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Government defends Taoiseachs role in blocking EU funding for Galway transport projects

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Government has issued a response to claims that the Taoiseach blocked EU funding for Galway Airport and the Western Rail Corridor.
It’s after new documents reveal an application for EU funding for transport projects in the west and northwest was dropped during his tenure as Transport Minister.
The Department of the Taoiseach claims the projects were excluded because the country could not afford them.

Projects such as the western rail corridor and the upgrading of Galway and Sligo airports were deleted from an EU-wide transport programme in 2011.
Newly disclosed documents reveal the decision was made following an intervention from then Transport Minister Leo Varadkar.
The Department of the Taoiseach has this evening released a press statement addressing today’s revelations.
It says the inclusion of capital projects on the EU’s Ten-T transport programme had little bearing on the funding for such projects.
It adds the vast majority of the funding required for the projects in question would still have had to come from the state coffers.
A spokesperson says the country simply did not have the resources at that stage to commit to that level of investment, given it had just emerged from the worst economic crash in its history.
The statement also points out that despite extreme economic conditions at that time, the Gort to Tuam motorway – the largest ever infrastructure project in the west – was initated under the watch of then Transport Minister Leo Varadkar.

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Bishop Kelly praises Martin Drennan’s 54 years as “shepherd, teacher and pastor”

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Bishop Brendan Kelly has praised the late Martin Drennan for his 54 years as “shepherd, teacher and pastor”.

Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan passed away at the age of 78 last weekend.

His funeral will take place this afternoon at 1pm at the Cathedral.

Speaking at the reposal last evening at Galway Cathedral, Bishop Kelly, commended Bishop Drennan on his time served as priest and bishop.

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County Council to begin examining one thousand submissions on beach bye-laws

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway County Council is to begin the process of examining more than one thousand written submissions received on controversial beach bye-laws.

The bye-laws, which seek to introduce a range of regulations at beaches across the county, have meet with fierce opposition.

Among the measures are bans on dogs at certain times, and on the use of gear like kayaks, canoes and paddle boards near swimmers.

Water sports organisatons argue that in their current form, the proposed bye-laws would effectively ban watersports from the beaches.

Along with the more than one-thousand written submissions received, an online petition has gathered almost 5,500 signatures.

Dr. Barra Nevin from the ZoneGalwayBeaches campaign group, says what’s really needed is a proper zoning plan for Galway’s beaches.

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East Galway to benefit from €169m Just Transition Fund

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https://mcdn.podbean.com/mf/web/g5g997/deputy_demis_naughten7f1pb.mp3

Galway Bay fm newsroom – East Galway is to benefit from a new €169m EU Just Transition Fund for the Midland counties.

The fund was approved at Cabinet today, to support Ireland’s move away from fossil fuels.

Over the next decade, it’ll help generate new green jobs, stimulate enterprise, support sustainable tourism and restore damaged peatlands.

East Galway, Kildare, Laois, Longford, North Tipperary, Offaly, Roscommon and Westmeath will all beneft from the fund.

Local Independent TD, Denis Naughten has been speaking to David Nevin.

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