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Connacht Tribune

Grant puts Connemara Greenway back on the right track



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

Hospitality group raises €90k



Lorraine Gallagher (left) and Charlene Hurley of Galway Hospice presented with a cheque for €27,537 by Brian Lynch and Eveanna Ryan of Connacht Hospitality.

The Connacht Hospitality Group this week announced that they raised more than €90,000 for a range of good Irish causes throughout 2022.

The group, which owns well-known Galway establishments including The Connacht Hotel, An Púcán, HYDE Hotel, Residence Hotel and 1520 Bar, as well as the Galway Bay Golf Resort, held a range of events at various stages of 2022 to fundraise for Claddagh Watch Patrol, the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI), Galway Hospice and Make-A-Wish Ireland.

The announcement of over €90,000 worth of funds raised by the Connacht Hospitality Group for national and local charities comes off the back of the past 12 months which saw the group aim to make Corporate Social Responsibility a core part of their identity. This focus allowed them to become more aware of the causes that need assistance while also raising the profile of many of the charities.

The group arranged a diverse array of events to raise funds, and had lots of imaginative ways of grabbing the public’s attention. One event saw people attend HYDE Bar to savour a menu made by a mystery celebrity. In the end, it was revealed that TV personality Gráinne Seoige was the Executive Chef on a night that generated over €8,000 for the NBCRI.

Another event saw staff take part in a ‘Sunrise Swim’ in Salthill – and the public donated in their droves. All money raised went towards Claddagh Watch Patrol, an organisation that works to make Galway’s waterways safer by preventing accidental death and suicide.

One of the most successful fundraisers was the Galway Bay Golf Resort’s Golf Classic, which raised over €22,000 for Galway Hospice.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Residents in fear of gangs travelling to rural Galway to burgle homes



Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins.

Residents in rural County Galway are living in fear of being burgled after one small area suffered at least 10 raids in the month of January.

Councillor Mary Hoade told a meeting of the County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) this week that those figures were for around Headford alone, as she called for additional resources to target travelling crime gangs visiting the county.

“Some of these burglaries are taking place in the morning when people go to work; some are in the evening; and others at night. It’s very frightening.  We recognise that these criminals are coming into the county, but we need more support to fight crime,” said Cllr Hoade.

“Rural garda stations have less resources . . . we’re relying on the resources in the nearest town,” she continued.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said gardaí couldn’t be everywhere at once, but communities needed to act as their eyes and ears and report suspicious activity when they see it. Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins (pictured) told the JPC that Galway was being targeted from time to time by travelling gangs.

“Three different gangs visited the county on one day recently,” said Det Supt Cummins.

Cllr Shelly Herterich Quinn (FF) said she believed increased CCTV and automatic number plate recognition cameras – to capture known gangs on tour – should be rolled out.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

IDA Ireland’s €10m land purchase backs Oranmore for industry base



Former Mayor of County Galway, Liam Carroll.

IDA Ireland has trebled its footprint on the outskirts of Oranmore by purchasing more than 100 acres of land to support industry.

It’s understood the semi-state body purchased some 42.9 hectares on the outskirts of Oranmore, for a price in excess of €10 million.

The strategic purchase of land adjacent to some 21 hectares zoned ‘business and technology’ and already owned by the IDA, was a “major vote of confidence” in Oranmore and Galway, according Cathaoirleach of the Athenry/Oranmore Municipal District, County Councillor Liam Carroll (FG).

It brings the total amount of land owned by the IDA in the area to over 150 acres.

This latest parcel, purchased at the end of 2022, is located off the N67 Claregalway Road, to the north and east of the Galway to Dublin Rail line.

“It would be ideally suited and attractive to a major multinational company or companies for the establishment of a high tech, pharmaceutical or medical device type facility,” Cllr Carroll said.

The entire site of 150-plus acres is close to the M6 motorway, and an hour away from international links, Shannon Airport and Ireland West Airport in Knock.  It is also close to a number of potential Park & Ride sites, identified by the National Transport Authority as being suitable for commuters.

It’s understood the land is zoned agricultural and would require a material alteration to the County Development Plan to be voted on by county councillors, in order for it to be rezoned before 2028.

(Photo: Cllr Liam Carroll, who believes the land could be developed for a tech or pharmaceutical hub).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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