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CITY TRIBUNE

Kirwan roundabout replacement: “needs of a family versus the city”

Enda Cunningham

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Galway City Tribune – The decision on replacing the Kirwan roundabout came down to “the needs of one family versus the needs of the city”, according to City Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath.

Concerns were raised at a local authority meeting this week over a family who own a B&B on the N84 side of the Headford Road – just off the roundabout – and will be left “marooned” by the new junction.

Cllr Mike Crowe said the Collins family, who run St Anthony’s B&B, have lived in their property for 50 years, and own a site next door which has planning permission for a home for a family member.

He said that rather than creating a situation where the family would become prisoners in their own home, with lights shining into the front of their house and “platoons of vehicles” passing at all angles, the Council should create a new entrance 15 to 20 feet away through Sandyvale Lawn.

Under the approved plans, an induction loop will be placed in the driveway of the Collins home, which will alert the traffic lights to the presence of a car and in theory, allow it to exit during the next ‘green’ phase.

Cllr Crowe said he flagged the access issue a year ago, but he did not believe the consultants, Halcrow Barry, examined it in any real depth.

He said Collins family made a submission to the Council on the planning application, which said an alternative entrance did not seem to have been considered by the local authority or consultants.

They pointed out that an agreeable alternative would be to close off the existing entrance and to allow access via Sandyvale Lawn – which was approved in a planning application from 2007 for a new house on their site, though this permission has expired.

The Council replied: “Consultants were asked to consider this alternative. Consideration of relocation of the entrance would only have been examined if it was not technically feasible to accommodate the entrance at its current location.

“The proposal to relocate the entrance to Sandyvale Lawn would only be contemplated if access/egress could not have been retained at the current location,” it reads.

“That reply is frankly astonishing. It says ‘we didn’t bother looking at it all, really’.
To read the rest of this article and extensive coverage of the discussion on the Kirwan Roundabout, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

CITY TRIBUNE

WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!

Enda Cunningham

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Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.

A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.

Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.

Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down. 

The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.

Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.

However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.

“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.

Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.

“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.

There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
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

Council removes ‘shop local’ signage despite agreement with Latin Quarter

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Signage promoting a ‘eat, drink and shop local’ campaign, erected by a local business group, was removed by the Galway City Council – despite an understanding that permission had been granted.

The bilingual signage was placed on a number of solar compactor bins and bollard-control boxes in the city centre by the Latin Quarter business group, in an attempt to promote local businesses grappling with the effects of Covid-19.

A source in the group told the Galway City Tribune that the signage cost around €3,500 and that permission to erect it had been given by a ‘senior Council official’.

The signs were put up in mid-October but only lasted around two weeks when City Hall’s Environment Department had them removed, claiming that they had not been consulted.

“There was clearly a breakdown in communications in City Hall because we had permission from a senior official to proceed, and then the Environment Department took issue with the signs and insisted that they had to be removed,” said the source.

A Council spokesperson said they were currently in discussions with the Latin Quarter to provide promotional material and added “there’s been no falling out here”.
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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