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Fresh Starbucks battle brewing over Ceannt Station signage

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The owners of the Starbucks outlet at Ceannt Station have submitted fresh plans for signage on the building.

Last April, franchise holder Megdo Limited – which opened the outlet last year – was refused permission for what the City Council branded an “ugly” illuminated disc.

It also caused controversy because of its proposed location – just yards from a memorial plaque marking the 1916 Rising.

Now, the company has submitted a new application for a sign, which it stresses will not be illuminated and will be located over an existing Iranród Éireann sign.

According to an architectural heritage impact assessment included with the application, the building – which dates back to 1851 – will not be negatively affected by the sign.

“The works comprise fixing a small-scale circular sign on a projecting bracket to the front wall of Ceannt Station just east of the main entrance doorway above an existing larger Iarnród Éireann welcome sign.

“The sign is to be of high quality but discreet design, fixed securely to the wall masonry of the station.

“It is designed to maximise visibility of the otherwise reserved café premises within the station building from the main pedestrian thoroughfare of Eyre Square.

“The sign does not create an obstruction to full appreciation of any of the fine architectural details of the station building. The brand livery of green and white are colours which have been commonly seen on traditional advertising throughout the city core throughout the last century.

“The nature of Station Road as a cul-de-sac means that generally only station users will be likely to discover the existing Starbucks café. A small-scale projecting sign with the instantly recognisable, simple branding of the café is considered to be sufficient to significantly increase awareness of and customer interest in the business,” the heritage report reads.

The outlet is owned by brothers Colum and Ciarán Butler from Dublin, who operate the Irish arm of Starbucks. Their other Irish business interests include TGI Fridays and the hard Rock Café.

A decision is expected on the application by the end of the month.

Previously, the city’s Heritage Officer, Jim Higgins, complained that holes had already been drilled in the façade for the new sign which was proposed and rejected in the previous application.

“A sign has been erected already inside the station without planning permission and Starbucks have not applied for permission to erect a new sign on the front of the edifice which is an important historic and archaeologically significant protected structure. Holes have already been drilled in the façade for a new sign.

“Starbucks should, in my view, be applying for retention permission for the signs included inside the station and the holes drilled in the façade.

“The signs erected already are ugly, inappropriately large and made of materials which detract from the building internally. The proposed new sign is of the same nature – ugly, overly large and of inappropriate materials.

“It also detracts completely from the architectural setting and detracts from the newly re-erected historic plaque to Eamonn Ceannt.

“I am completely opposed to either the retention of the signs erected inside the building, the retention of the drill holes, or the granting of permission for any new signage to the frontage of the Protected Structure,” said Mr Higgins.

Environmental and planning watchdog group, An Taisce, also objected to the sign.

Planners decided that the sign failed to adhere to the principles of good design set out in the City Development Plan, and would also contravene national guidelines for built heritage.

They noted that there is already a similar sign inside the station, adjacent to the platform, which does not have planning permission.

CITY TRIBUNE

‘Horrific’ conditions at ‘temporary’ halting site

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Mould and damp around the shower, toilet and sink area in one of the units at the Carrowbrowne temporary halting site beside the Headford Road.
Mould and damp around the shower, toilet and sink area in one of the units at the Carrowbrowne temporary halting site beside the Headford Road. [File pic]

Living conditions at Carrowbrowne ‘temporary’ halting site on the Headford Road are “truly dreadful” and “distressing”, according to four University of Galway academics.

The quartet, who visited the halting site earlier this month, called on the authorities to provide “decent and culturally appropriate accommodation” for the 13 families living at the ‘temporary’ site, “as a matter of urgency”.

The call comes in the same week a former city mayor was sharply criticised for promoting ‘anti-Traveller rhetoric’.

Galway Traveller Movement urged Fianna Fáil to suspend City Councillor Michael John Crowe, pending a full investigation into comments he made in a press statement issued on Monday and repeated on local radio, about Galway City Council buying a house in Renmore for Traveller accommodation.

As that controversy raged on social media this week, Dr John Cunningham, Director of MA History, University of Galway, said he was shocked by the “scandalous” conditions he saw at Carrowbrowne ‘temporary’ halting site.

“I was at an event on campus earlier this year where President Michael D (Higgins) gave a speech and specifically denounced conditions in Carrowbrowne and he would know some of the families, who lived in the Westside area.

“So, I was aware of the circumstances but faced with the actual reality of it was just utterly shocking,” Dr Cunningham told the Galway City Tribune.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Kissing goodbye to hated gates under pilot project

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It was agreed to start the project with the gates in the Claddagh and Terryland Forest Park.

Kissing gates at South Park and Terryland Forest Park will be removed in a pilot project to assess their impact on public spaces.

Galway City Council has agreed to trial the removal or replacement of kissing gates in the city on a case-by-case basis while waiting for the completion of an audit that will be used to develop a policy on the controversial barriers at Wednesday’s Recreation and Amenity Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) meeting.

The follows anger among the cycling community that the one in South Park had been removed to facilitate a private company fun run only to be returned days later as reported in last week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway City East Councillor Owen Hanley, who attended the meeting, said it is still to be decided what barriers would be erected in their place and it would depend on the needs of the location.

“Previously I worked with Council staff on the Terryland Forest Park kissing gate along the cyclebus route and we agreed to use chicanes to slow but not stop users,” he revealed.

“Whatever goes in will allow cyclists and wheelchair users to pass. We have been given no timelines but it will be in the short-term and I will be following up on this.”

He said the Council has been discussing how to handle kissing gates since he was elected as a Social Democrat over three years ago.

“The rare instances where mopeds or motorbikes damage our green spaces does not justify the widespread use of kissing gates, in fact many times, kissing gates don’t even stop this behaviour. Kissing gates present a very real barrier to people who use wheelchairs or buggies, or cycle, preventing them for accessing public parks as well as routes to work and school.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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CITY TRIBUNE

Abuse and violence towards LGBT+ people is ‘massively under-reported’

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Fiona McDonagh-Delaney, Project Co-ordinator and Tiernan Arnup, Administration and Communications, Amach LGBT+, Westside Recource Centre. PHOTO: BRIAN HARDING.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) people in Galway continue to suffer verbal abuse, violence, and threats of violence while socialising in the city, according to advocates.

Amach, which supports the local LGBT+ community, said that homophobia and hate crimes persist despite recent legislative gains and societal change in Ireland in recent years.

A new report by An Garda Síochána highlighted that just 17 ‘hate-related incidents’ were recorded in the Galway Garda Division in 2021.

That includes hate crimes and hate-related, non-crime incidents recorded across nine discriminatory motives including age, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and gender.

But Fiona McDonagh-Delaney, project co-coordinator at Amach in the Westside Community Centre, said it was an “incredibly low figure”, that showed “massive under-reporting”.

LGBT+ Ireland reported a four-fold increase in calls to its helpline last year of people experiencing hate crime, based on their LGBT+ status, she said.

Ms McDonagh-Delaney said that was the reality on Galway’s streets too, even if the official Garda figures did not reflect that.

She said there was a “sense of normalisation” of threats of violence and violence itself, based on LGBT+ status. This had become “commonplace” in Galway and LGBT+ people avoided certain areas at weekends because of it.

“We’d know ourselves that on a Friday and Saturday night, you don’t go up around Eyre Square on a night out. You know what areas to avoid because you know you are at high risk of experiencing some form of abuse. Whether it’s verbal abuse, the threat of violence or actual violence,” she said.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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