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Galway dog charity has an influx of new pets for adoption



Eileen Keleghan and Tara Nic Dhiarmada of Madra Mutts Anonymous Dog Rescue & Adoption.

The New Year saw an influx of abandoned puppies arrive on the doorstep of one local animal charity – leading it to renew its plea to the public to think long and hard before taking on a pet.

Local dog rescue charity MADRA ran a successful dog fostering scheme over the Christmas where families cared for a pet pooch over the festival season.

This served two purposes – it gave the animals the chance to leave the charity’s kennels for a few weeks and allowed families to experience life with a pet, without committing themselves to one on a permanent basis.

But that was a temporary respite for the charity, which has been inundated with pups over the past number of months and currently has 40 pups in their care – either at the rescue facility, in private boarding kennels or with foster families.

“Our Christmas foster scheme worked really well, but the majority of these pups have already started returning to the kennels as people go back to work,” said MADRA’s Tara Nic Dhiarmada.

“On New Year’s Eve, a further ten young pups arrived in from the pound”, she added.

The pups – who range in age from five weeks to 16 weeks old – are a variety of breeds, including mixes of terriers, labradors and collies.

And that is why MADRA is holding a Puppy Adoption Day at St Joseph’s Community Centre in Shanthalla this Saturday from 12 noon to 3.30pm.

One of the pups, Holly, is a Chihuahua X and it really is a miracle that she has made it this far – she is one of the five little pups found dumped in a plastic bag at the age of four weeks.

Holly was the smallest surviving pup (one of her siblings was dead in the bag and one died after they were found) and it turns out that she has a severe heart murmur and the vet thinks she probably won’t live much past her second birthday.

As with the charity’s normal vetting process, nobody will be taking a dog away on the day – instead they will learn what’s involved, see if there’s a dog for them – and then go through an adoption questionnaire. All adoptions are subject to the successful completion of a home check.

Tata Nic Dhiarmada asks that people consider their lifestyle and the needs of a pup before adding a four-legged friend to their family.

“While we do need to find homes for these pups it is important to us that we find a permanent home. We all know how cute puppies are but there is a great deal of hard work involved. It is important that potential adopters consider the size and temperament of the adult dog, and whether they will have the time to train the dog to ensure the best start for everyone,” she said.

The majority of home checks will be conducted the week after the event or on the day of the event. Advice will also be available from the MADRA team on the type of dog that will best suit a potential adopters’ lifestyle.

The pups will be microchipped, wormed and vaccinated and an adoption donation of €150 is suggested. Potential adopters must also commit to neutering their pup when they have reached an appropriate age.

For more information about the adoption process and some of the dogs that are currently looking for their forever homes go to or visit the MADRA Facebook page.

Connacht Tribune

Galway County Council brings in new rules on roadside memorials



Families and friends of road accident victims will have to apply in writing to erect a roadside memorial under a specific size following the adoption of a new policy by Galway County Councillors.

The new rules will not affect memorials already erected – but if they have to be replaced, they will have to satisfy the now agreed criteria.

The Council area engineer will have to approve the location of any proposed memorial and the written consent of the landowner must be sought where possible in advance.

If friends wish to erect a memorial, they must get the written agreement of the family of the deceased. The policy now prohibits any lighting as could distract motorists and flowers or vegetation around it is now not allowed as it could block sight lines.

If the memorial is a free-standing cross it must not be higher than 750mm and if it is a free-standing stone, it must now comply with a maximum dimension of 450mm high, 450mm wide by 150mm deep.

There can only be one memorial per accident, regardless of the number of victims under the new framework created in consultation with the Gardaí and Transport Infrastructure Ireland’s (TII) Regional Safety Engineer.

Up to now there has been no policy in place regarding roadside memorials, despite the fact that hundreds dot the countryside. But their erection can cause difficulties, such as interference with verge trimming, distraction to other road users, they can attract visitors to accident blackspots and have the potential to block sight lines.

The policy states that it may not be possible to locate the memorial at the exact location of the incident and any memorials erected without the approval of the Road Authority will be removed. No roadside memorials are permitted on dual carriageways with a speed limit of 100 km/h or motorways.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full story, see the July 1 edition of the Connacht Tribune. You can purchase a digital edition HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

Green hub could create up to 900 new jobs



Údarás na Gaeltachta is going full steam ahead with plans for a green energy hub at Ros an Mhíl Harbour in Conamara.

The regional authority responsible for economic growth in the Galway Gaeltacht confirmed it has appointed an international engineering firm to develop a masterplan for an offshore wind energy hub on Údaras-owned lands in Ros a’ Mhíl.

Atkins is a British firm headquartered in London, England with offices in Ireland, including Parkmore in Galway City.

The hub, according to an Údarás-commissioned feasibility study published several months ago, could support up to 900 jobs in the Conamara Gaeltacht, serving multiple floating and fixed wind farms off the west coast.

“The development of Ros a’ Mhíl as an offshore wind energy hub is likely to have a profound impact, not just on the economy of the Gaeltacht regions of Conamara and the Aran Islands but also on Ireland’s ability to lessen its energy independence,” said Údarás CEO, Micheál Ó hÉanaigh.

Earlier this year, Government signalled its support for a €25million investment in a new harbour at Ros a’ Mhíl.

This new masterplan to be carried out by Atkins will involve planning the port development, carrying out an economic assessment, and detailing the engineering and logistical requirements.

It will also involve creating a ‘Green Port Development plan’ with a view of attaining Net-Zero operations, which means cutting the greenhouse gas emissions of the harbour to as close to zero as possible.

The development lies in the heart of the Conamara Gaeltacht and Údarás said Atkins employed local Irish-speaking engineers as core team members of the project.

Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív (FF) welcomed progress of the project. “Never has it been more vital that we use our vast offshore wind resource to create renewable energy and ensure the security of our own energy supply,” he said.

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Connacht Tribune

Outdated parking meters set to be replaced



All old pay and display parking meters throughout County Galway towns are in line to be replaced.

Galway County Council has confirmed that it was planning to replace the existing outdated machines with new ones.

It comes after the County Council’s audit committee said that the cost of maintaining the existing stock of pay and display machines was ‘extremely high’.

The audit committee also noted that there were ‘resounding issues with the outdated parking meters’ for users and for Council maintenance.

The Council said that the replacement of its parking machines inventory was ‘ongoing’.

Funding had been set aside in its capital account to replace outdated machines.

Councillor Karey McHugh (Ind) argued that technology should be introduced whereby motorists could use an app to pay for a parking space.

Director of Services, Derek Pender, said the new machines could use coins and card payments through a ‘tap and go’ system.

The software was also available for the machines to be compatible with the app Cllr McHugh had suggested, which was in operation in Limerick, Tipperary and other local authority areas.

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