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Halloween ‘rave’ in the grave

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Plans to hold a Halloween party at Cregg Castle tonight were scuppered at Galway District Court earlier this week.

Alan Murray, of Cregg Castle, Corrandulla, had applied to the court for a public dance licence and for a special exemption to sell alcohol at the venue, being a place to which no drinks licence is attached, for a special event, from 6p.m. to 2.30am this Saturday, October 31.

Gardai objected to the application.

In reply to Judge Mary Fahy, Mr Murray said he was the licensee of Cregg Castle.

Judge Fahy then asked to see a copy of the license.

Mr Murray’s solicitor, Ronan Murphy, explained his client was not the licensee.

He said the application was done using a web-based company which provides licences from other licensed premises and he understood such a licence had been handed into court by another firm of solicitors with the application.

Court clerk, Breda Byron confirmed no such licence was on the court file.

Judge Fahy said that if the applicant did not have a licence there was no point in making the application.

Mr Murray explained that he had had another licensee lined up to hand in the licence but he let him down badly at the last minute.

Mr Murphy said that was the reason for the late application.  He said he had understood from his principal instructing solicitor that a licence had been handed in, but it obviously wasn’t.

Judge Fahy said that if there was no licence, they could not apply to have a function requiring a licensed premises.

She asked why was the application so late?

Mr Murray said he had been running Cregg Castle for the past three years, trying to renovate it.

Judge Fahy said that was fine, but the Castle was not licensed.

He agreed.

She asked him how could he come into court and give sworn evidence that he wanted to hold a function requiring a licence when the place was not licensed.

Mr Murphy explained the licence would have been from another premises and he had understood it has been handed into court.

In reply to Judge Fahy, Mr Murray said he was hoping to hold a Halloween event there on Saturday night.

“Was it going to be a rave?, the judge asked.

Mr Murray said no, it would not be a rave.

He said he understood a rave to be a event which was not organised and there were no officials involved while this event was very organised and the site had been visited by the fire officer and he had walked the land.

Mr Murphy said a lot of background work had been done.  They had a licensee on board but that licensee “pulled” their licence very late.

Judge Fahy asked “out of curiosity”, what were the State objections to the application.

Inspector Kevin Gately said Gardai were objecting to the application on a number of grounds.

He said the first issue was Gardai didn’t know if there was any insurance in place, and secondly, a similar event was held there last year, which discommoded the local residents seriously because it went on throughout the whole night.

“It was a rave,” Insp Gately concluded.

Mr Murray said they had a sit-down meeting with neighbours and local councillor, James Charity in the past week to discuss the issue.

Judge Fahy interrupted him and said he was not in a position to go ahead with the application as he had no licence and she marked the application withdrawn.

CITY TRIBUNE

GAA club’s tournament honours stalwart who died at just 28

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Pictured at the launch of the Darragh Frain Memorial Tournament which takes place in Mervue this Saturday. Back: Kevin Curran, Kevin Barrett, Robert Fitzgerald, Aidan Brady, Alan O'Donnell, Donal Murphy, Eanna O'Connell, Eoghan Frain, David Henry. Front: Aodhain Ó Conghaile, Liam O'Donnell, Rory Murphy, Fionn Fitzgerald and Michael Barrett.

The untimely passing of a city GAA stalwart six years ago is still deeply felt by the club he represented but he remains an inspiration to young up-and-coming footballers who will be displaying their skills this weekend.

The Darragh Frain Memorial Tournament for under-age teams will take place in St James’ GAA grounds at Mervue tomorrow, Saturday, when many memories of a great young clubman will be exchanged.

Darragh, from Lurgan Park in Renmore, was just 28 years of age when he lost his battle with cancer in 2016. Since then his beloved club has been organising a tournament for young footballers that’s proving immensely popular.

For tomorrow’s event, the St James club will entertain local teams including St Michael’s, Salthill-Knocknacarra, Killanin and an Cheathrú Rua, as well as Kiltane (Bangor Erris) and Elphin-Ballinameen from North Roscommon.

It is a nine-a-side tournament, which takes place from 11am to 5pm, and will involve Under-11 teams who will compete against each other during the day.

The fact that Darragh’s late father, Tom Frain Senior, hailed from Roscommon means that GAA support for the event is coming from both counties – this makes it extra special, as well as adding to the profile of the tournament.

Best friend and one of the event’s main organisers, another St James stalwart David Henry explained that this was the sixth year of the tournament and that Darragh would be very pleased that his name was being associated with the development of under-age football.

Get the full story in this week’s Galway City Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Too many cafés’ as city retail continues to decline

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Barber Tom Nally outside his premises.

The changing face of Galway city centre is a source of concern to those who say it reflects a decline for people in terms of retail choices.

Those who regret the loss of several long-standing family-run operations in the city in recent years don’t believe that what has replaced them has enhanced the appearance of Shop Street, in particular.

“We are looking at a proliferation of coffee shops, bookies and mobile phone outlets in their place,” observed long-standing city centre businessman Tom Nally.

Cllr Niall McNelis agreed there were far too many coffee shops in the city centre and believed that anything that has been zoned retail by the Council should remain retail.

The Labour Councillor said a proper retail strategy needed to be adopted and some of the ‘big-name brands’ needed to be encouraged into the centre of Galway to lure shoppers into town.

Meanwhile, popular barber Tom Nally regretted the number of family operations that have ceased trading in the recent past.

“It is sad to see the long-established family businesses in the city centre going and it would be great to say that what is replacing them will enhance our streets . . . but unfortunately this is not the case,” he added.

Mr Nally who has been operating out of his High Street premises for almost 50 years, said the number of unoccupied premises in an around the city centre was a new phenomenon.

Get the full story in this week’s Galway City Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

State cracks down on quick-buck landlords

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New measures to clamp down on illegal short-term lets in the city will kick in next month, in an attempt to tackle mounting pressure on the rental market.

From September 1, sites such as Airbnb and Booking.com will no longer be allowed to advertise short-term rentals if the correct planning permission is not in place.

The measure seeks to strengthen laws introduced in 2019 which state that the use of a property for short-term letting for longer than 90 days in a rent-pressure zone requires permission from the local authority.

City Councillor Niall Murphy (Green) said the move follows on from an objection he lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI).

“The ASAI said it couldn’t be expected to police these ads so the websites like Airbnb were off the hook. But after September, they will have to ensure that those advertising on their sites have planning permission,” he said.

The proliferation of short-term lets in the city has been a contentious issue for a number of years, with scores of holiday leases available at the same time as city residents are battling it out for an extremely limited number of rental properties.

This week, almost 400 short-term lets were available on the leading website, Airbnb, while just 19 homes were up for rent on Daft.ie.

Get the full story in this week’s Galway City Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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