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CITY TRIBUNE

October meeting to become three-day festival in 2018 after Galway gets extra fixture

John McIntyre

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Jockey Davy Russell drives out Balko Des Flos to win TheTote.com Galway Plate at this year's summer festival. Racing returns to Ballybrit next Monday and Tuesday.

AHEAD of next week’s two-day September meeting at Ballybrit, comes the news that Galway racecourse will be staging two big festivals in 2018.

The week-long summer meeting will again dominate the racing programme at Ballybrit next year, but a new three-day October festival promises to be also a huge hit with racegoers.

Horse Racing Ireland’s announcement during the week that Galway has been granted an extra fixture in 2018 will see the racecourse host a total of 13 days racing for the first time ever in a calendar season.

It’s something Galway has been lobbying for and racecourse manager Michael Moloney welcomed the prospect of a three-day festival of racing in October of 2018.

“I believe the decision to grant us an extra fixture is a reflection of the improved quality of the track and its ability to cope with adverse weather. It’s a good opportunity as it will be a busy weekend in Galway and our aim is to turn the new Saturday fixture into a family-themed day.”

Moloney revealed that National Hunt cards will be staged on the Saturday and Sunday of next year’s October Bank Holiday meeting, with flat racing going ahead on the Monday.

With work already started on the new multi-million-euro amenity facility near the parade ring, the granting of an extra fixture for Galway next year is also a reflection of the existing level of comfort for patrons at Ballybrit.

Turning to the upcoming September meeting, Moloney revealed that the going is currently soft on both the National Hunt and flat tracks. “We had 12mm of rain on Tuesday and it has been wet for the past few weeks, but the track has taken it fine.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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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