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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway Harbour to welcome 8,000 from cruise ships this season

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Galway is set for a major tourism boost the Summer when more than 8,000 passengers and crew arrive at Galway Port on seven separate cruise ships.

While the first ship is due in this morning (Friday) at around 11 o’clock with 800 passengers and crew, the biggest of the ships – the Oriana, due in at the end of August – will hold more than 1,900 passengers alone.

And next year’s schedule is even busier, with almost 12,300 passengers and crew due to dock in Galway.

Harbour Master, Captain Brian Sheridan told the Galway City Tribune that the arrival of the cruise ships will be a huge boost for the economy of the city, and for Connemara.

“Never underestimate the impact these people will have on Galway. There are full-day and half-day excursions. Some will go for guided walking tours around the city, have something to eat and drink and do some shopping.

“Others will go to Kylemore Abbey and to Cnoc Suain in Spiddal, where they’ll go into a cottage, learn how to make brown bread, play a penny whistle, experience Irish dancing, then be bussed back to the city and spend the rest of the day shopping.

“Others will go to the Cliffs of Moher and some will hire executive cars and go to Ashford for lunch,” said Capt Sheridan.

Today, Galway’s cruise season begins, with the arrival of Classic International’s ‘Astoria’ – a former ocean liner – weighing more than 16,100 tons and carrying 556 passengers and 240 crew.

Ten days later, on May 29, the 11,000-ton ‘Le Boreal’ from French company Ponant, will dock here with 264 passengers and 140 passengers on board.

On June 11, the ‘Prinsendam’ from Holland-America Line, will stop off in Galway for its fifth year in a row, weighing almost 38,000 tons and carrying 740 passengers and 460 crew.

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
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

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
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

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
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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