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CITY TRIBUNE

NUIG set to commission Nuns Island master plan

Dara Bradley

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NUI Galway will commission a master plan for the Nuns Island area. The university has budgeted €250,000 for a ‘master plan and design project’ for its buildings at Nuns Island in the city centre.

Sanction for the master plan was approved at a Governing Body meeting in February, minutes of which were released to this newspaper under Freedom of Information (FOI).

NUIG’s Education Building is located at Nuns Island, beside the Bish secondary school and at the entrance to the Poor Clare’s convent. It also owns the adjacent building.

Meanwhile, the Governing Body has also approved expenditure of €600,000 on NUIG’s Quadrangle Building.

This included a budget of €500,000 for the first phase of the development of the eastern wing of the Quad; and some €100,000 for the preparation of a master plan.

Other contracts approved at the Governing Body meeting earlier this year included: €600,000 for telephony upgrade service; €275,000 for firewall replacement service; and some €130,000 for “media monitoring services” over three years approximately.

In an interview with Cois Coiribe, the university’s magazine for alumni and friends, President James Browne, earlier this year, said he wants NUIG’s famous Quadrangle building to become a visitor attraction for tourists.

Modelled on Christ Church at University of Oxford, the Quad was built in a Tudor Gothic style and was opened in 1849. The historic building is the most recognisable on the city campus.

Dr Browne revealed the Buildings Office at the university is actively exploring the possibility of using the Quad as a visitor centre, after it is vacated when other staff move to new buildings.

“The university’s historic Quadrangle is unique in the West of Ireland. Why couldn’t we make something out of that and link it with the (Wild) Atlantic Way and Capital of Culture? This Quadrangle can be a place that can welcome distinguished visitors and it could become a significant visitor attraction for visitors to the West of Ireland.

“Let’s face it, tourists to the West of Ireland aren’t coming for the weather. They are largely cultural tourists. They are interested in culture, scenery, history. This (Quad) could be a part of that . . . It speaks to an agenda of the university and the city and the region all working together to make it a really attractive place. We’re going to work on getting that idea articulated properly over the coming months and bring it to the Governing Body,” he added.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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