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Householder in tears after ESB fell her trees



An Oranmore woman was left in floods of tears after ESB staff removed twelve trees from her garden.

It was one of a number of fellings that has left residents in the city and county angry – and accusing ESB Networks of ‘butchering trees’ in Renmore and Mervue as well as Oranmore.

One woman traumatised by this, who wishes to remain anonymous, has spoken about her devastation over what she described as the ‘bloody mess’ that the ESB crew left her garden in.

ESB protocol states that if a tree is close to interfering with an electricity line, they will ‘trim the branches back a safe distance’.

However, they say, ‘if the trees are in an unstable condition and there is danger they could fall on the electricity line we will cut them down completely.’

The Oranmore woman was informed that ESB would be trimming trees in her local area.

But she said she had specifically stated that she didn’t want any work done on her trees because she was looking at getting them trimmed herself.

The woman did acknowledge that some of the trees in her garden were ‘bending slightly’ and did need work for safety reasons.

She said that nobody was present in her home when the trees in her garden were cut down.

“They ripped out twelve 25 feet trees,” she said, “I cried.”

She felt her garden had been left in a terrible condition after the removal of the trees.

She continuously contacted ESB about the issue but she said they eventually stopped answering her calls and emails altogether – ultimately claiming that she was harassing them.

They have since contacted her but she said that they still “refuse to accept any responsibility.”

The woman has contacted a solicitor, Citizens Advice and the Tree Council of Ireland.

Project Supervisor at ESB Networks Paddy Gorman, who was initially dealing with the complaints regarding the trees in Renmore, declined to comment on the issue but said he is working with the City Council on the situation.

Last month, Councillor Terry O’Flaherty demanded that ESB Networks return to Renmore Park and “finish the job properly”.

“They have left the area in an unholy mess – they really have to be seen to be believed.

“It’s simply not acceptable. Local people are very proud of their area and are very upset by this,” said Cllr O’Flaherty, adding that there is now a concern among locals that the condition of the trees could pose a safety risk.

“Some of these trees are now lop-sided, with all the weight on one side, and some people are worried that if we have another storm like we did last month, one of these trees could be blown over – and who will be responsible then if they cause damage to property, or worse injury?”

The City Council’s Senior Executive Parks Superintendent Stephen Walsh said he was on the ‘same wavelength’ as Cllr O’Flaherty on this issue. “I’ve made it clear that we’re not happy,” he said.


Plan for ‘world-class’ campus with potential for 10,000 jobs at Galway Airport



From this week’s Galway CIty Tribune – A proposal to transform the former Galway Airport into a ‘world-class’ business and technology campus has been drawn up by Galway County Council – with the potential to create up to 10,000 jobs.

The plan, which was compiled as part of the Draft County Development Plan, proposes a multi-million-euro investment in the 115-acre site owned jointly by the County and City Councils.

According to the vision document, the airport site at Carnmore could become a key economic driver that would “attract and secure long-term investment in Galway and the western region, and underpin the development of the Galway Metropolitan Area”.

Among the sectors identified as potential occupants are renewable energy, biodiversity, food science and logistics.

Some of the structures included for are a ‘landmark building’; commercial units; park amenity and recreation space; a renewable energy park; and a multi-purpose leisure facility.

A contemporary development with the potential to accommodate emerging industries is promised, with projected employment numbers ranging between 3,500 to 10,000 over time.

However, county councillors raised concerns at a meeting this week that the proposal they had seen in the Development Plan had been ‘sitting on a shelf’ since last March – and they still hadn’t seen what was dubbed ‘the masterplan’ for the airport site.

Cllr Liam Carroll (FG) told the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District meeting that the recent news that Oranmore was among the locations being looked at by multinational tech giant, Intel, put fresh focus on the future of the airport.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Work expected to start on Galway City cycleways next summer



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The first six projects in the city’s major new cycle network are expected to begin construction by next June.

In an update on developments that are in train to improve the lot of cyclists, councillors at this week’s local authority meeting were told that the Martin Roundabout (near the Galway Clinic) would next be changed to a junction and the BusConnects, involving priority bus lanes from Moneenageisha to University Hospital Galway, were advancing.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has approved a raised cycle lane north of Railway Bridge on Doughiska Road South and for a shared street south of the bridge.

Eglinton Canal will turn into a shared cycle and pedestrian path. Four weeks of public consultation on both of these is set to begin in October, with the projects set to go to detailed design and tender following final NTA approval.

Ballybane, Castlepark and Bóthar Stiofáin Roads will also go to public consultation for “raised adjacent cycle schemes” a month after that.

The six projects are expected to begin construction by the end of June or early July next year.

Millars Lane is currently in preliminary design stage after clearing works were carried out last November.

Options are being examined and parking survey prepared for Threadneedle, Bishop O’Donnell, Dr Mannix, Devon Park, Salthill Road Upper and Lower Roads with input and designs from the Parkmore Strategic Framework awaited for the Monivea and Doughiska North Roads.

Active Travel Schemes had been approved in principle by the NTA for Ballyloughane and Clybaun South Roads, involving pedestrian crossings, traffic calming, signalisation of junctions and the integration of safe school routes.

Cllr John Connolly (FF) noted that the first quarter of 2021 was when some of these projects were to go to construction, according to a previous timetable.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Pamela’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Racecourse Park and Ride a non-runner for Christmas in Galway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The lack of a park and ride service this Christmas will drive shoppers out of town at a time when businesses are struggling to recover from months in lockdown, the Mayor has warned.

This is after it was revealed that the City Council has failed to secure an alternative location for the service – with its usual base at Galway Racecourse out of action due to the ongoing vaccination programme.

The service, which had previously operated for the three-week period in the run up to Christmas, enabled motorists to park their cars in Ballybrit and take a return trip by bus to town at a cost of just €2 – taking hundreds of cars out of the city centre.

The Mayor, Cllr Colette Connolly, said it was ‘completely ludicrous’ that it would not be in operation this year, in a city that was already gridlocked with car traffic.

“I think that it is a retrograde step not to proceed with the Christmas Park and Ride because we know what will happen – we’ve seen before what happens at the Corrib Centre around Christmas where traffic backs up and people get stuck in the car park,” said the Mayor.

This would result in shoppers from outside the city avoiding coming in, while others would go to other towns and cities to avoid traffic misery.

“They will go to Limerick or to Dublin, which is only two-and-a-half hours away. They will go to Athlone, because they may as well go there, rather than spend two hours sitting in traffic on Lough Atalia,” added the Independent councillor.

In Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath’s report to councillors, it is stated that “it is looking unlikely that Galway City Council will be able to run the Christmas Park and Ride in 2021”.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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