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Local firms reap rewards of motorway construction



The construction of the Gort to Tuam motorway is benefiting some 130 local firms who are supplying the project. That’s in addition to around 220 locals who are also employed on the scheme.

Work on the motorway began in the middle of January but it is believed that it has a huge knock on effect for local companies.

At the moment the main suppliers are those who are providing stone and gravel for the foundations of the motorway which is expected to be completed by early 2018.

But according to the consortium who are behind the project, hotels, restaurants, retail organisations and other rental accommodation are also benefiting.

It is estimated that the construction of the €550 million motorway will result in millions of euro in revenue to the local economy while it lasts.

The contract for the motorway was awarded to Direct Route and this involves three companies, Lagan Construction, Roadbridge and Sisk.

Work has been progressing steadily on all sections of the route and the consortium say that they are confident that it will be finished on time.

The route will take motorists from North Galway to a super junction at Rathmorrissey near Athenry. They then have the option of heading towards Gort and Limerick or Galway by joining the M6 motorway.

However, Declan Carney of Direct Route said that there were over 130 local companies had been or were currently directly involved in the project through supply of materials, plant and machinery and sub-contracting.

“In respect of employment numbers there are over 220 people from the region engaged directly in work on the project, which is a high percentage of the overall total employed on the scheme at present.

“There are further knock-on effects to indirect employment as in within companies supplying support to those directly involved, and induced employment in the region’s services industry like hotels, retail, and rental accommodation,” Mr. Carney added.

He said that it was difficult to estimate with complete accuracy how many companies benefit from the trickle-down effect and the additional employment generated by the investment cycle.

Published studies of the effects of infrastructure investment over the years demonstrate that indirect employment can be anywhere between 20% to 40% of the direct numbers.

This is dependent upon the level of off-site fabrication and the like, and induced employment in the region of 15% of the direct numbers. Practically all of these opportunities are fulfilled through local employment, Mr. Carney said.

He added: “Between now and the expected project opening in early 2018 there will be many more employment opportunities generated and as is the case to date, we would be hopeful that the majority of these will be filled by local people and businesses”.


Water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna due to burst watermain



Galway Bay fm newsroom – There are water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna this morning due to a burst watermain

The burst is in a rising main from Clifton Hill in Galway City to Tonabrucky Reservoir

The city council and Irish Water says while every effort is being made to maintain supply to as many customers as possible, the burst has caused water levels in Tonabrucky Reservoir to deplete

Houses and businesses in Knocknacarra, Barna and surrounding areas will experience low pressure and outages.

Dedicated water service crews have mobilised and repairs are underway and are expected to be completed by mid-afternoon.

Traffic management will be in place and Letteragh Road will be closed between Sliabh Rua and Tonabrucky Cross until 6pm.

Householders and businessses are being asked to conserve water where possible to reduce the pressure on local supplies and allow reservoir levels to restore.

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Woman sustains serious injuries after being struck by firework in Eyre Square



Gardaí are appealing for witnesses after a young woman was struck in the face by a firework in Eyre Square in the city overnight.

It happened shortly after midnight and gardai say it’s understood the firework had been launched from close to the Tourist Information Kiosk.

The young woman suffered serious injuries and was hospitalised as a result.

Gardaí understand there was a large group of people in Eyre Square at the time and are now asking that any person who may have witnessed the incident make contact with the investigating team.

In particular Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have video footage of the incident, either on mobile phone, CCTV or dash-cam to make contact with them.

This incident comes just days after a policing committee meeting was told of increasing concern about anti social behaviour around Eyre Square.

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Garda chief suggests closing Eyre Square to curb anti-social behaviour



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Closing Eyre Square at night-time was among the radical suggestions put forward by Galway’s top Garda this week – in response to claims that the city centre’s famous landmark had become a ‘no-go area’ after dark.

It comes as Gardaí confirmed that since January they issued almost 500 fines for breaches of the city’s alcohol bylaws, which prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public spaces.

Responding to claims that people were afraid to visit parts of the city centre at night due to anti-social behaviour, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said that the authorities might have to look at closing Eyre Square at certain times.

Chief Supt Curley also said that improved lighting and better CCTV were other tools that could be used to deter anti-social behaviour and to detect crime in the city centre.

“I’d need another five officers in there – and I haven’t got them,” said Chief Supt Curley of the requirement for more Gardaí on patrol in Eyre Square.

He was responding to a charge by former mayor of Galway, Councillor Frank Fahy, who said Eyre Square was dangerous at night. “It’s a no-go area,” he said at a City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting this week.

Cllr Fahy said that the illegal activity and anti-social behaviour in the city centre was a product of the Covid-19 pandemic and people socialising outdoors. Eyre Square was safe pre-Covid, he said.

In a written reply to the JPC, Chief Supt Curley said that anti-social behaviour issues had been ‘de-escalated’ along the city’s canals, Woodquay and Spanish Arch ‘as a result of extra Garda patrols’.

“The resulting consequences have led to crowd movement from these areas (and they) are now congregating at Eyre Square. Garda attention is concentrated on Eyre Square, however the return of students and the continued restrictions has led to increased numbers,” he said.

(Photo: a scene from Eyre Square at night this week taken from a video circulated on social media)

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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