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GLUAS team brand councillor’s comments ‘off the rails’

Dara Bradley

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Sceptical comments made by City Councillor Noel Larkin about the merits of a tram system for Galway have been lashed as ‘off the rails’ by GLUAS backers.

The debate about the need for a light rail system in the city resurfaced last week when Independent public representative said Galway would be transformed into “a giant building site” and would be “crippled” during construction.

Cllr Larkin, a businessman, pointed to problems with delays and cost overruns during the construction of a tram in Edinburgh and claimed the same would happen in Galway.

Tram Power, a UK light rail company that backs the Galway GLUAS, has already refuted Cllr Larkin’s claims and say the project is sustainable, practical, environmentally friendly and has the support of the people of Galway.

Now local campaigner, Brendan Holland, of Holland’s newsagent on Williamsgate Street, this week has come out and issued a staunch defence of light rail.

A former chairman of the GLUAS project, Mr Holland said he took issue with Cllr Larkin’s remark that it would be “utterly stupid”.

“To defend this remark he made only two points about the delay and overspend in the Edinburgh Tram project,” said Mr Holland.

“But delays and overspends have nothing to do with the final projects and the benefits of light rail. This is a function of the overseer. It was proposed that the GLUAS would be funded by private funding and this type of funding tends not to have a habit of being over budget or over time.

“Public projects generally seem to suffer from this and one does not have to look too far away from the city centre in the past for proof of this. Surely this is a not a reason not to build a public transport system, surely one learns from the past and not fall into the same trap.”

Mr Holland said you can’t make omelettes without breaking eggs and that spurious arguments about cost overruns and delays were made about the LUAS in Dublin.

“However when the dust settled, I have yet to hear someone, anyone say ‘take up that bloody LUAS it’s useless’. All the properties, businesses, residents and the entire city have benefited from being on the line and the LUAS has now become the symbol of Dublin,” he said.

Mr Holland said Cllr Larkin didn’t look at the positive experiences of light rail, such as Besancon in the South of France. “Instead he chose to focus on the negative,” he said.

The newsagent added: “Councillor Larkin’s answer to the traffic problem is the N6 Galway City Transport Proposed Road (bypass). Once again the GLUAS was never about if we build a ring road around Galway or not. The GLUAS project was about moving people around the city in a fast comfortable manner which is an alternative to and as good as your own car.

“He is a member of City Hall’s transportation strategic policy committee. I would like to hear what his transport solutions are because I am getting a bit long in the tooth waiting for solutions that are no nearer now than they were when we made our proposals for GLUAS.

“If he is worried about the disruption to business while building light rail, maybe it he might start worrying about the damage to businesses while we sit waiting for something to be done.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Drugs raid on house in Ballybane

Enda Cunningham

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The seizure from the house in Ballybane

Gardaí in Galway have arrested a man and seized more than €31,000 in cash, and suspected cocaine from a house in Ballybane.
At 10pm yesterday, the Divisional Drugs Unit searched a house under warrant, where they seized €12,250 worth of cocaine (pending analysis).
Approximately €19,000 worth of cash in euro and Sterling currency and two designer watches worth €7,000 were also seized by Gardaí.
One man, aged in his early 30s, was arrested at the scene. He has since been released without charge and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions in this matter.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway ICU has 100% Covid-19 survival rate

Dara Bradley

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Stock image

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – All Covid-19 patients who were critically ill in the Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital Galway have survived the virus, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

While there have been some Covid-19 deaths in the city hospital since the pandemic reached Ireland, the survival rate of those treated in the critical care unit or ICU at UHG has been 100%.

The hospital has not yet provided an exact figure for ICU recoveries, but ‘rolling figures’ from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre – which do not account for overlaps of new ICU patients and those who are moved out following recovery – show that on one occasion at the peak of the crisis here, there were up to 20 people being treated for Covid-19 in the unit. This week, there was one Covid patient in ICU.

The ICU has not been as busy as Dublin’s acute hospitals, as Covid-19 has been more prevalent on the east coast. But the success in treating patients in Galway’s ICU has also been attributed to splitting it into two separate ICUs, one for Covid and one for non-Covid patients, which was facilitated by the deal negotiated with private hospitals.

Dr Pat Nash, Chief Clinical Director of Saolta Hospitals Group, which runs UHG, said: “Thankfully we haven’t had any ICU deaths related to Covid, to date. There have been deaths related to Covid but not in ICU. That is good by national standards.”
This is a shortened preview version of this article. Please remember that without advertising revenue and people buying and subscribing to our newspapers, this website would not exist. You can read the full article by buying a digital edition of this week’s Galway City Tribune HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway Market to reopen – and go back to its roots

Denise McNamara

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All quiet: the last Galway Market held two months ago.

From this wek’s Galway City Tribune – Up to 30 food growers and producers will return this Saturday to sell their wares at a smaller version of the Galway Market, following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

A reduced number of stalls will be laid out to allow the two-metre distance between traders and each stall holder will be expected to maintain a ‘socially distant’ queue among their customers. Council officials will be on site to ensure things runs smoothly.

There will be no hot food vendors or craftspeople operating in this phase of the market’s return outside St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church.

Carmel Kilcoyne, Senior Engineer in the Council’s Environment Department, explained that stalls along Churchyard Street will not be erected at this time due to its size.

“It is a different layout and we are adhering to a strict interpretation of what a farmers’ market is – food producers, deli items such as chutneys, cheese, eggs and fish mongers. We will have one coffee van,” she said.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. Please remember that without advertising revenue and people buying and subscribing to our newspapers, this website would not exist. You can read the full article by buying a digital edition of this week’s Galway City Tribune HERE.

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