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Connacht Tribune

Motorway opening sees 25% traffic increase on rural road

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The opening of the new Gort to Tuam motorway has resulted in a traffic increase of more than 25% on a minor road leading to the North Galway town.

Figures revealed by Galway County Council indicate that traffic on the Kilbannon road leading into Tuam has increased significantly – and even more worrying is the number of heavy goods vehicles using the route.

And Cllr Donagh Killilea has now been informed that Galway County Council will submit an application to the Department of Transport for a major road realignment project in the area in the light of these figures.

A considerable amount of ‘Mayo traffic’ are now using the R332 to access the new motorway as a means of getting to Dublin.

Prior to the motorway opening last September, Galway County Council conducted a traffic count over a twelve-day period which showed that around 10,000 vehicles passed through Kilbannon.

But then in November, two months after the Tuam bypass and motorway opening, a similar survey was conducted which revealed that the number of vehicles had increased to almost 13,500.

Cllr Killilea said that this is now a major source of concern for residents and been informed that another traffic count will take place over a further twelve-day period in September when the schools reopen.

The R332 is now taking the vast majority of South Mayo traffic which is accessing the new motorway just outside Tuam. Locals now say that they cannot walk or cycle the road over safety concerns.

A campaign has been launched to upgrade a one-kilometre section from Duddy’s pub to the GAA pitch which is extremely narrow and is governed by a solid white line.

The local residents want it widened to such an extent that pedestrians can step in to safety in the event of continuous traffic. With the current volume of traffic, it is deemed unsafe for walkers.

Locals were told that a senior engineer with Galway County Council Rachel Lowe would walk the road to view at first hand the volume of traffic and the potential risks there are for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

She walked the road and has now confirmed to Cllr Killilea that an application for funding of a full realignment of this stretch will now be made in September.

“The increase in the volume of traffic using this incredibly minor road is a very worrying development and particularly the amount of heavy goods vehicles that are now passing through this rural village is of major concern.

“But the fact that the Council are now making an application for funding for a total realignment is a reflection of the local campaign and an acceptance that this particular stretch needs to be made safer,” Cllr Killilea added.

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Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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