Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

CITY TRIBUNE

Grant money key to new Galway City ‘cultural district’

Denise McNamara

Published

on

Unless Fáilte Ireland stumped up a minimum of €5 million towards the refurbishment and extension of the Galway City Museum into Comerford House and onto the top of the Spanish Arch, the flagship 2020 project would be dead in the water.

That was the prediction by Chief Executive Brendan McGrath, who was responding to concerns by councillors about the €8.3m predicted price tag.

In an update about the planned new ‘cultural tourism district’ around the museum, Mr McGrath said the Council will submit an application for €6m to Fáilte Ireland – a million over what it generally awarded under the Grant Scheme for Large Tourism Projects.

However, the national tourism body had in the past upped its allocation for particular high-profile projects around the country and the Council had already pressed upon Fáilte Ireland officials the need to make an exception here.

The Council would have to make up whatever shortfall there was through the raising of a loan and pay for increased running costs of €300,000 a year.

Senior Executive Officer for capital projects and economic development, Mark O’Donnell, said the cost of the project was significant because of the complexity of the site located beside a national monument – the Spanish Arch – and protected sites such as Comerford House and the River Corrib.

The technology for the planned interactive exhibition spaces was also costly.

“We had a meeting with Fáilte Ireland and they’ve been exceptionally supportive from the beginning. I was very honest, very frank. I said if it’s a lesser amount it’s not going to be viable for us to go ahead with it.”

Cllr Mike Crowe (FF) said he would like to see the figures drilled down about “who’s costing us what”.

“Approaching €9m is a hell of a lot of money for an extension to a museum,” he said.

Cllr Collette Connolly (Ind) queried the ’low-to-medium flood risk’ ascribed to the site, saying she believed it to be a high flooding risk. She also said alarm bells were ringing about the projected cost given the massive cost overruns of the neighbouring arthouse cinema.

However, the project had one councillor dreaming of Bing Crosby returning to sing Galway Bay from the top of the planned Spanish Arch walkway.

“The positivity is oozing out of me,” Cllr Padraig Conneely grinned. “I won’t say anything bad. I’ve been looking for this for 12 years. It’s been delayed for many years and I have to pay dues to Brendan McGrath, he drove this matter forward – I want that noted.”

The Chief Executive said so far the design phase had cost €200,000, of which €150,000 had come from Council coffers.

“Without equivocation, if we get word that Fáilte Ireland aren’t providing at least €5m, the next report I’ll be bringing is to recommend it not go ahead.”

If all went to plan, Mr O’Donnell said the “landmark and exciting project” could be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020 and would need a two-month closure period for the museum, which is the most visited free amenity outside Dublin.

Councillors unanimously gave the green light for the project by approving the ‘part eight’ planning permission.

CITY TRIBUNE

Residents call in the clampers to sort problem parking

Dara Bradley

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in a Salthill estate have become tired of illegal parking outside their homes – and hired private clampers as a deterrent.

People living in Seamount off Threadneedle Road near Blackrock said they have been plagued by extra traffic and vehicles parking outside their homes, blocking access, during the latest Covid lockdown.

They said that since Galway City Council closed off the Prom to car parking, and closed the two public carparks, the cars have just migrated to Threadneedle Road and their estate.

Seamount is a private estate and the road has not been taken in charge by the Council. The residents have clubbed together and hired a clamping company, which will erect signs in the coming days and begin clamping illegally parked cars from next week.

Residents said they are also concerned that cars parked on Threadneedle Road are making it more difficult for buses to pass, and cause congestion.

A residents’ spokesperson said: “Since the lockdown, they closed off the Prom and closed off Salthill car park but people are still using the Prom and swimming off Blackrock. I have huge admiration for the swimmers, I do it myself when it’s warmer. But what’s happening is they park on both sides of Threadneedle Road, because there’re no yellow lines on either side of it and it’s not wide enough for cars to be parked either side of it, so buses are getting stuck.”
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.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

NUIG President’s upset at Covid breaches on campus

Enda Cunningham

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – “I work in the hospital and we have had a really awful six weeks. We have nowhere to sit down and have our breaks. We are exhausted and would long to see family and friends. To see public health guidelines [being flouted] on NUIG property is a kick in the teeth.”

These are the words of an angry and frustrated healthcare worker at University Hospital Galway in a message sent to the head of NUIG.

President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh told students and staff at the university this week that he found it “deeply frustrating” that some students were flouting public health guidelines.

The HSE has confirmed that there were at least 441 cases of Covid in the city’s 18-24 age group – which has affected 224 households – in the past three weeks.

“Our neighbours contacted me expressing their upset at what they see as activities by our students that do not respect the health and safety of the community at large. People who work in the health service, people who have lost friends and relations to Covid-19. I share their upset.

“I was struck, for example, by one particularly heartfelt message from a local healthcare worker and campus user who shared their frustration with me last week on seeing groups congregating and socialising on campus grounds and which they agreed we could share,” Prof Ó hÓgartaigh said.

The head of the university shared the message in an email to students and staff this week, adding that students had expressed frustration that study spaces were not open on campus and at the challenges posed by the constricted spaces in which they study.

NUIG confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it had imposed sanctions on a number of students in relation to Covid breaches, while there have been none at GMIT.
This is a brief 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.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Principals band together for safer cycling infrastructure

Denise McNamara

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A total of 28 Galway City school principals have signed an open letter to the Minister for Transport and local councillors highlighting the need for safer cycling infrastructure around schools, to encourage students and staff to switch to bikes.

The push by Government to cycle or walk where possible during the pandemic has its limitations in a city where cycle lanes are rare and parents are too afraid to let their children cycle on narrow roads often choked with traffic.

A group of cycling enthusiasts in city schools has been campaigning to encourage the school community to engage with Galway City Council’s public consultation process for the next development plan which will have a key role in deciding whether cycling lanes or off-road cycle routes become a reality.

The first stage of the initial consultation process for the ‘City Development Plan 2023-2029, Your City, Your Future’ closes today (Friday). But the process will continue for two more years with more consultation encouraged once the draft plan is published.

This week a letter from 28 principals sent to councillors called for support for the provision of better cycle infrastructure in and around all schools. It has also been sent to Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and Galway West TD and Minister of State at Cabinet, Hildegarde Naughton.

“It is our view that existing road infrastructure around schools can be unsafe for children, teachers, and families who wish to cycle to school and we would like to encourage the development safe cycling routes in the future,” the letter states.

Principal of Coláiste na Coiribe, Eoghan Ó Ceallaigh, said it was important for the school community to get involved with the public consultation.

(Photo: Last year, the Council introduced a ‘School Streets’ pilot scheme at Scoil Iognáid, which bans cans during certain times, encouraging parents and children to walk or cycle. Schools now want proper cycling infrastructure put in place).
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.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending