Galway has the lowest level of holiday homes of all the major tourism centres of Ireland, according to newly-published statistics.
The figures show there are 2,186 holiday homes across Galway city and county, which represents just over six per cent of the total number of Irish holiday homes.
That represents just one quarter of the level of holiday homes in Donegal, which has the highest proportion in Ireland.
According to the GeoDirectory database (operated by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland), in July of this year, there are also fewer holidays homes in Galway than Kerry, Cork, Wexford, Mayo and Clare.
In Donegal, there are 8,412 holiday homes (representing 23.6% of the total number of Irish holiday homes); in Kerry, there are 5,621 (15.7%); in Cork there are 3,934 (11%) and in Wexford there are 3,536 (9.9%).
Mayo recorded 3,175 (8.9%) and Clare had 2,725 holiday homes (7.6%) at the time of the survey.
The figures show that is a total of 35,696 holiday homes in the country, which represents 1.8% of the total residential stock. Some of the figures are lower than the 2011 Census, though, as the database is still being compiled.
Overall, there were 250 new residential buildings in Galway recorded on the An Post database during the first six months of this year. The GeoDirectory figures show there are now a total of 109,721 buildings in Galway.
The new buildings are composed of 250 residential buildings, 33 commercial buildings and four dual-purpose buildings with both residential and commercial elements.
The latest report from the researchers also shows that in the year from June 2013 to June 2014, there were a total of just over 1,500 property transactions in the city and county, with an average property price of €161,155.
The database found that there were 2,019,638 residential dwellings across the country. This compares with the 2011 Census of Population which reported a total housing stock of 1,994,845 dwellings.
The GeoDirectory database distinguishes between a ‘dwelling’ which is a single residential unit as opposed to a ‘building’ which can comprise one or more dwellings.
Annette Hughes, Director of DKM Economic Consultants said: “This is the first comprehensive report about the residential building stock of its kind to be published in Ireland.
“By using the data from the PPR, the CSO Census of Population and the GeoDirectory Database we have a unique insight into the residential building stock in Ireland.
“One key statistic which the report highlighted was that the national average housing turnover rate in the year to June 2014 was 1.4%, well below what would be deemed to be a more normal housing turnover rate of around 4 to 5%,” he said.
By combining data on residential property transactions from the Property Price Register and the GeoDirectory Database, an estimate of the rate of turnover of the housing stock can be ascertained. The turnover rate in Galway is 1.3%.
The figures were recorded by 5,600 An Post delivery staff working with experts from OSI.
The database is used by many different companies and organisations across a diverse range of applications.
The emergency services use it for route optimisation when responding to 999 calls, which can save valuable minutes in an emergency, while it is also used by the likes of banks, property websites and pizza delivery companies.
Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill as event confirmed
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill this weekend as an event has been announced for Sunday.
It’s been confirmed by organisers on social media – who say they’re being unfairly portrayed in a negative light.
In a statement, the Galway Car Scene group say they pay road tax like all other road users – and they have “every right” to be in Salthill this weekend.
It comes as they’ve confirmed the event will be taking place there on Sunday as originally planned.
They add it’s unfair to accuse them of blocking up Salthill and other parts of the city given the chronic traffic issues every day of the week.
They’ve also created an online petition calling for a designated place for car enthusiasts to go – which has so far gathered almost 250 signatures.
It claims the car enthusiast community in Galway has been unfairly painted as a negative and anti-social group.
The group say they’re happy to go elsewhere, but say any time they try to find a venue they’re shut out.
The event planned for Sunday has encountered significant opposition, much of which is based on a previous “Salthill Sundays” event held in May.
Those opposed say they’re not against an event of this kind in principle – but they strongly feel that Salthill just isn’t the right venue.
It’s also argued that if the organisers want to be taken seriously, they have to engage with stakeholders like Galway City Council and Gardaí to ensure a well-planned and safe event.
Cars down to one-way system on Salthill Promenade
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A one-way system of traffic may be introduced along the Promenade in Salthill to facilitate the introduction of temporary cycle lanes.
The suggestion appeared to come as a shock to some City Council members who supported the cycle lane in a vote last month – one has called for a “full discussion again” on what exactly they had actually approved.
Councillors had voted 17-1 in favour of the principle of providing a cycleway that will stretch from Grattan Road all along the Prom.
The motion that passed at the September meeting proposed that the Council “shall urgently seek” to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of the Prom.
It was agreed that from the Blackrock Tower junction to the Barna Road would be a one-way cycle track.
The motion was voted on without debate, which meant Council officials did not have an opportunity to question the proposal.
At a meeting on Monday, the debate was revisited when Uinsinn Finn, Director of Services for Transportation, indicated that a one-way traffic system would be introduced in Salthill to facilitate a two-way cycle lane from Grattan Road to Blackrock.
This could mean that the outbound lane of traffic, closest to the sea, could be closed to all traffic bar bikes.
Mr Finn said that he would have sought clarity at the previous meeting – if debate were allowed – about what was meant by ‘temporary’.
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.
Galway Christmas Market gets go-ahead for next month
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s the first real sign of a restoration of normality in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors in the city – the return of the Christmas Market next month to Eyre Square.
This week, the City Council’s planning department gave the go-ahead for the outdoor retail and gourmet food ‘spread’ that has been part of the festive season in Galway since 2010.
The exception was last year when, like so many other public gatherings since the Covid crisis broke in March 2020, the event had to be cancelled because of public health concerns.
Christmas Market Organiser, Maria Moynihan Lee, Managing Director of Milestone Inventive, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that she had received official confirmation on Thursday from the City Council of the go-ahead being given for the event.
“This is really wonderful news for the city and especially so in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors. For every €1 spent at the market another €3 will be spent on the high street – this will be a real boost for Galway,” she said.
Maria Moynihan Lee confirmed that the market would have an earlier than usual start of Friday, November 12 and would run through until the Wednesday evening of December 22.
(Photo: Declan Colohan)