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Connacht Tribune

Galway 2020 plans spectacular installation in heart of Joyce Country

Dara Bradley

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Finnish light artist Kari Kola lights up Stonehenge to mark UNESCO World Heritage Day.

Galway 2020 expects crowds of around 20,000 to flock to Joyce Country over St. Patrick’s Day weekend next year to see a light installation on the shores of Loch na Fooey (Lough Na Fuaiche).

It is anticipated that some 5,000 patrons every night from Saturday, March 14, to Tuesday, March 17, will view ‘Savage Beauty’, a lights-based artwork by Finish artist Kari Kola, which promises to “transform the Ceann Garbh mountainside”.

The installation is one of the centrepieces of the programme for the European Capital of Culture yearlong showcase of culture in Galway, and temporary park and ride hubs will be used to bus patrons to viewing points along the lake.

Kari Kola describes the installation as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’.

“To celebrate the Galway European Capital of Culture, I want to create something that all Irish people and people around the world will remember for the rest of their lives,” she said.

Galway 2020, the company set-up to deliver the European Capital of Culture, has applied to Galway County Council for an event licence for the installation.

According to the application, the area to be illuminated is approximately 3.3 kilometres in length and ranges in height from 30 metres to 500 metres. Six generators will be airlifted by helicopter to the site, and will be temporarily installed to power LED light sources.

The exact location of the site is between Benwee and Bunnacunneen mountains, approximately two kilometres north-west of the town of Finny, at the Mayo/Galway border.

The proposal is to illuminate a section of the Bunnacunneen and Ben Beg uplands, located on the southern shores of the lake.

Viewing of the installation will be from the junction with the R300 on the Clonbur side, and the beach on the Maam side.

“The audience will only be able to access viewing on dedicated coaches from a number of proposed park and ride hubs – Maam Cross, Leenaun, Tourmakeady, Clonbur. Additional shuttles may travel from Galway and Clifden. The roads in the immediate vicinity will be closed to traffic,” according to the event licence application.

The event will be ticketed, and patrons will have an opportunity to reserve a seat on a scheduled shuttle bus from and back to the park and ride hubs.

“It is proposed that at least six 30-seater minibuses run in continuous loop from each of the four park and ride hubs. They will run at ten minute intervals and will return patrons from the site. This frequency allows for 150 patrons to be dropped at the viewing area every ten minutes from 6pm to 11pm. This allows for approximately 5,000 patrons per night. Buses will begin to depart the hubs at 5.30pm and the last bus will depart at 10.40pm. Additional buses will be provided to ferry the last groups back to the parking hubs. Each of the parking hubs will have parking for approximately 300 to 400 cars,” the application said.

The length of the viewing area is 3.8km, and the width is an average of five metres, giving a viewing area of 19,000 metres squared. “The maximum audience at any one time along the viewing area is expected to be between 1,000 and 1,500 and these will be spread over a 3.5km area,” it said.

MKO, planning and environmental consultants, carried out an Ecological Impact Assessment and an Appropriate Assessment Screening Report, which accompanies the licence application.

The ecological assessment concluded: “The proposed project will not result in any significant effect on any European or nationally designated site for nature conservation. There will be no less or alteration to any of the habitats identified within the proposed equipment footprint.

“No significant effects on fauna is anticipated due to the nature, scale and duration of the proposed project. Provided that the project is constructed and operated in accordance with the design and best practice that is outlined within this application, significant impacts on biodiversity are not anticipated at any geographic scale.”

Connacht Tribune

Galway’s newest garden centre has arrived at McD’s in Galway Crystal

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Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building

For over 10 years people have been flocking to McD’s Garden Centre in Loughrea to get the very best range for garden, home and much much more.

This weekend McD’s are proud to announce the opening of a brand new Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building.

Nicely located with good parking and serviced by the 404 Newcastle to Oranmore bus, McD’s Garden Centre at Galway Crystal is a must visit location if you need anything from plants, shrubs, pots, garden furniture and more. They have a dedicated solar garden lights section, gorgeous array of water features and garden ornaments and practically everything you need for your garden.

Visit their Facebook today where they are running competitions and keep track of other promotions too. You can visit their website online at www.McDs.ie

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Connacht Tribune

UHG nurse battles for her life in ICU

Dara Bradley

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Leona Paula Leoncio...in ICU.

UHG remains braced to rapidly respond to any rise in Covid-19 patients as a result of a second surge – but the plight of one of their own colleagues this week showed just how precarious this pandemic can be.

Because while senior management at the Saolta Group vowed to stay ‘vigilant and alert’, a staff nurse at UHG was battling for her life in the hospital’s own ICU.

Leona Paula Leoncio, a 36-year-old mother of two boys, tested positive for Covid-19 last week, and was moved to ICU on Monday where she was intubated and ventilated.

The staff nurse, who had no underlying health conditions, is now battling for life in ICU at UHG, according to the Philippine Consulate in Dublin, which has urged people to pray for her.

Ms Leoncio moved to Ireland in 2017, with her husband and two children, to work in the country’s health system.

“We might have different faiths and beliefs but can I ask of you . . . to take a pause and say a prayer of healing and strength for her and her family,” said Chuck Giner, her nursing colleague at UHG, in a posting relayed on the Philippine Consulate’s social media.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – along with all of the latest news on the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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Gort boy reunites Tipp star with broken hurl from famous point

Dara Bradley

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Liam Linnane from Gort holding Brendan Maher's broken hurley from the All-Ireland semi-final club game. Photo: Hardiman Photography.

Tipperary All-Star hurler Brendan Maher has revealed that a young lad in Gort has found his long-lost hurl – the one he used to score one of the points of the last sporting year.

The broken hurl, the one that broke the hearts of St Thomas’ fans back in January, was used to fire over a point in Borris-Illeigh’s All-Ireland semi-final victory over the Galway club at the Gaelic Grounds.

Maher revealed last week that he tried to retrieve the hurl after the match to keep as a memento, but couldn’t find it. He subsequently got a letter from twelve year old Liam Linnane from Gort, who had found it.

“After I scored the point I got kind of carried away and I threw it over my shoulder into the open stand in the Gaelic Grounds. After the match, I thought I would really like to have that hurley but we could not find it and the club even contacted the Gaelic Grounds afterwards to see if it was found.

“Several weeks had passed and I’d given up on it when I got a letter from a young fella in Gort and I read down through it. He said he was twelve years old and that he was at the game where I scored the point with the broken hurley and that he had the hurley.”

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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