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Gentrification of Claddagh pinpointed as a concern



A lack of opportunities for young people in the Claddagh has been highlighted by a new NUI Galway report on city communities.

The 3-Cities Project, which focussed on two neighbourhoods in Dublin, Limerick and Galway – shed new light on the barriers to community involvement in both Doughiska and the Claddagh.

All information was provided by young people, older people and people with a disability that live in the community.

Both hugely different communities, Doughiska was chosen for its rapid development and hugely diverse community.

The Claddagh was singled out by researchers because of its status as an established inner-city neighbourhood – as well as being a place that has experienced significant neighbourhood change.

While there was much praise from local residents whom were surveyed by means of interview and focus group – some of the younger residents compared the Claddagh with other ‘younger’ areas of the city and outlined the difficulties for children living in areas with an older population.

One young female respondent compared the Claddagh to the communities to the west of the city and described how life might differ for a child growing up there – even noticing a developments in the short time since she was a young child.

“There was a good group of us when I was younger . . . I see my friends who live in like Shantalla or Knocknacarra . . . they can just go across the road and go to their friends house or they just meet up.

“There is no one really there for her [younger sister], she has to go to Knocknacarra to meet her friends. If she is at home she has to stay there is nothing to do around the place,” she explained.

Concern arose in the report about the “gentrification” of the area and the difficulties associated with trying to develop a community when a large number of people are either not from the area or just purchasing houses to use as holiday homes.

One older resident recalled how in the 1950s, she knew a very different Claddagh to the one that exists today.

“Well going back to the early 1950s, we used to go in a group down to Lydon House, and we’d get the bread and we’d deliver them to the poor people, particularly in Claddagh – some of the people would be standing on the door waiting for us to come and some of the ladies – they were in their bare feet.

“So it was a very poor area of Claddagh. Now it’s the crème-de-la-crème of the city, but in those days, it was very poor,” he said.

Also evident from the responses of locals was that there is a real sense of belonging existing amongst those who were born and reared in the Claddagh – something that is hard for newer residents to tap into according to one respondent.

“She actually said to myself and [my friend], ‘You will never be Claddagh, you’re only blow-ins,” she said as she recalled an incident between her and someone who had roots firmly in the former fishing village.

The report concluded that there was a strong sense of community in the Claddagh with customs including the King of Claddagh all adding to a sense of local identity.

Connacht Tribune

Confusion reigns – but publicans continue serving pints outdoors



Galway City publicans continued this week to serve alcohol in newly created on-street outdoor dining sections – despite warnings from Gardaí that it was against licensing laws.

The local branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) said it is hoping Government will, if necessary, introduce legislation that facilitates pubs serving alcohol in public spaces reclaimed for outdoor hospitality.

On Friday last, our sister newspaper, Galway City Tribune revealed that Gardaí had visited a number of city pubs warning they were not legally permitted to serve alcohol outdoors in temporary on-street seating areas created by Galway City Council.

Publicans were told that if they continued to flout the rules, files would be sent to the DPP.

When the crux subsequently hit the national headlines, Justice Minister Heather Humphreys urged Gardaí to ‘use their discretion’.

“The overwhelming majority of licensed premises are operating safely, and we in Government are determined to continue to support them. If local issues arise, I would urge local authorities, Gardaí and businesses to engage.

“However, I will also examine whether further measures are required from Government. Licensing law is a complex area but I have spoken to the Attorney General this morning and we will take further action if necessary,” Minister Humphreys said.

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Connacht Tribune

Apple plans second bite at Athenry data centre



An artist's impression of the proposed Apple Data Centre.

Apple intends to have another bite at plans to build a data centre in Athenry.  Apple Operations Europe has applied to Galway County Council for more time to construct a controversial data centre on a greenfield site at Derrydonnell.

The company said it will identify “interested parties to develop the project” between now and 2026 to meet global growth in demand for data storage facilities.

It will spark hope in the County Galway town of a revival of the €850 million project that was dogged for years by planning delays and court appeals and was subsequently shelved. It may also attract fresh objections.

The world’s largest technology company was granted planning permission to build a €850 million data centre near Athenry in 2015.

An appeal to An Bórd Pleanála by a handful of local residents was not successful, and the planning appeals board confirmed the local authority’s decision in 2016.

But the company ultimately aborted its plans for County Galway in 2018 after three objectors sought a review of the decision through the courts.

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Connacht Tribune

Mum’s dream holiday turns to nightmare after cancer diagnosis



Julia McAndrew, in hospital in Mexico.

A mother who went to Mexico on a dream holiday to spend Christmas with family is too weak to return home after being diagnosed with advanced cancer.

From the minute Julia McAndrew landed in the South American country, her health took a major downward spiral.

Her son and daughter were shocked when she asked for a wheelchair to make it through the airport.

She and daughter Eliska had flown out to see her son Patrick, who had relocated to Mexico to run an online learning business.

They initially thought she had fallen ill due to the rigours of a 22-hour, multi-stop flight.

But when her stomach problems did not improve and she began to lose a lot of weight and suffered from very low energy, they sought medical help.

This had to be done privately and without the financial help of an insurance company, Patrick reveals.

She was initially diagnosed with anaemia and kidney failure and underwent various treatments, including blood transfusions that appeared to be working.

But three weeks ago, medics discovered that what she had was Stage 4 breast cancer. Julia had cancer a decade ago but was given the all-clear after receiving treatment and a major change in lifestyle.

“It’s returned with a vengeance this time around. It’s spread to her pelvis, ribs and lungs,” reflects Patrick.

The cost of the treatment is $40,000 (€33,000) a month. Her family are hoping to build up her strength enough to endure the long flight home to Oranmore.

They have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise €280,000 to pay for her treatment and in less than a week a phenomenal €36,000 has been donated.

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