Date Published: 05-May-2011
BY FRANK FARRAGHER
THE spate of gorse and forest fires that raged through different parts of Galway over the weekend is estimated to have caused several hundred thousand euro worth of damage to Coillte forestry plantations.
In the Lough Inagh, Recess area of Connemara, the fire which raged over the weekend damaged close on 400 acres of Coillte plantations – over 150 acres of young trees were completely destroyed.
Gorse fires also raged in the Mountbellew, Gort, Rosmuc, Inverin, Loughrea and Portumna areas over the weekend as the recent run of extremely dry weather left many areas ‘highly vulnerable’ to even a cigarette being carelessly dropped.
Gardai at Clifden confirmed that they have launched a full investigation into the cause of the fire at Recess including a technical examination of the scene – however the fires may have been started either ‘accidentally’ or through carelessness.
“We are carrying out a full investigation into the cause of the fires. At this stage we have an open mind on the matter but anyone with information on the cause of the fires should contact us at Clifden Garda Station (095-22500),” said a Garda spokesman.
A number of houses in the Mountbellew area were under threat on Sunday evening following what eyewitnesses described as a ‘spectacular and frightening’ fire in the Carnagopple/Gonnode/Springlawn area.
Former TD and local dweller Paul Connaughton said that for a time on Sunday evening the situation looked very serious for a number of residents in the Gurteen area but thankfully the danger had been averted.
“I would have to say that it were not for the Trojan work of the fire brigade members, things could have been an awful lot worse. They really did tremendous work in getting the fire under control,” said Paul Connaughton.
A Coillte spokesman again appealed to all members of the public to be extra careful, as even the careless discarding of a cigarette butt could set off a fire that could destroy hundreds of acres of forestry.
Nearly all of the fires that raged in the county over the weekend were brought under control by Monday and the rains that began to arrive on Wednesday will have been welcome news for Coillte and the fire services.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.