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Galway punching above its weight in attracting jobs

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Galway is punching above its weight in terms of attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which results in job creation, according figures supplied by the Industrial Development Agency (IDA).

As expected, Cork and Dublin are way out in front in terms of the numbers of IDA-supported foreign companies that chose to visit those cities with a view to setting up a base in Ireland.

And Cork and Dublin are streets ahead in terms of the numbers of jobs created by IDA-supported foreign companies, compared to all other counties.

But Galway is the ‘next best’, and has fared far better than the likes of Limerick and Waterford in terms of the numbers of jobs created here last year.

Galway’s good level of job creation from IDA companies comes despite both Limerick and Waterford having been visited by executives from foreign companies who are on official recognisance visits to the country last year.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton confirmed that there were just 18 IDA-sponsored visits to Galway in 2012 compared with 38 visits to Cork, 196 visits to Dublin, 30 visits to Limerick and 26 visits to Waterford.

But, despite the relatively low levels of visits, the level of job creation in Galway in the same year was quite high and shows that the return on jobs to official visits ratio is remarkable.

In 2012, some 859 new jobs that were IDA supported were created in Galway, which is more than double the amount of Limerick (400) and many multiples of the 75 jobs created in Waterford.

It was nowhere near as many as Dublin (6,389 jobs in 2012), or Cork, which won 1,979.

In contrast to the 18 visits to Galway by potential investors last year, counties Leitrim, Longford, Meath, Monaghan, Roscommon, between them, received nil visits in 2012.

The figures show that Galway consistently outperformed Limerick and Waterford in terms of IDA-supported jobs creation. In 2011, for example, Galway won 1,047 IDA-supported jobs while Limerick got just 233 in the same year and Waterford only got 72.

Connacht Tribune

Confusion reigns – but publicans continue serving pints outdoors

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Galway City publicans continued this week to serve alcohol in newly created on-street outdoor dining sections – despite warnings from Gardaí that it was against licensing laws.

The local branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) said it is hoping Government will, if necessary, introduce legislation that facilitates pubs serving alcohol in public spaces reclaimed for outdoor hospitality.

On Friday last, our sister newspaper, Galway City Tribune revealed that Gardaí had visited a number of city pubs warning they were not legally permitted to serve alcohol outdoors in temporary on-street seating areas created by Galway City Council.

Publicans were told that if they continued to flout the rules, files would be sent to the DPP.

When the crux subsequently hit the national headlines, Justice Minister Heather Humphreys urged Gardaí to ‘use their discretion’.

“The overwhelming majority of licensed premises are operating safely, and we in Government are determined to continue to support them. If local issues arise, I would urge local authorities, Gardaí and businesses to engage.

“However, I will also examine whether further measures are required from Government. Licensing law is a complex area but I have spoken to the Attorney General this morning and we will take further action if necessary,” Minister Humphreys said.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Apple plans second bite at Athenry data centre

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An artist's impression of the proposed Apple Data Centre.

Apple intends to have another bite at plans to build a data centre in Athenry.  Apple Operations Europe has applied to Galway County Council for more time to construct a controversial data centre on a greenfield site at Derrydonnell.

The company said it will identify “interested parties to develop the project” between now and 2026 to meet global growth in demand for data storage facilities.

It will spark hope in the County Galway town of a revival of the €850 million project that was dogged for years by planning delays and court appeals and was subsequently shelved. It may also attract fresh objections.

The world’s largest technology company was granted planning permission to build a €850 million data centre near Athenry in 2015.

An appeal to An Bórd Pleanála by a handful of local residents was not successful, and the planning appeals board confirmed the local authority’s decision in 2016.

But the company ultimately aborted its plans for County Galway in 2018 after three objectors sought a review of the decision through the courts.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Mum’s dream holiday turns to nightmare after cancer diagnosis

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Julia McAndrew, in hospital in Mexico.

A mother who went to Mexico on a dream holiday to spend Christmas with family is too weak to return home after being diagnosed with advanced cancer.

From the minute Julia McAndrew landed in the South American country, her health took a major downward spiral.

Her son and daughter were shocked when she asked for a wheelchair to make it through the airport.

She and daughter Eliska had flown out to see her son Patrick, who had relocated to Mexico to run an online learning business.

They initially thought she had fallen ill due to the rigours of a 22-hour, multi-stop flight.

But when her stomach problems did not improve and she began to lose a lot of weight and suffered from very low energy, they sought medical help.

This had to be done privately and without the financial help of an insurance company, Patrick reveals.

She was initially diagnosed with anaemia and kidney failure and underwent various treatments, including blood transfusions that appeared to be working.

But three weeks ago, medics discovered that what she had was Stage 4 breast cancer. Julia had cancer a decade ago but was given the all-clear after receiving treatment and a major change in lifestyle.

“It’s returned with a vengeance this time around. It’s spread to her pelvis, ribs and lungs,” reflects Patrick.

The cost of the treatment is $40,000 (€33,000) a month. Her family are hoping to build up her strength enough to endure the long flight home to Oranmore.

They have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise €280,000 to pay for her treatment and in less than a week a phenomenal €36,000 has been donated.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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