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Galway teen hits the right note in Youth Orchestra

Declan Tierney

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A North Galway teenager has beaten off some stiff completion to earn her a place on the National Youth Orchestra.

It is a dream come true for 17-year-old Ciara Fahy from Abbeyknockmoy who plays the viola and is now preparing for a tour that could take her to various parts of Europe and America.

But Ciara is also an accomplished piano player and said that she was delighted to be part of the concert orchestra and expected to be performing for the first time over the Christmas period.

She was chosen from more than 250 viola players that took part in the audition but she is not sure that a career in music is the route she wants to take in life – but she is not ruling it out.

Ciara is a past pupil of Presentation College in Tuam, Holy Rosary in Mountbellew and is currently studying in Yeats College in Galway. She has not mapped out a career for herself as yet but certainly music will never be far away.

For the past five years she has been playing the viola and loves the instrument. She came across auditions for the 90-member National Youth Orchestra and decided to give it a go and it proved very successful.

She will now be performing a number of concerts in the National Concert Hall as well as possibly touring outside the country.

Ciara is the eldest daughter of Frank and Karen Fahy. Frank is a Garda based in Tuam while Karen has her own chiropodist business in Claregalway.

Ciara has two younger sisters Niamh (14) and Caoimhe (10) who are also both fanatical about the piano and viola.

She said that she had received texts and emails from friends and relations following the revelation that she had made it onto the orchestra and was looking forward to the year ahead.

“We are all bursting with pride. It is a great achievement and we will give Ciara all the encouragement she needs. We can’t wait to see her performing at this level,” said her father Frank.

Ciara thanked the huge influence provided by Hugh Kelly in the music school in Galway city where she attends but she is still not sure if it is a career in which she will pursue. She is keeping her options open, however.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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