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Connacht Tribune

New homes approved in Oranmore despite residents’ concerns

Declan Tierney

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A residential development has been given the green light in Oranmore – despite residents’ concerns about the lack of public amenities.

Galway County Council has granted planning permission for the 22 house and apartment development at an already heavily populated Oranhill, along with a commercial unit that could be used as a café or crèche.

But when the planning application was lodged to the Council, local residents made submissions saying that it was essential that accessible facilities and a community hub be provided as part of the development.

And local Councillor Martina Kinane also made a submission saying that the Oranhill residents feel greatly let down by Galway County Council.

She said that the area has been developed in an ad-hoc manner and without the provision of a much-needed neighbourhood centre.

The Fianna Fail councillor said that the existing residents have, on many occasions, made submissions seeking the provision of community facilities including a playground and playing pitch but they had been unsuccessful in this regard.

However, planning permission has been granted to Edmonton Developments Limited for the development of an existing infill and brownfield site to provide for 22 residential units and one commercial unit.

There were eight submissions to Galway County Council, mainly from local residents, about the proposed development with most calling for community facilities to be provided.

It was stated that this is one of the last major infill sites in Oranhill, Oranmore, and if community facilities are not provided, it will be ‘a tragically lost opportunity’.

Residents called for a neighbourhood centre to be provided as part of the development as well as the provision of recreational and amenity facilities to be developed on the site.

“The density of the proposed development could be deemed to be excessive on a city centre site. In an urban periphery like the site in question with no public transport and few amenities, it is beyond reason and completely out of line with the local area plan.

“Due to the lack of any public transport and the inability for any public transport provider to safely access the area, all dwellings will require cars and car parking.

“The parking provisions in this application are unsuitable, are likely to exacerbate existing safety issues at junctions in the area and exacerbate issues in relation to congestion,” it was stated in submissions to Galway County Council.

The developers stated in a request for further information that the site has remained in a dishevelled, underutilised and brownfield condition for over 12 years and was an eyesore locally.

They say that a neighbourhood centre for Oranhill was not defined anywhere in the local area plan for Oranmore but that there was the potential for such a facility to be provided at this location.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway West TD branded ‘racist’ in the Dáil

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A Galway West TD has been branded racist in the Dail today during leaders questions, after questioning the amount of money being sent from Ireland to Nigeria.

Independent TD Noel Grealish raised the subject of the large sums of money being transferred abroad in personal remittances.

During his speech in the chamber, Deputy Grealish spoke of how €10 billion has been sent abroad in personal remittance over the past eight years.

According to figures presented by him, the countries that receive the most transfers are Poland at €1.5 billion, the UK at €2.7 billion and Nigeria at €3.54 billion.

Responding to the Galway TD, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the Irish people have a long history of sending money home.

Then, heated scenes erupted in the Chamber as Deputy Grealish called for stricter controls on personal remittance, with Deputy Ruth Coppinger accusing the Galway TD of ‘disgraceful racism’.

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Connacht Tribune

Coffey Construction gets temporary injunction against firm

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A civil engineering company has secured a temporary High Court injunction preventing security operatives from blockading the entrance of the firm’s Athenry-based headquarters.

Coffey Construction Limited secured the interim order yesterday against receiver David O’Connor of the firm BDO in respect of a blockade that began earlier this week at Moanbaun, Athenry.

The High Court heard that arising from a dispute over Coffey Construction’s lease on the property, last Tuesday morning 15 security guards with two large white vans and dogs physically blocked vehicular access to Coffey Construction’s HQ.

The court heard that the company fears that the blockade, which it says is unlawful, will be damaging and will possibly drive it to insolvency if allowed continue.

Counsel said it’s Coffey’s case that it has a valid lease, for which it pays €100,000 per year, for the premises.

He said that the security guards on the blockade, who describe themselves as bailiffs did not carry any mandatory identification or licence numbers as required under the Private Security Services Act.

The matter has been reported to the Private Security Authority, counsel said.

Coffey Construction has 280 employees, 88 of whom are based in Athenry.

Counsel said the workers were eventually able to gain access to the premises.

However, they have to park over 2.5km away, which presents health and safety concerns to the employees, especially at this time of year.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Tony O’Connor granted orders including one restraining the defendants and his agents from restricting the company’s access to the property at Moanbaun, Athenry.

Noting the evidence put before the court the judge said he was satisfied to grant the orders sought.

The case will return before the court next week.

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Connacht Tribune

Donkey foals on the double!

Francis Farragher

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Sean Martyn and his granddaughter Robbyn Kelly (3) and her friend and neighbour Oisín Diskin (3), with two week old twin baby donkeys Seachtai and Jackie. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

IT can happen . . . and it does happen . . . but it’s still a rarity in the animal world when a female donkey gives birth to twins that survive.

Monivea farmer, Seán Martyn, could hardly believe his eyes on the Thursday morning of October 24 last when his eleven-year-old jenny gave birth to two healthy ‘boys’.

“I knew that she was coming close to her time so I went in for ‘the fry’ in the morning and when I came out about three-quarters of an hour later, the three of them were there in the field hale and hearty,” Seán Martyn told the Connacht Tribune.

The twin male foals were the first offspring of Seán’s donkey – called Number Seven – and he had no idea that she was expecting twins.

“From what we can gather, only 1.5% of expectant donkeys give birth to twins and of that number only 10% of them survive as twins – one of them normally dies.

“We’re all thrilled with the arrivals and already they’re getting a lot of attention from neighbours, friends and family. They are beautiful animals,” said Seán Martyn.

Over the years, Seán has been involved in the breeding of horses and donkeys but he never dreamt of any twins arriving – they’ve now been christened Jackie and Seachtai.

It is very much an on-farm family with the daddy being a younger jackass,    conveniently known as Jack, who is also part of the Martyn family of animals.

See full story and pictures in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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