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CITY TRIBUNE

Objector failed to show at Warwick Hotel oral hearing

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A Bord Pleanála oral hearing on plans to build a four-storey nursing home on the site of the former Warwick Hotel came to abrupt end last week, when the one objector to plans didn’t turn up.

City planners granted planning permission for the construction of a 60-bed nursing home to Sharon and Paul Conlon of Rushmany Nursing Home Ltd in July last year, but an appeal was lodged by Iura Matel, with an address in Dublin, shortly afterwards.

Planning Inspector Delores McCabe heard that the applicants had sought an oral hearing due to “concerns” over the identity of the appellant.

Mr Matel had claimed in his appeal that the proposed development represented excessive density on the site and exceeded density standards as set out in the City Development Plan.

The appeal argued that the site was inappropriate, given that it adjoins two-storey buildings, and its adjacency to the low-density Lenaboy Gardens estate to the rear.

At the hearing, following a roll call by Ms McCabe to check for the attendance of all parties to the appeal, it was established that Mr Matel was not present.

“Mr Matel doesn’t appear to be present and so I am going to close the hearing,” she said.

Legal counsel for the applicants, David Browne, said that they were concerned over the legitimacy of the appeal as Mr Matel’s name had been spelled differently on a three of documents submitted to the Board.

He said in a case where the appellant does not turn up to an oral hearing, there were grounds for the dismissal of an appeal.

“I would like to formally apply for the appeal to be withdrawn,” said Mr Browne, adding that both he and his clients, the Conlons, believed it to be “vexatious”.

Ms McCabe said Mr Browne’s request would be noted.

In files submitted by the project team, it is pointed out that Mr Matel had presented his passport as verification but that the signature on it was different to that on the appeal. In fact, there were four different signatures across the documentation.

“The various permutations of the appellant’s name do not appear on the Register of Electors in the area,” the project team stated.

“To date, the appellant has not provided proof that he has been residing at this address since the first submission to the Council in October 2017.”

Engineers for the project team sent two registered letters – on December 22, 2017 and June 29, 2018 – but both could not be delivered to the address given by Mr Matel.

Rushmany Nursing Home Ltd purchased the site of the former Warwick Hotel in 2015 for a figure believed to be in the region of €700,000 and the following year, secured planning permission for its demolition.

In October 2017, they applied for planning permission to Galway City Council for the construction of a nursing home on the three-quarter acre site – with surface car parking and a south-facing landscaped amenity area with outdoor seating.

However, planners ordered a redesign with a significant increase in the quantity and quality of open space.

Planners also cited concerns over fire safety and instructed designers to liaise with the Chief Fire Officer.

Planning was granted for the redesigned 3,888 square metre facility but was put on hold following an appeal to An Bord Pleanála.

CITY TRIBUNE

Former hotel won’t be ring-fenced for college

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No designation....Corrib Great Southern during demolition.

The site of the former Corrib Great Southern will no longer be ring-fenced for educational purposes if a clause removed in a draft of the next development plan is eventually adopted.

A motion by Mayor Colette Connolly proposed earmarking one-third of the six-acre Dublin Road site for educational use as well as research or collaborative ventures between third level colleges and industry.

Mayor Connolly said her proposal reinstates the text of the current plan reserving a portion of any planned development for education.

Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) was supportive of the motion, the Independent councillor she told a planning meeting convened to collate a draft of the plan.

Councillor Declan McDonell (Ind) said GMIT had recently purchased the home of the Galwegians Rugby Club at Glenina for €9 million and were progressing developments at the Cluain Mhuire site and a proposed Centre of Excellence for Health, Sport, and Marine Science at Murrough.

The former hotel had been offered to GMIT for €3.75m by NAMA (National Asset Management Agency) but they had to pass because they could not come up with the money.

“So I fail to see how they could come up with the money to buy two acres for educational purposes – therefore we could be left with a derelict site for years,” he warned.

Cllr Noel Larkin (Ind) told the meeting he was in favour of an expanding GMIT but agreed the site which only recently saw the demolition of a major eyesore could be left derelict for another decade if developers were hamstrung by what could be built.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Conamara siblings take to stage for TradFest

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Séamus and Caoimhe Uí Fhlatharta, who will perform in Collins Barracks next Thursday.

The musical talent of Conamara siblings Caoimhe and Séamus Uí Fhlatharta from An Áird Mhóir, will be on show at this year’s Temple Bar TradFest, which runs from January 26-230 in venues across Dublin. They will be performing at Collins Barracks at 1pm next Thursday, January 26.

Séamus and Caoimhe, who have won multiple All-Ireland titles for their music, are well-known among fans of traditional music as brilliant multi-instrumentalists, singers and dancers, whose vocal arrangements and harmonies bring new life to well-known and less familiar songs. Their performance on last week’s Late Late Show as part of a musical tribute to murdered Offaly woman, Ashling Murphy, was widely praised.

TradFest is one of the first largescale events to host live audiences again, something that performers and fans alike hope will continue.

Other participants include actor Stephen Rea, hosting a night of poetry and music with Natalya O’Flaherty, Sasha Terfous, Louise and Michelle Mulcahy and Neill Martin; Fairport Convention; Peggy Seeger, Aoife Scott and Wallis Bird; Maria Doyle Kennedy; Boxing Banjo; Dervish, Altan and 4 Men and a Dog; Séamus Begley, Oisín Mac Diarmada and Samantha Harvey; Martin and Eliza Carthy; The Lost Brothers; Maria Doyle Kennedy; Joe and Steve Wall; Cór Cúil Aodha and Seán Ó Sé; Karan Casey; Niamh Ní Charra; Brídín; Laoise Kelly; Brenda Castles, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh; Tim Edey, Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin and Ultan O’Brien.

Tickets and more information at tradfesttemplebar.com.

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CITY TRIBUNE

NUIG Mystics sticking to their routine ahead of Cup decider

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Alison Blaney of NUIG Mystics in action against Sophie Moore of Limerick Sport Huskies during the Women’s Division 1 National Cup semi-final. The Galway club face Templeogue in Sunday's final.

NUIG Mystics head coach Paul O’Brien says his squad are treating this week like any other as they prepare to head to the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght on Sunday to take on Templeogue in the Women’s Division One Cup final (1.30pm).

Mystics go into the game as favourites, having lowered the Templeogue flag on the Dublin side’s home court in the league with a 76-60 win back at the end of November, though O’Brien insists that game will have little bearing on Sunday’s contest.

“That was a couple of months ago, they are a much better side now, defensively they are far stronger now then they were for that game, so we are going to have to shoot the ball well, certainly better than we did in the semi-final,” he says.

That semi-final saw Mystics overcome Limerick Sport Huskies 70-54, and they go into Sunday’s final in great form, having trimmed Tipperary Knights 92-65 at the NUIG Sports Complex on Saturday, their eighth win on the bounce since their one and only defeat of the season, a 77-74 loss to Ulster University Elks back in November.

“That was a very good game at the weekend and the final scoreline doesn’t do justice to Tipperary. They were right in it until about half way through the third quarter, they were leading in fact, but we just pulled it out with a big final quarter,” he said.

Templeogue are also on a decent run of form, having won four games on the spin, their last defeat being that reversal to Mystics, and O’Brien says that the Dublin side will be boosted by having something of a home court advantage, given the fact the NBA is just a 20-minute drive from their home court.

However, Mystics have plenty of players used to playing high-pressure games, and the national arena won’t hold any surprises for a side packed with players who have worn the green of Ireland at the venue, and have contested schools’ and club finals there.

“We have a great team spirit, there is no ego in the squad, players don’t mind who gets the scores as long as the team wins, and that has been crucial to our season so far. We are treating this week the same as any other, we’ll train Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and we’ll get the bus up on Sunday morning and hopefully we will play to our ability,” he said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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