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Gardai: plan your Galway Races journeys in advance

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Gardai and the city’s traffic management centre will be monitoring the flow of traffic across Galway during the Races.

A colour-coded route system for traffic management – which includes temporary road closures – will be enforced by Gardaí from next Monday afternoon.

And the city’s Urban Traffic Management Centre will be watching for ‘pinch points’ and will consult with Gardai on whether traffic lights need to be switched off.

The ‘blue’, ‘red’ and ‘green’ routes are designed to prevent any cross-flow of traffic making its way to and from Ballybrit, while also leaving the roads open for non-race traffic.

Signage will be erected on the approach roads to indicate the relevant entrances for each colour route. The blue entrance is at Racecourse Avenue, the red represents the tunnel entrance and green the Tuam Road entrance.

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A Garda spokesperson has advised motorists to plan their routes in advance, and to bear in mind that the Monivea Road/Racecourse Avenue only be accessed from the N17 during peak hours, particularly on the Galway Plate and Galway Hurdle days.

Also, there is no access to the Monivea Road eastbound by the lights at the Lynch/Briarhill junction (Western Motors) during road closure times (Monday and Tuesday 4pm to 6pm; Wednesday 12.30pm to 4pm; Thursday 11.30am to 3.30pm and Friday 3.30pm to 5.30pm).

Traffic for Monivea and the Airport will be directed onto the M6 and can exit at Exit 19 (Glenascaul) and proceed to Carnmore Cross.

All traffic from city reaching the Lynch junction will be directed towards the Coolough roundabout (entrance to M6).

Traffic reaching the Lynch junction from all other routes will be directed towards the city.

You can download the routes map here: Map-of-Access-Routes-to-Galway-Races

BLUE ROUTE (Avenue Entrance):

From the Carrowmoneash roundabout (Maldron Hotel) in Oranmore. Take third exit and travel via Carnmore Cross to the Avenue Entrance.

Motorway traffic should take Exit 19 and follow the signage through Carnmore Cross, where traffic from the Monivea Road will join the route. There will be Garda controls in place at the Lynch junction and at the Avenue Entrance.

Traffic on the N17 should turn up the hill at Killeen Cross (Garda control). No access to the Avenue from the N6 eastbound during road closed times.

RED ROUTE (Tunnel Entrance):

From the Carrowmoneash Roundabout, take the second exit along the old N6 to the Martin (Galway Clinic) roundabout. Then take the first exist at the Coolough M6 roundabout (end of the motorway).

At the Lynch junction, there is no right turn to the Monivea Road or Avenue Entrance. All traffic will be directed to Tunnel entrance and Galway City direction. Race traffic should remain in the right lane, city traffic in the left lane.

From the motorway, race traffic should stay in the right lane and city traffic in the left lane. Gardai will be in place so Race traffic can cross the N6 (dual carriageway) to the course.

There is no access to the Tunnel Entrance from the N17.

GREEN ROUTE (Tuam Road):

Access to the course via the hill at Twomileditch (near Kenny Motors). There is no access from the N16, M6, N18 or R339 roads.

Traffic from the Headford Road can join the Blue Route at the hill at Twomileditch or use the Green Route Entrance there.

Galway City and West:

Traffic from these areas can access any of the entrances. For the Tunnel Entrance, stay in the left lane along Bothar na dTreabh. For the Avenue, there is no access from Bothard na dTreabh during the road closed times. Access will be from the Tuam Road only.

The Green Entrance can be access from the Tuam Road only by turning right at Twomileditch.

Buses:

Bus Éireann will be running a special shuttle service to and from Galway Racecourse throughout Race Week.

The direct service will run from Eyre Square to Ballybrit and back from Monday through to Sunday.

For the evening race meetings on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, buses will depart from 2.30pm at Eyre Square West (Skeff) to Ballybrit and every 15 minutes up until 5pm. Buses will depart from the racecourse on demand, up until 9.30pm.

On Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday shuttles will depart Eyre Square West from 11am until 4pm every 15 minutes or as required, and will return after the second last race, up until 8.30.

All buses will be routed through the tunnel entrance, dropping passengers off within 50 yards of the course.

Adult tickets are priced at €6 single, and €9 return. Tickets for children are priced at €3 single and €5 return.

All city services will operate as normal during the Racing festival with the exception of Route 403 and Route 409, which will terminate at Briarhill Junction on the following dates/times:

Between 3pm and 5pm Monday and Tuesday; 12.30pm and 4pm on Wednesday; 11.30am and 3.30pm on Thursday and 4pm to 6pm on Friday.

CITY TRIBUNE

Murals are part of initiative to restore pride in Ballybane estate

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From the Galway City Tribune – A poem about litter forms part of a vibrant colourful new mural painted on the walls of a City Council estate in Ballybane.

The poetry and artwork by local artist Irene Naughton is part of an initiative to restore pride in Sliabh Rua.

The final two lines of Ms Naughton’s poem, called The Dragon’s Foot, read: “The land, the sea and the river all get hurt when we leave a littered footprint on the earth.”

The full poem was painted onto boundary walls as part of a large colourful mural that was created by Ms Naughton.

The street art includes handprints from children living in the estate on the city’s east side.

It also depicts an enchanted forest, a dragon sitting atop Merlin Castle, a view of the Burren, a wolf, butterflies, insects and foliage, as well as a man playing the guitar, a former resident who died.

Ms Naughton, who was commissioned by the City Council’s Environment Department, said it took about five days to complete.

“The residents were very, very helpful and kind,” she said.

Councillor Noel Larkin (Ind) explained that the mural was part of a wider, ‘Ballybane Matters’ project, which stemmed from Galway City Joint Policing Committee (JPC).

“We were doing a lot of talking at the JPC about anti-social behaviour, and it seemed to be more prevalent in the Ballybane area. When we boiled it down, it was in the Sliabh Rua and Fána Glas areas.

“Month after month it was just talking. So Níall McNelis [chair of the JPC] said we should set up a small group to hone in on exactly what was going on,” he said.

A group was formed to focus on improving the Council estate of about 40 houses.

As well as Cllr Larkin, it included: Sergeant Mick Walsh, Galway Garda Crime Prevention Officer and community Gardaí Maria Freeley, Nicola Browne, Kenneth Boyle and Darragh Browne; Fr Martin Glynn; Imelda Gormley of Ballybane Taskforce; Councillor Alan Cheevers; Donal Lynch, chairperson Merlin Neighbourhood Residents’ Association; and two members of Galway Traveller Movement, Katie Donoghue and Kate Ward.

Ms Gormley carried out a survey to get feedback from residents.

“A lot of the problems people had were horses on the green, people being harassed going in and out of estates, trailers full of rubbish left around the place, the City Council not cutting the grass, and anti-social behaviour,” explained Cllr Larkin.

Small improvements, with community buy in, has helped to revitalise the estate.

Cllr Larkin praised Edward Conlon, community warden with the City Council, who has been “absolutely brilliant”.

“He looked funding that was available to get trees or shrubs and to get the grass cut more regularly,” he said.

“Fr Martin got a residents committee set up because he knew people through the church, and that means there is community buy-in, people are actually taking an interest now.

“When we started originally, Sergeant Mick Walsh mentioned ‘the closed curtain syndrome’. You go into your home in the evening close your curtain and don’t want to see what’s going on outside. Whereas now, with community pride restored to the area, if somebody is acting the maggot outside, people are keeping an eye on it and that curbs anti-social behaviour,” said Cllr Larkin.

Covid-19 delayed the project but it “came together very quickly” once work started.

Cllr Larkin said that the project will move to other estates in Ballybane, including Fána Glas and Castlepark, but they also plan to maintain the progress made in on Sliabh Rua.

“We decided to concentrate on Sliabh Rua, because if we could crack Sliabh Rua we could crack the rest of them. Pride has been restored in the community,” added Cllr Larkin.

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CITY TRIBUNE

QR codes hold the key to podcast tour of Galway City

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From the Galway City Tribune – From singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s teenage days busking on the corner of William Street, to the rich past of the 14th century Lynch’s Castle on Shop Street, a new interactive tour of Galway City covers modern and ancient history.

Regional tour guide Jim Ward has created a series of podcasts detailing the history of eight places of interest in Galway City.

The Salthill native has created two-dimensional QR codes that are located at each of the eight locations, which allow visitors to download the podcasts to their smart phones.

Each podcast gives a flavour of the tours that Jim gives in ‘real-time’ when he leads hordes of tourists around the city’s famous sites.

The podcasts range from five to ten minutes and are located on or near buildings at the following locations: Eyre Square, William Street, Lynch’s Castle, the King’s Head, St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, the Latin Quarter, Spanish Arch and Galway Cathedral.

During the Covid-19 Lockdowns, Jim gave virtual tours by video through sustainable tourism website, Flockeo.

He has also brought Ukrainian refugees on tours through the city streets to allow them to become familiar with Galway’s rich history.

The podcasts are hosted on his website, galwaytrails.ie and are accessed on mobile devices through via QR codes scanned onto posters.

Jim said he was grateful to the businesses of Galway, who have allowed his to put up posters on their premises near the sites of interest.

“I propose to ask Galway City Council for permission to place some on public benches and poles at a later date.”

He said the idea was to “enhance interactive tourism in Galway and bring connectivity to the city”.

He also has other plans in the pipeline, including rolling-out an interactive oral history of certain areas such as Woodquay.

This would involve interviewing local people of interest in certain historic parts of the city, which could be accessed through podcasts. The stories would be their own, or that of local organisations.

“The recordings would be accessed through QR codes on lamp posts or park benches and would provide a level of interactivity and connectedness with our historic town,” Jim added.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Renters in Galway City have to fork out an extra €11,500 annually

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From the Galway City Tribune – Renters in private accommodation in Galway City are paying, on average, around €11,500 more per annum than they were at the bottom of the market ten years ago.

According to figures published by property website Daft.ie this week, the average monthly rent in the city now stands at €1,663 – that’s up a whopping 138% since the market trough in early 2012, when it stood at around €700.

At the end of June this year, the average monthly rent had risen 16.4% – one of the biggest jumps in the country.

Nationally rents in the second quarter of 2022 were an average of 12.6% higher than the same period a year earlier, as availability of rental homes reached an all-time low.

County Galway has seen a similar pattern of increases – average rents stood at €1,184 per month, up 12.4% on the previous year. The averages have also more than doubled – up 132% – since the bottom of the market.

At the moment, there are fewer than 60 properties available for for rent in Galway city and county – the lowest figure recorded since the Daft.ie rental reports began in 2006.

A breakdown of the figures shows that a single bedroom in Galway city centre is renting for an average of €588 per month, up 19.5% on June 2021, while in the suburbs, a similar room is commanding €503 per month, up 15.9% on a year earlier. A double room is generating €633 (up 16.4%) in the city centre and €577 (up 19.2%) in the suburbs.

In the city, an average one-bed apartment is currently ‘asking’ €1,110 per month (up 17.3% year on year); a €1,297 for a two-bed house (up 15.6%); €1,542 for a three-bed house (up 16.9%); €1,923 for a four-bed house (up 21.8%) and €2,016 for a five-bed house, which is up 10.6%.

Ronan Lyons, Associate Professor of Economics at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft report, pointed to a resurgent economy which has accentuated the chronic shortage of rental housing in Ireland.

“The shortage of rental accommodation translates directly into higher market rents and this can only be addressed by significantly increased supply.

“While there are almost 115,000 proposed rental homes in the pipeline, these are concentrated in the Dublin area. Further, while nearly 23,000 are under construction, the remainder are earlier in the process and the growth of legal challenges to new developments presents a threat to addressing the rental scarcity,” he said.

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