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Opposition to multi-million euro Knocknacarra development

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There is opposition to a multi-million euro mixed-use development on the west side of the city.
Ardstone Homes was granted planning permission to build houses, apartments and retail units at the junction of Western Distributor Road in Knocknacarra.
However, the decision by the city council has now been appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

The development involves the demolition of an agricultural shed at the site just west of Ballymoneen Road.
It will be made up of 91 residential units, commercial units, a commercial block, childcare facility and communal open space.
In an appeal against the development to An Bord Pleanála, a nearby resident claims the structure and fabric of his house would be undermined by construction works such as rock breaking.
He also argues that the design, density and scale of the development is out of character with the area and is premature in the absence of an overall Traffic Management Plan for the greater Knocknacarra area.
A decision is due from An Bord Pleanála in March.

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NUIG led PANDEM-2 project joins EU coalition to strengthen Europe’s preparedness for future crises

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – The NUI Galway led PANDEM-2 project has join forces with 9 other EU research groups to strengthen Europe’s capacity against future crises.

PANDEM-2 aims to prepare Europe for future pandemics through innovations in training and to build capacity between EU member states responding to pandemics on a cross-border basis.

The project has been awarded almost €10m in funding and is one of many in the PREPARE cluster that has recently received this support from the European Commission to work on different aspects of crisis management.

With a combined funding of €72 million, each project in PREPARE has its own distinct aims and challenges, however, they say they’re working towards their shared goal of ensuring better preparedness for the European Union.

NUIG Professor and Coordinator of PANDEM-2 Máire Connolly says the benefit of the collaboration is that a wide range of issues are being covered.

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11 Galway schools included in Safe Routes to School programme

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – 11 Galway schools are to receive funding to improve their walking and cycling infrastructure.

It’s part of the government’s Safe Routes to School programme, which aims to make children’s travels safer and tackle congestion at school gates.

Four primary schools in Galway city and seven primary and post primary schools in the county are among the 170 schools nationwide which have been included in the pilot scheme.

932 schools have expressed interest in the scheme since March, and will be included over time on a rolling basis.

Minister of State at the Department of Transport and Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton says the projects will provide enhanced infrastructure for children who want to cycle, walk or scoot to school.

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Audit criticises financial practices at Galway City Partnership

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Galway Bay FM Newsroom – An internal audit has criticised a number of financial practices at Galway City Partnership.

The investigation by Crowleys DFK accountants found the anti-poverty group made payments to contractors without receiving invoices, breached public procurement rules and did not regularly maintain accounting ledgers.

The Irish Times is reporting that auditors found Galway City Partnership’s accounting system ‘may not be fit for purpose’ and identified several weaknesses, which it said risked exposing the organisation to financial loss.

The audit, which was completed in February 2020, found the company’s general accounting ledgers were ‘not maintained on an ongoing basis’, and discrepancies between spending and allocated budgets were not tracked, it said.

One supplier had been providing services to the company for a number of years, ‘bypassing procurement procedures’, the audit said.

The investigation also criticised instances where payments were made without invoices being received.

In response, Galway City Partnership told the auditors the payments ‘were part of a research contract and as such no invoices were received’.

The report identified five high-risk weaknesses and concluded assurances that could be placed on the company’s financial controls were limited.

Declan Brassil, Galway City Partnership chief executive, said it had agreed a number of actions following the audit, which were now in place.

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