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New Cleggan car park ends residents’ torment



The end is in sight for residents in Cleggan fed up being hemmed into their own homes because of illegal parking close to the pier.

There were too frequently trapped by those travelling on the ferry to Inishbofin who would park outside driveways in the village – but new traffic bye-laws will put an end to that.

A Galway County Council-operated car park was officially opened in the village and a new traffic management plan and car park bye-laws are set to come into force by the end of June.

Cllr Eileen Mannion from Clifden said that for years the village of Cleggan had become a car park during the busy summer months and there had been calls for the implementation of a traffic management plan.

“In order to do this a public car park had to be provided,” Cllr Mannion explained.

She said that Cleggan and Claddaghduff Community Council and Galway County Council had worked together over the last few years to secure the land for the car park and to draw up the traffic management plan.

“There was public consultation in drawing up the traffic management plan and an effort was made to accommodate all viewpoints,” Cllr Mannion added.

Cleggan is where passengers and tourists avail of the regular boat service to Inishbofin. For a number of years it was proposed to provide a new car park in the village.

Galway County Council initiated proposals to implement traffic restrictions in the village as well as providing a car park with more than 60 spaces.

There will also be parking restrictions along the pier where cars are often ‘abandoned’ for days. This ban is to ensure the orderly use of the pier.

Prior to the opening of the new car park, parking in Cleggan village was not coordinated with those taking the ferry availing of any space in the village that became available. This will no longer be the case.

There are times when those using the ferry parked in front of houses and gateways and prevented access to dwellings and business premises.

Local residents were fuming that during the height of the tourist season they can often became prisoners in their own homes due to the unregulated parking that occurred in the village.

The new car park was officially opened by the Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, Cllr Peter Roche while also in attendance were Minister of State Sean Kyne and Cathaoirleach of Connemara Municipal Council, Cllr Eileen Mannion.

It was also attended by Fianna Fail’s Deputy Eamon O Cuiv, Cllrs Niamh Byrne, Tom Healy and Sean O Tuairisg as well as the CEO of Galway County Council Kevin Kelly, Director of Services for Roads and Transportation Liam Gavin as well as engineers and staff from Galway County Council along with members of Cleggan and Claddaghduff Community Council and Cleggan Tidy Towns.


Bikers do their bit to mark anniversary of blood service



The Blood Bike team and supporters with the charity’ s newest motorbike, Cara, during the fundraising day at the Galway Plaza. Pictured are (from left) John Moylan, Bridie Lyons (Fundraising Manager), Sean Griffin, Fergus Turner, James Treacy, Pat McDonagh, Dave O'Leary (Chairperson), Ronan Kane (Fleet Manager), and Sergio Massidda.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Blood Bike West, and the big birthday was marked in style with a sun-drenched afternoon at Galway Plaza’s Bike Fest West.

Galway stuntman Mattie Griffin was the headline attraction; there was face painting, games, plenty of ice-cream – and hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts and families.

The birthday celebrations kicked off with a 160-strong motorcycle spin around the Galway countryside, raising well-needed funds for the volunteering efforts of Blood Bike West.

As a 100% volunteer-run and funded organisation, donations are vitally important for Blood Bike West to continue operating their medical transport in the West of Ireland.

Since its inception in 2012, demand for their volunteers’ services continues to grow:  collecting and delivering all manner of urgent medical items regionally and nationally, such as bloods, breast milk, medicines, scans, and equipment.

In 2021 alone, Blood Bike West delivered 983 urgent medical deliveries throughout the country.

As part of Galway City Councils Community, Blood Bike West undertook to operate a 24/7 service, including 165 medication deliveries from pharmacies to the self-isolating and vulnerable during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Since Blood Bike West’s inception in 2012, this increase sees the ongoing need to replace and renew their fleet of motorcycles.

Their motorbikes, Madison, Heather, Margaret, and newly inaugurated bike Cara, are regularly seen on Galway roads, delivering consignments to and from local and regional hospitals.


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Park fun to mark Africa Day



Pam Mncube-Zoki of Africa United Galway, speaking at the National Integration Conference at NUI Galway last week. The group are co-organisers of Africa Day which takes place in Salthill Park on May 28. Photo:xposure

On Saturday next (May 28) in Salthill Park, Galway’s African community invites people to join them in a celebration of culture as part of the national Africa Day celebrations.

Africa United Galway, emerging from lockdown and having hosted online festivals for the past two years, will be delivering a family fun day event.

Africa Day 2022 will reinforce a collaboration between Africa United Galway and Galway Africa Diaspora, Shining Light Galway and GoCom Radio (broadcasting live), who have worked to create a festival that will showcase Galway as a city of culture.

Among the performances on the day will be Afrobeat dancer Lapree Lala of Southside Moves, who will show how to dance in African style; Elikya Band will be bringing indigenous African Congolese music; The Youth Performances will be displaying their talent in rap, singing, speaking, and dancing and for the young at heart.

Galway Afrobeat performer Dave Kody will get the crowd moving and there will be poetry through spoken word and cultural displays. There will be a photo booth and face painting and everyone will get to have a taste of African cuisines.

In the spirit of inclusion and integration, The St Nicholas Collegiate Church Parish Choir will be presenting a special African performance as well as a feature presentation by the Hession School of Irish Dance, who will be presenting the famous Riverdance.

Also organised is a football friendly between the African community and An Garda Siochana.

The Mayor, Colette Connolly, will officially be opening the event with a keynote speech and several African Ambassadors are expected to be present on the day to reinforce the culture, beauty and strength of Africa and support for its people.

Africa Day is sponsored by Irish Aid and supported by Galway City Council.

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Domestic Violence Response recorded highest number of clients in 24 years under Covid ‘shadow’



At the launch of the Domestic Violence Response (DVR) Annual Report were Rachel Doyle and Elizabeth Power of DVR, Deputy Catherine Connolly and Anne Reynolds. Photos Sean Lydon


A domestic violence support charity in Galway has recorded its highest number of clients in 24 years – “under the shadow” of Covid-19.

Domestic Violence Response (DVR), which is based in Moycullen, also reported its highest level of counselling support sessions in its 2021 annual report published last week.

The charity saw 136 new clients in 2021, and a total of 266 people utilised its services. It also saw a significant increase of return service users.

The support service also provided 51 nights of emergency accommodation through a partnership between Airbnb, Safe Ireland, and Women’s Aid.

Elizabeth Power, Coordinator of DVR Galway, said: “Our 2021 annual report highlights the stark reality of the level of domestic violence in Galway. Under the shadow of Covid-19, DVR recorded the highest number of clients in our 24-year history and delivered the highest number of support services.

“Our staff noted increases in the level of worrying and harrowing experiences of control and abuse. The trauma of these experiences will live with our service users long after Covid-19 fades into memory.

“While Covid-19 restrictions are behind us, domestic violence continues to be present in hundreds of homes throughout Galway.

“As we move through 2022, we will continue to provide our much-needed services to women and men throughout Galway, with an extensive counselling support and advocacy service and a number of new initiatives including a partnership with the HSE which will be launched in the coming months.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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