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CITY TRIBUNE

GMIT’s good news stories but staff leak like sieve

Dara Bradley

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Pictured are Galway County Councillor, Mary Hoade, and Galway City Councillor, Padraig Conneely, who met with RTÉ' Marty Morrissey at the national awards ceremony for local Councils and Communities in the Crowne Plaza Hotel recently.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

NUI Galway isn’t the only third level institution paranoid about its media image. Another city college, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), is also uber-sensitive.

It’s so touchy, in fact, it keeps tabs on how it is faring in media outlets, by providing a monthly ‘Media Coverage Report’ to Governing Body members.

Between plagiarism and cheating scandals, peeping Toms, financial turmoil and cutbacks that included a ban on cups of tea, as well as the usual stories that emanate from third level colleges, the report’s author must be a busy bunny.

According to minutes of GMIT Governing Body meetings, released under Freedom of Information, the institute “was continually receiving negative press externally in the recent past. Positive news stories being pushed via the media was welcomed by the meeting”.

That was last September. Things apparently improved again the following month.

The minutes recorded that the meeting “noted that positive news stories consisted of 83% of media coverage” that GMIT received last October.

Notwithstanding the difficulty in defining what constitutes a ‘positive news story’, and the Orwellian obsession with how it is perceived, GMIT’s media gurus got a first class honour for positive propaganda.

But not everyone was happy. There’s always one.

Michael Geoghegan, a member of the Governing Body, and trade union rep, at the November meeting, raised the issue of media coverage, and acknowledged that “83% of news stories were positive stories”.

“However, he expressed significant concern on how internal information still appears in the press and asked the question on how GMIT is dealing with it,” the minutes record.

Fergal Barry, GMIT President, in response to queries about leaks, “informed the meeting that in some cases the institute is given the right to reply, and in some cases we do. However, there are other cases where the journalist does not ask the institute to comment on a story they are carrying”.

One wonders what percentage of those stories are positive?

There’s no party like a Marty party

Marty Morrissey, the colourful RTÉ broadcaster, is known as a bit of a party animal.

And two Galway politicians recently found out that it’s true: there is no party like a Marty party!

City Councillor Pádraig Conneely (FG), and County Councillor Mary Hoade (FF), donned their finest finery and hit the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin where they wined and dined and danced the night away with the GAA commentator.

While representing Galway at the Community and Council Awards 2017, the duo scoffed Asian duck salad to start; followed by beef medallions with green beans, confit shallots, fondant potato and whiskey and mustard jus; and a warm apple and mixed berry crumble with salted caramel ice-cream.

The three-course meal, by all accounts, was quality, but the highlight of the evening for the couple from Galway’s Councils was their meeting with Marty. The feeling was mutual, as our pic shows.

We hear Marty, a bit of a ladies’ man, was quite taken with Mary, and insisted on getting his photo taken with the Headford-based public representative.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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