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Connacht Tribune

Govt looks at alternative uses for Connemara airstrips

Dara Bradley

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The Government has no immediate plans to use two airstrips in Connemara for the purpose they were built.

Gaeltacht Minister Seán Kyne has ruled out, in the medium term, a plan to use the airstrips at Cleggan and Inishbofin as commuter airports between the mainland and North Connemara island.

Minister Kyne said his department officials are examining two alternative proposals for future use of the airstrips, following a public consultation process that was initiated in 2017. Some 113 submissions about the airstrips were received by the Department.

He said the Department is in discussions with the Irish Coast Guard with a view to utilising part of the site at Cleggan for the provision of a Coast Guard Station.

In the case of the site on Inishbofin, the Department is in discussions with the HSE with a view to the use of part of the site to locate a Health Care Centre for the island.

“Any such developments will need to be agreed with the relevant regulatory bodies and planning bodies having regard to the original purpose for which the sites were developed. It is also important to point out that any development undertaken at this time will not prejudice the potential future use of the airstrips for the provision of air services to Inishbofin,” said Minister Kyne.

He was responding to questions in the Dáil from fellow Galway West TDs, Éamon Ó Cuív (FF) and Catherine Connolly (Ind).

Deputy Ó Cuív, in a statement, reiterated the view that the airstrips should be opened and used as airstrips. He said that they could be lumped-in with the new contract for air services to the Aran Islands, which is soon up for renewal.

“There is no reason that in a new contract to be issued by the Department for air services to the Aran Islands next autumn, Inisbofin would not be included for at least a three or four day a week service. This would include a service linking Connemara Airport to Cleggan and to Bofin, giving the people of Inisbofin and visitors to Inisbofin, a choice of leaving from either Connemara Airport or Cleggan and going to the Island. As the air company already has the airplanes and all other back-up in Inverin, the extra cost to providing a service to Inisbofin would be minimal, as it could all be done within the existing working day of the pilots,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

He said the Government, if it is serious about islands, needs to invest in 21st century services, “otherwise the islands will decay and this will cost a lot more to the State than to develop them to their full potential.”

Deputy Ó Cuív added: “The islands provide for Ireland, a shop window that many people associate with the core of our natural heritage, our culture and a way of life that has disappeared in many other places.”

Connacht Tribune

Time and history conferred character on this home

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The Hermitage, Ballymoe: on the market with a €425,000 guide price.

The Hermitage at Lisnageeragh, Ballymoe is a property on which time and history has conferred a character that no new property could mirror.

Overlooking 16.3 acres of rolling green fields which are included in the sale, this is indeed a unique house and comes to market with charming well maintained stone buildings. These could provide further family accommodation, holiday rentals or craft studios.

The front hall has a beautiful, curved window and leads to two reception rooms on either side of the house. The sitting room has an open fireplace with a black cast iron surround and wooden floors which gleam from years of care and reflect the light coming from two large windows. To the right-hand side, the dining room also has an attractive bay window and an oil-fired stove and it is indeed the perfect social /entertaining space.

To the rear of the house the kitchen is a classic example of a successful marriage of the old and the new. Bespoke shaker style units combine perfectly with modern recessed lighting, attractive tiling and includes a pantry area to one side. A good-sized bedroom and adjacent bathroom complete the downstairs of the main house.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms one of which has an en suite shower. The main bedroom is a delightful space which leads to another small room, a perfect nursery or walk in wardrobe.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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A time when we learned once more that no man is an island

Francis Farragher

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Country singer Dolly Parton getting the jab: she sang about it and part-funded research on the vaccine.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of the oft-repeated pub jokes whenever the price drink was increased, whether it by Finance Ministers or publicans who felt that their margins were being whittled away, was that: “As long as it doesn’t get scarce, we’ll be happy enough.”

Who could have believed though in the first month or two of 2020 that this scenario would unfold (at least in pubs), where the opportunity to meet friends – and the odd ‘auld enemy’ too – over a couple of pints in the local bar would be snatched away from us?

We probably have learned to adapt to the reality of the pandemic and most of us will remember the real sense of fear and constriction that pervaded our every word and action early last year.

2020 was the universal version of ‘annus horribilis’ – the term made famous by Queen Elizabeth in 1992 when royal marriages started to collapse like cards houses in the breeze.

Being of rural stock, I loved the little video earlier this from country music icon, Dolly Parton, who adapted a verse of her famous Jolene song to mark her first shot of the Moderna vaccine (she also donated $1 million to its research) in a very sincere effort to try and encourage the general public to get inoculated.

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

I’m begging of you not to hesitate,

Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

Cause when you’re dead that’s a bit too late.”

A year before that, times were indeed very strange across Ireland and indeed the world. I remember on the Sunday night before St. Patrick’s Day when a sense of incredulity greeted the news in my own local that ‘a lot of the pubs in Galway city were closing down’. Surely, this couldn’t happen in our own little watering hole in the sticks, but it did.

Michael Karmen’s soundtrack from the Band of Brothers series – a wonder piece of music even to my untrained ear – will always remind me of that early Spring period of lockdown in 2020.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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€4.5m worth of property sold during online event

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This detached house at Seacrest in Knocknacarra attracted a "staggering" level of interest.

More than €4.5 million worth of sales were recorded at the O’Donnellan & Joyce auction last week, where 350 people had pre-registered to bid on the 40 properties which went under the hammer.

80% of the properties sold during the auction or following negotiations immediately afterwards.

Among the properties sold at the auction were:

106 Seacrest, Knocknacarra, Galway. Guiding at €250,000 due to the extent of renovation and upgrade works required, the auctioneers were staggered at the level of interest in this 4-bed detached house.

Siobhra Hennessy, Senior Auction Co-Ordinator, said: “There is an increasing demand for city centre homes in need of repair. Couples want to put their own stamp on a property and often look for properties similar to this.”

Bidding commenced at €250,000 but quickly rose to over €350,000. After intense bidding from a number of internet and telephone bidders, the sale price of €364,000 was reached and the deal was done.

192 Bohermore, Galway. A 2-bed terraced house which attracted great attention, with many enquiries and bidders pre-registering. The house needs complete restoration and modernisation works but obviously appealed to a wide audience. It guided at €120,000, but sold for €179,000, despite the great amount of work required. Again, this is an example of a near-derelict building that offered great potential.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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