Date Published: 23-May-2011
By Bernie Ní Fhlatharta
Local people fear that long term plans to enhance South Park will be put on the long finger now that it has been re-opened to the public.
The park, which was closed five years ago after the discovery of metal contamination in the soil, is now open for business, according to Galway City Council.
But the Claddagh Residents’ Association says it can’t believe the public amenity could be re-opened when no remedial works have been carried out.
Galway City Council confirmed that the decision to re-open the park had been taken following the all clear from the HSE.
Signs had been posted on fencing at the park warning people it was a hazardous area and not to use it, but a Council spokesman said that those signs are now being taken down and that the fencing will eventually be taken down.
The spokesman stressed that the HSE considered the area safe for public use but that the Council was still waiting for a remediation plan from consultants.
Part of South Park was closed off after an NUIG geologist, Dr Chaosheng Zhang, discovered toxic levels of lead, arsenic and zinc just underneath the soil.
The area was cordoned off while further tests were carried out and for public safety was closed so that remedial works could be carried out by the Council. However, no works were ever carried out in South Park in the past five years.
The contamination is believed to have been caused by industrial waste dumped there before the area was developed as a public amenity.
But the Council spokesman said that once the HSE was satisfied that they had started the process of amelioration, the ban could be lifted.
Councillor Catherine Connolly, who is also a local resident, said that her fear now was that once the park was fully opened again, the masterplan would be “put on the long finger”.
“We were aghast to hear the park was re-opened and considered safe again because as far as we know, no work has ever been carried out there.
“Then the top soil approach was looked at but it was decided to put together a masterplan for the whole area and put that on public display before carrying out any works on the toxic parts of the park.
“As this is a flooding area, we had concerns about putting top soil down. I would be very concerned that it has now been put on the long finger,” she added.
Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement
Date Published: 07-May-2013
Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.
It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.
Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores
This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.
However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.
Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.
That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.
The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.
Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.
Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.
He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.
Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.