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Connacht Tribune

Locals demand action on dilapidated Shannon Oaks Hotel

Declan Tierney

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The billionaire owners of the Shannon Oaks Hotel in Portumna – lying vacant since it was destroyed by fire in 2011 – have been asked to either redevelop the property themselves or sell it on to someone who will.

The Comer Group have come in for criticism for making promises late last year to reconstruct the hotel – and still not making any progress.

The Shannon Oaks Action Group said that the hotel’s restoration was necessary for the economic benefit of the town – and that Portumna had suffered financially from its absence.

The group have called on the Comers to make some moves towards the redevelopment of the hotel as it was an essential asset to the town.

Businessman Paul Dillon, who is Chairman of the Action Group, said that the owners of the Shannon Oaks gave a commitment back in October 2018 that they would be rebuilding on the site by the end of the first quarter of this when they had finished the refurbishment of the Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe which they also own.

He said that the final design for the redevelopment of the Shannon Oaks and an artist’s impression of what the hotel would look like.

“As we near the end of the first quarter of 2019, there is no sign of the builders or even the communication of the builders arriving on site for the rebuilding project.

“We would see this as not a good sign. Portumna is now going into its eighth year without a hotel and the Comer Property Group have the owned the hotel since 2015.

“Many promises over the four years of ownership have been made on the hotel being rebuilt but each time the company has let the region down.

“We fully expect the Comer Property Group to fulfil their recent promise made in October and November 2018 and start the rebuilding in the next couple of weeks as promised.

“We are hoping the Comers do fulfil their promise that they announced the redevelopment of the hotel with much fanfare and they even the attached pictures of what the new hotel wold look like,” Mr Dillon said.

He added that the only option left for the Comer Group is to either build the hotel or sell the property.

Luke Comer told The Connacht Tribune that the plans are to rebuild the hotel but he recently got a quote of €7 million to carry out the development which he said was excessive.

Local Councillor Jimmy McClearn has also expressed disappointment at the lack of progress on the hotel and described it as a necessary development for the economy of the town.

“It was generally hoped that work would have commenced by now and there is disappointment that this has not happened. And more concerning is the fact that there is not time scale for the works to commence,” Cllr McClearn added.

The Comers, originally from Glenamaddy, own some 40 hotels across the world including eight in this country.

Connacht Tribune

Time and history conferred character on this home

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The Hermitage, Ballymoe: on the market with a €425,000 guide price.

The Hermitage at Lisnageeragh, Ballymoe is a property on which time and history has conferred a character that no new property could mirror.

Overlooking 16.3 acres of rolling green fields which are included in the sale, this is indeed a unique house and comes to market with charming well maintained stone buildings. These could provide further family accommodation, holiday rentals or craft studios.

The front hall has a beautiful, curved window and leads to two reception rooms on either side of the house. The sitting room has an open fireplace with a black cast iron surround and wooden floors which gleam from years of care and reflect the light coming from two large windows. To the right-hand side, the dining room also has an attractive bay window and an oil-fired stove and it is indeed the perfect social /entertaining space.

To the rear of the house the kitchen is a classic example of a successful marriage of the old and the new. Bespoke shaker style units combine perfectly with modern recessed lighting, attractive tiling and includes a pantry area to one side. A good-sized bedroom and adjacent bathroom complete the downstairs of the main house.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms one of which has an en suite shower. The main bedroom is a delightful space which leads to another small room, a perfect nursery or walk in wardrobe.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

A time when we learned once more that no man is an island

Francis Farragher

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Country singer Dolly Parton getting the jab: she sang about it and part-funded research on the vaccine.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of the oft-repeated pub jokes whenever the price drink was increased, whether it by Finance Ministers or publicans who felt that their margins were being whittled away, was that: “As long as it doesn’t get scarce, we’ll be happy enough.”

Who could have believed though in the first month or two of 2020 that this scenario would unfold (at least in pubs), where the opportunity to meet friends – and the odd ‘auld enemy’ too – over a couple of pints in the local bar would be snatched away from us?

We probably have learned to adapt to the reality of the pandemic and most of us will remember the real sense of fear and constriction that pervaded our every word and action early last year.

2020 was the universal version of ‘annus horribilis’ – the term made famous by Queen Elizabeth in 1992 when royal marriages started to collapse like cards houses in the breeze.

Being of rural stock, I loved the little video earlier this from country music icon, Dolly Parton, who adapted a verse of her famous Jolene song to mark her first shot of the Moderna vaccine (she also donated $1 million to its research) in a very sincere effort to try and encourage the general public to get inoculated.

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

I’m begging of you not to hesitate,

Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

Cause when you’re dead that’s a bit too late.”

A year before that, times were indeed very strange across Ireland and indeed the world. I remember on the Sunday night before St. Patrick’s Day when a sense of incredulity greeted the news in my own local that ‘a lot of the pubs in Galway city were closing down’. Surely, this couldn’t happen in our own little watering hole in the sticks, but it did.

Michael Karmen’s soundtrack from the Band of Brothers series – a wonder piece of music even to my untrained ear – will always remind me of that early Spring period of lockdown in 2020.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

€4.5m worth of property sold during online event

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This detached house at Seacrest in Knocknacarra attracted a "staggering" level of interest.

More than €4.5 million worth of sales were recorded at the O’Donnellan & Joyce auction last week, where 350 people had pre-registered to bid on the 40 properties which went under the hammer.

80% of the properties sold during the auction or following negotiations immediately afterwards.

Among the properties sold at the auction were:

106 Seacrest, Knocknacarra, Galway. Guiding at €250,000 due to the extent of renovation and upgrade works required, the auctioneers were staggered at the level of interest in this 4-bed detached house.

Siobhra Hennessy, Senior Auction Co-Ordinator, said: “There is an increasing demand for city centre homes in need of repair. Couples want to put their own stamp on a property and often look for properties similar to this.”

Bidding commenced at €250,000 but quickly rose to over €350,000. After intense bidding from a number of internet and telephone bidders, the sale price of €364,000 was reached and the deal was done.

192 Bohermore, Galway. A 2-bed terraced house which attracted great attention, with many enquiries and bidders pre-registering. The house needs complete restoration and modernisation works but obviously appealed to a wide audience. It guided at €120,000, but sold for €179,000, despite the great amount of work required. Again, this is an example of a near-derelict building that offered great potential.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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