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New Galway HP centre to create up to 350 new jobs

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BY ENDA CUNNINGHAM

The construction of a new purpose-built European Software Centre by Hewlett Packard in Ballybrit – which will create up to 350 new jobs – has been hailed by the Taoiseach as a major boost for Galway.

Mr Kenny was in town yesterday for the announcement of the new building – which will see up to 200 new positions created, as well as a further 150 during construction.

The project – first revealed by this newspaper 12 months ago – is currently with city planners, who are awaiting further information on a right of way issue, as well as more detailed drawings of the proposed 90,000 square foot building, which will be located on a six-acre site beside the existing HP building.

The three-storey building will replace the existing 40 year-old premises, which no longer meets HP’s requirements.

Speaking at the announcement, the Taoiseach said: “The construction of a new state of the art R&D building by HP is a testament to their Galway staff and operations in Ireland. 

“The project will create 150 construction jobs during its development and will provide a much-needed boost for this sector.

“HP has been a valued business partner in Ireland throughout the years and this new investment will see HP and Ireland remain at the forefront of software research and cloud computing technology,” said Mr Kenny.

John Hinshaw, HP’s Executive Vice President of Global Technology and Operations, said: ”The new facility will be a modern office building, built with flexibility and environmental sustainability features and fitted out to support the needs of HP employees into the future.

“Our facilities in Galway are proving to successfully attract some of the best and brightest talent in key IT growth areas for HP. We are pleased to announce an investment in a new state of the art facility to support future development of new cutting edge technologies,” said Mr Hinshaw.

Mark Gantly, Managing Director in Galway, praised his existing workforce of 600 who helped secure the new investment.

“This announcement today is testament to the strength of the team on the ground who are developing new and meaningful technologies in Ireland that are being brought to the rest of the world,” said Mr Gantly.

The head of HP in Ireland said the new building represents an ‘expression of faith’ in Galway.

Martin Murphy said: “This is an exciting and very important development for HP in Ireland.  This investment in Ballybrit is an endorsement of Galway as a strategic location of choice for HP and affirms the company’s ongoing commitment to its operations in this country. 

In March, our sister newspaper the Galway City Tribune, reported that HP is in a row with neighbouring multinational APC over the plans for the new building.

A submission – and not an outright objection – by APC on the planning application expressed concerns that their building will be “dwarfed” by the new HP building, as well as over access and a right of way.

Those issues must be addressed by HP before planners can make a decision, although the company has said it is confident the application will be approved.

 

 

Connacht Tribune

Galway rowers aim for Olympic gold!

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Best of luck to two Galway rowers – Aifric Keogh of Aill an Phréacháin in Na Forbacha, and Fiona Murtagh from Gortachalla in Moycullen – who are part of Team Ireland’s Women’s Coxless Fours team who compete in an Olympic final in Tokyo at 1.50am (Irish time) Wednesday.

Coverage on RTÉ 2 television begins from 1am.

Ireland – who were second in their heat after Australia, who set a new Olympic Record – are in lane two, with Great Britain on their outside, and Australia, favourites for a gold medal, in lane three.

The Netherlands, China and Poland are in lanes four, five and six at the Sea Forest Waterway.

Poor weather meant some rowing events were re-scheduled but the Women’s Fours final was not impacted.

Jim Keogh, Aifric’s father, told the Tribune he was hopeful ahead of the final.

“To make the Olympics is tough, to make the final is tough, to make the medal is tougher,” he said.
Photo: Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty.

*Full coverage of the race and reaction in this week’s Connacht Tribune and Galway City Tribune 

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Connacht Tribune

Paedophile sentenced to a further 17 months in prison

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A convicted paedophile, described by a Garda as ‘a prolific child abuser’, has had a 17-month prison sentence added to a 13-year sentence he is already serving for the rape and sexual abuse of children.

Disgraced primary school teacher and summer school bus driver, 69-year-old Seosamh Ó Ceallaigh, a native of Tuirín, Béal a’ Daingin, Conamara, had at all times denied two charges of indecently assaulting a ten-year-old boy at a Gaeltacht summer school in Béal a’ Daingin in 1979.

The offence carries a maximum two-year sentence.

A jury found him guilty by majority verdict following a four-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last month.

At his sentence hearing last week, Detective Paul Duffy described Ó Ceallaigh as a prolific child abuser who had amassed 125 child abuse convictions, committed while he was a primary school teacher in Dublin and while he operated an Irish language summer school in Beal a’ Daingin.

They included convictions for rape and sexual assault for which he is currently serving sentences totalling 13 years.

Those sentences were due to expire in August 2024, but last week, Judge Rory McCabe imposed two, concurrent 17-month sentences on Ó Ceallaigh, before directing the sentences begin at the termination of the sentences he is currently serving.

The judge noted Ó Ceallaigh’s denial and lack of remorse and the lifelong detrimental effect the abuse had on the victim as aggravating factors.

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Connacht Tribune

Dismay as marine park proposal rejected by planners

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A lifeline project, with the potential to create around 200 long-term jobs in an area of South Connemara ravaged by unemployment and emigration, has been rejected by planners – primarily environmental grounds.
The proposed marine park or Páirc na Mara, east of Cill Chiaráin village, was viewed by many as a real chance to turn the tide for this unemployment blackspot.
Locals – and the vast majority of Galway West politicians – were supportive of the project which was viewed as one that would revitalise the area.
That said, Galway County Council’s decision to refuse permission for the marine park was welcomed by Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages which had expressed fears that the marine farm would extract huge amounts of fresh water to breed more than 1.5 million salmon smolts.
They said that millions of litres of fresh water would have been extracted on a regular basis by the salmon farm company operating the smolt rearing units – from the same lakes as the Carna and Cill Chiaráin water supply system.
“Local residents can now rest assured that their domestic water supply won’t be hijacked to line the pockets of people who have no regard for the local environment or residents,” said Billy Smyth, Chairman of Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages.
It was proposed to provide a marine innovation park Pairc na Mara on a 60-acre brownfield site at Cill Chiarain.
The development involves the provision of a number of marine-based facilities as well as education and research facilities in the townlands of Cill Chiarain, Ardmore and Calvary.
It involves the abstraction of water from Lough Scannan, its transfer to and temporary storage in Iron Lake along with impoundment and pumping to the Marine Park site with a rising main.
According to the application, Galway County Council has previously granted planning permission for aquaculture-based activities on the site of the proposed marine park back in 2002 while the first phase of the innovation park was built in 2005.
There were a considerable number of submissions supporting the application with many saying that this part of Connemara would benefit greatly from such a development.
But there were others who expressed concern over the potential impact it would have on the environment, and it would be located in a highly sensitive area.
Cllr Gerry King said that it was a valuable opportunity lost to the area given the amount of unemployment that exists. He added that there was local outrage at the decision.
The Fianna Fail councillor met with those behind the project and residents in support of the project. He said that they all agreed that this decision should be appealed to the higher planning authority.
It was refused on the basis that it would adversely affect the integrity and conservation objectives of the European sides in the vicinity of environmental value.
Planners stated that they could not be certain that the project would not adversely affect the integrity of Cill Ciaran Bay, the islands and Connemara bog complex
They also said that the Environmental Impact Assessment Report did not present a sufficient level of information on the impact it would have on human health, biodiversity, land, soil, water along with cultural heritage and the landscape.

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