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Irish Water leaves 1,300 customers without any update on E.coli levels

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Over a week into a boil notice which has left over 1,300 customers in Ballygar without public drinking water, Irish Water has yet to provide an update on the source of the contamination.

Sampling last week revealed the presence of E.coli in the water network supplying water to the northeast Galway town and on advice from the Health Service Executive (HSE) the public getting water from the Ballygar scheme was advised to boil all water until further notice to avoid infection from the potentially dangerous bacteria.

The source of the contamination was not in the treatment plant and staff from Galway County Council and Irish Water were testing the pipe network to locate the source.

Initially all indications were that the boil notice would last days rather than weeks.

However a spokesperson for Irish Water said they were not in a position to give an update, over a week after the contamination was disclosed.

“Irish Water’s primary concern is the health and safety of the general public. Irish Water continues to investigate the source of contamination in Ballygar and is in constant contact with the HSE in relation to these investigations,” said a spokesperson.

“Irish Water will be issuing a further update at the end of this week or early next week.”

Glinsk resident and Independent TD for Roscommon South Leitrim Michael Fitzmaurice said the Ballygar water contamination was an unusual situation.

“In this case the water going through the local plant is perfectly acceptable however it is along the water supply line that there is a problem,” he stated.

“I am confident that within a week of the source of the problem being identified that the boil water notice will be lifted. This situation is not like the scenario that we have had with other boil water notices in the past.”

Mayo County Council gave the all-clear last weekend for beaches where abnormal levels of E.coli were detected, including Blue Flag beaches at Keel and Dugort on Achill Island.

The elevated levels of bacteria were blamed on “recent abnormal weather conditions”.

Galway City Council banned bathing in two beaches in Salthill for days last month

due to the detection of high levels of a bacteria called intestinal Enterococci, which can cause gastro-intestinal illness,

On re-sampling, the local authority said levels of both intestinal Enterococci and E.coli were “well within safe standards”.

Ballygar residents are advised to boil water before drinking, cooking, brushing teeth or making ice.

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

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

Planners approve homes for ‘cuckoo fund’ investor

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The green light has been given for the construction of 345 apartments at the Crown Square site in Mervue – the majority of which will be put on the rental market and operated by a ‘cuckoo fund’ for a minimum of fifteen years.

Crown Square Developments, which is owned by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has secured permission from An Bord Pleanála for the ‘Build to Rent’ development, with four blocks ranging ranging from four to nine storeys in height.

There will also be a neighbourhood facility with a gym, a primary care medical centre with pharmacy, a ‘working from home’ lounge, six shops, a games room and a creche.

There will be 240 two-bed apartments, 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds, all of which will be specifically for the rental market and not available to purchase.

A breakdown of the apartments shows there will be 240 two-beds; 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds.

To meet social housing requirements, the developer plans to transfer 35 of the apartments (20 two-bed, 10 one-bed and 5 three-bed) to Galway City Council.

A total of 138 car-parking spaces have been allocated on the lower basement levels of Crown Square for residents, along with shared access to another 109 spaces and another 13 for use by a ‘car club’. There will be 796 secure bicycle parking spaces to serve the apartments.

The Board has ordered that the apartments can only be used as long-term rentals, and none can be used for short-term lettings.

Under ‘Build to Rent’ guidelines, the development must be owned and operated by an institutional entity for a minimum period of 15 years and “where no individual residential units shall be sold separately for that period”. The 15-year period starts from the date of occupation of the first residential unit.

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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