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Mayor calls for more investment in city

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Mayor of Galway, Cllr Donal Lyons.

Mayor calls for more investment in the city
The designation this year of Galway as Europe’s Micro City by a leading international newspaper will be tapped into with a new economic strategy which is being developed in a collaboration between Galway City and Galway County Council.
However, national agencies need to play their part by directing investment away from the east coast and towards Galway in order to allow it develop its potential.
The message came from Mayor of Galway City, Cllr Donal Lyons, in an address he gave to the Galway Chamber of Commerce on Monday on economic development in Galway. The meeting was attended by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and Mayor Lyons made a direct appeal to him in relation to targeting Galway for an increase in development funding.
“It is my belief, and that of my colleagues on the City Council, that Galway City and region is not getting its fair share of itineraries to the city through the IDA from a foreign direct investment perspective. We believe that Government policy in this regard needs changing and this is something I would ask you to look at with your colleagues in Government,” Mayor Lyons said.
The title of Micro City bestowed on the city by the Financial Times is an opportunity for Galway City Council to “lever Galway’s latent potential” according to Mayor Lyons, who said that the two local authorities in Galway were collaborating on an economic vision for the city and county as a whole.
“In 2014, the Financial Times designated Galway as Europe’s Micro City. This is something that we intend to continue with so that Galway becomes a world-class first choice location in which to live, to work, and to do business. The city is open for business and it is the intention of the City Council to build and lever on Galway’s latent potential,” he said.
Part of that building on the city’s potential is the drawing up of a coherent economic strategy for the city and county, which Mayor Lyons said was already underway.
“It is, therefore, very important that the City continues to grow economically to underpin its role as the Regional Capital of the West of Ireland. It will be very important that the new National Spatial Strategy will recognise Galway’s role as the leading gateway in the West,” he said.
Mayor Lyons said that while much work was being done on a local level to promote Galway as the centre of the West, it needed to be reciprocated on a national level.
“It is equally important that the City’s Gateway status will be embedded in the Regional Economic Strategy that will be developed by the BMW Regional Assembly on the back of the revised National Spatial Strategy.
“It is for this reason that the City and County Councils have begun the preparation of their joint Economic Strategy so that an accurate, robust and fit-for-purpose annunciation of Galway’s case exists to feed into these other developments,” he said.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Council rows back on ‘reduced delays’ projections for Kirwan junction

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Motorists have described it as ‘a disaster’ and a former mayor has said the project gave very poor value for money, but Galway City Council have this week asked the public to be patient with the revamped Kirwan junction, close to the Menlo Park Hotel.

Since the four-arm signalled junction opened early last week, motorists have complained of traffic queues stretching back to the Quincentenary Bridge and Corrib Park.

And now the Council has rowed back on its consultants’ claims that the junction would increase capacity by 15% and reduce waiting times by 25%.

Former mayor and local taxi driver, Cllr Frank Fahy, told the Galway City Tribune that given the negative impact of the junction on traffic, the €5 million spent on the project represented ‘very poor value’ as regards taxpayers’ money.

“I will admit that the junction is now safer for pedestrians in that they can hit a button to give them a safe crossing, but since it opened there have some very serious traffic tailbacks,” said Cllr Fahy.

However, City Council Acting Director of Services for Transport, Uinsinn Finn, told the Galway City Tribune that the new junction needed time to ‘bed in’ with a familiarisation process.

“The main objectives of this project were to make far safer for pedestrians and cyclists to negotiate, as well as making it safer for motorists too, without impacting [negatively] on the traffic flow,” said Mr Finn.

He added that since it opened – and over the coming few weeks – data on all aspects of how the junction was functioning would be compiled which could involve changes to light sequencing, lanes and peak traffic flows.

One motorist who contacted this newspaper said that the daily “nightmare” journey from the Barna Road to the Headford Road during the morning peak traffic time had added up to 40 minutes to his journey time.

“The two lanes are regularly gridlocked from the junction, back the N6, over the Quincentenary Bridge and back to Corrib Park.

“In the mornings, it’s now easier to go down Taylor’s Hill and into town, past Eyre Square and up Bohermore to get down to the Headford Road.

Councillors were told by consultants in 2017 and again in 2018 – when they voted to proceed with the changeover to a junction – that average delays would be reduced by 25% and junction capacity would increase by 15%.
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Man hospitalised following Eyre Square assault

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Gardaí have appealed to the public for information into an assault in Eyre Square last weekend which led to a young man being hospitalised.

The victim of the assault – a man in his early 20s from the city area – suffered a cut to his knee and may have had a substance sprayed towards his eyes.

Following the incident – that occurred close to the Eyre Square taxi rank shortly after midnight on Saturday night last – the victim was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Galway.

It is understood that the victim was released later that morning and has made a full recovery. This week, Gardaí are poring over CCTV footage in an effort to try and identify the perpetrators of the assault.

The assailants are understood to have fled on foot after the incident towards St Patrick’s Avenue on the east side of Eyre Square.

A Garda spokesperson has appealed for anyone who was in the vicinity of the taxi rank on Eyre Square between 12 midnight and 12.30am on the Sunday morning (Saturday night) of July 25 last, and who may have witnessed the incident to contact them.

(Photo: the assailants fled on foot towards St Patrick’s Avenue off Eyre Square)
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Council turns down controversial phone mast plan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Galway City Council has refused an application by Eircom to erect a 12-metre telecoms mast in a housing estate in Knocknacarra.

The local authority turned down the company’s application for planning permission to install the structure in the heart of Drom Óir over concerns that it would create a visual obstruction in a residential area – and would have a detrimental impact on property prices.

Eircom had also sought retention to keep a concrete foundation for the mast in situ after it was forced to abandon works earlier this year, amid protests from residents in Drom Óir and Leitir Burca. This was also rejected.

City planners issued the company with a warning letter in April to cease works after contractors on site drew the ire of nearby residents, who accused Eircom of seeking to install the mast ‘by stealth’.

A total of 26 letters of objection were submitted to the Council from residents of the two estate.
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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