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Connacht Tribune

Greenways a top priority in County Galway Development Plan submissions

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The number of submissions on the Galway County Development Plan – which is a roadmap for the future of the county over the next six years – have increased 30-fold, with greenways now a top priority amongst the public.

The vast majority of those who made submissions in this regard are advocating the provision of the ‘Quiet Man Greenway’ from Athenry to Tuam and on to Claremorris.

Greenways in Connemara and parts of South Galway also form part of these submissions. Overall, they make up more than 70% of the total number received by the County Council during the consultation period.

County Secretary Michael Owens confirmed to the Connacht Tribune that in the last County Development Plan 2016-21, there were just 75 submissions from the public, but for the plan currently being formulated, there were a whopping 2,242.

The volume of submissions advocating a walking and cycling greenway along the old Western Rail Corridor track will be a source of concern for those – many county councillors included – who are campaigning for this rail line to be reopened for passenger traffic.

A large number of submissions referred to the planned 76km-long Connemara Greenway connecting Galway City to Clifden travelling through dramatic landscapes, exploring historic sites and visiting villages and towns along the way.

When completed, the Connemara Greenway will be the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in the country. It will be a traffic free cycling and walking trail which follows the route of the historic Galway to Clifden railway line which closed in 1935.

It will start at Fisheries Field in NUI Galway, proceed along the river to Dangan and then the old railway line to Moycullen, Oughterard, Maam Cross, Recess, Ballinahinch and finish in Clifden.

The Galway City section will have spurs along the old canal to Galway’s West End and over the old railway bridge stacks to Tirellan Forest Park – facilitating a new walking and cycling bridge over the Corrib.

Many of the remaining 600-plus submissions to the plan relate to the development of parks and recreational areas, the provision of additional sporting facilities in different parts of the county and assistance to various community projects.

Mr Owens said that next stage of the timeline is the preparation of the Chief Executive’s Report on the submissions.

“It is necessary to complete this within 12 weeks of the closing date for submissions, which means it has to be done by October 22.”

Councillors will then have a further period to consider the report and the plan should be adopted by April or May next year.

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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