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Gang attacks Spanish students in Galway

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Gang attacks Spanish students in Galway

A group of Spanish students were lucky to escape uninjured after a gang of local teens showered them with rocks “the size of cups” in an attack that stunned dozens of residents in Knocknacarra, Galway out enjoying the sunshine.

Local resident Tommy Holohan was out for his evening run when he heard commotion opposite Cotters Shop on Shangort Rd at 8.15pm last Tuesday evening.

Around eight terrified male and female students, who were aged around 15 and appeared to be of Spanish origin, jumped off the wall surrounding Knocknacarra Park and were running across Shangort Road.

“There was roaring and screaming. The next thing one rock came past me just 10 feet in front. It was as big as a cup. The students ran for cover in the car park at Cotters Shop,” Tommy said.

He spotted up to 12 teenagers – aged 15 or 16 – firing the missiles. Three of them were stripped to the waist and many of them were screaming abuse at the foreign students. He recognised a few of the faces from the Knocknacarra area.

“These were serious rocks being thrown. If one of them had hit somebody on the head they’d be as good as gone. They gave no heed to passing traffic or pedestrians. Nothing.”

Tommy rang Salthill Garda Station but was told by a female garda there was nothing she could do as she was in the station alone. She told him to ring Mill Street in order for a patrol car to be sent out. However Tommy said the line rang out at the main Galway station.

He continued with his run and came across a dad out with his young daughter for a bike ride about to approach the scene of the attack. He advised them to leave the area to avoid being hurt. He returned a while later on the return leg of his run and found three of the students still in the area. He urged them to return to their host families to ensure their safety.

Tommy said this is not the first time he has witnessed intimidation of students in the area, particularly outside Joyce’s Supermarket. However this was by far the most worrying incident he had encountered. It was also an unwelcome slur on Galway’s reputation as a friendly city for young English language students, already trying to overcome the damage caused by the murder of Swiss student Manuela Riedo.

“In the last 18 months I have noticed two gangs hanging about the place. But what went on last Tuesday night was serious stuff. It’s scary, scary. A lot of people in the area depend on students. This is not good for the image of Galway.”

A spokesperson for Galway Gardaí said a patrol car did attend the scene some time after but none of the youths were to be found.

“There is an investigation underway in relation to antisocial behaviour by some youths congregating in McGrath’s Field which is being managed by the Salthill District,” she stated.

Mayor Donal Lyons said he rang the gardaí twice that day to report large groups of intoxicated youths congregating in McGrath’s Field, including one incident involving two teens stripped to the waist bare-knuckle boxing. He was told two youths had been arrested earlier.

“McGrath’s Field would be one of the hotspots identified by the guards which from time to time erupts. It has been very quiet but now that the schools have closed it is an area where youths gather. I would appeal to the establishments and adults providing alcohol to these groups to refrain from doing so.”

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Taste of Galway at ‘Flavours of Ireland’

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Joanne Nunn, Kuoni Tumlare; Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland; and David Keane, DK Connemara Oysters, at Flavours of Ireland 2022.

Some 60 tourism companies from Ireland attended ‘Flavours of Ireland’ 2022 in London last week – including Connemara Wild Escapes, DK Connemara Oysters and Killary Fjord Boat Tours.

‘Flavours’ is Tourism Ireland’s annual B2B tourism workshop, where tourism companies from Ireland meet and do business with top global inbound tour operators.

Now in its 20th year, ‘Flavours’ took place in the Guildhall, in the City of London, and was attended by around 100 global inbound tour operators who deliver business from all over the world, including the United States, Mainland Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa.

‘Flavours’ provides an excellent opportunity for the participating tourism providers from Galway and Ireland to highlight and sell their tourism product and build valuable relationships with the key decision-makers in attendance.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Planning Regulator wants Galway City Council U-turn on Development Plan

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From the Galway City Tribune – The Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) has asked Galway City Council to roll back material alterations to the new City Development Plan proposed by councillors.

In July, elected members voted through a raft of changes to zonings in the Draft City Development Plan 2023-29, which went out on public display.

But the Planning Regulator has now warned City Hall that many of the proposed changes do not comply with the OPR’s recommendations, and are contrary to national planning guidelines.

The OPR specifically highlighted problems with proposals to rezone as residential land deemed at risk of flooding.

Anne Marie O’Connor, Deputy Regulator, wrote to the Council’s Planning Department outlining the OPR’s fresh advice on the changes to the draft plan proposed and approved by councillors.

The draft plan will come before elected members again this month.

Councillors will be asked to row back on some of their previous material alterations, which ran contrary to advice of the OPR.

Ms O’Connor said the OPR welcomed many of the changes made by the City Council in its draft plan. She said, however, that the OPR “has a number of outstanding concerns relating to the response of the planning authority to its recommendations and to a number of proposed material alterations relating to the zoning of lands”.

These relate to changes that conflict with national and regional objectives for compact growth; with legislative requirements regarding climate action and core strategies; and with rezoning land at risk of flooding.

The OPR highlighted a dozen or more material alterations by councillors that are “not consistent” with the National Planning Framework for compact growth.

These include re-zoning of land from agricultural or recreational and amenity to residential.

The changes voted on by councillors, the OPR noted, were done against the advice of the Council’s Chief Executive Brendan McGrath.

The OPR said the changes proposed by councillors represented a “piecemeal approach” to zoning and were “inconsistent” with national policy.

These comments related to proposed rezoning of land at Rahoon; Dublin Road; Quarry Road, Menlo; Ballindooley; off Circular Road; Menlo village; Roscam and Barna Woods.

The OPR also raised “significant concerns” over five material alterations proposed for residential zonings of land at Western Distributor Road; Terryland; Menlo Village; Headford Road and Barna Woods which are located within flood zones.

The approach by councillors “may place people and property at unnecessary risk from future flood events”, the OPR warned.

Ms O’Connor told planners that if the draft plan ignores the OPR advice or is at odds with its recommendations, the Council Chief Executive must inform the OPR in writing the reasons for doing so.

Save Roscam Peninsula in a 33-page submission to the draft plan echoed many of the concerns outlined by the OPR.

The Council has pencilled in four dates in November and December to approve the plan.

It will meet on November 21, 24 and 28 and December 1 when material alterations will be voted on individually.
This article first appeared in the print edition of the Galway City Tribune, November 4. You can support our journalism by subscribing to the Galway City Tribune HERE. The print edition is in shops every Friday.

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The show goes on . . . for the 183rd time

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At the launch of The Irish Draught Horse Society Show were: Seán McGuirk, Chairman; Elizabeth Dean Coogan, Council Member; Margaret Buckley, Treasurer; John Harney, Chairman Ballinasloe Horse and Agricultural Show; Cllr. Dermot Connolly and Maeve O'Meara, Secretary.

JOHN HARNEY from Mountpleasant first joined the Ballinasloe Horse and Agriculture Show Committee, all of 60-years ago, on April 24, 1962. Both John and the show are still going strong as they celebrate their 183rd event on this Sunday. Here, he looks back on his involvement with this iconic show through the years.

THE Ballinasloe Show back in the early 1960s was going well with both the Showgrounds and Duggan Park both used for running the competitions.

My first introduction to the show was stewarding the pony competitions in the Mountpleasant end of the Duggan Park with the rest of the GAA field being used for trade stands.

At that time, it was a very big show with horses, ponies, cattle and sheep, pigs and fowl – also there was a big garden and farm produce section as well as a home craft and baking section with flowers and plants supported by a very large women’s committee.

At that time, showjumping took place in the afternoon with the top riders in the country taking part.  I was elected Chairman at the AGM in 1975, a position I held for ten years.

During that time, the Duggan Park Committee approached the Show Committee for a piece of the showgrounds behind the GAA Stand for dressing rooms.

This was brought up a number of times at our committee meetings, and at first, the view was that the Duggan Park Committee would buy the ground.

However, after much deliberation it was decided by the Show Committee to ‘give the ground’ for the sum of £1 with the proviso that the dressingrooms could be used on show days by the local ICA to do catering for the event.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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