Tourist hotspots in the city could face closure at the beginning of the high season with the axing of a hugely successful community employment scheme (CES) which provided manpower to keep them open.
The Galway Civic Trust or Dúchas na Gaillimhe has managed up to 24 long-time unemployed people annually for the past 20 years.
Under the scheme, projects like the Hall of the Red Earl, the Fishery Watchtower Museum and the Circle of Life Garden have been completed and are now open to the public.
It is Dúchas that has withdrawn its sponsorship of the scheme from June 2 citing “increasing risk and the regulatory environment”.
The scheme’s supervisor Caroline McNeill, who now faces redundancy after seven years, said she has been told it is due to concerns about compensation claims.
“We are an exceptional scheme. We are compliant with the Department on every occasion and we get audited twice a year on finances and on the progression of individuals. We had a progression rate of 84% – this year it was 100% as one person left to run a bar and the other set up her own design company,” she explained.
The scheme has trained participants as guides, who then work in the Hall of the Red Earl which last year attracted over 35,000 visitors. The footbridge to the Fishery Watchtower Museum was only completed two years ago at a cost of €15,000 and is only open due to CES staff.
Other work undertaken includes the clean-up of Galway Waterways, the restoration of the stone boat slipway at Woodquay, St Augustine’s Holy Well, Bollingbroke Fort and Tea House Folly at Dangan. In addition, workers have carried out conservation works at Mutton Island Lighthouse and Keepers Cottage, along with maintenance work at the Circle of Life Garden, Salthill.
For the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.
No end in sight for work on junction near Galway Clinic
From the Galway City Tribune – The City Council has declined to set a date for the completion of the Martin roundabout replacement near Galway Clinic – which was due to have opened more than a month ago.
In a statement, the Council would only confirm that the project was over 50 per cent completed.
“The project is now progressing to the surface type works including the installation of roadside kerbs, provision of footpaths and cycle lanes and road surfacing. These elements of the works will progress quite rapidly over the next month and there will be more of an appreciation for the progress on this project and the final layout will start to become apparent,” said a spokesperson.
“Ducting and preparatory works for the traffic signal installation is in progress and installation of the lights themselves will commence once the majority of surface works are complete. The final phase of the works will consist of significant landscaping of the junction.”
Work began on the junction in February, with an expected six-month schedule.
“There have been some delays to the programme as a result of industry-wide, supply-chain issues related to the war in Ukraine. There has also been further delays due to rock being encountered on site.
Rock was expected, however the hardness of the rock has been greater than anticipated and as such, has been slower to break and excavate on site,” according to the Council.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article and to support our journalism, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Galway Docklands Festival set to make a big splash in the city!
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The city’s link to the sea is to be celebrated later this month with the staging of the inaugural Galway Docklands Festival featuring a range of culinary treats, sea tours, demonstrations and talks.
Running from the weekend of Friday, October 21 to Sunday, October 23, the event has the aim of celebrating the city’s bond with the sea and the local waterways network.
Organised by the Galway Hooker Sailing Club, Galway Bay Boat Tours and Galway Bay Seafoods, the spectacle has a packed schedule of events – many of them free – through each of its three days.
The ‘pay events’ – ranging from €5 to €15 – include a coffee morning, beer and seafood sampling as well as an historical boat tour of the Claddagh and Galway Bay (€15).
Boatbuilder Cóilín Ó hIarnáin will be giving free demonstrations of his skills on each of the three days; Ciaran Oliver will give a walking tour of the seafront (€10); while there will also be a free Galway Hooker rigging demonstration.
For the more adventurous, there are supervised powerboard ‘taster spins’ (€10) while for ‘the foodies’ the Galway Bay Seafoods fish’n’chips, the Hooker beer and seafood sampling, as well as the family cooking demonstrations – all priced at €10 each – look set to be big attractions.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Mayor told to stay away from homecoming over funding snub
From the Galway City Tribune – The Mayor of Galway was asked to stay away from homecoming celebrations for extreme adventurer Damian Browne, the Galway City Tribune understands.
Mayor Clodagh Higgins was told that she was not to attend the event at the Docks on Tuesday as there had been disappointment in the ‘Project Empower’ camp that funding had not been made available from Galway City Council.
The Galway City Tribune has learned that Project Empower, which is led by Voluntary Manager MacDara Hosty, applied for €30,000 in funding from the local authority’s Marketing Fund in September 2021, but was deemed ineligible.
A spokesperson for Galway City Council confirmed this week that Project Empower did not meet the criteria set down by the fund which seeks to support the holding of major events and festivals in the city.
In documents seen by this newspaper, Project Empower proposed that Galway City Council be the title partner at a cost of €30,000 plus VAT.
The Tribune understands that the Council’s refusal to provide this funding was at the root of the Mayor’s snub on Tuesday, which drew attention online as members of the public questioned her absence.
When contacted, the Mayor refused to be drawn on questions relating to the Marketing Fund, but said it was her intention to offer a Civic Reception to Damian Browne at the nearest opportunity.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story and extensive coverage of Damian Browne’s homecoming, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.