Date Published: 14-Mar-2011
By Declan Tierney
The ‘rip off’ culture that exists in Galway city and other popular tourist destinations in the West of Ireland has to come to an end – that is the warning of the new Minister of State for Tourism.
In an interview with the Sentinel, Junior Minister Michael Ring said that he would be meeting with all of the tourism interests in Galway city over the coming weeks with the intention of devising a package that could be attractive to foreign tourists.
A worrying survey conducted recently revealed that Galway city had the dearest hotel room rates in the country and Minister Ring wants to change this image.
He said that Galway city and Connemara were integral parts of the tourism industry in this country and over the next few weeks he would be marketing these areas abroad.
“We have a budget in place to try and enhance our tourism revenue and get people into this country. Tourism is a growth area that has been targeted by this Government and Galway is part and parcel of this.
“But we have to get rid of the rip off culture that exists here. That is why I will be meeting with tourism groups in Galway and other regions to try and present an affordable product for visiting tourists,” Minister Ring said.
He said that he would be gathering together representatives from the hotel, pub and restaurant trade as well as the local Chamber of Commerce in Galway.
Minister Ring said that all aspects of the tourist industry would be investigated. “We are not looking for once-off business, rather the package I hope to deliver will lure repeat business back to this country – but it will need a lot of cooperation from the major players,” he warned.
Read more in this week’s Connacht Sentinel
Galway County VEC Chief takes High Court case
Date Published: 07-May-2013
The High Court is hearing arguments from the state in an action brought by two VEC bosses who are challenging the loss of an annual allowance worth 12 and a half thousand euro.
Former president of the GAA Joe McDonagh who’s the CEO of County Galway VEC and Dr Katie Sweeney, CEO of Mayo VEC, say a special Transport Liaison Officers Allowance should not have been cut, even though that part of their role no longer operates.
Lawyers for the Department of Education deny the allowance is part of their pay.
The case is in the context of planned changes within the VEC system under the Croke Park agreement.
Planning go ahead for community facility in Doughiska
Date Published: 09-May-2013
A hotel in the city is to be changed into a community facility.
Planning permission has been granted to DRA Community Development Company Limited to redevelop the ‘Racing Lodge Hotel’ in Doughiska.
It’s planned to use the building for community, educational and pastoral use.
Planners have attached 4 conditions to the development, including the stipulation that all uses at the building be on a not-for-profit basis.
Galway call for Transport Minister to intervene in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
City Councillor Michael Crowe is calling on the Transport Minister Leo Vradkar to urgently intervene to end strike action by Bus Eireann in Galway.
Major travel disruption is expected in Galway and nationwide as the national strike enters its second day.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing their picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city.
It’s understood up to 80 Galway workers took part in the picket on rotational rosters yesterday.
Speaking on Galway Talks, City Cllr Michael Crowe said Minister Vradkar needs to take urgent action to intervene so that transport services can be restored.