Park of Shantalla park set to become bus corridor
It is proposed that a chunk of Shantalla Neighbourhood Park will be commandeered to build a bus corridor.
The six-acre park is already home to a ‘temporary’ helipad, which the Health Service Executive is operating for years on lands it does not own, and has no planning permission for.
When the total area of the helipad site and the proposed bus route is considered, the neighbourhood park will be reduced in size by almost a quarter.
This is despite the fact that it is zoned for Recreational and Amenity use, and its R&A zoning is included in the City Development Plan as a specific objective.
Councillor Collette Connolly (Ind) raised the issue at a meeting of the City Council, which was told that University Hospital Galway (UHG) will not give the go-ahead for the corridor through its land at Newcastle.
Cllr Connolly said that there is little enough amenity land in the city and that it should be “sacrosanct”. Shantalla Neighbourhood Park should be developed as a recreational amenity, she said.
Chief Executive of the City Council, Brendan McGrath, confirmed that the Browne roundabout in Westside (to the rear of the hospital at Corrib Park) will be removed to make way for a five-arm traffic light junction.
He also confirmed that some of Shantalla Neighbourhood Park would be used to facilitate a bus corridor linking the Browne roundabout/junction with Newcastle Road.
This public transport corridor – part of the Galway Transportation Strategy – could not go through the UHG lands because the HSE West already had plans to build a €100 million new Emergency Department, which is included in the National Debvelopment Plan, he said.
He was working with the HSE on the final route for the public transport corridor, he said. Mr McGrath said decisions had to be made not just for the good of Shantalla, but in the interest of the common good.
He did not respond to queries about the unauthorised helicopter pad at the meeting, but in an email to Cllr Connolly during the Summer, Mr McGrath said: “You are correct in your assertion that the planning consent that was granted for a helipad has expired. This matter has been consistently raised with the HSE/Saolta hospital group in the intervening period.”
Meanwhile, Uinsinn Finn, Senior Executive Engineer, confirmed that plans to remove Browne roundabout will proceed once Compulsory Purchase Orders issue for the removal of Kirwan Roundabout (at Menlo Park Hotel). Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) will fund the cost of the works.
Mr Finn said also confirmed that plans are in the pipeline to remove the Martin roundabout (at Galway Clinic) and convert to a signalised junction; to remove Skerritt Roundabout (at GMIT) to replace it with traffic lights; and to remove D’Arcy Roundabout (Seapoint) and put in traffic lights
Bridie O’Flaherty delivers – from beyond the grave!
Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley
Even years after their deaths, some Galway politicians are still being credited with securing works.
At a recent meeting of Galway City Council, during discussion about the BusConnects project on the Dublin Road, it was outlined how a traffic lights junction would be installed at the entrance to Merlin Park Hospital as part of the overall works.
Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said there was nothing new about this proposal – it had been first mooted by the late Councillor Bridie O’Flaherty in The Connacht Sentinel newspaper more than 30 years ago.
Bridie, a former Mayor who retired from politics in 1999 and died in 2008, had for a long time campaigned for the lights.
Her daughter, Cllr Terry O’Flaherty (Ind), confirmed to the meeting it was at least 35 years since her mother had proposed traffic lights at the hospital entrance.
Another former mayor, Cllr Angela Lynch-Lupton (FG), who retired from politics in 2004 and died in 2007, was credited by Cllr Donal Lyons (Ind) for championing a pedestrian bridge on the old Clifden Railway Bridge – a ‘Millennium Project’ that should have been built over 20 years ago but looks set to proceed in the coming years.
Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) said credit for the bridge was also due to former Fianna Fáil Minister, Séamus Brennan, a Salthill man who was TD for Dublin South until his death in 2008.
“He put it forward as a Millennium Project and I was Mayor at the time,” said Cllr McDonnell.
Maybe when the projects are eventually brought to fruition, they could be named after their original supporters.
The Bridie O’Flaherty traffic light junction doesn’t necessarily trip off the tongue, but the (Séamus) Brennan Bridge has a ring to it.
(Photo by Joe O’Shaughnessy: The late Bridie O’Flaherty with her daughter Terry in 1999).
This is a shortened preview version of this column. For more Bradley Bytes, see the March 24 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Galway City centre streets to be dug up – yet again
From this Week’s Galway City Tribune – Just days after the annual tourist season kicked off with the St Patrick’s weekend festivities, an area of the city’s main throughfare is to be dug up yet again.
The City Council confirmed this week that “upgrade works” at the junction between High Street, Shop Street and Mainguard Street are to commence next week, drawing the ire of local business people and residents.
One local councillor and businessman said the works, which brought huge disruption while being carried out on other stretches of the route in recent years, should have been carried out while footfall was lower in January and February.
Cllr Níall McNelis told the Galway City Tribune that business people in the area were outraged at the news, and despite assurances from the Council that the works would be done “without major disruptions”, bitter experience has taught them otherwise.
“They’re outraged, to be blunt. They just can’t believe this is happening now,” he said.
“Everyone understands that these works are necessary, but this is going to take weeks out of what should be one of their busiest times.”
Works in the area were left incomplete as a result of the visit of Britain’s Prince William and Catherine in 2019.
In a statement issued by the Council, Director of Services Patrick Greene said the works should be “substantially completed by early June”.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the March 24 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.
What a melt: proposed bylaws put 20-minute limit on ice cream vans in Galway!
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Ice cream vans will only be allowed to sell to the public for 20 minutes before being obliged to move on to a different location if proposed new bylaws for casual trading in Galway are adopted.
The 2023 regulations to replace the 2011 bylaws will also outlaw any single use plastic products to be given out or sold by stall holders, including bottles, cutlery, containers, single use sachets, plates and straws. Compostable or reusable alternatives must be used instead of single use plastics.
The maximum time that the ice cream mobile unit can be stationary at any one location is 20 minutes.
Traders will avoid huge cost increases seen elsewhere – it will cost €267.50 annually per bay for Eyre Square (up marginally from €250). In St Nicholas’ Market it will be €69.50 per linear metre – generally equating to €139 for regular size pitches, an increase of €9.
Stall holders will again have to buy a separate licence to trade on Sundays and for the market Wednesday to Friday in July and August. But they will be able to set up shop for free at Christmas if they hold a licence for Saturday or Sunday.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read more on the draft Casual Trading Bylaws, see the March 24 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.