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Galway farmers among the stars of new ‘behind the scenes’ series

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Caltra farmer Shane Conway – who combines life on the land with the demands of a PhD in NUI Galway – will join his father Liam as stars of a new behind-the-scenes farming series, which will broadcast on UTV Ireland this January.

Rare Breed provides an in-depth look into the successes and struggles of farming life in Ireland, throughout a calendar year.

A total of 21 farmers across the country are taking part in the series, which gives a unique insight into all aspects of farming life and practices – from beef, dairy, horse and poultry farms, to vegetable, pig and even Christmas tree farms.

Launched by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, Rare Breed is a 12-part series which follows the lives of farmers across Munster, Leinster, Connacht and Ulster. The series will begin on UTV Ireland in January 2015.

Shane splits his time between his studies at NUI Galway where he is undertaking a PHD involving the Intergenerational Transfer of the Irish Family Farm and the farm that he runs with his dad Liam in Caltra in Ballinasloe. They run a pedigree Charlollais sheep and cattle farm.

In the January series Shane and Liam are lambing their pedigree Charollais sheep during a bitter Irish winter.

Reflecting on his participation, Shane said it was an excellent opportunity to showcase their livestock in the public domain and ‘illustrate to the people of Ireland just how much time and effort actually goes into the farming occupation, particularly from a pedigree breeding perspective’.

“Farming is a 365 day a year occupation and to be honest you have to be even ‘on call’ 24/7 during calving and lambing time! There is no switching off, rain, sleet or snow we battle through the elements to bring food to people’s tables.

“Growing up on a farm has instilled in me a strong work ethic for which I am very grateful to my mother and father. Indeed this is also the case for all my siblings as it has always been an entire family effort.

“Farming is in our blood. On our farm, we are constantly striving to improve the quality of our livestock year after year, we enjoy the challenge. There is also great deal of satisfaction caring for your animals and seeing them grow and evolve throughout their lifetime. At the end of the day farming is a way of life, not just a job,” he said.

“Coming from a farming background, I am delighted to announce Rare Breed as part of UTV Ireland’s schedule. Ireland’s agriculture and food industry is revered, but very few consumers know what a typical day-in-the-life of a farming family involves,” said Michael Wilson, UTV Ireland Managing Director.

“Rare Breed is about giving people an access-all-areas pass to one of Ireland’s biggest industries – on farms both big and small. The series also documents the intriguing contrasts between well-established farmers and the more tech-savvy farmers beginning their careers in the agri-sector,” he added.

“I am always fascinated and inspired by the level of commitment and dedication shown by Ireland’s farming community – particularly when you see our local produce displayed on supermarket shelves, across the world,” added Kelda Crawford McCann, Producer of Rare Breed.

“This is the biggest series of Rare Breed we have filmed to date. Our cameras have been out in all conditions as farmers worked through torrential rain and beaming sun all around the country. The results have been outstanding and the finished product will be a heart-warming, family programme,” she added.

Rare Breed – A Farming Year begins on UTV Ireland next Monday, January 5, at 8pm.

CITY TRIBUNE

Garda chief suggests closing Eyre Square to curb anti-social behaviour

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Closing Eyre Square at night-time was among the radical suggestions put forward by Galway’s top Garda this week – in response to claims that the city centre’s famous landmark had become a ‘no-go area’ after dark.

It comes as Gardaí confirmed that since January they issued almost 500 fines for breaches of the city’s alcohol bylaws, which prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public spaces.

Responding to claims that people were afraid to visit parts of the city centre at night due to anti-social behaviour, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said that the authorities might have to look at closing Eyre Square at certain times.

Chief Supt Curley also said that improved lighting and better CCTV were other tools that could be used to deter anti-social behaviour and to detect crime in the city centre.

“I’d need another five officers in there – and I haven’t got them,” said Chief Supt Curley of the requirement for more Gardaí on patrol in Eyre Square.

He was responding to a charge by former mayor of Galway, Councillor Frank Fahy, who said Eyre Square was dangerous at night. “It’s a no-go area,” he said at a City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting this week.

Cllr Fahy said that the illegal activity and anti-social behaviour in the city centre was a product of the Covid-19 pandemic and people socialising outdoors. Eyre Square was safe pre-Covid, he said.

In a written reply to the JPC, Chief Supt Curley said that anti-social behaviour issues had been ‘de-escalated’ along the city’s canals, Woodquay and Spanish Arch ‘as a result of extra Garda patrols’.

“The resulting consequences have led to crowd movement from these areas (and they) are now congregating at Eyre Square. Garda attention is concentrated on Eyre Square, however the return of students and the continued restrictions has led to increased numbers,” he said.

(Photo: a scene from Eyre Square at night this week taken from a video circulated on social media)

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

Tourists duped in Galway City rental accommodation scam

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have issued another ‘beware’ warning in relation to scammers offering fictitious properties to rent in the city area.

The advice comes after a report of a several separate tourists from overseas calling to a house in Shantalla over recent weeks, thinking that they had booked rental accommodation.

It is understood that the fake rental offer had been made through a booking website, but it turned out to be a scam with the tourists having ‘parted’ weeks earlier with a deposit of several hundred euro.

Galway Garda Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Michael Walsh, said that such rental scams were an ongoing reality in relation to the accommodation sector, especially in cities like Galway with huge rental markets for long-term and short-term lets.

He said that the first pieces of advice for anyone seeking to rent a property was to only do business with an established bona-fide rental agency and to always meet the prospective landlord in the accommodation to be rented.

Sgt Walsh said that the scammers also tended to be more active at times of the year when accommodation was in major demand as in the late-Summer/early-Autumn period as students returned to third level colleges.

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

‘Unquantified amounts’ of raw sewage flowing to Galway Bay

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Unquantified amounts of raw sewage will continue to flow into the sea at Long Walk until next year at least, the authorities have conceded.

Irish Water (IW) and Galway City Council confirmed they plan to install a sensor at the outfall, which takes all of the foul sewage from the east side of the city and Oranmore.

This will measure the amount of sewage flowing into the bay, and the frequency of ‘overflow events’.

They also plan to repair a leak in the overflow pipe “early next year”.

“It is envisaged that these works will reduce the frequency of the overflows in the future and the event monitor will enable us to quantify the activation of this chamber,” the City Council said.

Remedial works were carried out by contractors for the local authority and IW in June of this year when a new tide-flex valve was fitted, which prevents tidal water entering while allowing flows from the chamber.

This followed surveys and inspections in June and November last year. But the problem of raw sewage flowing into the city’s most picturesque area persists.

The issue – highlighted in the Galway City Tribune on a number of occasions – came to the fore again this week after drone footage was shared online showing sewage flowing out into the Corrib.

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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