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Mayor of Galway says Bonham Docks development would represent major step forward for city

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Mayor of Galway councillor Pearce Flannery says the proposed 100
million euro development at the Docks would be a major step forward for
the city.
His observation was made at day two of the oral hearing concerning the
development which would create a 26 thousand square metre office complex
and public square in the heart of the city.
The building of the complex across Dock Road, Queen Street and Bothar na
Long is led by Gerry Barret’s company Edward Capital.
Mayor Flannery told the hearing the Bonham Quay development provides an
opportunity to energise the city, bringing vibrancy and new life into Galway.
He said the city has lost big firms such as AirBnB and LinkedIn to
Dublin, while other cities have forged ahead because Galway has been
constrained with development.
He stressed the plan is not about a building but about people, adding that
the project would attract high-volume jobs into the area.
President of Galway Chamber of Commerce David Hickey told the hearing a
lack of Grade A office space places the city at a distinct disadvantage.
He added that from 2015 to date, 60% of IDA backed businesses set up in
the city centre.
Mr. Hickey stressed that the development represents a badly needed
kick-start to the city’s regeneration plan.
Galway City Business Association also made an observation this afternoon
arguing Galway is ripe for development of this nature adding it would have
a substantial economic benefit.
Fianna Fail city councillor Peter Keane also made an observation in
support of the plan highlighting the site represents less than 5% of the
total harbour area.
He told the hearing his practice is based on the fourth floor of the
Queensgate building and he doesn’t feel the planned scale is excessive.
City councilor Noel Larkin addressed the hearing and said the city has
been trying to get an outer bypass for 15 years and a development of this
type is crucial to that type of investment.
Earlier today, An Taisce described the project as an unsustainable,
piecemeal, ad-hoc urban development.
Its submission argued the project needs a statutory master plan in order
to be plan-led and not developer-led.
The group also raised serious concerns over what it described as a lack of
residential content arguing it fails to acknowledge the city’s housing
shortage stating the scheme as designed will only serve itself.
The submission also highlights concerns regarding the scale, height,
design and layout of the scheme which it described as an ‘inward focused
office campus’.
The An Taisce report states the 7 to 8 storey complex will cause
significant visual change over a limited area.
The group also raised concerns regarding the project’s engagement with the
waterfront adding that views to the docks will be poor and overshadowed by
nearby office blocks.
The hearing is expected to conclude tomorrow at the Clayton Hotel.

Breaking News

1427 new cases of Covid-19 reported nationally

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 1,427* confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The figure is a decrease of 74 on yesterday’s figure.

It brings the five-day moving average of new cases to 1,363.

There are currently 164 people in hospital with the virus – of which 26 are in intensive care units.

Cases have remained consistently between 1,000 and 1,500 cases per day over the past week or so, following a sharp increase in daily figures in mid-July.

This weekend also marks a further expansion of the vaccination programme, with walk-in vaccination centres opened across the country for the first time.

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€42,000 worth of grants awarded to coastal community groups and micro enterprises in Galway

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Over 42,000 euro worth of grants have been approved for 4 coastal community groups and micro enterprises in Galway.

The funding is provided by the Fisheries Local Action Groups that were set up under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme and are co-funded by the Government and the European Union.

In total, 62 grants worth €915, 295 were awarded nationally in this latest round of funding.

The Fisheries Local Area Action Group is a coastal community development strategy with a fund of €12 million for 7 designated Irish coastal communities with the West FLAG comprising of Galway and Clare.

The Galway groups that will receive the latest round of funding are Inis Oírr Glamping and Campsite, Oranmore Castle Cultural Centre, Cuan Beo and Spiddal Craft & Design Centre.

Minister for the Marine Charlie McConalogue says the money will further drive start-ups and the development of seafood and marine businesses.

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SIPTU members in St Brigids Ballinasloe vote overwhelmingly for strike action

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – SIPTU members working as health care assistants and social care workers in St Brigid’s Mental Health Intellectual Disability Services in Ballinasloe have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action up to and including strike action.

Balloting began on Thursday with the result announced yesterday evening.

SIPTU argued that its members were left with no option but to ballot for strike action because HSE Senior management is outsourcing work, contrary to public service agreements.

SIPTU Organiser, Yvonne McGrath, said: “The actions taken by HSE West in privatising our members’ work roles has shown a total lack of regard for their staff. This vote has demonstrated that our members will not be found wanting in responding to actions of the HSE.  It has made this move at a time when workers in intellectual disability services have been working above and beyond their duties in caring for service users who have been at their most vulnerable during the pandemic.”

She added: “The actions taken by HSE West are in breach of agreements, which apply not just to this facility but throughout the public service. Our members are simply calling for the HSE to abide by its agreements, engages in meaningful consultation and desist from the outsourcing of our members’ work.” 

SIPTU member in St Brigid’s, Susan Delaney, said: “We are delighted with the high turnout of members to participate in this ballot together with the overwhelming result. The actions of management have been taken with total disregard for workers on the ground. Over years of working with service users, we have built up strong and supportive relationships with them. They know us, trust us and rely on us. The staff will continue to deliver excellent service, working to an extremely high standard, which management by their actions appears to have called into question.”

SIPTU NEC member and St Brigid’s staff, Seamus Dillon said: “Management at St Brigid’s seems to be answerable to no one. In my opinion, their actions seriously damage the credibility of the HSE. If they are allowed to totally disregard the public service agreement and don’t take any action to reverse their decision, they are in danger of bringing the HSE into disrepute.”

In a statement released earlier this week, the HSE said an external review of the needs of service users was undertaken in 2017 and a change process subsequently commenced.

It added the service is in the process of transitioning to a social care model which will deliver better outcomes and quality of life for the service users.

The HSE has stated it is incumbent on Galway Roscommon Mental Health Service to support evidence-based best practice and change the service delivery to a social care model in line with all other intellectual disability services provided in this country.

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