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Good riddance to year with a real sting in tail

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

Many people will be saying good riddance to 2015 after varying degrees of hardship were experienced due to the rain battering brought about by the winter storms of November and December.

There was a real sting in the tail to 2015 and while the storms mightn’t have brought hugely destructive winds, their most malevolent legacy was in the amount of water they left behind, especially in the vulnerable flood areas across the region.

For many parts of the county, it was our wettest year on record, with for example, Abbeyknockmoy weather recorder, Brendan Geraghty, collecting a total of 61.1 inches (1577mms.) rainfall in his goblet during the course of the 12 months.

It was the first time ever since his records began in the mid-1960s that he topped the 60 inch mark, but as the accompanying charts indicate, the real damage was done in the last two months of the year.

Between them, those months brought us a staggering 21.5 inches (546mms.) of rainfall – 8.2” (208mms.) in November and a whopping 13.3” (338mms.) through the month of December. Such rainfall had to bring about problems and especially so along water channels that hadn’t been maintained and cleaned, down through the years. December was the wettest month ever recorded by Brendan Geraghty, surpassing the previous record holder – November, 2009, that delivered 12.7” (323mms.) of rainfall, during another horrible month of floods and hardship.

“By the end of the year any rainfall that came just had to spill over. Rivers, streams, drainage channels and lakes were just all full to the brim – the water had nowhere to go,” said Brendan Geraghty.

The late Frank Gaffney, who worked for many years in the Physics Department of NUI Galway, also kept a most assiduous and detailed record of weather statistics and one of his wettest years ever recorded was 2002 at his city station in Newcastle, Galway city. His ’02 total of 1587mms. (62.5”) of rainfall takes some beating although his 2009 total of 1496mms. (59”) was also close to the top of the league.

Flooding and heavy rains have always been part and parcel of our weather and climate regime in Ireland, given our location on the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean, but the frequency and severity of the flood events do seem to be on the increase.  Talk to people like long time flood relief campaigner in South Galway, Mattie Hallinan, and straight away he’ll reel off three winters over the past seven years where people in that area have stared at catastrophe: 2009, 2012/’13 and 2015/’16.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Classy Clodagh will need to know her ABCs when she takes mayoral chains

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Councillors will resume deliberations on the City Draft Development Plan in June. And if the recently-agreed County Development Plan is anything to go by, Mayor in Waiting (MIW) Clodagh Higgins will need to have her ABCs in order to deal with the baptism of fire awaiting her.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Galway City Councillors will resume deliberations on the Draft City Development Plan in June, which means two things: long meetings and an even longer list of abbreviations.

The former is a given when rezoning of land is at play; the latter is also likely if the City Plan mirrors the recently-agreed County Development Plan which contained an alphabet soup of shortened phrases.

From ABTA (Area Based Transport Assessment) to MASP (Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan), NWSMP (National Wastewater Sludge Management Plan) to GCTPS (Galway County Transport and Planning Study), and GCMA (Galway County Metropolitan Area) to UFP (Urban Framework Plan) to name but a few, County Councillors were bombarded with shorthand as they compiled a new Development Plan.

And that’s before you mention the myriad of organisations OPR (Office of Planning Regulator), OPW (Office of Public Works), NTA (National Transport Authority), TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) who were making submissions about MAs (Material Alterations), WWTP (Waste Water Treatment Plants), LAPs (Local Area Plans), and LTP (Local Transport Plans) etcetera.

County Councillors needed qualifications in abbreviations and gobbledegook just to keep up with it all; many are now suffering a sort of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and the DTs (Delirium Tremens) or AWD (Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium) since they finalised the plan, but that’s all due to withdrawal from abbreviations rather than alcohol.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Munster teams burning up more watts than eastern counterparts

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Galway’s Jack Lonergan getting the better of Mayo’s Diarmuid Duffy during Friday's Connacht Minor Football Championship clash at Tuam Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

THE hurling match of the year took place in Ennis on Sunday. With Cusack Park packed to capacity, Limerick and Clare tore into each other with a sustained intensity which we hadn’t yet seen in the championship. It was dog-eat-dog and there was no compromise from either side. It made for gripping viewing.

With Tony Kelly and Diarmuid Byrnes the respective Clare and Limerick heroes, the stalemate outcome means this derby round-robin tie will now be repeated in the Munster final. We think the Leinster championship is reasonably competitive, but it can’t hold a candle to what’s happening down south.

It’s not Leinster’s fault that there is such a discrepancy in standard between their six participants. Laois and Westmeath were no hopers to begin with, while Wexford’s form has fallen off a cliff. Despite their mauling by Kilkenny at Parnell Park on Saturday, Dublin are still likely to feature in the All-Ireland series.

In Munster, you don’t have that kind of latitude. All five combatants would have genuine aspirations of emerging from the province, but Waterford’s destiny is no longer in their own hands after their surprise weekend loss to Cork; while Tipperary need a miracle against the Rebels in Thurles on Sunday.

The net result is that the teams which eventually emerge from Munster will have expended a lot more energy compared to their counterparts in Leinster. In theory, that should suit the likes of Kilkenny and Galway down the road but, on the other hand, they won’t be as battle-hardened as potential rivals from the southern province.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Three snapshots to show the shifting sands of time

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Border poll...Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill and Mary Lou McDonald.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

Three snapshots of Ireland in the here and now -and none of them have to do with Covid-19. But each of them, in its own way, shows the shifting sands of politics and, indeed, of society.

1. The North

On Tuesday the UK foreign secretary Liz Truss announced she would be introducing new legislation which will radically re-engineer the Northern Protocol.

The Protocol is a bit of a tough nut to crack when it comes to explaining. It is essentially the rules that have been laid down to allow the North stay in the EU’s common market.

Goods originating from the North and being exported to the EU (and obviously the South is in the EU) do not have to have any checks. But goods coming over from Britain to Northern Ireland have had to be checked to comply with EU standards.

Of course, that added layers of bureaucracy especially for foods and medicines. And an effective border down the Irish Sea.

About 85 percent of the goods coming into the North from the UK stay in the North. But if they allowed all goods to come in without checking that would make the North a handy backdoor to bring sub-par goods and materials into the EU.

Politicians down here have said the North has the best of both worlds: access to the EU markets while being part of the UK. But it just has not worked out like that, whether that’s a psychological block or a real one, I’m not sure.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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