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CITY TRIBUNE

No bite taken out of NUIG budget for Big Apple trip

Dara Bradley

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Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley 

TDs and senators are obliged to declare if third parties have paid for their travel and living accommodation expenses in the Oireachtas annual Register of Interests, if it amounted to more than €650.
Enda Kenny, what with him not being Taoiseach anymore, has quite a bit of time on his hands to attend conferences.
And last year, according to his declaration of interests, from June to December he attended seven overseas declarable events.
One such event was from November 14-18, which was declared by Kenny as an “NUIG Events, New York: NUIG, University Road, Galway”. This would suggest that the Mayo TD’s travel and accommodation for attendance at “NUIG Events” in “New York”, were paid for by “NUIG, University Road, Galway”.
The event in question was the Eleventh Annual NUIG Gala Dinner 2017, which was held in the Big Apple.
NUIG, however, has said it didn’t pay for Enda to attend.
“No expenses were incurred by NUIG in relation to the Gala Dinner held in New York last November,” the college said.
“The annual NUIG Gala Dinner in New York is an event managed and wholly-organised by the US Board of Galway University Foundation, an independent body charged with raising funds for NUIG. NUIG does not have any role in the financial organisation or management of the event.
“The university supported the Eleventh Annual NUIG Gala Dinner (2017) which raised significant funds for NUIG Sports Scholarships. In the interest of fairness and accurate reporting it should be noted that the event raised substantial funds for Student Sport Scholarships.”
Asked specifically about expenses for the guest speaker at the event, NUIG said: “No expenses were incurred on travel and accommodation or otherwise by NUIG for guest speaker Enda Kenny.”
Dáil Deputy Catherine Connolly (Ind) would be very interested. She recently raised in the Public Accounts Committee the general issue of the relationship between universities and their foundations.
She said: “Who controls what? There’s a huge blurring of boundaries that’s not for scrutiny, which is of extreme concern to me. Because if the university doesn’t control the Foundation, it begs the question does the Foundation control the university, or the direction it is going, or the nature of the buildings? Notwithstanding that very good things can be done by a Foundation, but it has to be done in an open and transparent way and in my view that hasn’t been done.”

For more Bradley Bytes see this week’s Galway City Tribune 

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City businesses determined to weather lockdown storm

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Despite devastation for city businesses this week amid a return to lockdown, many remain determined to weather the storm – and with the Council’s approval this week of additional measures to entice people to the city centre when restrictions ease, there is a hope that a good Christmas could save them.

Level 5 restrictions which came into force on yesterday (Thursday) have forced ‘unessential’ retailers to close their doors once again in an attempt by Government to get a handle on spiralling numbers of Covid-19.

And while those affected, mainly in the retail and hospitality sectors, are facing huge challenges to keep their heads above water, they had to remain positive that all was not lost if coronavirus could be got under control over the next six weeks.

Anthony Ryan, of the Galway City Business Association, said that while closing their clothes shops had been hugely disappointing, he had to remain optimistic.

“We just have to stay going and remain positive. Our clothes division is non-essential so that is temporarily closed, in line with the Government guidelines. Items necessary for households are essential so that means our home store remains open.

“Business had recovered quite well by September, but once Level 3 was introduced, there was a big fall off for everybody,” he told the Galway City Tribune.

Many businesses, including his own, had made huge strives to improve their online offering in recent months and it was his hope that people would continue to support local when they shopped online, even if they couldn’t get in to the physical stores.

“Online sales continue to be very strong. We hope to have our fashion website up in a couple of weeks, so there has been a lot of work going into that in the background,” said Mr Ryan.

Meanwhile, councillors this week backed a plan that will result in an overhaul of traffic flow in the city core – transforming Middle Street into a shared-surface and eliminating all cars not owned by residents on the street – ruling out full pedestrianisation due to residents’ requirements.
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

Plan for new cross-city public transport corridor go on display

Enda Cunningham

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway City Council is hopeful that a proposed new public transport corridor – linking the western and eastern suburbs through the city centre – could be ready to go for planning permission next year.

This week, a six-week public consultation process began on the ‘Cross-City Link’.

The Council is hopeful that a planning application could be submitted to An Bord Pleanála next year, and if approved, it would take 12-18 months to construct.

The Cross-City Link begins at the junction of University Road and Newcastle Road and continues across the Salmon Weir Bridge, through St Vincent’s Avenue, St Francis Street, Eglinton Street, Eyre Square, Forster Street, College Road and on to the Dublin Road.

“Through traffic, with no specific destination in the city centre, will be diverted,” the City Council said.

Uinsinn Finn, Senior Engineer with the Council said: “This corridor will connect homes with places of work, study, retail and recreation, with improved public transport journey times and reliability.

“High-quality public spaces, new and upgraded pedestrian and cyclist facilities and public transport priority will be provided, making it easier to move through the city, and to access destinations by sustainable means.

“This will create a safer place for pedestrians, cyclists and the mobility-impaired, and public transport services will move more freely. Deliveries and access to carparks will be facilitated, as will access to homes or businesses.

“The Council invites the public, landowners and other stakeholders to review the proposals, and to share their feedback,” said Mr Finn.

He said that schemes such as the new corridor are key projects and are “essential” to keeping the city moving.

“They are key to supporting sustainable travel modes and to support the ambitious targets for Galway as set out in the National Development Plan,” Mr Finn added.

He said it is anticipated the proposal can be submitted for planning consent next year, and subject to permission being granted, it would take 12-18 months to complete.
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

Pilot initiative will restrict car traffic around Galway City school

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have backed a proposal to restrict car traffic around Scoil Iognáid on Raleigh Row as part of a ‘School Streets’ pilot project.

The initiative, which involves a time-specific curtailment on cars at school drop-off and pick-up times, will result in the pedestrianisation of Raleigh Row, Palmyra Park and Palmyra Avenue – closed to traffic from 8.15am to 9.15am; and 1.15pm to 2.45pm.

Due to start on November 2, residents in the area will still be allowed access, but have been asked to “avoid using their car during the periods of pedestrianisation”, while those with blue badges will also be permitted to drive in the area.

Signage indicating the restrictions will be erected, while Gardaí and community wardens will enforce the pedestrianisation and parking respectively.

‘Park and Stride’ will be encouraged for getting children to school when no alternative is available, whereby parents park a short distance from the school and finish the remainder of the journey by foot – with registration enabling city school-goers’ parents to park for free in over 20 car parks.

Arlene Finn of the City Council’s Transport Department told councillors that 145 parents at Scoil Iognáid had already registered for this initiative, and by introducing the School Streets programme, the area would become infinitively safer and more appealing to parents and children wishing to walk or cycle to school.
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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