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Plans lodged for city LGBT drop-in centre

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Plans for a new drop-in resource centre for the LGBT community at Victoria Place in the city have been lodged with the local authority.

However, problems have already arisen for Amach – the support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender – after a delay in the release of €25,000 in funding from the City Council.

According to the group, it is already two months in rent arrears at ‘The Mart’ building at Merchants Road and Victoria Place because the funding has not come through – one year after it was earmarked by the Council.

However, the Council has said the funding was for capital support and was not intended to be used to pay rent.

A spokesperson said: “The matter was raised at the last meeting of the Council and will be revisited next Monday, where I understand some proposals will come before the Council.”

A spokesperson for Amach said: “Never at any stage did Amach mention the purchase of a building or was it ever suggested by any member of the Council, therefore the board of Amach rejects the claim that ‘the councillors allocated financial support to the resource centre was intended to be capital support towards the long-term provision of a centre and not for rental purposes’.”

According to the planning application for the unit at Victoria Place – owned by businessman Brendan Holland – “the centre will be a safe, accessible environment to combat the effects of isolation, homophobia and transphobia on the overall health and well-being for LGBT, and their families.

“It will serve as a drop-in location for the LGBT community, the wider community and those visiting our city,” the application reads.

The aim initially is to have the centre open to the public as a drop-in during the day at weekends and on Wednesdays.

“The centre will be used in the evenings from 6.30pm to 10pm for meetings, peer support and the LGBT helpline. Also for a variety of workshops including education, training, counselling and various health promotion events.

“An area to the front of the premises will provide space for the sale of merchandise such as t-shirts, cards, keyrings.

“The office will be used as a confidential space for the provision of counselling, health screening, operation of a helpline, smaller peer support meetings and will double as an office space for a part-time community support development worker.

“The larger space will have a small library and seating area with a small kitchenette at the rear. This space is where people can make themselves tea/coffee, avail of the books provided, get information, meet friends in a safe environment.

“It will also double as an education, training and health promotion centre, and where a wide variety of self-development and community developments event can be accommodated,” the application reads.

CITY TRIBUNE

Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill as event confirmed

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill this weekend as an event has been announced for Sunday.

It’s been confirmed by organisers on social media – who say they’re being unfairly portrayed in a negative light.

In a statement, the Galway Car Scene group say they pay road tax like all other road users – and they have “every right” to be in Salthill this weekend.

It comes as they’ve confirmed the event will be taking place there on Sunday as originally planned.

They add it’s unfair to accuse them of blocking up Salthill and other parts of the city given the chronic traffic issues every day of the week.

They’ve also created an online petition calling for a designated place for car enthusiasts to go – which has so far gathered almost 250 signatures.

It claims the car enthusiast community in Galway has been unfairly painted as a negative and anti-social group.

The group say they’re happy to go elsewhere, but say any time they try to find a venue they’re shut out.

The event planned for Sunday has encountered significant opposition, much of which is based on a previous “Salthill Sundays” event held in May.

Those opposed say they’re not against an event of this kind in principle – but they strongly feel that Salthill just isn’t the right venue.

It’s also argued that if the organisers want to be taken seriously, they have to engage with stakeholders like Galway City Council and Gardaí to ensure a well-planned and safe event.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cars down to one-way system on Salthill Promenade

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A one-way system of traffic may be introduced along the Promenade in Salthill to facilitate the introduction of temporary cycle lanes.

The suggestion appeared to come as a shock to some City Council members who supported the cycle lane in a vote last month – one has called for a “full discussion again” on what exactly they had actually approved.

Councillors had voted 17-1 in favour of the principle of providing a cycleway that will stretch from Grattan Road all along the Prom.

The motion that passed at the September meeting proposed that the Council “shall urgently seek” to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of the Prom.

It was agreed that from the Blackrock Tower junction to the Barna Road would be a one-way cycle track.

The motion was voted on without debate, which meant Council officials did not have an opportunity to question the proposal.

At a meeting on Monday, the debate was revisited when Uinsinn Finn, Director of Services for Transportation, indicated that a one-way traffic system would be introduced in Salthill to facilitate a two-way cycle lane from Grattan Road to Blackrock.

This could mean that the outbound lane of traffic, closest to the sea, could be closed to all traffic bar bikes.

Mr Finn said that he would have sought clarity at the previous meeting – if debate were allowed – about what was meant by ‘temporary’.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway Christmas Market gets go-ahead for next month

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s the first real sign of a restoration of normality in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors in the city – the return of the Christmas Market next month to Eyre Square.

This week, the City Council’s planning department gave the go-ahead for the outdoor retail and gourmet food ‘spread’ that has been part of the festive season in Galway since 2010.

The exception was last year when, like so many other public gatherings since the Covid crisis broke in March 2020, the event had to be cancelled because of public health concerns.

Christmas Market Organiser, Maria Moynihan Lee, Managing Director of Milestone Inventive, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that she had received official confirmation on Thursday from the City Council of the go-ahead being given for the event.

“This is really wonderful news for the city and especially so in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors. For every €1 spent at the market another €3 will be spent on the high street – this will be a real boost for Galway,” she said.

Maria Moynihan Lee confirmed that the market would have an earlier than usual start of Friday, November 12 and would run through until the Wednesday evening of December 22.

(Photo: Declan Colohan)

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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