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Connacht Tribune

Leaving Cert to trigger accommodation frenzy

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The publication of Leaving Cert results in less than a week’s time is set to trigger another accommodation frenzy in Galway as students desperately search for a place to live.

But the bad news for prospective third level students and their parents is that all on-campus accommodation is long gone – and even private rentals are in short supply.

The results will come out next Wednesday, closely followed by the first round offers from the CAO on Monday week, August 20 – and that will trigger what has now become an annual rush.

NUI Galway has two on campus student accommodations – Corrib Village, with 176 apartments to accommodate 764 students, and Goldcrest Village, a new 429-bed residence due to open this September.

As it stands, Corrib Village is fully booked – with a waiting list already in place.

Once CAO offers have been made, the village will process any cancellations received between August 20 and 21, with the aim of offering rooms released as a result of cancelations to those on their waitlist on Wednesday week, August 22.

There are a further seven privately-owned student residences located off campus but within easy reach of the University – and the other option is to battle through the private rental market.

But the limited availability on that front is compounded by the fact that so many of last year’s NUIG and GMIT students – knowing the demands for places to live – have already held onto their accommodation from last year.

That further reduces availability – which led to a joint initiative this summer, spearheaded by the Students Unions of both colleges and Galway TD’s Catherine Connolly, Sean Kyne, Eamon Ó Cuív and Noel Grealish to issue a public appeal for homeowners to offer their spare rooms to students through the ‘rent a room’ scheme.

The scheme involves someone living in a private residence renting out a room (or rooms) during the relevant tax year. The rental income earned will be exempt from income tax, provided this income does not exceed €12,000.

In 2016, there were 18,065 students registered in NUI Galway – and that number is only increasing.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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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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