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Galway Hospice €1.5 milion expansion plan



Galway Hospice €1.5m expansion plan

Plans for a €1.5 million six-bed extension to Galway Hospice – bringing the total number of beds at the palliative care facility to 18 – have been lodged with city planning officials.

And management at the hospice will decide in the coming months on the suitability of a site in the Merlin Park/Doughiska area for a purpose-built long-term facility with up to 26 beds, and space for an additional 26.

Planning permission has been sought a one and two-storey extension to the existing building for extra bedrooms and communal areas, and a courtyard extension.

The plans also include a new entrance off the existing junction off Michael Collins Road. If approved, the extension could be completed within twelve months.

Chief Executive Sean O’Healy told the Galway City Tribune that the hospice has funding for the construction plan – including the new access – and that the HSE has committed to fund the operational costs, but there is no formal agreement on a figure.

“We really need the extra beds because of the huge demand. We have enough funding in place, but it will seriously challenge us to buy the land (for the long-term new hospice plan.

“We have no other choice, our long-term plan would be a new [hospice on a woodland site of up to ten acres], and we hope to find a compatible use for the existing building in the future. We would like to hold on to what we’ve got. We’re very conscious of the fact that people have put a lot of money into the hospice, and we’d like to keep the building,” said Mr O’Healy.

At the moment preliminary ground tests and planning enquiries are underway for the proposed new site.

It’s understood that an entirely new facility – ‘future-proofed’ with space for up to 52 beds on a site of up to ten acres – could be ‘bought and built’ for around €10m to €12m.

Local Fine Gael TD Brian Walsh – who has been involved in negotiations to secure funding for the hospice from Government – told the Connacht Tribune: “It hasn’t been easy but we’ve overcome each challenge as it arose, and the submission of the planning application is an important milestone that puts us within reach of our goal.

“Galway Hospice has long been a paragon of palliative care in the community and thousands of people in the West have been touched by incredible services it provides.

“We’ve worked very hard to secure support for this cause at the highest level, and I’m confident that this is one of the final steps in ensuring that the organisation gets the support and recognition from government that it deserves,” said Deputy Walsh.

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area



A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

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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Planners approve homes for ‘cuckoo fund’ investor



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The green light has been given for the construction of 345 apartments at the Crown Square site in Mervue – the majority of which will be put on the rental market and operated by a ‘cuckoo fund’ for a minimum of fifteen years.

Crown Square Developments, which is owned by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has secured permission from An Bord Pleanála for the ‘Build to Rent’ development, with four blocks ranging ranging from four to nine storeys in height.

There will also be a neighbourhood facility with a gym, a primary care medical centre with pharmacy, a ‘working from home’ lounge, six shops, a games room and a creche.

There will be 240 two-bed apartments, 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds, all of which will be specifically for the rental market and not available to purchase.

A breakdown of the apartments shows there will be 240 two-beds; 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds.

To meet social housing requirements, the developer plans to transfer 35 of the apartments (20 two-bed, 10 one-bed and 5 three-bed) to Galway City Council.

A total of 138 car-parking spaces have been allocated on the lower basement levels of Crown Square for residents, along with shared access to another 109 spaces and another 13 for use by a ‘car club’. There will be 796 secure bicycle parking spaces to serve the apartments.

The Board has ordered that the apartments can only be used as long-term rentals, and none can be used for short-term lettings.

Under ‘Build to Rent’ guidelines, the development must be owned and operated by an institutional entity for a minimum period of 15 years and “where no individual residential units shall be sold separately for that period”. The 15-year period starts from the date of occupation of the first residential unit.

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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