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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway 2020’s distasteful treatment of native tongue

Dara Bradley

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Freda Nic Giolla Chatháin was Irish language communications officer with Galway 2020 and one of its strongest assets until she was one of 17 people made redundant this summer.

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

One of the few positive things Galway 2020 ever did was appoint an Irish language communications officer.

The organisation set up to deliver on Galway’s European Capital of Culture promise, didn’t seem too keen on the idea initially.

But eventually, it was persuaded, and appointed Freda Nic Giolla Chatháin to the role.

The Midlands woman proved to be one of the beleaguered company’s strongest assets.

And yet, when the sh*t hit the fan, and redundancies were announced, the role of Irish officer was deemed surplus to requirements.

In April, Freda was temporarily laid off, and was subsequently one of 17 people who were made redundant at the company, as the implications of Covid-19 hit home.

Leaving aside the personality involved, the very act of making an Irish language officer redundant in a company whose job it is to showcase Galway and Irish culture on a European and global stage, is moronic.

The position wasn’t just about translating media press releases into Irish, or giving a few sound bites on RnaG or TG4.

The role of the Irish language communications officer was about ensuring Galway 2020 was a bilingual organisation and that Gaeilge had a prominent position within the ethos of the organisation.

Making Waves, Galway 2020’s bid-book application to become 2020’s culture capital, had three themes of migration, landscape and language.

Sprinkled throughout Galway’s pitch to the EU to become Capital of Culture, are references to Galway being the “cradle of the Irish language”, and Galway City’s bilingual status.

Language was mentioned more than 100 times in the bid-book, and the Irish language and its Gaeltacht area in Connemara was one of the reasons Galway was chosen as a City of Culture by the European judges.

In fairness, the original programme of events that was cancelled by Covid-19 contained very many excellent Irish-language elements.

But isn’t there something fundamentally wrong about making an Irish language communications officer redundant in an organisation whose promises to promote the Irish language was one of the major reasons for its very existence?

It’s rank hypocrisy.

(Photo: Freda Nic Giolla Chatháin was Irish language communications officer with Galway 2020 and one of its strongest assets until she was one of 17 people made redundant this summer).

For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

CITY TRIBUNE

Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors will be asked next month to consider a sweeping overhaul of traffic flow in the city centre as the local authority seeks to create a more pedestrian-friendly core in the wake of Covid-19.

Currently under proposal in City Hall are major alterations to traffic flow which will allow for restricted car access to Middle Street – creating additional outdoor seating space for businesses in the area struggling to cope amid social distancing requirements.

Senior Engineer at City Hall, Uinsinn Finn, said they are currently considering three different proposals to alter traffic flow on Merchants Road, Augustine Street and Flood Street to reduce the need for car access to Middle Street, while still maintaining access for residents.

“We already pedestrianised Cross Street and we will be maintaining that, and there will be a proposal for Middle Street and Augustine Street.

“Businesses in the area are very much in favour of pedestrianisation – one business has objections but the others are supportive. Another consideration is that there are residents there with parking spaces and we are trying to encourage people to live in the city centre,” said Mr Finn.

The Latin Quarter business group submitted proposals for the temporary pedestrianisation of Middle Street and Abbeygate Street Lower but Mr Finn said the proposals the Council were considering were more in the line of creating adequate space for pedestrians while still allowing residents vehicular access.

This would involve creating a circuit for car traffic moving through Merchants Road around onto Augustine Street and exiting at Flood Street.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in part of Knocknacarra are calling for the closure of a laneway and for more Community Gardaí to be put on the beat following the discovery of a ‘viable’ pipe-bomb type device in the area last weekend.

Up to 13 homes in the Cimín Mór and Manor Court estates had to be evacuated on Friday evening last when the incendiary device was discovered by Gardaí concealed in an unlit laneway, leading to the emergency services being notified.

An Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called to the scene and removed the device – according to local residents and councillors, the Gardaí have confirmed that the device was viable.

Gardaí have declined to comment on the detail of the case but have confirmed that the matter is being ‘actively and vigorously investigated’.

Chairman of the Cimín Mór Residents’ Association, Pat McCarthy, told the Galway City Tribune that the discovery of the viable device on the narrow laneway that links their estate to Manor Court was extremely frightening for all concerned.

“For the best part of the past 20 years, we have been seeking action to be taken on this laneway which has been used for dumping and unsociable behaviour on a repeated basis.

“But what happened last Friday evening was really the last straw for us. This could have resulted in serious injury to innocent people and what is also of concern to us is how close this was to the two schools in the area,” said Mr McCarthy.

He said that over the coming days, the residents’ association would be petitioning all residents in the three estates concerned – the other two being Manor Court and Garraí Dhónaill – for action to be taken on the laneway.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara

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Kate Middleton wearing the necklace designed by Aisling O'Brien

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A Galway jewellery designer is the latest to experience the ‘Kate effect’ after fans tracked down the woman who created a necklace for the Duchess of Cambridge which she has worn several times since it was gifted to her during her trip to the city last March.

Aisling O’Brien’s website crashed on Wednesday night when orders poured in for the piece from around the world. The necklace costs €109 with initials, while the earrings retail for €49.

“I’d never sold more than two things outside of Ireland before. I only had three of Kate’s necklaces in stock – and now I have orders for at least 50. I’ll have to start recruiting some elves,” laughs Aisling, who only set up her website during lockdown.

The 14-carat gold necklace and earrings set was designed by Aisling specially for Kate after examining her style – “understated, elegant, simplicity” is how the Tuam native describes it.

She was contacted about the commission by physiotherapist Thérèse Tully, who wanted to give the future queen a gift as she was using her room to change at Árus Bóthar na Trá beside Pearse Stadium when the royal couple were meeting with GAA teams.

(Photo: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wearing the necklace)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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