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.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.