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High hopes for Galway airport’s future

Francis Farragher

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Galway Airport

A decision on the future usage of Galway Airport should be made in the early months of next year when the City and County Councils consider a consultant’s report on the site.

Nine submission tenders are being considered by Galway City and County Councils to carry out a feasibility study on the future of the 115 acres, now in the ownership of the two local authorities.

“There have been a lot of suggestions but no decision will be made until both Councils study in detail the report of the consultants,” said a spokesman for the City Council.

Meanwhile, the airport will continue to be operated by Carnmore Aviation Ltd., a subsidiary of the Weston private airport near Dublin, until next summer when their 11 month lease on the property expires.

Since Carnmore Aviation Ltd. took over the Carnmore facility last June, it has continued to operate as an airport, accommodating private flights, the local flying club as well as facilitating the Irish Coast Guard and the Air Corps.

Ballinasloe based Civil Engineering firm, Conneely Engineering, own the Weston facility – the company’s MD, Brian Conneely, is an Abbeyknockmoy native.

Both councils paid a total of €1.1m for the airport site, taking on the project in the context of the site being a valuable public asset for the city and county.

However, the Galway City Tribune has learned that the Weston owners are interested in developing Galway as a major European centre for the training and up-skilling of pilots, at a location where air space is relatively clear.

They are also hoping that the airport could become an important hub for multi-national companies in the city using private jets. The Weston owners are also involved in the importation of aviation fuel.

The City Council though have insisted that no decision on whether the site will continue to operate as an airport has been taken – and won’t until the feasibility report has been completed and studied.

“The purchase of the site was a strategic decision, given its size and location close to the M6 and on the fringe of Galway city.

“We would expect though that after receiving the report of the consultants early next year, a decision will be made shortly after on the medium to long term usage of the site,” said the City Council spokesman.

Weston Airport in Dublin currently operate a ‘private air taxi service’ to Biggin Hill airport in London, used primarily by company executives aiming to save travel time with the use of the quieter private airports.

Connacht Tribune

Gardaí seek help in locating missing man

Enda Cunningham

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Gardaí have sought help in locating a man missing in Galway since the end of December.
34-year-old Luke Davoren was last seen in the University Road area on December 30.

He is described as having fair hair, 6ft in height and having an athletic build. He was last seen wearing a grey hoody, brown leather jacket, blue jeans and brown leather boots. He also had a black back pack in his possession.

Gardaí and Luke’s family are very concerned for his welfare and have urged him to make contact.

Anyone with information, particularly any road users with dash cam footage of the Newcastle/University Road areas between 1am – 2am on December 30, is asked to contact Galway Garda Station on 091 538000.

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Daredevil’ swimmers are a fatality waiting to happen

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – ‘Daredevil’ winter sea swimmers who dive or jump into the water in places like Blackrock during adverse weather are putting their own lives at risk – and possibly those of rescuers – by their actions, it was warned this week.

Water Safety Ireland have cautioned that the biggest single contributor to drownings in Ireland is what is known as ‘cold water shock’ – a condition caused by the sudden entry into a cold body of water.

There is now growing concern that a copycat trend is emerging with young people – without wet suits – diving or jumping into the sea in stormy or icy-cold weather.

Several people have been filmed on social media in the sea at Salthill during storms – with a number of them taking ‘running jumps’ off the diving tower at Blackrock.

Roger Sweeney, Deputy CEO of Water Safety Ireland, told the Galway City Tribune that people jumping into the sea during storms showed at best a reckless disregard for their own safety and in a worst-case scenario represented ‘a fatality waiting to happen’ for the jumpers – or the persons trying to rescue them.

“Jumping into cold water puts you at risk of cold shock which can result in immediate incapacitation and doing so in storm conditions can make it difficult to get back out of the water safely and promptly before hypothermia sets in.

“Hypothermia leads to the cooling of the muscles needed in the arms and legs to stay afloat. Drownings typically happen when someone over-estimates their ability and under-estimates the risks,” said Mr Sweeney.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune, that the key thing for all people who enjoyed the water and the sea was to carefully plan their exercise or hobby.

“Cold water shock is a real danger at this time of year for all swimmers. Be prepared – have your cap, ear plugs, mats, woolly cap [after leaving the water] and towels all in place. Check the weather forecast and check the tides – and never, ever just jump straight into the water during the colder season.”

(Photo: Diving into the water at Blackrock during Storm Bella in December)
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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Developer banks on boom in rental property market

Enda Cunningham

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The backer of the Crown Square scheme in Mervue is planning an increase in the number of apartments in the development following a review of the economic viability of the project.

The 345 apartments will specifically target the rental market.

Crown Square Developments Ltd, which is operated by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has told Galway City Council that the amended plans will form part of a new planning application to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála under ‘Strategic Housing Development’ legislation.

According to the company, the property market has changed since it was granted permission in November 2019 for 288 apartments in three blocks ranging from five to eight storeys in height.

Mr Rhatigan has now sought planning permission for an 18% reduction in the overall size of basement levels and a reduction in car parking from 1,377 to 1,012 spaces. Cycle parking spaces will increase from 1,110 to 1,200.

The plan also involves the relocation of the vehicular and pedestrian access to the development on the Monivea Road, which will now be closer to McDonagh Avenue. The existing planned access is at the south-easternmost point of the site, but is now planned to move further west.
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.

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