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Galway 2020 urge public to get involved on Paddy’s Day

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With St Patrick’s Day just around the corner the Galway 2020 team are looking for the public to get involved in the day’s festivities as the push to become the European Capital of Culture intensifies.

With only a few months to go until the designated city for 2020 is announced in July, momentum is building and team member Riona Durkan is hoping the people of Galway can lead the charge towards success.

“We’re looking to send out a message to everyone who is looking at Galway 2020 in Ireland and in Europe that Galway really wants to win.

“We received an enormous amount of support in the first phase and now we’re coming back with a real bang to start building momentum and the St Patrick’s day parade will be the first in that series of public engagement initiatives.’’

Galway 2020 want to use the day to show Europe that the whole of the city is behind the bid to make Galway the Capital of Culture in four years’ time. Ms Durkan hopes people from all areas of society will get involved.

“We’re trying to build an army of people to march in the parade; we’re looking for about 100 people. They can be families, young people, older people, we would love to see people who are living in Galway from Europe and even further abroad take part.

“We’re hoping to really represent all types of culture in the Galway 2020 section of the St Patrick’s Day parade, that’s really what it’s about. What we’ll be doing then is sending a message out to Europe that all of Galway is backing the bid.’’

However, the St Patrick’s Day celebrations aren’t the only project the Galway 2020 team are undertaking at the moment.

On Thursday, March 10 from 7-10pm in the Galway 2020 hub there will be a workshop to develop a new project, ‘The Virtual Capital of Culture.’

The night is designed to introduce people to the concept of creating a virtual capital of culture so that the broader population of Europe, not just those in competing cities, are included. Niall O’Hara is involved here and is excited by the challenge.

“We want to develop projects across four main areas; virtual reality, augmented reality, holography and 3D projection mapping.

“We’re looking to extend it to using virtual reality in an artistic context, to create new experiences, new artistic stories, immerse people in a new world.

“We’d love visual artists, digital media artists, artists from any art form, alongside producers who want to create work in this area, people from technology backgrounds or general enthusiasts for virtual reality to come along,’’ Niall O’Hara added.

If you are interested in the St Patrick’s Day parade you can email nollaig@galway2020.ie or niall@galway2020.ie for the virtual reality workshop.

Connacht Tribune

School walkway remembers much-loved member of staff

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Minister Frank Feighan with Lucy Daly's family at the opening of Lucy’s Way (from left) Lucy's father Jackie O'Shea, her sons Niall and Aaron Daly, and her mum Florrie O’Shea.

A Galway school unveiled its new sensory walkway as a lasting memorial to its much-loved secretary who passed away earlier this year.

Lucy’s Way at Esker National School is named after Lucy Daly, and fittingly her sons Niall and Aaron were on hand to cut the ribbon with Junior Minister for Health, Frank Feighan, recently.

The Minister was at the Athenry school to also officially open the school’s new Outdoor Classroom and Sensory Gardens, as well as the Walkway – just as summer begins to bloom.

Also in attendance also were the Bishop of Galway and Michael Duignan; Monsignor Cathal Geraghty; Karen Cotter from Active School Flag, Andrew McBride from Healthy Ireland and Karen Colcannon representing Galway Sports Partnership.

The work was completed in a voluntary capacity by parents of the school, the local Rural Social Scheme and staff members with the support of school management.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

No room in the city – so college students told to look at Tuam or Athenry

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NUIG...accommodation advice.

Students coming to NUIG this September have been advised by the college to check out their accommodation options… as far away as Tuam, Oughterard, An Spidéal or Athenry.

Unfortunately, that is likely to prove as fruitless as searching for a flat in the city, because those involved in the rental sector say that there is very little available around the county either.

A trawl through accommodation websites reveals an extremely limited supply of rental properties across the county – particularly when it comes to those suitable for students.

And even when there is availability, you won’t find a one-bed property for much for less than €1,000 as the dearth of rental accommodation has resulted in owners demanding close to city prices.

Tuam auctioneer Michael Mannion said that there are very few properties to be had, and the vast majority of those that come to the market will not suit students.

“We don’t have them at the moment, and it is futile for NUIG suggesting they look at the likes of Tuam – or any other similar-sized town for that matter in the county,” he said.

“There is no problem about accepting students, but the houses and apartments are not there to accommodate them. There is no building going on and while this is the case, there are very few properties up for rent,” Mr Mannion added.

Student accommodation in Galway City averages out at around €1,500 per month which is putting a major financial strain on families.

NUIG recently advised students to consider seeking accommodation in Tuam (22 miles from the college), Oughterard (18 miles), An Spidéal (12 miles), Moycullen (8 miles) or Athenry (15 miles).

The NUIG Students Union described the fact that NUIG is recommending that other areas outside the city as a reflection of the current situation.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Government bows to pressure on rural work schemes

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Minister Heather Humphreys.

SWEEPING reforms to a number of local employment schemes – announced this week by the Government – have allayed fears among West of Ireland communities over the future of thousands of rural jobs.

A six-year time limit for participants in the Rural Social Scheme (RSS) has now been axed by the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys – if that clause had remained, 45 positions in Galway would be cut from February 1 next.

The package of reforms has been warmly welcomed by West of Ireland TDs and public representatives including Minister of State, Anne Rabbitte and East Galway Fine Gael TD, Ciaran Cannon.

“We’ve all worked very had to bring these changes about, and at a time when it’s nearly impossible to get workers, these are common-sense measures which will mean an awful lot to villages, towns and communities across the West of Ireland,” said Anne Rabbitte.

According to Deputy Ciaran Cannon, the abolition of the six-year participation rule in the Rural Social Scheme was one of the central points raised at a huge public meeting in Athenry at the end of May.

“The Minister hopes to effect the abolition of the rule within a very short timeframe thus clearing the way for participants to remain working on the Rural Social Scheme up to retirement age,” said Deputy Cannon.

The reforms – confirmed by both Minister Humphreys and Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Tuesday – will apply to the RSS; Tús [a one-year community work placement scheme]; and Community Employment (CE) schemes.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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