Date Published: 14-Mar-2011
By Denise McNamara
Iarnród Éireann has reaffirmed its commitment to the Western Rail Corridor despite figures showing passenger numbers are well below initial projections.
Figures provided by the Department of Transport in response to a Freedom of Information request show that passenger numbers between May and September last year averaged 4,800 a month on the route between Ennis and Athenry, which is the first phase of the corridor which opened nearly a year ago at a cost of €106 million.
“This translates into an annual figure of between 62,400 and 67,158 which is well below the 100,000 trips assumed in the business case,” an Irish Rail official wrote according to a report in the Irish Times.
Figures provided by Iarnród Éireann show passenger numbers from October to the end of December dropped, with a monthly average of 4,330 travelling on the route.The business plan anticipated the service would require an annual subsidy of €2.4 million to operate.
Iarnród Éireann spokesman Myles McHugh said the company was happy with the number of passengers who were travelling.
“So much so that we’re putting on an additional service, making it six trains on the Galway to Limerick route, to facilitate commuters in the evening,” he told the Sentinel.
The business case referred to in the documents was one compiled almost five years ago, which assumed there would be seven services a day and in a very different economic climate when there were thousands more workers in the region. It also assumed there would be a station at Oranmore, which has yet to open.
Read more in this week’s Connacht Sentinel
Visiting restrictions lifted at UHG following vomiting bug outbreak
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Visiting restrictions have been lifted at University Hospital Galway following an outbreak of the winter vomiting virus.
The restrictions had been in place on impacted wards since April 22nd.
Ann Cosgrove, General Manager at Galway University Hospitals says visiting restrictions are now being lifted as the outbreak is considered to be over.
However she warns that there are signs that the Winter Vomiting Virus is still active in the community.
Two men before courts over county grow houses
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Two Asian men have appeared in court for sentence in connection with the discovery of cannabis "grow houses" in Tuam and Loughrea last year.
They appeared before Galway Circuit court.
Vietnamese national, 48 year old Hai Fam pleaded guilty before Galway Circuit Court to the possession and cultivation of 189 cannabis plants worth €151,000 at a dormer bungalow at Raheen Oughter, Loughrea on August 28 last year.
In a separate case, Malaysian national, 34 year old Lim Chun Wan, pleaded guilty to the cultivation of 360 cannabis plants worth €288,000 at another rurally located house at Riverview, Corbally, Tuam on June 2 last year.
Judge Rory McCabe said an appropriate sentence in Hai Fam’s case was five years.
He put a stay on the order until next Wednesday to give the accused time to prove his travel arrangements.
He sentenced Lim Chun Wan to seven years in prison, given the greater value of plants found in his care.
He directed the remainder of the men’s sentences be suspended on their leaving this jurisdiction and warned them that if they ever returned to Ireland they would serve the balance of their sentence.
City arthouse cinema granted 200 thousand euro
Date Published: 14-May-2013
Galway City Council has agreed to provide 200 thousand euro in funding to the Art House cinema project.
It’s being termed as a final allocation, to be donated over four years, and is subject to the project securing further finance from the Western Development Commission.
The decision was made at last evening’s city council meeting where representatives of Solas explained how they are attempting to bridge a shortfall in funding to bring the building to completion.
The City Council acquired the site for the Art House Cinema on Merchants Road at a cost of 1.8 million euro, and donated it by way of long term lease.
Construction has been plagued with difficulties, however it’s now hoped the building will be completed this Autumn, and could be open by early 2014.