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Connacht Tribune

Jobs hopes dashed at Oranmore IDA biopharma lands

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Hopes that IDA Ireland had lured a multinational company to its business park in Oranmore have been dashed.

The IDA invited tenders this week to carry out improvement works at its strategic 67-acre site at Oranmore off the N18.

This ignited hopes locally that the IDA had sourced a significant international pharmaceutical company to set up a new base in Oranmore.

However, a spokesperson for the IDA said it hasn’t found a tenant for the site, and the proposed refurbishment works aren’t in anticipation of a new company setting up there.

“I’ve checked with our Property Division and have been advised that these are routine upgrading works,” an IDA spokesperson said in a statement to the Connacht Tribune.

The Oranmore site is fully serviced, landscaped and has planning permission for a significant biopharmaceutical manufacturing campus. The IDA said it is ready for immediate occupation.

The IDA said the refurbishment works to be carried out on the site include the installation of new railing and support posts; remedial works to existing stone paving; removal of existing cycleway surfacing and laying of new anti-skid material; installation of new bark chippings; general maintenance works, landscaping and minor electrical works.

Galway West TD Noel Grealish (Independent) said: “It would be great for Oranmore if there were to be a new industry moving into the IDA lands now, but I’m hopeful that the IDA will attract new employment there soon. I got a commitment in relation to the Oranmore site before the summer at a meeting I had in Dublin with the IDA’s Chief Executive Martin Shanahan and his senior officials.

“They have agreed to treat the Oranmore lands as an extension of Parkmore and any new industry coming to Galway will be located in Oranmore. This would be a big boost to the people of Oranmore, most of whom travel to employments outside the area every day.

“It would also be good for all those who have to commute to work in Parkmore every day — you have 10,000 people doing that every day facing big problems with traffic hold-ups, and really the traffic problem will have to be sorted there before any further industry goes in.”

Deputy Grealish said that there were 67 acres of IDA lands available for new industry in Oranmore, officially known as the Oranmore Science and Technology Park.

“While people’s hopes may have been raised by the publication of the IDA notice seeking tenders for the works there, I suppose it’s important that they do keep on top of this routine upgrading and maintenance to make sure the area is ready if a suitable investor is found,” he added.

Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Siblings find each other – and their Connemara roots – after 80 years

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Reunited...Pat and Miceál McKeown outside their mother Síle’s birthplace in Carna.

By Erin Gibbons

A family separated for over 80 years was reunited at the end of an emotional journey in Connemara last weekend – thanks to DNA testing and the expert help of heritage researchers.

Pat McKeown, who lives in Staffordshire in the UK, is the daughter of Síle Gorham from Roisín Na Mainiach, Carna – but she was given up for adoption and reared for a time in a Belfast Mother and Baby Home.

Now, at the age of 81, she found her roots – returning to her mother’s native place for the first time last weekend, in the company of her long-lost brother Micheál.

It was an emotional end to a lifelong search for her roots that even led her to hire a private detective to try and locate her family and to discover her name.

All of this proved unsuccessful – and she had effectively given up her search when she was contacted unexpectedly by a man called Miceál McKeown, who turned out to be her brother.

Micheál – an artist and sculptor – and his daughter Orla had made the connection through DNA testing, after Miceál too had set out to discover more about his own roots.

That revealed that Síle Gorham had married Michael McKeown in 1939, and Síle went on to have three more children named Áine, Séan and Miceál.

Pat visited Connemara last weekend for the first time to learn about her mother Síle and the Connemara ancestry which she feels was robbed from her for her entire 81 years.

She was accompanied by Miceál, his wife Rosemary, daughter Orla and son-in-law Rueben Keogh.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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