A campaign group which is pushing for the completion of Galway greenway have so far attracted over 2,000 signatures to a public petition.
The Galway Greenway Group is made up of business owners, hoteliers, landowners, families and individuals in favour of the cycling and pedestrian pathway from Galway City to Clifden.
The project has been dogged by objections in the last few years. The group believe the discussion up to now has been overwhelmingly negative, explained founder and Galway City resident Tiarnan McCusker.
“We are trying to change the narrative and focus on the positives of an off-road cycle/walk way which will be fair to landowners and facilitate hundreds of thousands of domestic and overseas users taking to the greenway every year,” he stated.
“The Mayo Greenway had 275,000 users in 2015. Local businesses will benefit in the form of hotels, pubs, cafes, B&Bs, new bike shops and shops in Galway, Moycullen, Rosscahill, Oughterard, Mamm, Recess, and Clifden.”
A petition launched in January has so far received over 2,100 signatures.
’All of the comments left have been hugely positive. One person said they would travel from Australia to use it. Others from Connemara mentioned how much they would love to see this for the benefit of their communities and to prevent further rural emigration.’’
The project was meant to be shovel ready in 2013. He sees the lack of consultation as the key reason why landowners have been so opposed to the project.
“The reason the Great Western Greenway in Mayo has worked so well is that it was led and agreed by the whole community. This has to happen in Galway.” The group cites Newport as an excellent example of the power to revitalise a town through a greenway.
“Before the greenway, it was in economic decline, with many closed shops and boarded up windows. With the increased footfall, the village was transformed with new businesses starting up, including bike shops, cafes and restaurants. One hotelier in Mulranny said that the greenway extended the tourist season by six weeks. This could be the boost that the Galway towns and villages along the route need,” he insisted.
Last month a meeting was held between the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross and a delegation representing landowners on the Athlone to Galway stretch of the walking and cycling route.
After attending the meeting, Adrian Kelly of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) said the Minister agreed that the only way forward is to have a proper consultation process.
Work on parts of the Athlone to Galway section of the greenway stalled last year after farmers objected to the route going through their lands, which they claimed made their holdings unviable and created security concerns. The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is currently assessing submissions received in a public consultation which closed late January.
Gardaí investigate fatal Carraroe crash
A man in his 30s has died following a road crash in Carraroe in the early hours of this morning.
At 3.50am, Gardaí and emergency services attended at a single car collision on a minor road.
The driver of the car, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later. A passenger in the car, a male in his 30s, was taken by ambulance to Galway University Hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.
The road is currently closed and local diversions are in place. Garda forensic collision investigators will examine the crash site this morning.
Wake-up call as United are pummelled by lively Athlone
Athlone Town 3
Galway United 1
IT turned out to be a Bad Friday for Galway United in Athlone as they were outthought, outfought and outplayed by a home side that deserved a far greater reward than a two-goal victory.
All the damage was done in the first-half, with the home side scoring three goals without reply in a 14-minute spell that left the visitors visibly shell-shocked and in danger of shipping an absolute hammering.
United manager, John Caufield, described the first-half as the worst United display since he took charge at the club midway through last season, but it was worse than that: this was 2011 Sean Connor bad (one win in 40 matches), it was 2001 Dave Connell bad (one win in 13).
Both of those seasons ended in United dropping to the First Division, and the First Division is where they will find themselves against next season unless there is an immediate improvement in performance and attitude, starting with this Friday’s trip to Stradbrook to take on Cabinteely.
The post-mortem examination on last Friday should not solely focus on United’s wretchedness: Athlone Town were hugely impressive in recording a first win over United since May 2006, though it should be noted the sides have met just 13 times since the Town dumped United out of the FAI Cup thanks to a 2-1 win in May 2006, a game that saw the end of Stephen Lally’s reign as United manager.
“Galway playing with three at the back, you know, they’re almost three centre-backs really rather than full-backs and we just knew that would be an opportunity for our players to get at them and take them on and I thought James Doona and Adam Wixted did that very well tonight,” Athlone manager Adrian Carberry told the website www.extratime.ie after the game.
In truth, that was something of an understatement – Wixted and Doona ravished the United back-three in the opening 45 minutes, with all three of the home side’s goals coming from out wide.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Galway couple take life in the fast lane after losing jobs to pandemic
A Galway couple who both lost their jobs because of the pandemic are back on the crest of a wave – after opening a swimming pool that allows them to teach and coach swimmers, right beside their family home.
Fitness-loving husband and wife John and Shelly Newell have always had a passion for swimming – but it took the devastation of losing their jobs during Covid to spark the idea of turning it into a highly-specialised business they called Luv2Swim.
They had an idea to build an endless swimming pool and start swimming lessons and swim video analysis in their own private facility, three miles outside Galway city in Carrowbrowne.
And while Level 5 Lockdown has forced them to close for now, their single lane pool will be back, providing a unique facility for adults and children in a safe, fun, and friendly environment.
“Both of us had lost our jobs due to the pandemic and while out walking with our girls, I threw the idea out to John and it took legs from there. It was the beginning of a family business venture,” Shelly said.
But this was more than just a light bulb moment during lockdown; John and Shelly were aware of a recurring problem they had heard many times over the years – people’s anxiety about coming into an overcrowded, noisy, large pool environment.
“Luv2Swim would be Galway’s only private swimming studio providing one-to-one swim lessons and video analysis for adults and children. Swimming is such a vital lifesaving skill and it’s a skill you will have for your whole life,” said John.
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie