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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway 2020 ‘not ungrateful’ about ‘dour’ RTÉ radio ads

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column by Dara Bradley

As you know, RTÉ is national media partner of Galway 2020, the company set up to deliver the European Capital of Culture.

And as such, the national broadcaster promised “deliverables”, to use its own jargon, under the partnership.

This included pledges to broadcast The Late Late Show and other high-profile programmes from Galway, for example. It included collaboration on specific projects, such as a planned “major televised” midsummer concert at NUIG by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

The media partnership agreement with RTÉ also gave Galway 2020, “significant opportunities for branding”.

This involved RTÉ giving free advertising space to Galway 2020 on radio, television and online. Not only did RTÉ give over free airtime, they also produced the ad promotions for the group, like they did with other partnerships, such as Fleadh Cheoil.

But emails released under Freedom of Information (FOI) show the tensions between both organisations during the making of these ads, with Galway 2020 not altogether satisfied.

In August last year, Joe Hoban, Head of Communications and Corporate at RTÉ, told Fintan Maher, the then Communications Director of Galway 2020 who has since left, that the caveat was, “we are producing these from within our existing comms budget”.

“We work miracles” he said, with “some practical limitations”. But RTÉ puts forward “the best creative we can” to “produce something stunning”.

When Joe sent Fintan the results on September 6, he said the “piece is almost exactly as ideated and presented – a rare occurrence”. Alas, Galway 2020 wasn’t so sure!

Fintan replied that they “like the overall feel” of the TV ad, and then he listed all the things “we don’t like”. Fintan suggested: “Could you brighten this” and “beach doesn’t look great” and “heart looks anaemic”.

Most criticism was directed at the radio ad. “We don’t like the voice of the guy – it sounds dour”, Fintan said.

“Could he do more upbeat (voice)”, and “pace is very slow”, Fintan observed, with instructions to add and drop words.

Joe reminded Fintan that the Memorandum of Understanding “doesn’t commit RTÉ to producing the campaigns” but they did so “in the spirit of goodwill”. With limited budget, no extra resources and “challenging weather”, Joe replied, “we produced an ad of excellent overall quality”.

Agreeing to some tweaks, Joe said “we needed to be flexible with our expectations and realistic about what is achievable”. Regarding the radio, he said it was “a shame you don’t like it”.

“TG4 sourced us a west of Ireland actor with a Gaeilge blas (accent) to record it, and we felt he had nailed it”.

Fintan replied the “general agreement” in Galway 2020 was it was “too downbeat”. They “love the pronunciation of Gaeilge just the tone and pace is too slow”, and “we would rather a younger voice”.

He added the feedback on the ads, “was in no way to undermine” the support of RTÉ “or to appear in any way ungrateful”.
For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

CITY TRIBUNE

Proposals to change speed limits in Galway City are voted down

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Planned speed limit changes for Galway City are stuck in the slow lane after councillors rejected a proposal for new bylaws.

The bylaws would have introduced a 30km/h zone in the city centre and 19 other changes, including increased speed limits in areas such as Bóthar na dTreabh to 80km/h.

Management at City Hall have now been sent back to the drawing board to draft new speed limit bylaws after a majority of elected members voted against them – it could at least two years before new proposals are ready.

At a meeting this week, several councillors spoke out against plans to increase speed limits to 80km/h on approach roads into the city.

Many of them criticised the system of selecting roads for speed limit changes, lashed the public consultation process and decried the lack of input from councillors, despite speed limits being a reserved function of elected members.

Councillors were particularly peeved that the proposal had to be accepted in its entirety, without amendments, or rejected outright – they could not pick and choose individual changes.

Deputy Mayor Collette Connolly (Ind) led the charge against the bylaws, which she described as “idiotic”.

She lambasted the “incomprehensible decision” not to lower speed limits to 30km/h outside schools and she said it was “utter raiméis” (nonsense) that speeds can’t be lowered to 30km/h, if 85% of the traffic on that road travels at 50km/h.

Cllr Connolly said the bylaws were “flawed”, and cited the decision to leave Rahoon Road/Shantalla Road at 50km/h, despite a crèche and two schools on other roads like Lough Atalia remaining at 30km/h.

(Photo: A speed van on Bóthar na dTreabh on Thursday morning)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, including how each councillor voted and a map of the proposed changes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Corrib to be opened up as new tourism and leisure blueway

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The first steps are to be taken next year to explore the development of a ‘blueway’ tourism and leisure trail along the River Corrib, from Nimmo’s Pier and onto the lake itself.

This week, Galway City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that monies had been set aside to begin exploratory work on what will be known as the Great Western Blueway.

A figure of €65,000 has been allocated in the City Council’s 2021 annual budget to commission an initial study of what’s involved in the setting up a blueway trail on the Corrib.

“The Corrib river and the lake are a most wonderful natural asset for the entire western region and I have no doubt that this project has fantastic potential in terms of enhancing the tourism pulling power of the city and its environs,” Mr McGrath told the Galway City Tribune this week.

Should the project come to fruition, it would be the fifth such waterway attraction to be developed in the island of Ireland.

Already there are Blueways on the Shannon, from Drumshanbo to Lanesboro; the Shannon-Erne project from Leitrim village to Belturbet (Cavan); the Royal Canal at Mullingar; and at Lough Derg from Portumna to Scariff in Clare.

According to Mr McGrath, the attractions developed along the Great Western Blueway would be environmentally friendly, featuring such attractions as kayaking, paddling, adjacent cycle trails as well as scenic walkways and visitor centres.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Future of Leisureland secured through increased Council funding

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The future of the Leisureland pool and gym facility, which last September faced possible closure due to the Covid emergency, has been guaranteed for the coming year, following an increased financial subsidy from the City Council in their 2021 annual budget.

City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, told the Galway City Tribune that the local authority was committed to the future of the Leisureland facility and had increased the subsidy for 2021 from €300,000 to €500,000, in the process securing its viability for the coming year.

“We are all acutely aware of the value of the Leisureland facility, not only to local clubs but also to the many, many people who use the pool and gym on a weekly and often on a daily basis.

“Like so many other aspects of life and leisure in Ireland, the coronavirus emergency had a hugely negative impact on the viability of the facility, but thankfully we can now look forward with confidence to its continued usage in 2021,” said Mr. McGrath.

He also said that the City Council was committed to the further enhancement and usage of the greater Leisureland site which could act as a focal point for the regeneration of the entire Salthill area as a major local and national tourism centre.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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