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New collective wants to add environmental issue to city’s vision

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A new initiative aiming to accelerate the transition to a low carbon sustainable future has been launched in Galway.

The Post Carbon Galway (PCG) initiative aims to work in partnership with all sectors to ensure that environmental issues are to the fore in the coming years.

And the team believe that – with Galway’s recent successes in landing the 2020 Capital of Culture crown as well as the European Green Leaf award for Sustainable City in 2017 and European Region of Gastronomy in 2018 – their vision can add another string to that bow.

“While the eyes of the world are upon us, Galway now has a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of world cities in leading not only in the more traditional vision of arts and culture but in the green transition to a more sustainable future, in effect becoming Ireland’s first CO2 neutral capital,” explained PCG’s Brendan ‘Speedie’ Smith.

“The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrating impacts of climate change and the historic United Nations’ Paris Climate Agreement recently ratified by nearly 200 nations means climate change can no longer be ignored, urging us all to undertake a rapid shift to a fully sustainable renewable energy culture and economy over the next two decades,” he added.

The Post Carbon Galway collaboration acknowledged that transitioning to a renewable energy-based culture and economy needed an all-inclusive partnership approach.

“While climate change is seen as the main focus, the plans and solutions proposed need to be cognisant of the wider picture on biodiversity, culture and heritage, growth versus sustainable economy and human and community well-being, that would enable a sustained, citizen-led engagement.

“We now need to unite all of local society in planning and creating a just, managed, transition to a secure, flourishing, and authentically sustainable post-carbon Galway,” explained Mr Smith.

Post Carbon Galway was set up to devise and monitor a local pathway to a low carbon Galway, by working collaboratively in setting ambitious and achievable targets to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and to promote sustainable development within Galway City and County.

Its members include Galway City Community Network, An Tasice, INSIGHT and The Ryan Institute NUI Galway, Transition Galway, Collaborative Ways, Third Space Galway, Galway Cycling Campaign and Conservation Volunteers Galway.

Brendan Smith recently highlighted on social media how the 2020 bid process forced us to look beyond our individual sector and community towards an ambitious holistic vision that can only be achieved by a unity of purpose.

“They have shown us that ‘culture’ is not something that belongs only to the realm of the arts but underpins all aspects of our local lives, from business to scientific research to environmentalism, from life in rural villages to urban neighbourhoods,” he said.

“Let us all take full advantage of the unique opportunities being presented to make ‘culture’ synonymous with Galway in all its identities and to use it as a catalyst to improve both the natural environment and the quality of life of all its people,” he added.

If you would like to get involved or for any further information on the Post Carbon Galway initiative, contact project coordinator Martina Finn 0872201972 or visit their website.

CITY TRIBUNE

Hero’s welcome following rescue of two women on Galway Bay

Stephen Corrigan

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Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan, who rescued Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn off Inis Oirr island, on their arrival back at the Galway RNLI Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The miraculous rescue on Galway Bay yesterday of two young women from Knocknacarra brought 15 long hours of searching to a euphoric conclusion, as cousins Sara Feeney (23) and Ellen Glynn (17) were brought safely to shore.

A major search and rescue operation was launched after the pair went missing from Furbo Beach on Wednesday night, when they were swept away by a sudden wind while paddle boarding.

Claddagh fisherman and former Lifeboat shore crew member Patrick Oliver and his 18-year-old son Morgan joined the search early on Thursday morning and were the heroes of the hour after they discovered the two women on their boards, clinging to a lobster pot about two miles south-west of Inis Oírr, where despite their ordeal, they were described as “ok, but shaken”.

In the face of torrential rain and high winds overnight, both women had drifted almost 20 miles out to sea, but amazingly neither required serious medical attention.

Sara’s mother, Helen Feeney, raised the alarm shortly after 9pm on Wednesday evening when she noticed the pair missing as she walked their dog along the shore.

Sara, a daughter of Helen and Bernard Tonge, and Ellen, daughter Deirdre and well-known former captain of Galway United Johnny Glynn, were both said to be in good spirits at the hospital yesterday afternoon.

One relative told the Galway City Tribune that the family was “utterly humbled by the generosity of people” who had took part in the search and said, “unbelievable doesn’t even begin to describe it”.

“Thank you from all the family to everyone who helped, words will never express our gratitude.”
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Photo: Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan, who rescued Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn off Inis Oirr island, on their arrival back at the Galway RNLI Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway farm operators fall fowl of locals

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Neighbours of Mad Yolk Farm have asked Galway City Council to determine whether planning permission is required for a portable chicken coop earmarked for the land in Roscam.

This week, Mad Yolk Farm has indicated that it will be adding chickens to the site, which has already been the subject of planning enforcement by the local authority.

In a Facebook post, the operators said they are planning to rear organic chickens on site, with neighbours fearing as many as 450 birds in the chicken ‘caravan’.

“Our chicken caravan is now built and our beaked ladies will arrive in eight days. We’ll be moving the hens onto fresh grass each day and they’ll be free to forage for insects and take mud baths. They’ll be free to behave like a chicken should,” the business said on social media.

It has prompted a neighbour of the property to write the Council to formally ask for a declaration “whether the work/development described in the form is or is not development or is or is not exempted development under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act”.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cold water poured on Spanish Arch ‘bushing’ sprinkler plan

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway City Council has poured cold water on a suggestion that it should install water sprinklers to deter ‘bushing’ at city centre hotspots for outdoor drinking, such as Spanish Arch.

Councillor Eddie Hoare (FG) this week said the local authority should examine providing sprinklers, to deter bushing, after Spanish Arch and Middle Arch were packed with hundreds of revellers during the sunshine last weekend, and the areas were littered with alcohol bottles and cans.

Cllr Hoare said large crowds were prohibited from gathering outside due to Covid-19 social distancing guidelines, and if the partying continued “Galway will be the next county to be locked down”.

He said CCTV cameras should be installed at Spanish Arch and Middle Arch and added: “Galway City Council should consider installing sprinklers as a long-term solution.”

However, the City Council said it was not its intention to install sprinklers.

“It’s so hot at the moment, if you put out a sprinkler anywhere in Galway, people would just dance under it. We’re so unused to this muggy heat, that if you did that (installed sprinklers), on top of your 12-pack of Bacardi Breezers, or whatever it is young people drink these days, you’d have the biggest wet t-shirt competition this side of Ibiza – people would just dance under them. No, we have no plans for sprinklers,” remarked a City Council spokesperson.

He said the Council was unaware of a separate suggestion – announced by Mayor of Galway Mike Cubbard on social media – that certain city areas be exempted from the street drinking bylaws, to allow them to be monitored and controlled.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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