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Connacht Tribune

Petition shows public support for greenway

Denise McNamara



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.

Connacht Tribune

Galway West TD branded ‘racist’ in the Dáil




Galway Bay fm newsroom – A Galway West TD has been branded racist in the Dail today during leaders questions, after questioning the amount of money being sent from Ireland to Nigeria.

Independent TD Noel Grealish raised the subject of the large sums of money being transferred abroad in personal remittances.

During his speech in the chamber, Deputy Grealish spoke of how €10 billion has been sent abroad in personal remittance over the past eight years.

According to figures presented by him, the countries that receive the most transfers are Poland at €1.5 billion, the UK at €2.7 billion and Nigeria at €3.54 billion.

Responding to the Galway TD, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the Irish people have a long history of sending money home.

Then, heated scenes erupted in the Chamber as Deputy Grealish called for stricter controls on personal remittance, with Deputy Ruth Coppinger accusing the Galway TD of ‘disgraceful racism’.

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Connacht Tribune

Coffey Construction gets temporary injunction against firm




A civil engineering company has secured a temporary High Court injunction preventing security operatives from blockading the entrance of the firm’s Athenry-based headquarters.

Coffey Construction Limited secured the interim order yesterday against receiver David O’Connor of the firm BDO in respect of a blockade that began earlier this week at Moanbaun, Athenry.

The High Court heard that arising from a dispute over Coffey Construction’s lease on the property, last Tuesday morning 15 security guards with two large white vans and dogs physically blocked vehicular access to Coffey Construction’s HQ.

The court heard that the company fears that the blockade, which it says is unlawful, will be damaging and will possibly drive it to insolvency if allowed continue.

Counsel said it’s Coffey’s case that it has a valid lease, for which it pays €100,000 per year, for the premises.

He said that the security guards on the blockade, who describe themselves as bailiffs did not carry any mandatory identification or licence numbers as required under the Private Security Services Act.

The matter has been reported to the Private Security Authority, counsel said.

Coffey Construction has 280 employees, 88 of whom are based in Athenry.

Counsel said the workers were eventually able to gain access to the premises.

However, they have to park over 2.5km away, which presents health and safety concerns to the employees, especially at this time of year.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Tony O’Connor granted orders including one restraining the defendants and his agents from restricting the company’s access to the property at Moanbaun, Athenry.

Noting the evidence put before the court the judge said he was satisfied to grant the orders sought.

The case will return before the court next week.

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Connacht Tribune

Donkey foals on the double!

Francis Farragher



Sean Martyn and his granddaughter Robbyn Kelly (3) and her friend and neighbour Oisín Diskin (3), with two week old twin baby donkeys Seachtai and Jackie. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

IT can happen . . . and it does happen . . . but it’s still a rarity in the animal world when a female donkey gives birth to twins that survive.

Monivea farmer, Seán Martyn, could hardly believe his eyes on the Thursday morning of October 24 last when his eleven-year-old jenny gave birth to two healthy ‘boys’.

“I knew that she was coming close to her time so I went in for ‘the fry’ in the morning and when I came out about three-quarters of an hour later, the three of them were there in the field hale and hearty,” Seán Martyn told the Connacht Tribune.

The twin male foals were the first offspring of Seán’s donkey – called Number Seven – and he had no idea that she was expecting twins.

“From what we can gather, only 1.5% of expectant donkeys give birth to twins and of that number only 10% of them survive as twins – one of them normally dies.

“We’re all thrilled with the arrivals and already they’re getting a lot of attention from neighbours, friends and family. They are beautiful animals,” said Seán Martyn.

Over the years, Seán has been involved in the breeding of horses and donkeys but he never dreamt of any twins arriving – they’ve now been christened Jackie and Seachtai.

It is very much an on-farm family with the daddy being a younger jackass,    conveniently known as Jack, who is also part of the Martyn family of animals.

See full story and pictures in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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