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Connacht Tribune

Oral hearing expected next year on ring road plan

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A formal application to construct the proposed €650 million Galway City Ring Road has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála – the public now have eight weeks to make submissions to the plan.

But already several members of Galway County Council have been highly critical of the proposed route, saying that it is both too close to the city and should not involve the demolition of more than 40 houses.

Councillors said this would cause disruption for families along the route who have no desire to be relocated – and it could also result in children having to move schools.

A number of environmental groups are already preparing to oppose the 18km (11 miles) ring road between the east and the west of the city, which is commonly referred to as the ‘outer bypass’.

The planning application will go on display for eight weeks when the public will be allowed make submissions – following this, there will be an oral hearing and it is expected to have this in the first half of 2019.

The proposed route involves a new bridge and viaduct over the River Corrib, two short tunnels on the city’s east side, demolition of 44 houses and acquisition of 10 more houses which would be seriously affected.

Director of Services for Transport and Infrastructure, Jim Cullen, informed councillors this week that the planning application would be sent directly to An Bord Pleanála for consideration, but it would result in an oral hearing taking place.

Some councillors said the Board should be given a time frame in which to reach a decision after all of the submissions were made, but Mr Kelly explained that this was not an option.

However, Cllr Tomas Ó Curraoin from Barna said that while he welcomed the city bypass, it was too close to the city and was ‘taking out’ too many houses in the process.

“Residents don’t want compensation. No amount of money would compensate them for having to find a new site, build a new home and reside in an area where they do not want to live.

“Many have children going to school, and to up sticks will be very traumatic for them. Communities will be divided,” he added.

Fellow Independent councillor Seosamh Ó Cualáin agreed and said that he was not in favour of demolishing houses. He added that nobody should be forced to move from the home where they wanted to live.

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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