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CITY TRIBUNE

Opposition to 400-bed student accommodation complex attacked

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GMIT and NUI Galway Students’ Unions have strongly criticised the ‘not in my backyard’ attitude to student accommodation from residents in the Newcastle area.

Both the NUIG and GMIT student bodies slammed the opposition from local residents and councillors to the construction of 400 student bedrooms on the site of the Westwood Hotel.

In a joint statement issued by the unions, GMIT Students’ Union president Mark O’Brien blasted some of the councillors for “jumping in on this discriminatory blockade”.

“We have an accommodation crisis spreading through families and students with rents going through the roof. This number of beds will alleviate the pressure from the 20,000 students in GMIT and NUI Galway scrambling for somewhere to sleep,” Mr O’Brien said.

Around 200 Newcastle and Dangan residents attended a meeting last month entitled ‘Save the Westwood Hotel Campaign’ where the audience unanimously agreed that they were in opposition to the construction of the student accommodation.

NUI Galway Students’ Union President Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh compared the situation with the redevelopment of Trinity Hall in Rathgar, Dublin which was also initially met with resistance against over-concentration of students in that area.

“Today, the Hall that accommodates 1,000 students is well integrated into the community and offers student housing in a convenient location. Diverse and well-balanced local communities have a great potential for regeneration, civic activities and engagement,” he added.

Ziggurat, the UK-based pension fund investment company which purchased the site back in February, plans to construct 1,000 student beds in the city over the coming years.

The company has already constructed similar properties across the UK as well as in Cork and in Dublin.

President of the Union of Students in Ireland, Michael Kerrigan urged residents to be mindful of damaging stereotypes of students.

“With the integrated national approach to student accommodation reflected in regional policies, we believe that both the Council and An Bord Pleanála have been equipped with tools to ensure balanced development of the communities and take a strategic approach to spatial distribution and concentration of particular social groups, particularly students, who are particularly vulnerable group facing the housing crisis,” he said.

 

■ For more on this story, see the print edition of the Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

24/7 Garda surveillance on feuding Galway families

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Specialist Garda units have been maintaining round-the-clock surveillance over the past week in different parts of the city in an effort to keep the lid on a vicious ongoing feud between two families.

The feud, which resulted in a number of houses being firebombed and a gunshot being fired into a doorway earlier this month, is still simmering but Gardaí have put in place a ‘watch and follow’ strategy in relation to gang members.

Gardaí have also confirmed that they are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry into what they regard as the most serious of the incidents which occurred in the latest outbreak of the feud.

That involved a shooting incident on the Wednesday night of June 15, when a gunman fired a shot into the door of a house in the Bohermore area at around 10.30pm – he is believed to have initially making his getaway on foot before being picked up in a waiting car in the Forster Court area.

Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins, who is heading up the investigation into the series of incidents, said that . . . .
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Highwire performers to stage Claddagh spectacular

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s a skill known as funambulism – highwire or tightrope walking – and later this month it seems set to draw huge outdoor crowds to the Claddagh Basin.

Staged on seven highwires spanning the River Corrib, south of Wolfe Tone Bridge, the performances on July 16/17 (Saturday/Sunday), will feature a cast of 150 people from all ages and backgrounds.

Entitled ‘LifeLine’, this spectacular event is being produced and presented by the Galway Community Circus group and will be one of the highlights of the upcoming Arts Festival.

Originally, ‘LifeLine’ had been pencilled in as part of the Galway European Capital of Culture 2020 events, before being scuppered by the Covid pandemic.

The highwire event also has a more serious undertone, in its promotion of the importance of mental health wellbeing at a location renowned for its beauty – but also for many personal human tragedies.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Knives, live ammunition and drugs seized in Knocknacarra

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Knives, live shotgun cartridges and over €10,000 worth of drugs were seized by Gardaí in an operation earlier this week in the Knocknacarra area.

Four young males – who were acting suspiciously in the Lios Mór area at Cappagh Park on Tuesday evening last at around 7pm – were approached by a Garda unit and searched.

During the search, Gardaí found a quantity of cocaine on one of the men, while nearby they also seized a number of offensive weapons including knives.

All four were detained for questioning by Gardaí after being taken to Garda HQ in Murrough, Renmore and in a follow-up search at a house in Knocknacarra, €10,000 worth of cannabis was discovered as well as three live shotgun cartridges.

One of the men – aged in his early 20s – is . . . .
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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