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Neighbours’ relief as derelict house up for sale

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Neighbours living beside a derelict site, that was attracting an unsavoury element and causing huge problems for those trying to sell their homes, have welcomed the news that the house is now up for auction.

Late last year, City Councillor, Donal Lyons, called on the individual or institution that owned 54 Cruachan Park, Rahoon, to either restore or sell the detached house, before it was razed to the ground altogether.

“It was very hard to find out who the legal owners were,” he told the Galway City Tribune.

“We had also requested the City Council to get the owners to make it secure.”

At the time, the state of the four-bed property was said to be devaluing the whole area, but also the quality of life of residents living nearby.

The windows of the particular house had been broken again, the internal walls were damaged, fires were regularly being lit inside, and unruly groups were holding almost nightly parties inside.

Things came to a head, however, when residents witnessed “a mini-riot” outside the property. Cllr Lyons said that Gardaí were powerless, as there had been no complaint made by the owner.

“That’s the difficulty with this house and similar properties – residents are in ‘no man’s land’,” he said at the time.

“Who do they turn to in the present situation? They want it safeguarded, so that people don’t have access to it in the future. Otherwise, it will become an eyesore.”

The worst fear for neighbours, he said, was that the house would be burned to the ground by revellers, referring to a case on the Ballymoneen Road, where the owner eventually had to demolish the property altogether.

Galway City Council’s powers were restricted under the Derelict Sites Act 1990, and it had to go through the slow process to rectify the situation. Following on from an inspection by a community warden in October, the registered owners – a couple with an address in Ballyglunin, Tuam – were traced through a search of the Land Registry, and a notice was issued to them.

This stated that Galway City Council intended to put the property on the register of derelict sites unless certain works were carried out within a 28-day period to remove ‘the indication of dereliction’.

Since then, the property was boarded up and this had the effect of cutting out the anti-social behaviour, and the house has now been put on the market.

“We are delighted to hear that it is for sale, and there will be some comfort for neighbours that the property will be taken on possibly by a family,” Cllr Lyons said yesterday.

“It is a nice neighbourhood and a fine house.”

O’Donnellan & Joyce have advertised the house on its list of properties to be sold by auction on June 27. With an advised minimum value is €130,000, the house is described as being in need of refurbishment, but one which would appeal to a DIY enthusiast, as it offers a blank canvas.

CITY TRIBUNE

Party-goers in Galway hit with Covid fines

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway’s most senior Garda has issued a renewed appeal this week for young people to desist from organising or attending any house parties as the local Covid-19 situation worsens – last week Gardaí were called to break up a number of gatherings in different parts of the city.

A total of 15 people were found to be attending one house party in the Salthill area last weekend while Gardaí were called to two other smaller gatherings – one in the Doughiska area and the other in Rahoon.

Cautions and Fixed Payment Notices (fines) were issued to a number of those involved. This week, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley has pleaded with young people ‘to stay away at all costs’ from such gatherings.

“We have very high Covid incidence rates in the Galway area over the past week; death rates from the disease are at their highest ever level; and the last thing we need now is groups of people coming together in confined settings.

“If one person has Covid at such a gathering then, in all probability, most others there will pick it up too and spread it their contacts and family members. I am pleading for people just not to do this.

“We are entering into our most critical period in trying to contain the spread of Covid-19, with the next month or so absolutely vital in our efforts to keep everyone healthy and safe and to try and avoid further loss of life,” he said.
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

Community gives new lease of life to Merlin allotments

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – In 2018, the allotments in Merlin Woods were in danger of falling by the wayside, with declining numbers and underuse blighting a facility that had huge potential.

Since then, the community has pulled together to create a space that locals are proud of and one that its advocates are hoping could be a template for other communities across the city.

Chairperson of the Committee behind this new lease of life is Michael Tully, who says the allotments have become a focal point for area, bringing together locals from all walks of life.

“It’s all about netting the community together and the response we’re getting has been unbelievable,” says Michael, who joined the committee in 2018.

“I started off as a user of Merlin Woods, walking by the allotments and thinking to myself that it would be great to grow my own fruit and veg.

“I started talking to a few of the plot-holders like John Rabbitte, Martin Lohan, Jim McCormack and Daithí O’Brien and they told me how to apply. I applied to the City Council and got my allotment in early 2018 and there were about eight allotments in use at that stage, all of us working away on our own.”

Two years later, all 42 allotments are in use, but it took the cooperation of Galway City Council and Trojan work from the community to get it to this point, explains Michael.

“We came down here every Saturday to clear the paths, dig out the weeds and make the place better. The sense of community was unbelievable. Anyone who couldn’t dig was bringing down flasks of tea and cakes to those that were,” he laughs.
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

National Transport Authority to progress Galway’s Park and Ride

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A dedicated unit established within the National Transport Authority will look at the potential of Park and Ride to help solve Galway City’s traffic congestion problem.

Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, said that Park and Ride facilities should not be restricted to the east, and sites needed to be located to the west and north-west to take account of commuters from Connemara.

Mr McGrath said Park and Ride would be advanced this year as part of the Galway Transport Strategy. He said that the Council, in conjunction with the dedicated unit within the NTA, would investigate feasible sites for the location of Park and Ride facilities.

Mr McGrath said that site selection and acquisition of land could commence in the second quarter of this year. He said he expected that Park and Ride would be progressed well before the Galway City Ring Road was built.

Director of Services for Transport, Ruth McNally, also said that the NTA was looking at the potential of sites in the city for Park and Ride and she insisted that money – or a lack of it – was not halting progress.

“Money is not a major issue for capital projects,” she said.

They were responding at Monday’s City Council meeting to councillors who lamented the slow progress on developing Park and Ride.
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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