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Madra offers to save 100 animals from being put to sleep

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MADRA is urging Galway City Council to make much needed provision for dog welfare in the 2016 budget following reports that Galway has the second highest dog euthanasia rate in the country.

Galway City Council is one of the worst performing councils in regards to dog welfare, according to the Department of the Environment statistics for 2014 released earlier this year.

MADRA presented a proposal to Galway City Council in May of this year for emergency funding for 2015 of €10,000 to help prevent stray dogs being put to sleep, but has failed to get the money.

With a 47 percent euthanasia rate, the council put 104 dogs to sleep and transferred 26 dogs to MADRA, making it the second highest put-to-sleep rate in the country after Limerick city and county at 48 percent.

The rate could have been up to 60 percent if MADRA had not taken in the 26 dogs from the council.

According to MADRA spokesperson, Eileen Keleghan, this is a seriously under-funded issue that the council cannot ignore any longer.

“The council spent €15,000 on veterinary services last year, and we assume the majority of this went towards euthanizing and disposing of dogs,” told Eileen.

“Surely, it makes more sense to give this money to a rescue organisation to help them to give a dog a second chance.”

The charity only has a limited number of kennels and its running costs are over €160,000 per year, so any additional dogs would cost a minimum of €265 extra per dog.

“As a rescue operating in Galway, we feel it is our duty to put a proposal in place and continue to highlight the issue until something is done.

Last year the charity took in a staggering 474 dogs from the pounds in Galway and Mayo and another 303 dogs from people who could no longer take care of their pets.

“We are a volunteer organisation, and our volunteers are working extremely hard to meet our existing running costs.

MADRA has offered to rescue around 100 dogs from the City Pound in return for funding provision of between €20,000 and €25,000 in 2016, which could see the euthanasia rate reduced to as low as 11 percent.

“Our proposal may only cost the council less than €10,000 when the adjustment to veterinary fees is taken into account.

“Surely this is a small price to pay for saving so many dogs from destruction,” said Ms. Keleghan.

The MADRA proposal is back on the agenda for a meeting of Galway City Council today (Monday).

CITY TRIBUNE

GAA club’s tournament honours stalwart who died at just 28

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Pictured at the launch of the Darragh Frain Memorial Tournament which takes place in Mervue this Saturday. Back: Kevin Curran, Kevin Barrett, Robert Fitzgerald, Aidan Brady, Alan O'Donnell, Donal Murphy, Eanna O'Connell, Eoghan Frain, David Henry. Front: Aodhain Ó Conghaile, Liam O'Donnell, Rory Murphy, Fionn Fitzgerald and Michael Barrett.

The untimely passing of a city GAA stalwart six years ago is still deeply felt by the club he represented but he remains an inspiration to young up-and-coming footballers who will be displaying their skills this weekend.

The Darragh Frain Memorial Tournament for under-age teams will take place in St James’ GAA grounds at Mervue tomorrow, Saturday, when many memories of a great young clubman will be exchanged.

Darragh, from Lurgan Park in Renmore, was just 28 years of age when he lost his battle with cancer in 2016. Since then his beloved club has been organising a tournament for young footballers that’s proving immensely popular.

For tomorrow’s event, the St James club will entertain local teams including St Michael’s, Salthill-Knocknacarra, Killanin and an Cheathrú Rua, as well as Kiltane (Bangor Erris) and Elphin-Ballinameen from North Roscommon.

It is a nine-a-side tournament, which takes place from 11am to 5pm, and will involve Under-11 teams who will compete against each other during the day.

The fact that Darragh’s late father, Tom Frain Senior, hailed from Roscommon means that GAA support for the event is coming from both counties – this makes it extra special, as well as adding to the profile of the tournament.

Best friend and one of the event’s main organisers, another St James stalwart David Henry explained that this was the sixth year of the tournament and that Darragh would be very pleased that his name was being associated with the development of under-age football.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Too many cafés’ as city retail continues to decline

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Barber Tom Nally outside his premises.

The changing face of Galway city centre is a source of concern to those who say it reflects a decline for people in terms of retail choices.

Those who regret the loss of several long-standing family-run operations in the city in recent years don’t believe that what has replaced them has enhanced the appearance of Shop Street, in particular.

“We are looking at a proliferation of coffee shops, bookies and mobile phone outlets in their place,” observed long-standing city centre businessman Tom Nally.

Cllr Niall McNelis agreed there were far too many coffee shops in the city centre and believed that anything that has been zoned retail by the Council should remain retail.

The Labour Councillor said a proper retail strategy needed to be adopted and some of the ‘big-name brands’ needed to be encouraged into the centre of Galway to lure shoppers into town.

Meanwhile, popular barber Tom Nally regretted the number of family operations that have ceased trading in the recent past.

“It is sad to see the long-established family businesses in the city centre going and it would be great to say that what is replacing them will enhance our streets . . . but unfortunately this is not the case,” he added.

Mr Nally who has been operating out of his High Street premises for almost 50 years, said the number of unoccupied premises in an around the city centre was a new phenomenon.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

State cracks down on quick-buck landlords

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New measures to clamp down on illegal short-term lets in the city will kick in next month, in an attempt to tackle mounting pressure on the rental market.

From September 1, sites such as Airbnb and Booking.com will no longer be allowed to advertise short-term rentals if the correct planning permission is not in place.

The measure seeks to strengthen laws introduced in 2019 which state that the use of a property for short-term letting for longer than 90 days in a rent-pressure zone requires permission from the local authority.

City Councillor Niall Murphy (Green) said the move follows on from an objection he lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI).

“The ASAI said it couldn’t be expected to police these ads so the websites like Airbnb were off the hook. But after September, they will have to ensure that those advertising on their sites have planning permission,” he said.

The proliferation of short-term lets in the city has been a contentious issue for a number of years, with scores of holiday leases available at the same time as city residents are battling it out for an extremely limited number of rental properties.

This week, almost 400 short-term lets were available on the leading website, Airbnb, while just 19 homes were up for rent on Daft.ie.

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

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