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Galway lags well behind east coast when it comes to spending power

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The full extent of the economic bias in favour of Dublin versus the West of Ireland is laid bare in a new report that reveals shocking disparities in the levels of disposable incomes of people in the capital compared with Galway and Mayo. 

 

Startling CSO figures sheer scale of the economic disparity between Dublin and the West – they suggest the gap between the rich in Dublin and the poor in Galway and the wider West is growing. 

Disposable income per person in Dublin is just under €21,600 in Dublin compared with just over €19,000 in County Galway.

The results of the Regional Quality of Life in Ireland report published this week, underlines the failure of successive Government’s regional and spatial strategies, according to Ireland West MEP, Marian Harkin.

She said Galway and the BMW (Border/Midland/West) region continues to lag behind Dublin in terms of economic development, and that the gap between the West and the rest certainly hasn’t narrowed, and has widened in certain instances.

Another shocking economic indicator in the report that shows the glaringly obvious discrimination against Galway and the west, is the GDP indicator: The State index for GDP is 100 and the West is at 79.6 while Dublin is at 152.4.

“What that is telling is you is that the wealth is generated to a far greater extent in Dublin and that has a knock-on effect on business and the quality of life in people in the West,” said Ms Harkin, who cut her teeth politically championing balanced regional development.

“I have to be honest, we are never going to have each region develop equally but in order for the entire country to develop each region has to be supported and encouraged to flourish and that’s not happening . . . the gap hasn’t narrowed and probably has widened,” she said.

Ms Harkin said the consequences of disposable income levels in County Galway of €2,500 less than Dublin, has huge consequences for local businesses. “What do these figures mean?

In practical terms it means that people in Galway have less money to spend, so their quality of life is poorer and they’re struggling more. That has a knock-on effect on local shops and local businesses and puts further pressure on them . . . and it has implications then for rural life and particularly of small towns and villages in Galway and Mayo,” she said.

Ms Harkin said that Galway City is a catalyst for growth and development but even with the city attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the West still lags way behind the East and Dublin.

“Galway City is the best of the west but even still it’s not lifting all boats. We don’t get a breakdown between city and county but you can safely assume that disposable income levels in County Galway are lower again compared with Dublin.”

 

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Planners approve homes for ‘cuckoo fund’ investor

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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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