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Galway’s Leisureland pool set to be open to the public by October

Dara Bradley

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Galway Leisureland Pool

Galway Leisureland swimming pool is set to re-open in early October, its board of directors confirmed at the weekend.

The popular facility has been closed since January due to damage caused in the severe Winter storms and there were fears that it could be January 2015 before it reopened to the public again.

However, following a board meeting on Friday, it was confirmed that it is on course to be up and running again by October.

There was a ‘full and frank’ exchange of views between a five-person delegation from the sports clubs that use the facility regularly, and members of the board, at a meeting that followed the board meeting on Friday.

City Council Director of Services, Tom Connell, also brought the delegation on a tour of the swimming pool and dressing rooms so that they could see firsthand the extent of the damage.

“To be honest, it’s like a bomb hit the place,” said Fianna Fáil City Councillor, Peter Keane, a member of the board.

“I think the meeting was very worthwhile and the tour of the facility gave the clubs an indication of the sheer scale of the damage that was caused to the swimming pool. It’s easy for people to criticise but they haven’t a clue what’s going on and they don’t realise the extent of the damage caused. It really is like a first fix of a new house, or even before that, there’s wiring everywhere and the tiling is all over the place and plastering isn’t done. It’s a mess but we have given an undertaking that it will be ready by October, which is ahead of the January schedule that our detractors had put out there.”

Chairman of the board, City Councillor Donal Lyons, in a statement, said board members were critical of the slow progress in having the facility re-opened.

It was pointed out at the meeting that members of the voluntary Board of Management were receiving undue criticism from certain quarters that they were to blame for the delays.

“It was clearly pointed out at the meeting that it was the officials at City Hall, the management of Leisureland and independent consultants appointed by City Hall who were negotiating with the insurance assessors and not the Board of Management,” insisted Cllr Lyons.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

Connacht Tribune

Gardaí seek help in locating missing man

Enda Cunningham

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Gardaí have sought help in locating a man missing in Galway since the end of December.
34-year-old Luke Davoren was last seen in the University Road area on December 30.

He is described as having fair hair, 6ft in height and having an athletic build. He was last seen wearing a grey hoody, brown leather jacket, blue jeans and brown leather boots. He also had a black back pack in his possession.

Gardaí and Luke’s family are very concerned for his welfare and have urged him to make contact.

Anyone with information, particularly any road users with dash cam footage of the Newcastle/University Road areas between 1am – 2am on December 30, is asked to contact Galway Garda Station on 091 538000.

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Daredevil’ swimmers are a fatality waiting to happen

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – ‘Daredevil’ winter sea swimmers who dive or jump into the water in places like Blackrock during adverse weather are putting their own lives at risk – and possibly those of rescuers – by their actions, it was warned this week.

Water Safety Ireland have cautioned that the biggest single contributor to drownings in Ireland is what is known as ‘cold water shock’ – a condition caused by the sudden entry into a cold body of water.

There is now growing concern that a copycat trend is emerging with young people – without wet suits – diving or jumping into the sea in stormy or icy-cold weather.

Several people have been filmed on social media in the sea at Salthill during storms – with a number of them taking ‘running jumps’ off the diving tower at Blackrock.

Roger Sweeney, Deputy CEO of Water Safety Ireland, told the Galway City Tribune that people jumping into the sea during storms showed at best a reckless disregard for their own safety and in a worst-case scenario represented ‘a fatality waiting to happen’ for the jumpers – or the persons trying to rescue them.

“Jumping into cold water puts you at risk of cold shock which can result in immediate incapacitation and doing so in storm conditions can make it difficult to get back out of the water safely and promptly before hypothermia sets in.

“Hypothermia leads to the cooling of the muscles needed in the arms and legs to stay afloat. Drownings typically happen when someone over-estimates their ability and under-estimates the risks,” said Mr Sweeney.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune, that the key thing for all people who enjoyed the water and the sea was to carefully plan their exercise or hobby.

“Cold water shock is a real danger at this time of year for all swimmers. Be prepared – have your cap, ear plugs, mats, woolly cap [after leaving the water] and towels all in place. Check the weather forecast and check the tides – and never, ever just jump straight into the water during the colder season.”

(Photo: Diving into the water at Blackrock during Storm Bella in December)
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

Developer banks on boom in rental property market

Enda Cunningham

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The backer of the Crown Square scheme in Mervue is planning an increase in the number of apartments in the development following a review of the economic viability of the project.

The 345 apartments will specifically target the rental market.

Crown Square Developments Ltd, which is operated by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has told Galway City Council that the amended plans will form part of a new planning application to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála under ‘Strategic Housing Development’ legislation.

According to the company, the property market has changed since it was granted permission in November 2019 for 288 apartments in three blocks ranging from five to eight storeys in height.

Mr Rhatigan has now sought planning permission for an 18% reduction in the overall size of basement levels and a reduction in car parking from 1,377 to 1,012 spaces. Cycle parking spaces will increase from 1,110 to 1,200.

The plan also involves the relocation of the vehicular and pedestrian access to the development on the Monivea Road, which will now be closer to McDonagh Avenue. The existing planned access is at the south-easternmost point of the site, but is now planned to move further west.
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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