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Galway’s 2020 bid gets through to next round

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Galway City and County’s joint bid to become the European Capital of Culture has made it through to the shortlist.

A panel of European judges in Dublin Castle announced this afternoon that three bids have been shortlisted – Galway, Limerick and the ‘Three Sisters’ (Kilkenny-Waterford-Wexford).

It was initially understood that two bids would be shortlisted from four (Dublin was eliminated today), but judges announced that three would go through to the next round. Dublin already held the title in 1991.

The teams now prepare a second bid book, and the winner will be selected next July.

The Galway 2020 team – made up of project manager and Galway City Council official Patricia Philbin and nine figures from across artistic and cultural life of the city – travelled to Bedford Hall in Dublin Castle yesterday afternoon to make their presentation on the bid book.

They included Galway City Chief Executive Brendan McGrath, Director of the Galway City Museum, Eithna Verling and children’s author Trish Forde.

Galway’s bid book – entitled ‘Making Waves’ – was presented as a love letter to Europe. The 30-minute presentation included a one-minute video followed by contributions from each of the 10-member team, before finishing with a two-minute video.

Mr McGrath said the presentation was positively received by the judges.

“We got quite a number of smiles, laughs and nods, we certainly struck a chord with them.”

They were then given deep and intensive questioning on 15 broad topics by the panel.

Speaking in Dublin Castle this afternoon (Friday), Project Manager Patricia Philbin said: “Galway is absolutely thrilled to have been shortlisted as finalists. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Galway to showcase its wealth of culture to the rest of Europe and the world. This amazing opportunity allows us to bring Galway’s vision of culture to a much greater level.

“Galway city and county have united and put their heart and soul into this bid. Being shortlisted is richly deserved to a region which has unofficially held the cultural title for many generations. Winning this bid allows Galway on the western periphery of Europe to become more central and showcase our distinctive heritage, culture, arts, people and more importantly our ability to rejuvenate and grow, to our European neighbours.

“The people of Galway have fought a passionate battle and showed their ingenuity all of which Galway is known for but now we’re ready to get to work and wow Europe with an amazing European Capital of Culture programme of events.”

Mr Mc Grath said “On behalf of the Galway 2020 Bid and on behalf of Galway City Council, I am delighted that the European Capital of Culture jury has shortlisted the Making Waves Bid. By recognising the quality and intention of our bid, the jury has set us on the way to preparing a final bid by next summer with the ultimate designation of Galway as European Capital of Culture 2020.

“I would like to commend the elected members, the business sector, the cultural community and all those who participated and contributed to our successful initial bid. I would like to particularly pay tribute today the Galway 2020 bid team led by Patricia Philbin who have motivated and inspired a swell of enthusiasm and pride in our city and county to get behind the bid.

We now look forward to the challenge set for us today for the final bid submission”.

Kevin Kelly CEO of Galway County Council, commented: “This announcement today is the culmination of months of enormous creative outpouring across the City and County and it is wonderful news for the people of Galway.”

Complimenting the rigorous work of the Galway 2020 team, he went onto say, “Patricia and her team have done a tremendous job in a short space of time, they have ignited an even greater passion for culture in all its guises across all communities in the City and County,  from our offshore islands to the heart of the city and have harnessed the enthusiasm and energy of the people  to develop a successful bid.

“We congratulate all the villages, towns communities, groups and individuals, who have supported and inspired this bid process. Tomorrow we get back to work to harness the next stage of the Galway 2020 bid.”

CEO of Galway International Arts Festival, John Crumlish said: “We are delighted that Galway has made the short list and I would like to thank the bid team for all their hard work and everyone who contributed in helping make this possible. We now look forward to an exciting nine months in which we will need everyone’s help and ideas in making sure Galway becomes European Capital of Culture 2020”.

The initial Galway 2020 bid book – an 80-page document answering a specific set of questions – was submitted on October 16.

 

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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