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Connacht Tribune

Galway Rally will run on original route despite protest

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Efforts to prevent a stage of this weekend’s Galway International Rally from taking place in rural parts of the north of the county failed to materialise – despite suggestions that the application for road closures was not properly dealt with.

Members of Galway County Council received an email from a resident in Kilconly claiming that those living in the greater Caherlistrane area were not consulted but this was firmly rejected by senior officials of the authority.

In fact the same resident was in attendance at this week’s meeting of Galway County Council where he heard members speaking highly of the rally and the excitement that in generates each year.

And Director of Services Michael Timmins informed the meeting that an application was received by Galway County Council last December for a temporary road closure licence.

He said that the Council gave serious consideration to the application. “We weighed it up and then took the decision to sign the order for the temporary road closure,” he explained to members.

Mr Timmins added that they complied with all of the procedures relating to a temporary road closure. He said that there are very strict conditions attached to the road closure licence and these mainly relate to insurance issues.

Over the weekend members received emails from resident Sean Maguire from Clonbar, Kilconly claiming that the rally would take place along a dangerous stretch of road and would be doing so without consent. In one of his emails, he stated: “Very sad state of affairs for Irish people to be abused and ignored”.

In another email to a councillor, Mr Maguire said that it was his intention to stop what he described as “an illegal rally” outside his home. He also stated that the rally would not pass his home.

The matter was raised in the Council chamber on Monday by Cllr Donagh Killilea who said that he was contacted by the householder. Cllr Killilea asked if a licence was granted, when it was granted, if there were objectors and if they were replied to.

But the Fianna Fail councillor added that he made contact with a number of residents whose houses will be passed by the rally and all confirmed that they had been contacted by the Galway Motor Club who organise the event.

Cllr Pete Roche said that he was also the recipient of an email and, out of courtesy, he inquired to determine the nature of the complaint. He said that he received an email back advising him to ring a Dublin number, which he refused to do.

At this stage in the debate, the householder attempted to intervene by trying to explain the Dublin number but he was told firmly by officials that he could not contribute to the debate.

Kinvara’s Cllr Joe Byrne said that he too received the email but said that he had no idea who it was from or what it was about. He added that the tone of the email was vexatious.

He went on to say that the rally adds vibrancy to the county. His only complaint related to the amount of rubbish that is left behind by spectators of the rally and that this was something that should be addressed by the organisers.

Caherlistrane resident, Cllr Billy Connelly recalled the rally coming through the area around ten years ago and there was no problem and residents did not object.

“In my own area there are around 40 or 50 houses affected. But I can assure you that if the number is 50 then 49 have no problem with the rally. Those involved in the Motor Club called to each one of us and provided us with an emergency number in the event of something happening that required the roads to be reopened,” Cllr Connelly said.

He said that 99% of those living from Queally’s Pub in Caherlistrane to Kilconly were supportive of the rally which will take place in that particular part of the county on Sunday.

Connacht Tribune

Free House provides a launch pad for Galway’s musical talent

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Turnstiles...providing a launching pad for themselves and others.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Back in the summer of 2019, a series of ticket-free, DIY gigs took place in a packed-out Club Áras na nGael on Dominick Street. Dubbed Free House, the nights breathed life into Galway’s local music scene and raised the profile of the featured acts – as well as that of the venue itself.

It began as a vehicle for punk four-piece Turnstiles who – largely through bass player Jake Tiernan – curated and performed in the events and, as they went from the strength to strength, so too did the project.

Now, as venues prepare to welcome fully-fledged gigs back, Free House is returning, with Jake and Turnstiles’ drummer Luke Mulliez facilitating the project.

Beginning this Friday with two surprise bands back in Áras na nGael, the plan is to stage an event every two weeks.

When they first occurred, the gigs were defined by their inclusivity as much as the quality of the acts that performed. It was all manner of artist in a venue that could host any type of gig-goer. The challenge now is to cultivate the same atmosphere in an ever-changing environment.

“I’ve had this fear that, even for the next year, everything is going to have to be super regulated and what was good about those gigs was that everything was unregulated,” Jake admits.

“The furthest I can see restrictions going is a capacity limit so if they say ‘a hundred people max’ then that’s fine. We could have a hundred free tickets and I think we could get the same atmosphere.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Connacht Tribune

One half of Hollywood’s golden couple sings Galway’s praises after trip

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Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello and his chihuahua Bubbles, with Fergus Lally of Galway’s Celtic Chauffeurs at the Cliffs of Moher.

He may be married to the highest paid actress in the world, but that did not stop Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello savouring the best that Galway had to offer – hailing the people, the cheese, chocolate and salmon during his trip west.

The American actor, who played stripper Big Dick Richie in Steven Soderbergh’s box office hit Magic Mike, was not joined by Modern Family’s Sofía Vergara until a week later on his trip around Cork.

But he did ring his wife of six years in the US while exploring the countryside of south Galway and Clare with guide, Fergus Lally, who had picked him and his chihuahua Bubbles up from the Glenlo Abbey Hotel in Bushypark on the city’s edge.

“I had a great time with him. I brought him to the Cliffs of Moher and along the way we stopped off at the Hazel Mountain Chocolate factory, the cheese shop at the Aillwee Caves and he had a tasting at the Burren Smoke House in Lisdoonvarna,” reveals Fergus.

“He had an amazing time tasting all the foods. The back of the car was full – everybody did well out of him. He was blown away with the places I brought him. He loved the history of the Corcomroe Abbey and Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara. He was a great guy. I was delighted to drive him. The two of us just clicked.”

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

Mini pause proves there are no easy routes to recovery

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Melbourne...continuous lockdown for most of the past two years.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

You think we have it bad this week – what with the delay in a full reopening?  You could be living in Melbourne. The city with a population of five million has been under almost continuous lockdown for most of the past two years.

Since March 2020, there have been 262 days of lockdown in Melbourne, across six periods where people’s movements were incredibly restricted. That included curfews between 9pm and 5am.

Australia and New Zealand were two of only a handful of countries in the world which pursued elimination, rather than containment, strategies with the virus, or Zero Covid as it was called.

For a long time, it seemed like the correct strategy, the one setting the standard. Both countries clamped down hard with very restrictive lockdowns and effectively closed their borders.

They threw all their resources into testing, contact tracing and even testing the wastewater. Those who were identified as cases and close contacts were isolated. The countries also introduced mandatory hotel quarantine.

And it was very effective; when the Alpha (Essex) strain hit Ireland and other countries in December and January, both countries were fully open and enjoying unrestricted access to stadiums, hotels, restaurants, schools. Anytime, there was the hint of an outbreak strict local and regional lockdowns were imposed, some for several weeks, some for longer.

Sure, there were long and severe lockdowns. But there was also a lot of freedom, over 450 days without restrictions.

The strategy only worked if you cut off the country completely from all other countries in the world. New Zealand, for example, did that because it did not have sufficient capacity to deal with the kind of crisis China and Italy had faced, when people died because they could not be intubated, or there were not enough ventilators to go around.

There were downsides. The cost, for one, was exceptionally high. It meant a huge diminution in people’s personal rights. Limited availability in mandatory quarantine hotels meant a lot of New Zealanders and Australians living abroad were prevented from returning home.

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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