Date Published: 17-May-2011
By Denise McNamara
Galway Airport will have to draw up a new business plan which requires substantially less Government funding – or close.
That’s the stark warning from Fine Gael TD Brian Walsh after Transport Minister, Leo Varadkar indicated there was no new funding available to keep the six regional airports open.
Galway Airport insists that it needs €1.7m to cover its operating costs. In a last-ditch bid to persuade the Minister to continue the same level of State support, the Carnmore facility will focus on it being a vital access link for Galway’s cluster of multinationals and the income it generates in the local economy in its submission to the Department this week.
However Deputy Walsh said the airport should concentrate on drawing up a new business model and cutting costs further if it is to secure any more funding. Subsidies of €1.7m were out of the question, he reiterated.
Minister Varadkar met with the airport management on Friday to listen to their case for continuing with the subsidies. Yesterday (Monday), it was reported that whatever financial support he could raise within his department would go to the airports which are regarded as being “closer to viability” – namely Knock, Kerry and Donegal.
Galway Airport Managing Director Joe Walsh said it made no sense for the Government to discontinue its funding from an economic point of view.
“We are the third largest city in the country with significant clusters in live sciences, ICT and what’s likely to be a gaming cluster. We are part of the foreign direct investment toolkit, we are critical infrastructure in terms of multinationals,” he stressed.
“It’s been established by independent sources that there’s an economic impact associated with Galway Airport in excess of €31m based on 2009 figures. Another independent report attributes 17,000 jobs in the city and county to the access provided by Galway Airport.
“There’s no getting away from it, we are a cost to the exchequer, but by taking away air access it will take away jobs. It doesn’t make sense.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.