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Galway Port faces terminal decline

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A vision of the Galway Harbour of the future.

Grim predictions that Galway Harbour could go into a terminal decline unless a proposed €126 million redevelopment goes ahead were heard during the second week of a full oral hearing into the project.

The Harbour Master, Brian Sheridan, said Galway Harbour Company was advised as far back as October 2000 that trade would go into decline over 25 years without a process of relocating and upgrading.

“The operation of the harbour as it currently exists has become increasingly difficult over the past decade,” he said.

“This is largely due to the size of ships now calling at Galway. On a number of occasions, I have had to deny access of ships which I considered too large for the port as the risk to the marine environment and public safety was too great.”

Captain Sheridan said the proposed relocation of an oil jetty would resolve risk and related planning issues. “For reasons of public health and safety, the relocation of the commercial business is imperative,” he told the hearing.

He recalled a fire which occurred on a fishing boat in April of last year. The blaze effectively brought the city “to a standstill” for five and a half hours. He said it was imperative that the oil discharge jetty be relocated further away from the city centre.

The CEO of Galway Harbour, Eamon Bradshaw, told the An Bord Pleanála hearing that ships are sometimes left sitting off Mutton Island for long periods because the current port was effectively only open for four hours in any 24 hour cycle.

He pointed out that the new National Ports Policy identified the harbour as a strategic regional hub for petroleum, while its current location close to the city centre limited its potential for further expansion. The proposed redevelopment will allow the port to accommodate cruise ships.

Mr Bradshaw said the board of Galway Harbour was obliged to look at the future of the port as a commercial entity capable of servicing the western region.

“The alternative was to see the port decline and with it the possible disappearance of a tradition of commercial trading from Galway going back over a 1,000 years,” he told the hearing.

Public representatives also spoke in support of the project. Deputy Noel Grealish (Independent) said the redevelopment would give hope to the people of the region. He criticised the Shannon Foynes Port Company for objecting to the Galway development.

“Foynes seem to think they have a God-given right to take all the business from Donegal down to Kerry,” he said. “The Foynes objection to Galway Port is without any sound basis and solely based on their own financial considerations.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

 

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill as event confirmed

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill this weekend as an event has been announced for Sunday.

It’s been confirmed by organisers on social media – who say they’re being unfairly portrayed in a negative light.

In a statement, the Galway Car Scene group say they pay road tax like all other road users – and they have “every right” to be in Salthill this weekend.

It comes as they’ve confirmed the event will be taking place there on Sunday as originally planned.

They add it’s unfair to accuse them of blocking up Salthill and other parts of the city given the chronic traffic issues every day of the week.

They’ve also created an online petition calling for a designated place for car enthusiasts to go – which has so far gathered almost 250 signatures.

It claims the car enthusiast community in Galway has been unfairly painted as a negative and anti-social group.

The group say they’re happy to go elsewhere, but say any time they try to find a venue they’re shut out.

The event planned for Sunday has encountered significant opposition, much of which is based on a previous “Salthill Sundays” event held in May.

Those opposed say they’re not against an event of this kind in principle – but they strongly feel that Salthill just isn’t the right venue.

It’s also argued that if the organisers want to be taken seriously, they have to engage with stakeholders like Galway City Council and Gardaí to ensure a well-planned and safe event.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cars down to one-way system on Salthill Promenade

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A one-way system of traffic may be introduced along the Promenade in Salthill to facilitate the introduction of temporary cycle lanes.

The suggestion appeared to come as a shock to some City Council members who supported the cycle lane in a vote last month – one has called for a “full discussion again” on what exactly they had actually approved.

Councillors had voted 17-1 in favour of the principle of providing a cycleway that will stretch from Grattan Road all along the Prom.

The motion that passed at the September meeting proposed that the Council “shall urgently seek” to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of the Prom.

It was agreed that from the Blackrock Tower junction to the Barna Road would be a one-way cycle track.

The motion was voted on without debate, which meant Council officials did not have an opportunity to question the proposal.

At a meeting on Monday, the debate was revisited when Uinsinn Finn, Director of Services for Transportation, indicated that a one-way traffic system would be introduced in Salthill to facilitate a two-way cycle lane from Grattan Road to Blackrock.

This could mean that the outbound lane of traffic, closest to the sea, could be closed to all traffic bar bikes.

Mr Finn said that he would have sought clarity at the previous meeting – if debate were allowed – about what was meant by ‘temporary’.

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 Christmas Market gets go-ahead for next month

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s the first real sign of a restoration of normality in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors in the city – the return of the Christmas Market next month to Eyre Square.

This week, the City Council’s planning department gave the go-ahead for the outdoor retail and gourmet food ‘spread’ that has been part of the festive season in Galway since 2010.

The exception was last year when, like so many other public gatherings since the Covid crisis broke in March 2020, the event had to be cancelled because of public health concerns.

Christmas Market Organiser, Maria Moynihan Lee, Managing Director of Milestone Inventive, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that she had received official confirmation on Thursday from the City Council of the go-ahead being given for the event.

“This is really wonderful news for the city and especially so in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors. For every €1 spent at the market another €3 will be spent on the high street – this will be a real boost for Galway,” she said.

Maria Moynihan Lee confirmed that the market would have an earlier than usual start of Friday, November 12 and would run through until the Wednesday evening of December 22.

(Photo: Declan Colohan)

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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