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Iconic pub to change hands after 190 years

Declan Tierney

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There are six interested parties in the acquisition of a landmark Tuam pub – one from America and one from England and four local.

The sale of The Rustic Vaults – located beside Tuam Mart – will mark the end of an era for the public house, which has been in the same family for four generations.

But auctioneer Paul O’Grady told The Connacht Tribune that he expects a decision in the very near future, with offers close to the €250,000 asking price.

There has been huge interest in the pub which is one of the best known in the town of Tuam. It is the venue for meetings of the West of Ireland Branch of the National Union of Journalists, Tuam Lions Club and various other organisations in the town.

Auctioneer Paul O’Grady said that he had around ten viewings of the premises and hoped that there would be a sale in the not too distant future. “There is a lot of interest in the pub”, he admitted.

The Saw Doctors’ Leo Moran, one of the founding members of the group, lives beside the pub and has played in it on countless occasions.

The pub is owned by Conal Murphy and his wife Ann but they are getting out of the business. Conal is the fourth generation of his family to own the Rustic Vaults, which has been part of the fabric of Tuam for more than 190 years.

Earliest known records of a pub called The Rustic Vaults on Vicar Street, Tuam date back to as early as 1823.

Conal’s family has been running the pub since 1884 when his great grandfather Micheal Walsh acquired the business.

His daughter Margaret married William Quinn and took over the business in 1923.

In 1925, The Rustic Vaults was refurbished with a terrazzo floor, Galway granite counter tops and Harry Clarke stained glass windows.

These surroundings haven’t changed and The Rustic Vaults today is exactly as it was in 1925.

In 1958, the three daughters of Margaret and William took over the pub, Freda, Maeve and Fionnuala.

The three women are still remembered for their strict house rules: “No rude words, no singing and no raised arguments”.

Conal took over the business in 1997 and their children Niall, Ailbhe and Eoghan have all helped out at various stages.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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