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Galway housing crisis grows as waiting list hits 6,000

Declan Tierney

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There are as many as 6,000 applicants on the waiting list for houses across Galway city and county – and it is taking seven months to fill vacant houses when they become available.

A combination of mortgage debt, social welfare cuts and escalating rents have been blamed for the huge number on the housing waiting list.

And a call has been made for a special task force to be established with Galway County Council that will accelerate the transfer of NAMA property units for social housing.

Fianna Fail candidate Donagh Killilea said that the waiting list had spiralled out of control and there was too much of a reliance on private rented property.

Mr. Killilea is a candidate in the Tuam electoral district in the May local elections and believes that the housing crisis could even worsen over the coming months.

He said that when local authority houses become vacant, it takes seven months turnaround time before they are rented again.

 

“The woefully slow pace of property transfers from NAMA is testament to the failure of Local Authorities to prioritise the issue and provide sufficient support to voluntary housing associations and local authorities. 

“I also believe that the council’s both city and counties over-reliance on private rented property will soon blow up in its face. There should be no mistake about the fact that banks will call in the debt on many investment properties which are currently in private ownership. When that blows up, God only knows what point the waiting list figures will reach.

“Local Authorities have failed to put any flesh on the bones of its lofty 2011 housing strategy.  Instead, we have had re-heated policy announcements and a failure to launch capital investment or help voluntary housing associations to finance projects.

“In Galway, applicants are being told their assessments will take three to five years before they even get to approval stage. The lack of staffing within the councils is pathetic and there is too much pressure on local area housing officers”, Mr. Killilea said.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones

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These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.

But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.

If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.

CONNACHT TRIBUNE OBITUARY TRIBUTE

All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.

You can email that with a photograph to us, to news@ctribune.ie or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.

We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.

This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances.  You can contact our team for further details at salesadmin@ctribune.ie

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CITY TRIBUNE

WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!

Enda Cunningham

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Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.

A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.

Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.

Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down. 

The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.

Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.

However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.

“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.

Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.

“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.

There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
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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