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Connacht Tribune

Grant puts Connemara Greenway back on the right track

Stephen Corrigan



An extra €500,000 in funding has this week been allocated towards the construction of the Connemara Greenway between Oughterard and Clifden.

As part of the €8.14 million third phase of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, the maximum amount of half-a-million euro has been granted to the project which aims to create a greenway along the old Galway to Clifden railway line.

The funding has been welcomed by campaigners for the greenway who say any funding for the project moves it one step closer to completing the full 76km stretch between Galway city and Clifden.

Representative for the Connemara Greenway Alliance, Tiernan McCusker, said the announcement was hugely positive.

“We would welcome the funding. Considering that there’s a lot of competition from a number of greenways around the country, and a lot of those are shovel-ready, this is very good news for the people of Galway and the people of Connemara,” said Mr McCusker.

Mr McCusker said they have been supported by Galway County Council in their pursuit of a greenway – the construction of which campaigners believe will be hugely beneficial from both and environmental and economic point of view.

A six kilometre stretch of the greenway from Athry to Cloonbeg, running close to Ballynahinch Castle, was opened in May of this year.

Mr McCusker said that while the news of this funding was still fresh, it was their belief that section would continue to be extended.

If completed, the greenway from the city to Connemara would be the longest in Ireland, and has the potential to create jobs and new business along the route – opening the communities from Moycullen to Clifden up to the huge numbers of tourists that visit Galway City every year.

Campaigners hope to emulate the success of the Waterford Greenway, creating a walkway and cycle path along the railway line that has been out of use since 1935.

Commenting on the announcement, Minister for the Gaeltacht, Seán Kyne, said the additional funding will further boost efforts to upgrade the old railway route for walkers, runners and cyclists.

“The funding is under measure three of the Outdoor recreation Infrastructure Scheme which is specifically for the development of larger, strategic projects.

The maximum allocation of €500,000 has been granted for the Connemara Greenway in this round,” said Minister Kyne, adding that this brings to €2.8 million the amount that has been provided to the project to date.

“This funding will ensure further progress on the Greenway in Connemara which is a facility that will benefit local communities as well as visitors to our county.

“The funding builds on the sections of the greenway already developed and will help spur on the progress of the remaining sections,” said the TD for Galway West.

While progress on the project has been slow, particularly due to disputes over land on the city to Moycullen section, Mr McCusker said they remain optimistic that the project will be completed.

“We hope to see an extension from Galway to Moycullen in the coming years,” he added.

Connacht Tribune

Sinn Féin surge turns Galway’s political landscape on its head




Galway West Fianna Fail candidate Eamon Ó Cuív celebrates after his election with his wife Aine, their children Eamon Óg and Eimear, and grandchildren Aine, Mairead Eamon and Sean. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

It was a day that few – including Sinn Féin’s own faithful – saw coming, as a surge across the whole of the county saw the party, which was almost wiped out in the local elections, take two seats and go close to a third across Galway’s three constituencies.

The second phenomenon from the weekend’s results was the success of female candidates, with the three areas returning five women TDs for the eleven seats. The election of Mairead Farrell, Catherine Connolly and Hildegarde Naughton in Galway West alone marked a record return in a constituency which only elected two female TDs for the first time in 2016.

But – mirroring the rest of the country – the rise and rise of Sinn Féin was the big story, with candidates coming from the back of the pack to dominate.

The focus has now switched to the formation of a new Government – and while Fianna Fáil’s only poll-topper Eamon Ó Cuív proclaimed himself willing to work with Sinn Féin, so too Roscommon/Galway Independent duo of Michael Fitzmaurice and Denis Naughten revealed they were willing to talk to all sides who would take their policies on board.

Éamon Ó Cuív said Sinn Féin’s links to the IRA – and the armed struggle during the Troubles – were not a barrier for Fianna Fáil ‘doing a deal’ on a programme for Government.

And the grandson of Éamon de Valera, founder of Fianna Fáil, said a coalition between Sinn Féin and his party was still the most likely scenario.

“The options are narrowing. Sinn Féin can’t make it with small like-minded parties. Fine Gael are closing the door on everybody. And it could be a question of the last two standing, which would be Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin,” he said.

See our full election coverage across Galway East, Galway West and Roscommon/Galway over 18 pages in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Connacht Tribune website and social media tops the poll




The Connacht Tribune’s award-winning website and social media channels topped the poll at the weekend for unrivalled up-to-the-minute election tallies, counts and analysis.

Over the past week, attracted more than 87,600 users and recorded 227,400 page views.

Of the users, just over 75,000 were in Ireland (85%), but the election coverage also attracted 3,800 readers from the UK (4.3%); 3,600 (4.1%) in the United States; nearly 1,500 in Turkey (1.6%) and more than 700 in Australia (just under 1%).

Hundreds more expatriates tuned over the weekend from numerous European counties and as far afield as India, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, South Africa, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, China, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia – and they returned for more!

Meanwhile, our Facebook page was leagues ahead of all other local media, with 458,000 engagements (clicks, likes, shares and comments) for the week to February 12th – fifteen times higher than some other outlets and more than 267,000 ahead of the closest.

On Twitter, the @CTribune account earned more than 207,000 impressions (the number of times our tweets were shown in people’s timelines) last weekend.

The figures show, once again, that the Tribune is the most popular and trusted news source in Galway.



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Country Living

A case for taking some of the bumps from the ‘Green Road’

Francis Farragher



In search of the 'middle ground'.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

The dust has settled on the election campaign . . . well sort of . . . and now all of the different parties and interest groups are battling it out to have their say in the direction of our country in the months and years to come. We’d all love to be able to look forward to a greener, fairer and happier era, but the great reality of life is that there has never been a path without its bumps and twists.

American writer, publisher and philosopher of the late 19th and early 20th century, Elbert Hubbard probably summed it all up with his famous quote of: “Don’t take life too seriously: you’ll never get out of it alive.”

There are days on the farm when a walk by the river bank or by stone walls that are partly papered with whitethorns and briars just gives a feeling that at times, there is a close alignment between nature and those of who have some every-day link with the land.

In most ways, despite our tendency to whinge about the wind and rain, we are blessed with a climate here in Ireland that means we’re always destined to have the greenest of green isles, despite all the harbingers of doom, who tell us that we’re doing little right when it comes to the future of our planet.

There I was, watching a pre-election TV debate a couple of weeks back when a Dublin woman who admitted she knew nothing about farming said that maybe we should ‘cut back’ on the national herd – her view being essentially based on what she had heard someone else say.

In those debates nowadays, the trend is for such contributors to have a 13-year-old offspring perched beside them, primed to provide a little Greta Thunberg style lecture to us heathens who won’t genuflect on the spot at such outpourings.

Now, I won’t go into any diatribe about the right way to bring up children, because never since the beginning of mankind has there been any ‘guaranteed guide’ on that topic, but I do hold onto to a small old-fashioned belief, that children and teenagers, should as a general rule, not have to be catapulted prematurely into the world of adulthood, and especially so by their parents.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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