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CITY TRIBUNE

NUIG drops Irish language requirement for staff

Dara Bradley

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Administrative staff hired or promoted at NUI Galway no longer require a level of proficiency in the Irish language.

The university has confirmed to the Galway City Tribune that the automatic requirement for all administrative grade one, two and three workers to have a level of Irish has been removed.

The change was approved by Údarás na hOllscoile, its governing body, at a meeting last year.

It follows a decision made in 2017 by NUIG to remove proficiency in the Irish language as one of the requirements for being president of the university.

According to minutes of the 2020 meeting – released to Galway City Tribune under Freedom of Information – one governing body member objected to the change in policy towards administrative workers having Irish.

The decision to change was recommended by the Academic Council of the university.  It was relayed to Governing Body members by Secretary for Governance and Academic Affairs, Clare McCann.

Ms McCann said that the recommendation was to “revoke the requirement of all administrative staff recruited and/or promoted to Grades 1-3 to have competence in Irish”.

The new rules also set out “governance and management arrangements with regard to the role of Irish in the university”.

One member of the governing body, whose name was redacted in the minutes, “noted her objection to the proposal  . . . expressing the view that the proposal does not adequately advance the role of the Irish language in the university”.

Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Equality and Diversity, told the meeting that her office had received “at least 15 expressions of concern from staff considering making a complaint regarding the university’s position on the Irish requirement for administrative positions”.

She also noted that “many staff will welcome the passing of this statute”.

In a statement to the Galway City Tribune this week, a spokesperson for the university said: “University services are delivered through Irish and English as outlined in the university’s Scéim Teanga, thereby requiring a number of positions in each unit to have a high level of Irish.

“The automatic requirement for all Administrative Grade 1, 2, 3 posts to have a low level of Irish has been removed. Simultaneously, each hiring manager, when a post is to be filled, must identify who in the unit is capable of conducting the unit’s business through Irish. Only if this requirement is fulfilled can the post be advertised without a requirement for high-level Irish.”

The decision to abandon proficiency in the Irish language as one of the requirements for being president of NUIG was criticised by former Gaeltacht Minister Éamon Ó Cuív.

“Given that there are four centres of Irish in the university that conduct their business through Irish – Galway, Carna, An Cheathrú Rua and Gaoth Dobhair in Donegal – the question should be how could the new president be expected to carry out his or her business without being able to speak Irish,” Deputy Ó Cuív said at the time.

Current president, Professor Ciaran Ó hÓgartaigh was appointed subsequent to that new ruling coming in.

Prof Ó hÓgartaigh is fluent in both languages, carrying on a tradition at NUIG that dates back to 1929 whereby the NUIG President has been able to conduct university business in Irish and English.

CITY TRIBUNE

Outdoor dining plans unveiled for Galway City

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A new plan to temporarily pedestrianise city streets to create more space for outdoor dining this summer was published this week.

Galway City Council has said it is planning to close six streets for four months to boost the hospitality sector and attract more custom ‘back the West’ and to Woodquay.

It has also signalled smaller changes for Salthill and around Eyre Square.

“We’re looking to support businesses and people getting back to work. This is an opportunity for us to explore outdoor dining and we’re looking to trial these public realm initiatives,” Ruairí Lehmann, the City Council’s Tourism Officer told the Galway City Tribune.

“There is an appetite for this; the indications we have from Government is it is going to be an outdoor summer and these proposals will support that,” he added.

Chairperson of Galway Branch of VFI, Johnny Duggan of Taylor’s Bar on Dominick Street, said the changes would be very positive and boost hospitality businesses in all areas.

Already, he said as many as 30 businesses have applied for licences to trade outside in the area known as the Westend.

The local authority wants to close to traffic The Small Crane and Raven Terrace 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from June 7 until September 30. Car parking spaces will be removed from Small Crane and one lane of traffic would be kept open, one-way. A decision on which side is still under review.

The Council intends to make Dominick Street Lower (Galway Arms to Monroe’s) a single-lane one-way traffic street to facilitate additional on-street dining. It’s understood this has hasn’t yet got the backing of taxi drivers who have concerns about access to and from the Bridge Street rank but alternative taxi space may be offered at another location in the Westend to assuage those fears.

The Council has signalled its intention to close Dominick Street Upper and William Street West from Small Crane to Munster Avenue, at night only, between 6pm and 11pm, from Monday June 7 until Thursday September 30.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story and for full details of the proposals for the city centre and Salthill, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Council chief backs Salthill tidal pools proposal

Stephen Corrigan

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Image Courtesy of Superfly Ireland

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The Council is to consider including a specific objective to restore the tidal pools in Salthill in the new City Development Plan – with around one-fifth of the submissions made in a public consultation backing this ‘no-brainer’ proposal.

In a report to councillors on submissions received, Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said consideration of the proposal would be based on technical feasibility, funding, staff resources, climate change considerations and environmental factors.

“A large number of submissions were received requesting the restoration of the tidal pools in Salthill as a year-round public amenity and recreation facility accessible to all. The restoration of this facility would be a huge asset to the city and complement the existing facilities that are available at Salthill,” Mr McGrath states in the document seen by the Galway City Tribune.

Support for the reviving of the Ladies’ Beach facility grew legs after an online petition attracted over 4,500 signatures.

Up to 100 of the 518 submissions made to the Council’s pre-draft consultation supported reopening the pools that have been out of action since the late 1970s.

(Photo: How the pools might look. Image Courtesy of Superfly Ireland)
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

GMIT in €9m bid for Galwegians’ Glenina grounds

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – GMIT has put in an offer – rumoured to be in the region of €9million – for the purchase of Galwegians RFC’s grounds at Glenina, the Galway City Tribune understands.

The offer will be presented for a vote at a Special General Meeting of club members set to take place on May 27.

The land at Crowley Park, located just two minutes’ walk from GMIT, had been earmarked for housing by property developer Neil Armstrong, and is zoned residential. However, this deal fell through.

A GMIT spokesperson told the Galway City Tribune they were “not yet in a position to comment”, while a spokesperson for Galwegians declined to comment.

It is understood that staff at GMIT were informed by the institution’s Vice President of Finance at a meeting this week that the ‘deal was done’ and that they awaited the rugby club’s signing off at its members’ meeting later in the month.

The sale would clear the way for the club to proceed with plans to develop a 22-acre site at Boleynasruhaun, Oranswell, where it is expected to make a second planning application after the County Council raised concerns over the scale of the development proposed initially.
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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