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Licence application lodged for expanded Christmas Market



A special events licence application has been lodged at City Hall for an expanded Continental Christmas Market across three locations in Galway.

The plans will allow for up to 50 traders at Eyre Square, a further 42 at Spanish Arch and 30 for a weekend market in Woodquay.

However, the operating company has said it expects around 60 stalls in total, and the higher figures were to “provide for every possible eventuality” and the fact that food stalls require more space.

A bar licence has been sought for both Eyre Square and Spanish Arch – the Bier Keller will be located in the middle of Eyre Square with an open deck area to the front, while the traditional Windmill House will move to Fishmarket Square.

There will also be performances from bands, choirs and carollers on the Eyre Square stage, while kids’ arts and science workshops have been commissioned by Baboró, the international arts festival for children.

There will also be a ‘charity fringe programme’ with an open call for community and arts groups to perform.

Small scale vintage amusements will be placed on the hard surface at the top of Eyre Square, as well as at Fishmarket Square, while there will be a Santa’s Grotto on the grass area near the Skeff, will be adjacent to the ‘Christmas Train’ stop.

The backers of the market for the past five years, Milestone Inventive, have submitted the application to the Council, which is now being examined by local authority officials and will come before councillors for a vote in October.

The plans are for up to 50 stalls and other exhibitors at Eyre Square, using the raised hard surface and facing onto the paths and walkways within the grassed areas of the park and the pedestrianised pathway on the west side of the Square.

At Fishmarket Square, it is planned to use the hard surface in front of and behind the Arch itself, with up to 42 traders.

“In Woodquay, we will utilise the roadway and parking spaces, and retain one lane for traffic, inviting up to 30 traders to participate. The traders in all locations will be providing both food and craft/gift items,” the organisers say.

They add that last year, 40% of traders were local and 88% were Irish, and they envisage a similar mix this year.

According to the application, the market will run from November 20 to December 22 and will be located at Eyre Square, Fishmarket Square and Woodquay.

Woodquay will only operate on the weekends of November 28 and 29, December 5 and 6 and December 12 and 13.

“It will once again consist of a mix of international and local vendors, it offers a range of food and crafts. In addition to the traders, onsite entertainment will be provided, as well as a public bar,” it reads.

The organisers added that to combat damage caused to grass areas in Eyre Square, the overall footprint there has been reduced, while large structures will be builton blocks.

A spokesperson said that while the trader figures add up to more than 120, she expects there to be around 60 in total.

“It will be nowhere near that figure. It will be around 60 in total, because we will not be able to sell some cabins, hot food vendors will require more space. You have to prepare for every eventuality, but there will not be 120 cabins … there aren’t even 100 cabins in the country,” Managing Director of Milestone Inventive, Maria Moynihan Lee said.

Connacht Tribune

Galway historian’s 14 new books bring running total to 70!



Steve Dolan.

There may be a book in everyone – but producing 18 of them for publication in one week is taking it to a different level. And yet that’s what Galway historian Steve Dolan has done for Heritage Week. . . adding 18 books this year to bring him up to 70 over the last seven years – and he’s firmly committed to hitting one hundred.

By day – and given the workload, increasingly by night – he is the chief executive of Galway Rural Development (GRD), but the Carrabane resident has had a lifelong passion for history. And that’s what he turns to as a form of relaxation which peaks at this time every year.

Not alone that; he already has the first five of next year’s publications completed – and he’s only starting!

This year’s booklets are all on the theme of Gaelic Games and every one of them is in aid of a different community group or charity. Theoretically, they are limited editions, but – given his own love of the subject matter – he won’t see anyone who shares that passion miss out.

While all eighteen new publications share that GAA theme, the diversity of subject matter within that is breath-taking – and an incredible achievement in terms of the workload and production.

From the story of the county title that Liam Mellows were robbed of in 1942 to the contribution of An Cath Gaedhealach to Galway GAA in 1947/48 or Galway’s 1923 and 1925 All-Ireland victories to sport in County Galway during the revolutionary years; the books are as much about social history as about sport.

See the full list of publications in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

And if they are of interest to you, you can contact Steve at to buy them.

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Connacht Tribune

Why did Galway suffer just half as many Covid deaths as Mayo?



Galway and Mayo, two neighbouring counties, have had hugely contrasting experiences with Covid-19-related deaths.

Analysis of the latest figures reveals that Mayo’s Covid mortality rate is more than double that of Galway’s.

The disparity has prompted a Galway West TD to call for an investigation to see what caused the disparity.

Fresh data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) shows that Covid deaths in Galway have topped the 250 milestone.

Up to the end of July, HSPC has been notified of some 251 Covid deaths in Galway since the Pandemic was declared in 2020.

This gives a mortality rate of 97.3 per 100,000 population, which is the second lowest of any county in the Republic after Sligo.

During the same timeframe, neighbouring Mayo notified 296 Covid deaths, which gives a mortality rate of 226.8 per 100,000.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Hurling legend’s distillery plans for heart of Conamara



Joe Connolly....Conamara vision.

Plans have been lodged to build a multi-million euro whiskey distillery on the Conamara coastline – the brainchild of Galway hurling legend Joe Connolly and his family.

And if it gets the green light, it will square a circle that has its roots firmly in the same Conamara soil – where both of the All-Ireland-winning Galway captain’s grandfathers were renowned distillers too . . . only of the illegal variety.

The plans for the Cnoc Buí Whiskey Distillery & Heritage Centre outside Carna – lodged by Údarás na Gaeltachta on behalf of Drioglann Iarthar na Gaillimhe Teoranta – describe a facility that will provide a first-class visitor experience and greatly enhance the local area’s tourism offering.

Once complete, Cnoc Buí will comprise the distillery itself, bonded warehousing, a bottling hall and tasting bar – as well as the heritage centre, shop and café.

That will create over 30 jobs in the first five years, with the heritage centre alone aiming to attract 16,000 visitors in the first year of operation – rising to at least 52,000 by year five in Iorras Aithneach, an area blighted by unemployment and emigration.

On top of that, their own economic analysis envisages the creation of another 130 jobs in the Carna/Cill Chiarain area – in leisure, hospitality and accommodation on foot of that significant increase in visitor numbers.

The Connollys see Cnoc Buí as ‘an asset which will enrich the entire community’.

“It will enhance the local tourism product and serve as a focal point for both the local community and visitors,” said Cnoc Buí director Barry Connolly.

“The building has been carefully designed to reflect the beauty of its surroundings, because we want our distillery to be an attractive hub, with its Visitors’ Centre and Tasting Bar. It will provide employment, draw in tourists and add value to other business in the area,” he added.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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