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Connacht Tribune

Park at Ballinasloe Harbour in a ‘terrible state’



Boating visitors to Ballinasloe are greeted by a park which has become overgrown while the picnic benches that are located there are the worse for wear.

And while it has been conceded that the grass on the green areas are being cut, it is claimed that the overall maintenance is extremely poor.

The park in question is Sli na hAbhainn which is located adjacent to Ballinasloe Harbour where a lot of boats on the Shannon pull in for either an overnight stay or to explore the locality.

But Cllr Aidan Donohue has highlighted the fact that there are overgrown weeds on the tarmac walkways while the benches are in a terrible state.

He raised the matter at a meeting of Ballinasloe Municipal Council where he asked officials to provide funding for the upkeep of the park.

Then what annoyed the Fine Gael councillor more was when he was told that the Council horticulturist has now been replaced by “a general operative” to do the same work.

“It just seems as if the Council is scaling back on all of the services it provides and that those in senior positions are not being replaced.

“It is a situation that has to be addressed as it seems to be happening at all levels in the Council. The bottom line is that we want Ballinasloe to look well for boating tourists,” Cllr Donohue added.

The Fine Gael councillor was referring to the fact that the pathways along Sli na hAbhainn have become overgrown with weeds in recent months.

The benches, which are regularly occupied by those drinking outdoor, have also fallen into a state of disrepair and are in need of painting and maintaining.

It is suggested that members of a state-funded scheme like a Community Employment Scheme could be utilised to maintain the park on an occasional basis.

Cllr Donohue said that he was not happy to be continually told by Galway County Council that funding was an issue when there were alternatives available.

He said that there were works being carried out in Ballinasloe to provide additional water and sewerage services as well as a town centre enhancement project.

“The park is the first thing that those visiting Ballinasloe by boat will see and the least we can do is make it look presentable but at the moment this is certainly not the case.

“It wouldn’t take a lot of work to tidy the place up but officials just keep saying that they do not have a maintenance budget which is not acceptable – and particularly as we are trying to attract tourists.

“When people get off their boats, the first thing they see are pathways with weeds and five park benches which are in desperate need of maintenance. They are in a terrible state.

“A couple of lads in a state-funded scheme would have the place cleaned up and made look presentable in two or three days,” Cllr Donohue added.

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Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area



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



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’



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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