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Irish Water unable to say when Newcastle mains will be replaced

Francis Farragher

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Water mains problems in Newcastle, Galway

Irish Water have committed this week to replacing the crumbling water main in the Newcastle area that has left thousands of householders high and dry over recent weeks . . . but the question is when.

In a statement issued this week by Irish Water, they said that plans and funding ‘are being put in place’ to replace the old main on the Thomas Hynes Road that services five main estates in Newcastle – Tudor Lawn, Hazel Park, Cherry Park, Fairlands Park and Greenfields.

However the company said that at this stage they weren’t in a position ‘to put a timeframe on the work’ although they did say it ‘will be advanced as quickly as possible’.

According to Irish Water, there have been four water outages in the past week, impacting on 3,000 people as well as hotels and businesses.

The latest burst occurred on Sunday last and involved a six hour cut in the water supply as City Council staff repaired the burst pipe.

Local councillor, Billy Cameron, said that while everyone welcomed news that the main was to be replaced, there was an onus on Irish Water to complete the work as ‘a matter of utmost urgency’.

“People are already up to their necks with taxes and charges and then, after all that, to have their water supply cut off every second day, is just not good enough.

“The Council staff are working flat out to carry out those repairs but everyone knows that the only permanent solution to this problem is a new main, but work on this needs to start over the coming weeks,” said Cllr Cameron.

A spokesman for the City Council said that at the very best, it took six hours to repair a leak, and possibly up to 12 hours in more difficult situations.

“Our latest call-out was last Sunday and we were on the job within a half hour of the pipe burst been reported. We had completed the repairs in six hours,” said the spokesman.

According to Irish Water, ‘there are no obvious reasons’ for the pipe bursts although the AC (asbestos concrete) eight inch main could be reaching the end of its natural life span. It will be replaced with a PVC (plastic) pipe.

“We are carrying out minor amendments to the network involving putting in place an alternative feed to part of this area in the event of further bursts,” said Irish Water.

The Galway City Tribune has learned that this alternative will be used mainly to provide a supply to the IDA Business Park in Dangan, the Westwood Hotel and part of the NUI Galway complex.

Connacht Tribune

Gardaí seek help in locating missing man

Enda Cunningham

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Gardaí have sought help in locating a man missing in Galway since the end of December.
34-year-old Luke Davoren was last seen in the University Road area on December 30.

He is described as having fair hair, 6ft in height and having an athletic build. He was last seen wearing a grey hoody, brown leather jacket, blue jeans and brown leather boots. He also had a black back pack in his possession.

Gardaí and Luke’s family are very concerned for his welfare and have urged him to make contact.

Anyone with information, particularly any road users with dash cam footage of the Newcastle/University Road areas between 1am – 2am on December 30, is asked to contact Galway Garda Station on 091 538000.

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Daredevil’ swimmers are a fatality waiting to happen

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – ‘Daredevil’ winter sea swimmers who dive or jump into the water in places like Blackrock during adverse weather are putting their own lives at risk – and possibly those of rescuers – by their actions, it was warned this week.

Water Safety Ireland have cautioned that the biggest single contributor to drownings in Ireland is what is known as ‘cold water shock’ – a condition caused by the sudden entry into a cold body of water.

There is now growing concern that a copycat trend is emerging with young people – without wet suits – diving or jumping into the sea in stormy or icy-cold weather.

Several people have been filmed on social media in the sea at Salthill during storms – with a number of them taking ‘running jumps’ off the diving tower at Blackrock.

Roger Sweeney, Deputy CEO of Water Safety Ireland, told the Galway City Tribune that people jumping into the sea during storms showed at best a reckless disregard for their own safety and in a worst-case scenario represented ‘a fatality waiting to happen’ for the jumpers – or the persons trying to rescue them.

“Jumping into cold water puts you at risk of cold shock which can result in immediate incapacitation and doing so in storm conditions can make it difficult to get back out of the water safely and promptly before hypothermia sets in.

“Hypothermia leads to the cooling of the muscles needed in the arms and legs to stay afloat. Drownings typically happen when someone over-estimates their ability and under-estimates the risks,” said Mr Sweeney.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune, that the key thing for all people who enjoyed the water and the sea was to carefully plan their exercise or hobby.

“Cold water shock is a real danger at this time of year for all swimmers. Be prepared – have your cap, ear plugs, mats, woolly cap [after leaving the water] and towels all in place. Check the weather forecast and check the tides – and never, ever just jump straight into the water during the colder season.”

(Photo: Diving into the water at Blackrock during Storm Bella in December)
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

Developer banks on boom in rental property market

Enda Cunningham

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The backer of the Crown Square scheme in Mervue is planning an increase in the number of apartments in the development following a review of the economic viability of the project.

The 345 apartments will specifically target the rental market.

Crown Square Developments Ltd, which is operated by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has told Galway City Council that the amended plans will form part of a new planning application to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála under ‘Strategic Housing Development’ legislation.

According to the company, the property market has changed since it was granted permission in November 2019 for 288 apartments in three blocks ranging from five to eight storeys in height.

Mr Rhatigan has now sought planning permission for an 18% reduction in the overall size of basement levels and a reduction in car parking from 1,377 to 1,012 spaces. Cycle parking spaces will increase from 1,110 to 1,200.

The plan also involves the relocation of the vehicular and pedestrian access to the development on the Monivea Road, which will now be closer to McDonagh Avenue. The existing planned access is at the south-easternmost point of the site, but is now planned to move further west.
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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