In a game switched to Drom because their own grounds at Westside are closed, the home side made the perfect start when Power got on the end of a long ball from Sean Keogh and drilled low shot into the corner.

However, the advantage was rather short-lived as a Keith Nibbs header levelled matters; before another set piece goal gave Rangers a 2-1 interval advantage as Stephen Gilmore got on the end of a Mark Wynne free kick to head home.

The Sligo visitors were displaying plenty of ability and they levelled matters for the second time when Ciaran Harvey applied the finish on this occasion with another header to tie up matters at 2-2 on the hour mark.

In a contest in which numerous opportunities were created at both ends, it was Rangers who regained the advantage when Paul Smith linked up with Keogh before slotting home to make it 3-2.

Rangers goalkeeper Shane Richardson continued to play his part with some smashing saves, and as the game entered the final minute, it was Power who again applied the finish that sealed the win and will also act as a confidence booster for a side struggling somewhat in the Premier League.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Sandy Road regeneration heralds new dawn for city

Francis Farragher

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Shaded in red is the 20-acre Sandy Road site that has now been earmarked for a major urban regeneration programme to provide 1,000 new homes close to the city centre.

THE first steps have been taken this week in what promises to be the biggest ever single urban regeneration project in the city – a potential half-billion-euro development of the 20-acre Sandy Road site.

A design review of the site has begun this week to be conducted by the Royal Institute Architects of Ireland with a brief to set out an outline vision strategy for the provision of 1,000 new homes as well as employment units and leisure facilities.

Property owners on the site earmarked for development include the City Council, the ESB, Galway County Council, the Galway Education and Training Board and the Connacht Tribune-owned Galway Bay FM premises.

The initial stages of the project – being driven by the State funded Land Development Agency (LDA) – will also have a strong ‘green element’ to it in what is being termed a ‘non-car’ development.

Galway City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, told the Galway City Tribune, that it was a most exciting project for the city given its location within one kilometre of Eyre Square and its ready access to roads and public transport.

He said that the main thrust of the development would be housing-orientated, with a variety of residential units including affordable, social, rental and private sale properties.

“What’s happening this week is the important first step in what can be a very real achievable project for the city in the short- to medium-term period with the first phases coming on stream in the next three to five years,” said Mr McGrath.

The panel of architects [chaired by former senior Bord Pleanála planner, John Martin] will have its review completed by the end of March [this year] with the project in a position to go the detailed design stage some time in 2021, according to Brendan McGrath.

“We would hope that – all things going well – this project would be going on site by the end of 2022, with the first phases to be completed 12 to 18 months later,” Brendan McGrath said.

He stressed, however, that there would be a detailed and lengthy consultation period with all of the property-owners and tenants on the 20-acre site before the project would proceed.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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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