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Connacht Tribune

Galway householders lead the way on recycling

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Galway achieved a 70 per cent recycling rate on a shoestring budget – because householders had the vision to show both politicians and local authority managers what was possible.

That’s what Deputy Catherine Connolly told the Dail last week in her contribution to the heated debate on pay-per-weight refuse charges.

BY TIM RYAN

She said that it was the people who made the difference in Galway – not the charges or the Council or any regulation of the market.

“The people of Galway showed politicians and, more importantly, management what was possible. They led us by the nose,” she said.

“When we were told by engineers, whose reports cost millions of euros, that we could not achieve zero waste and that we could only get to 45% recycling, we reached 70% recycling on a shoestring budget on a pilot project. On an ongoing basis, we diverted 56% from landfill on a shoestring budget.

“The people said: ‘We are not passive consumers, we are not people to be told, we will tell you, we want to be part of society, we know how important it is’, and they led the way. What happened? The service was privatised under Government policy,” she added.

Deputy Connolly said that Minister Denis Naughten should “stop insulting us, telling us about fake news, stating that the market is the only way forward and indicating that he is being forced to regulate a market that, of its nature, cannot be regulated.”

Some services are essential, she said.

“They are essential for any civilised, democratic society. We should not seek to divide and conquer on these issues and we should not seek to distinguish the poor people and those who need incontinence sheets from those who do not. This is an essential service. If the Minister does not accept that, perhaps he might consider what was done in Galway, a matter to which I have referred ad nauseam in this House since I was elected,” said the Galway West TD

Minister of State Seán Kyne told the House that twelve months ago, there was a plan to introduce pay-by-weight per kilogram as the only pricing model which would be available to customers of household waste collection.

This caused some concern as it appeared that certain collectors were using the new initiative as an opportunity to increase prices and the Government made a decision not to introduce pay-by-weight at that time.

“A voluntary agreement was reached with waste operators to hold the current prices and plans for twelve months,” he said.

“The potential introduction of pay-by-weight was to be reviewed to inform decisions in regard to the charging arrangements beyond July 1 2017.”

The Government has decided to proceed with a new framework that will give waste collectors the flexibility to continue to offer, or to introduce, a range of incentivised pricing options which encourage householders to reduce and separate their waste while choosing the service price offering that best suits their circumstances and allows them to manage their costs, he said.

These options include elements or combinations of per lift, per kilogramme, weight bands, weight allowances and standing charges. This offers the widest choice to consumers to help them manage their costs.

“Approximately half of households are already on these types of offerings, so the public is familiar with these options,” he added.

An annual support of €75 will be introduced for persons with lifelong or long-term medical incontinence, he said. This will help people meet the average annual cost of disposal of incontinence products.

The details and arrangements of this support will be finalised later this year after further consultation with the stakeholder groups.

Connacht Tribune

Time and history conferred character on this home

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The Hermitage, Ballymoe: on the market with a €425,000 guide price.

The Hermitage at Lisnageeragh, Ballymoe is a property on which time and history has conferred a character that no new property could mirror.

Overlooking 16.3 acres of rolling green fields which are included in the sale, this is indeed a unique house and comes to market with charming well maintained stone buildings. These could provide further family accommodation, holiday rentals or craft studios.

The front hall has a beautiful, curved window and leads to two reception rooms on either side of the house. The sitting room has an open fireplace with a black cast iron surround and wooden floors which gleam from years of care and reflect the light coming from two large windows. To the right-hand side, the dining room also has an attractive bay window and an oil-fired stove and it is indeed the perfect social /entertaining space.

To the rear of the house the kitchen is a classic example of a successful marriage of the old and the new. Bespoke shaker style units combine perfectly with modern recessed lighting, attractive tiling and includes a pantry area to one side. A good-sized bedroom and adjacent bathroom complete the downstairs of the main house.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms one of which has an en suite shower. The main bedroom is a delightful space which leads to another small room, a perfect nursery or walk in wardrobe.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

A time when we learned once more that no man is an island

Francis Farragher

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Country singer Dolly Parton getting the jab: she sang about it and part-funded research on the vaccine.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of the oft-repeated pub jokes whenever the price drink was increased, whether it by Finance Ministers or publicans who felt that their margins were being whittled away, was that: “As long as it doesn’t get scarce, we’ll be happy enough.”

Who could have believed though in the first month or two of 2020 that this scenario would unfold (at least in pubs), where the opportunity to meet friends – and the odd ‘auld enemy’ too – over a couple of pints in the local bar would be snatched away from us?

We probably have learned to adapt to the reality of the pandemic and most of us will remember the real sense of fear and constriction that pervaded our every word and action early last year.

2020 was the universal version of ‘annus horribilis’ – the term made famous by Queen Elizabeth in 1992 when royal marriages started to collapse like cards houses in the breeze.

Being of rural stock, I loved the little video earlier this from country music icon, Dolly Parton, who adapted a verse of her famous Jolene song to mark her first shot of the Moderna vaccine (she also donated $1 million to its research) in a very sincere effort to try and encourage the general public to get inoculated.

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

I’m begging of you not to hesitate,

Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

Cause when you’re dead that’s a bit too late.”

A year before that, times were indeed very strange across Ireland and indeed the world. I remember on the Sunday night before St. Patrick’s Day when a sense of incredulity greeted the news in my own local that ‘a lot of the pubs in Galway city were closing down’. Surely, this couldn’t happen in our own little watering hole in the sticks, but it did.

Michael Karmen’s soundtrack from the Band of Brothers series – a wonder piece of music even to my untrained ear – will always remind me of that early Spring period of lockdown in 2020.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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€4.5m worth of property sold during online event

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This detached house at Seacrest in Knocknacarra attracted a "staggering" level of interest.

More than €4.5 million worth of sales were recorded at the O’Donnellan & Joyce auction last week, where 350 people had pre-registered to bid on the 40 properties which went under the hammer.

80% of the properties sold during the auction or following negotiations immediately afterwards.

Among the properties sold at the auction were:

106 Seacrest, Knocknacarra, Galway. Guiding at €250,000 due to the extent of renovation and upgrade works required, the auctioneers were staggered at the level of interest in this 4-bed detached house.

Siobhra Hennessy, Senior Auction Co-Ordinator, said: “There is an increasing demand for city centre homes in need of repair. Couples want to put their own stamp on a property and often look for properties similar to this.”

Bidding commenced at €250,000 but quickly rose to over €350,000. After intense bidding from a number of internet and telephone bidders, the sale price of €364,000 was reached and the deal was done.

192 Bohermore, Galway. A 2-bed terraced house which attracted great attention, with many enquiries and bidders pre-registering. The house needs complete restoration and modernisation works but obviously appealed to a wide audience. It guided at €120,000, but sold for €179,000, despite the great amount of work required. Again, this is an example of a near-derelict building that offered great potential.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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