Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us


Multi-million retail project for derelict site by 2019



The owners of a derelict site on the Headford Road have said they hope to complete a multi-million euro retail, office and apartment development by 2019.

The Council had previously raised concerns over potential flooding on the half-acre site.

Almane Properties Ltd – which is controlled by the Barry family, who own Motorpark and have numerous property investments – has been granted a five-year extension of time on its planning permission for the site located alongside the IMC Cinema at Galway Retail Park.

The plans are for a new 2,355 square metre development on the site, including 840 sq m of ground floor retail space, 810 sq m of first floor offices and 4 two-bed duplex apartments (totalling 706 sq m) on the second and third floors, as well as 14 temporary parking spaces.

“Around the time permission was granted, the market for this type of accommodation collapsed and finance was no longer available for construction,” the application reads.

Planning permissions last for a period of five years, and the Almane permission had been due to expire in May. It will not expire in May, 2021.

City Council planners said: “Development of this vacant site is desirable in the interests of improving the visual amenity and general ambience of this stretch of the Headford Road. The site is prominently located, both visually and in terms of commercial footfall.

“The further provision of retail space in this area would be beneficial in physically linking the city centre with the shopping areas on the Headford Road (Galway Shopping Centre and Galway Retail Park), and the mixed retail/office use and substantial residential element is in keeping with the Commercial/Industrial zoning objectives.”

Planners had also requested that a flood risk assessment be prepared for the site.

That report found that the site would be defended by the Terryland embankment and Salmon Weir against a 100 year flood, but is “potentially vulnerable” to the 1,000 year flood.

It said that while the ground floor retail units could be affected, the residential apartment are located at second and third floor level are safe from flooding as the flood defences would only allow flooding between 4cm and 7cm on the ground floor, which would not impede access.

Senior Executive Planner Liam Blake said: “Having regard to the fact that the overall Headford Road development is not a greenfield site, but adjoins an existing shopping centre which has been in place for over 40 years and the fact that all residential accommodation units of the proposed development are located above the ground floor level, and that clear evacuation refuge and escape routes have been identified, it is considered that the flood risks have been adequately assessed.”

He added that despite the volatility of the property market, the Council would extend the planning permission by five years because it was in the context of a mixed-use development. Mr Blake said the extension of time for residential-only would normally be three years.

The applicants indicated they expect the building to be completed “between 2017-19”.

Last year, planners granted permission to another company for the development of two retail units and four apartment on the adjoining carpark site (the former Esso station).

Connacht Tribune

Thousands on waiting list for student accommodation in Galway



The student housing crisis is ‘the worst it’s ever been’ – with thousands on waiting lists for rooms; hundreds relying on hostels and friends’ sofas; and countless more facing deferral or dropping out altogether.

The President of NUI Galway’s Students’ Union, Róisín Nic Lochlainn, told the Connacht Tribune that students had been left in a desperate situation, as she called for mass protests to have the issue addressed.

According to Ms Nic Lochlainn, 3,000 students were currently on the waiting lists for NUIG’s on-campus accommodation – Corrib Village and Goldcrest Village – with around 500 in line for any bed that might come up in the Westwood.

“Gort na Coiribe and Dunaras have told us their waiting lists are well into the hundreds too. I’ve only got to contact two of the hostels around town, but Kinlay and Snoozles have almost 200 students between them already – and they’re expecting more.

“The first years haven’t even arrived yet, and on top of all that, you have people in B&Bs and staying on their friends’ sofas,” said Ms Nic Lochlainn.

Pressure on the student rental market had been building for years, she said, but it had gone off the cliff edge this year as a perfect storm was created by increased student numbers and reduced bed availability.

“[Minister for Further and Higher Education] Simon Harris created new places on courses this year and talked about maximum access to education . . . I’m not sure how that works for students who are homeless.

“Because there weren’t many students around last year, some private landlords might have moved on. There was no new purpose-built accommodation delivered, and then Simon Harris creates new places with no new beds,” said Ms Nic Lochlainn of the causes of this year’s problems.”

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Government asked to “do everything” to ensure Intel chooses Oranmore as base



The Taoiseach and Tánaiste will be asked to do “everything in their power” to ensure technology giant Intel selects Oranmore as the location for its new microchip manufacturing plant – which could create 10,000 jobs and transform the West of Ireland economy.

The 540-acre site is owned by the Defence Forces and was selected by IDA Ireland as the preferred site for the company’s new EU ‘chip’ base.


Oranmore is up against sites in Poland, France and Germany and Intel confirmed to Taoiseach Micheál Martin that the site is under consideration.

Galway East TD Ciarán Cannon said the development would be “transformative” and would be Intel’s largest microchip manufacturing plant in the world.

Meanwhile, at a meeting of the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District this week, councillors backed a proposal from Cllr Liam Carroll to write to Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar to urge them to push forward the plan.

“This would be a game-changer, not just for Oranmore but for the whole of Connacht. Imagine 10,000 directly employed at some stage in the future, and the spinoff from that,” he said.

The Oranmore site is reported to have been selected ahead of three other locations in Ireland.

It is on Intel’s short-list for the proposed project, which would involve building eight factory modules on a single campus at the site off the M6 motorway, northeast of Oranmore, the newspaper reported.

The American multinational tech company has whittled down its short-list to 10 finalists; Oranmore is up against sites in Poland, France and Germany.

The Sunday Times reported at the weekend that if it proceeds, the new Oranmore ‘mega-fab’ would dwarf Intel’s existing site in Leixlip, which employs almost 5,000.

Galway East TD, Ciaran Cannon (FG) said: “It would put Galway on the map internationally as a place for high-tech investment and it would serve to rebalance the economic imbalance that exists in our country where all of the weight is on the east coast.

“The IDA has a formula where every one new job created in that industry creates about eight or nine more jobs downstream in terms of the supply chain and services. They’re saying 10,000 jobs on site – twice the population of Athenry – on one campus and then another 80-90,000 jobs off site. The figures are phenomenal, mind boggling,” said Deputy Cannon.

The demand for the facility arose during Covid-19 when the supply chain between Asia and Europe broke down.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Fraudsters ‘spoof’ Galway Garda Station’s phone number



Fraudsters replicated the phone number of Galway Garda Station and used it to call a local woman to demand money.

Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Michael Walsh, said that the number ‘091 538000’ was somehow used by criminals who attempted to extract money – in the form of the online currency Bitcoin – from the victim.   Despite the phone call appearing to come from the Garda station at Mill Street, the woman became suspicious and reported it to Gardaí.

Sgt Walsh said it was the latest in a series of ‘spoofing’ phone calls to have occurred this year.

Spoofing is where fraudsters change the caller ID to ring unsuspecting members of the public to try to extract money or personal information off them.

He said that the number of spoofing incidents reported to Galway Gardaí has more than doubled in the past year.

“It is top of my agenda,” he said.

He pointed out that criminals can obtain a ‘ready to go’ phone and SIM card, relatively cheaply, and it was “very difficult” for Gardaí to trace the caller.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story and more details on fraud figures in Galway, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads