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IFA welcomes dedesigations at 18 Galway bogs but calls for plan for restricted landowners

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Irish Farmers Association says the de-designation of 18 heritage boglands in Galway is a step in the right direction but has called for other NHA restrictions to be lifted.

The decision was announced today as part of the government’s overall long-term strategic plan for Ireland’s peatlands.

Under the plan, 18 Galway national heritage areas or NHAs are to be dedesignated, however an order has been made to completely cease turf cutting on seven others by 2017.

This will involve the immediate introduction of an individual permit system.

The sites where cutting must cease by 2017 include bogs in Aughrim, Ballygar, Bracklagh, Castle Ffrench East, Derrinlough, Moorfield/Farm Cottage and Raford River.

IFA SAC Project Chairman Tom Turley says the Minister must now reconsider the 36 NHAs nationwide where cutting has been restricted.

He says a clear implementation plan is needed to provide a comprehensive package for bogowners in restricted areas.

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Galway’s COVID-19 infection rate down almost half since last week

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway’s COVID-19 infection rate is down by almost half week-on-week.

The latest NPHET figures show the 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 in the city and county now stands at 574.3 – that’s compared to 1016.8 this day last week.

1,482 new cases of the virus have been recorded in Galway over the past two weeks, including 588 in the last seven days.

The figure of 574.3 leaves Galway roughly mid-table among counties, with the national average now standing at 674.

Monaghan has the highest rate in the country at 1399.3, followed by Louth at 1044.3, while Leitrim has maintained the lowest rate at 271.5.

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Fresh calls to trial cycle path along Salthill Prom

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway City Council is facing renewed calls to trial a two-way cycle path along Salthill Prom.

The Galway Urban Greenway Alliance says it could be the first step in laying the groundwork for a coastal greenway from Galway to Barna via Salthill.

It argues recent changes to the prom, including limitations on parking and gatherings, mean now is the perfect time to trial such infrastructure.

The group says the local authority previously indicated the Barna Greenway or Salthill cycleway projects were not a priority due to a lack of resources.

Campaigner Michelle Smyth says the recent announcement of almost 250 new “active travel” jobs in Ireland’s local authorities could address the situation.

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Galway TD asks Government to prioritise additional parental leave

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A Galway TD is urging the Government to prioritise introducing the additional three week parental leave that was approved last month.

Deputy Mairéad Farrell says with many creches closed or taking severely reduced numbers, and family members unable to provide care under current restrictions, there is no room for delays.

Additional parental leave was announced in Budget 2020 and approved last month by Cabinet.

It applies to parents of children born after November 1st 2019 and would see them entitled to five weeks leave after their child is born or adopted.

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