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Connacht Tribune

Petition shows public support for greenway

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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

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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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

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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’

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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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