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Connacht Tribune

Overlay on N59 will only cover over the cracks

Enda Cunningham

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A contractor is expected to be appointed within days to carry out resurfacing work on the N59 between Oughterard and Maam Cross – however, campaigners have warned that the overlay will not last very long.

Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs, Galway West TD Seán Kyne, said the works will begin shortly.

“Galway County Council is currently assessing tenders for the complete resurfacing of a 6.5km continuous stretch of the N59 from Oughterard and Maam Cross. The Council has confirmed that the contract for the vital improvement works will be awarded in the coming days.

“These works involve the laying of a completely new surface on the road bringing improvements that will benefit all road-users, especially from a safety perspective,” said Minister Kyne.

However, campaigners with the N59 Action Group said they will continue to pile on the pressure for a full road upgrade on the 50km stretch between Oughterard and Clifden, which they described as the worst road of its kind in the country.

Spokesperson Seosamh Ó Cuaig told the Connacht Tribune that there has been no progress on the upgrade of the road from Oughterard to Maam Cross in the past year.

“There have been meetings, talk of the IROPI process (obtaining planning permission by proving a case that the road upgrade is in the public interest – Imperative Reasons for Overriding Public Interest), but nothing has actually happened in the past year.

“We know what the environmental concerns are, but do they believe this overlay will not silt off [into the Owenriff River].

“Everybody must know that messing with overlays is simply kicking the problem down the road. The N59 needs to be rebuilt from the rock foundation and properly aligned and the sooner that starts to happen from Oughterard to Maam Cross and from there to Clifden and onwards to Leenane, the better,” said Mr Ó Cuaig.

The environmental concerns are that the river is a pearl mussel habitat – while planning permission exists for the upgrade, the Council must prepare a method statement for how it will minimise the risk on the pearl mussel.

Minister Kyne said work is progressing on this element of the plan.

“Consultancy firm, Jacobs, is continuing work on the method statements for the N59 from Bunakill to Maam Cross which are requirement of An Bord Pleanála.

“The method statements for the ground investigation works are due to be assessed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service with a decision due in the coming weeks,” he said.

The N59 Action Group has given a qualified welcome to the upcoming resurfacing work.

“For a start, it is only an excuse for the full upgrade of the road and, secondly, it is not going to last very long because it is only a repair to the surface. We will be keeping up the pressure for a proper upgrade of this road which Connemara people are entitled to and we expect all of our public representatives to redouble their efforts to make sure that happens.

“As MEP, Marian Harkin said in Clifden a few weeks ago, it should be possible to work through the issues that are holding back the full upgrade of the road from Oughterard to Maam Cross.

“Our group will also keep up the campaign for the section from Maam Cross to Clifden which was turned down by an Bord Pleanála a year ago.

“Galway County Council needs to get going quickly with the next effort to get a total upgrade of that part of the N59. Patches of emergency surface work are needed but we cannot accept that an overlay will be the solution,” the campaign group said.

Connacht Tribune

Time and history conferred character on this home

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The Hermitage, Ballymoe: on the market with a €425,000 guide price.

The Hermitage at Lisnageeragh, Ballymoe is a property on which time and history has conferred a character that no new property could mirror.

Overlooking 16.3 acres of rolling green fields which are included in the sale, this is indeed a unique house and comes to market with charming well maintained stone buildings. These could provide further family accommodation, holiday rentals or craft studios.

The front hall has a beautiful, curved window and leads to two reception rooms on either side of the house. The sitting room has an open fireplace with a black cast iron surround and wooden floors which gleam from years of care and reflect the light coming from two large windows. To the right-hand side, the dining room also has an attractive bay window and an oil-fired stove and it is indeed the perfect social /entertaining space.

To the rear of the house the kitchen is a classic example of a successful marriage of the old and the new. Bespoke shaker style units combine perfectly with modern recessed lighting, attractive tiling and includes a pantry area to one side. A good-sized bedroom and adjacent bathroom complete the downstairs of the main house.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms one of which has an en suite shower. The main bedroom is a delightful space which leads to another small room, a perfect nursery or walk in wardrobe.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

A time when we learned once more that no man is an island

Francis Farragher

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Country singer Dolly Parton getting the jab: she sang about it and part-funded research on the vaccine.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of the oft-repeated pub jokes whenever the price drink was increased, whether it by Finance Ministers or publicans who felt that their margins were being whittled away, was that: “As long as it doesn’t get scarce, we’ll be happy enough.”

Who could have believed though in the first month or two of 2020 that this scenario would unfold (at least in pubs), where the opportunity to meet friends – and the odd ‘auld enemy’ too – over a couple of pints in the local bar would be snatched away from us?

We probably have learned to adapt to the reality of the pandemic and most of us will remember the real sense of fear and constriction that pervaded our every word and action early last year.

2020 was the universal version of ‘annus horribilis’ – the term made famous by Queen Elizabeth in 1992 when royal marriages started to collapse like cards houses in the breeze.

Being of rural stock, I loved the little video earlier this from country music icon, Dolly Parton, who adapted a verse of her famous Jolene song to mark her first shot of the Moderna vaccine (she also donated $1 million to its research) in a very sincere effort to try and encourage the general public to get inoculated.

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

I’m begging of you not to hesitate,

Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

Cause when you’re dead that’s a bit too late.”

A year before that, times were indeed very strange across Ireland and indeed the world. I remember on the Sunday night before St. Patrick’s Day when a sense of incredulity greeted the news in my own local that ‘a lot of the pubs in Galway city were closing down’. Surely, this couldn’t happen in our own little watering hole in the sticks, but it did.

Michael Karmen’s soundtrack from the Band of Brothers series – a wonder piece of music even to my untrained ear – will always remind me of that early Spring period of lockdown in 2020.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Connacht Tribune

€4.5m worth of property sold during online event

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This detached house at Seacrest in Knocknacarra attracted a "staggering" level of interest.

More than €4.5 million worth of sales were recorded at the O’Donnellan & Joyce auction last week, where 350 people had pre-registered to bid on the 40 properties which went under the hammer.

80% of the properties sold during the auction or following negotiations immediately afterwards.

Among the properties sold at the auction were:

106 Seacrest, Knocknacarra, Galway. Guiding at €250,000 due to the extent of renovation and upgrade works required, the auctioneers were staggered at the level of interest in this 4-bed detached house.

Siobhra Hennessy, Senior Auction Co-Ordinator, said: “There is an increasing demand for city centre homes in need of repair. Couples want to put their own stamp on a property and often look for properties similar to this.”

Bidding commenced at €250,000 but quickly rose to over €350,000. After intense bidding from a number of internet and telephone bidders, the sale price of €364,000 was reached and the deal was done.

192 Bohermore, Galway. A 2-bed terraced house which attracted great attention, with many enquiries and bidders pre-registering. The house needs complete restoration and modernisation works but obviously appealed to a wide audience. It guided at €120,000, but sold for €179,000, despite the great amount of work required. Again, this is an example of a near-derelict building that offered great potential.

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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