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Galway can be one of best urban centres in world to live in

Francis Farragher

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Galway Christmas Market

A SIX-year plan has been presented to the City Council to help Galway be one of the best urban centres in world to live and work in.
The Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) was officially presented to councillors last Monday and charts the way forward for the city from this year onto 2021.
Liam Hanrahan, Senior Executive Officer with the City Council, gave details of the plan that covers such areas as economic advancement, the growth of arts and culture, social inclusiveness and the health of people living and working in the city.
His report stated that Galway was a young and vibrant city having a population of 75,529 with a further 62,238 people living within a 30-minute drive of the city, while there were 40,000 children and young adults in primary, secondary and third level education.
“Galway’s population of 20 to 24 year-olds is more than twice the national average. Education and learning is part of the past, the present and the future of the city,” the report states.
One of the most striking aspects in the development of the city over recent years, according to the report, is the diversity of cultures and peoples.
The city enjoys the highest rate of Irish speakers in a city area (44.2%) with Polish the most common foreign language spoken in a community of just over 4,000 people.
The report drew unanimous praise from councillors and officials at last Monday’s City Council meeting with Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, describing it as a ‘fabulous piece of work representing all that’s best in Local Government’. Cllr. Declan McDonnell said that the fact the plan would be reviewed every year would be a big help in ensuring that the goals were achieved.
“The city does have a lot going for it and it is very encouraging to see in the report that nine out of the top 10 medical technology firms in the world are in Galway,” said Cllr. McDonnell.
Cllr. Billy Cameron said that the diversity of the city could be gauged from one statistic in the report, namely that almost 20% of the population of the city were of non-Irish nationality.

For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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