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Planners urged to make beanstalk climbdown



The city has spoken – hands off our beanstalks.

A groundswell public support has shot up in favour of retaining the beanstalk murals painted on the facade of a city centre jewellers.

Killjoy Galway City Council planners and the planning appeals board, An Bórd Pleanála, want the colourful murals removed from Claddagh Jewellers on Mainguard Street.

Planners ruled that signage at the shop and the beanstalk mural, “by reason of their excessive scale, design, colour scheme and multiplicity of styles, would detract from the visual appearance of the building”. They also ruled the mural sets an “undesirable precedent” for similar developments.

But the public is outraged at the spoilsport planners – an online poll for the Galway City Tribune shows an overwhelming majority wants the colourful, cheery mural kept.

The survey proves the public wants planners to climb-down on their stance on the beanstalks.

A whopping 87% of respondents said the mural should be kept because is adds to the area. Just 13% agreed with planners and want it removed. “It’s beautiful. It’s a wonderful addition to the area and visitors love it,” said one contributor.

Called Grown in Galway, the mural by Ruairi O’Byrne was highly praised by Tidy Towns’ judges. The popular murals depict Galway scenes with giant beanstalk type plants decorated with Claddagh rings rising upwards towards an electric blue sky.

 And already prominent members of the business community are in favour of keeping the mural.

 The mural has been a big hit with tourists, according to a spokesperson for the Latin Quarter. “We’ve got incredible feedback from tourists who have complimented it. It’s viewed now as another attraction in the Latin Quarter,” the spokesperson said.

 Michael Coyle, CEO of Galway Chamber said beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

“Maybe now is the right time for someone to sit down and re-open the debate about what we want our city to look like,” said Mr Coyle.


For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.


Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues



Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.

It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.

General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.

She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.

Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.

Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.

Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.

She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway rowers aim for Olympic gold!



Best of luck to two Galway rowers – Aifric Keogh of Aill an Phréacháin in Na Forbacha, and Fiona Murtagh from Gortachalla in Moycullen – who are part of Team Ireland’s Women’s Coxless Fours team who compete in an Olympic final in Tokyo at 1.50am (Irish time) Wednesday.

Coverage on RTÉ 2 television begins from 1am.

Ireland – who were second in their heat after Australia, who set a new Olympic Record – are in lane two, with Great Britain on their outside, and Australia, favourites for a gold medal, in lane three.

The Netherlands, China and Poland are in lanes four, five and six at the Sea Forest Waterway.

Poor weather meant some rowing events were re-scheduled but the Women’s Fours final was not impacted.

Jim Keogh, Aifric’s father, told the Tribune he was hopeful ahead of the final.

“To make the Olympics is tough, to make the final is tough, to make the medal is tougher,” he said.
Photo: Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty.

*Full coverage of the race and reaction in this week’s Connacht Tribune and Galway City Tribune 

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Connacht Tribune

Paedophile sentenced to a further 17 months in prison



A convicted paedophile, described by a Garda as ‘a prolific child abuser’, has had a 17-month prison sentence added to a 13-year sentence he is already serving for the rape and sexual abuse of children.

Disgraced primary school teacher and summer school bus driver, 69-year-old Seosamh Ó Ceallaigh, a native of Tuirín, Béal a’ Daingin, Conamara, had at all times denied two charges of indecently assaulting a ten-year-old boy at a Gaeltacht summer school in Béal a’ Daingin in 1979.

The offence carries a maximum two-year sentence.

A jury found him guilty by majority verdict following a four-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last month.

At his sentence hearing last week, Detective Paul Duffy described Ó Ceallaigh as a prolific child abuser who had amassed 125 child abuse convictions, committed while he was a primary school teacher in Dublin and while he operated an Irish language summer school in Beal a’ Daingin.

They included convictions for rape and sexual assault for which he is currently serving sentences totalling 13 years.

Those sentences were due to expire in August 2024, but last week, Judge Rory McCabe imposed two, concurrent 17-month sentences on Ó Ceallaigh, before directing the sentences begin at the termination of the sentences he is currently serving.

The judge noted Ó Ceallaigh’s denial and lack of remorse and the lifelong detrimental effect the abuse had on the victim as aggravating factors.

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