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Connacht Tribune

Minister Cannon comes under fire for supporting greenway

Declan Tierney

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A Government minister has come under fire for lending his support for the provision of a walking and cycling greenway on the old Western Rail Corridor.

Junior Minister Ciaran Cannon has been accused of adding to the current gridlock that exists in and around Galway city by his stance on abandoning the rail track.

Minister Cannon recently rubbished any suggestion that the Western Rail Corridor should be reopened to train traffic and he said that the provision of a greenway from Athenry all the way to Enniskillen was the way to go.

And he added that “a small cohort” of individuals who are advocating rail traffic on the line were doing “a disservice” to a lot of people who could benefit from a greenway.

But an organisation called Future Looking Athenry Group (FLAG) have made contact with the Connacht Tribune and say that the closure of the Tuam to Athenry railway line in the 1970s is now a major contributory factor in the current congestion.

A statement signed by Seamus Mulkerrins, Noel Doherty and Kevin Higgins says that while motorways are great, they add to the bottlenecks around cities like Galway by moving traffic more efficiently.

They believe that Athenry can be the centre for rail travel in the west and that is why they are totally opposed to the rail corridor being used for any other purpose.

Minister Cannon said that there will not be any trains running along the Western Rail Corridor “in our lifetime” and he also went on to dismiss the prospect of it being used for freight traffic.

He said that the biggest rail freight company in the country had recently scaled back their demand for a service between Ballina and Waterford Port to just one a week and now there was no service required.

However, the members of FLAG say that Minister Cannon along with fellow greenway advocate Deputy Anne Rabbitte of Fianna Fail did not judge the views of the country in the recent referendum very well and they believe that they have called it wrong on this occasion as well.

“We are not against a greenway but we just don’t accept that it should be provided on the old railway line.

“Those people old enough can still remember the destruction of the Galway to Clifden railway line and the tram lines in Dublin.

“We reject strongly his assertion that a small cohort of individuals are advocating rail traffic. The closure of the Tuam to Athenry line is a major contributory factor in the current traffic congestion.

“There have been occasions recently of traffic back-ups as far as Oranmore, Derrydonnell and, indeed, as far back as Athenry on the approach to Galway.

“This, we suggest, is a sign of future traffic congestion around Galway and imagine what it will be like in 20 years time when the population of the country is expected to double,” the group stated.

They are of the opinion that the Galway to Limerick rail service is very well utilised and that the closure of the Western Rail Corridor would be short-sighted in the future.

Connacht Tribune

NewDad enjoy fruit of their labour in debut EP

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NewDad....debut EP now released.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

It is difficult to transcend a local music scene at the best of times – but the absence of live gigs (and the momentum they generate) has made the industry even less accessible for young bands…which is what makes the continued rise of Galway band NewDad all the more impressive.

Having cultivated an original, current brand of dreampop over several years, the four-piece have intensified their progress in the last twelve months with a string of successful singles.

Now receiving airplay on BBC Radio 6 and drawing comparisons to Mazzy Star and The Cure, it looks as though free gigs and bedroom recordings are becoming a thing of the not so distant past.

A polished, coherent body of work is on the horizon. NewDad recently finished recording their debut EP in Belfast and it is tentatively set for release later this year.

The group is comprised of vocalist & rhythm guitarist Julie Dawson, bassist Áindle O’Beirn, lead guitarist Sean O’Dowd and drummer Fiachra Parslow. With a keen interest in the production side of their work, the four were heavily involved in the studio process.

“We were recording for three days but we were there for five really,” Sean recalls. “We had the demos very good. It was all multitracked and that so there are bits from the demos that are staying in the finished thing.”

“Yeah and we spent the last month basically rinsing through the set over and over,” Áindle adds.

“They all kind of give off a similar vibe I suppose but they’ve been written at different points. One of the tracks is actually the second song we ever wrote from years ago. We’ve always got loads of songs going so we’ve just taken five that we think go really well together…

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Houses selling faster as more working from home

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Estate agent Kevin Burke: increased demand for properties with a home office.

The average time taken to sell a house in Galway has fallen by three weeks in the past three months, a national property survey has found.

The REA Average House Price Survey found that the average time taken to sell across the county fell over the past three months from 11 weeks to eight in the city, and 13 weeks to 10 in the county.

As people move to incorporate new working from home lifestyles, the price of the average three-bed semi-detached house rose by 0.5% in the city to €285,000 this quarter and remained at €165,000 in the county.

“The market is strong with good demand for all properties. Activity levels have increased throughout the summer, and rural properties within commuting distance of Galway are in good demand,” said Kevin Burke of REA McGreal Burke, which has offices in Galway City and Loughrea.

“Even though the levels of supply remained static, demand has increased for all properties with a home office or home office possibility such as a large garage, garden or attic which is suitable for conversion.

“Properties on the edge of the city have also proved popular, and everyone seems to have taken time to assess their current position.”

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

CitySwift announces 50 new jobs for city as part of its major expansion

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Minister Hildegarde Naughton at the CitySwift jobs announcement with Brian O'Rourke and Alan Farrelly of CitySwift.

A Galway company, which produces cutting-edge technology to optimize the public transport experience for operators and customers alike, this week announced 50 new jobs over the next two years.

CitySwift, the transport data company which works with global players such as Go Ahead and National Express to transform the operations and passenger experience of public transport, announced the jobs for over the next two years – with 15 roles to be filled immediately.

The announcement comes after CitySwift secured €2m in funding from existing investors Enterprise Ireland, Western Development Commission, ACT Venture Capital, Irelandia Investment, and Mike McGearty.

The new roles will be across software, data science, and commercial roles including customer success, sales, and marketing.

As part of the rapid growth, CitySwift will also be moving to a bigger headquarters in Galway city centre.

Junior Transport Minister Hildegarde Naughton welcomed the jobs announcement.

“Growth of this scale for a local company, especially during these times, is remarkable,” she said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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