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CITY TRIBUNE

Plans lodged for €30m Connacht Rugby stadium

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Connacht Rugby have lodged a planning application for the €30 million redevelopment of the Sportsground on College Road, which could be completed by early 2023.

The plans involve the construction of a 12,000-seater stadium with a new grandstand, high-performance training centre, 4G synthetic playing pitch, bars, food stands and supporter facilities.

If approved, the stadium would be developed over six phases, running from May 2019 to spring 2023, although it would be in a position to open in 2022.

Connacht Rugby Stadium Ltd – which is headed by Willie Ruane and Michael Turley – has sought permission to demolish the Clan Terrace and Connacht Rugby offices, training pitches, and ESB substation and to construct a new north grandstand.

The grandstand will have terraced and seating areas over four levels, and will also include bars and food stands, player and match day facilities, café, merchandise shop, TV facilities and a corporate seating and bar area.

The south stand will be completely refurbished, and a new high-performance centre with an indoor synthetic training pitch and office accommodation will replace the demolished clubhouse.

The existing grass pitch will be replaced with a synthetic 4G pitch, and the main access will be relocated with a new concourse adjacent to the new grandstand.

According to the application, the plans are intended to “modernise the campus and bring the facility in line with other Irish provincial teams and to provide a state-of-the-art training campus for the development of Connacht Rugby”.

The Sportsground can currently accommodate 6,204 people, or 7,924 when increased capacity plans are in place. The new stadium will hold 10,600 people on a typical match day, although additional capacity will mean a total of 12,000 could be accommodated.

“A key ambition for the redevelopment of the Sportsground was to physically and visually connect the ground and associated facilities to Galway. This is to make the most of the real asset of having a city centre location and the sense of place and the ownership that it brings,” the application reads.

Independent economic research carried out in 2016, found that Connacht Rugby contributes €34.4 million to the regional economy.

Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane said: “The delivery of this project will increase that contribution and provide a beacon for regional development in the West of Ireland. Our vision is to ensure that the province has a stadium which future generations of sports stars, supporters and all the people of the West of Ireland can be immensely proud of.”

A decision on the planning application is due in February, although the City Council may at that point request revisions to be made to the plans, or seek clarification on certain elements.

How the works will progress:

Phase 1 of the works involves the upgrading of the existing main pitch, and work will take place between May and August 2019.

Phase 2 will see the construction of the high-performance training centre, which will begin in the second quarter of 2020 and take 12 months to complete.

Phase 3 involves the demolition of the existing buildings and training pitch, clubhouse, bar etc. This will commence in Q2 of 2021 and take three months.

Phase 4 will commence in Q3 2021 and will take 16 months to complete. It involves the construction of the new northern grandstand and concourse.

Phase 5 involves the demolition of structures including temporary stands and terracing. This will commence in Q3 of 2022 and take one month.

The final phase involves work on the existing southern (Irish Greyhound Board) stand and will take six months from Q3 2022.

CITY TRIBUNE

24/7 Garda surveillance on feuding Galway families

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Specialist Garda units have been maintaining round-the-clock surveillance over the past week in different parts of the city in an effort to keep the lid on a vicious ongoing feud between two families.

The feud, which resulted in a number of houses being firebombed and a gunshot being fired into a doorway earlier this month, is still simmering but Gardaí have put in place a ‘watch and follow’ strategy in relation to gang members.

Gardaí have also confirmed that they are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry into what they regard as the most serious of the incidents which occurred in the latest outbreak of the feud.

That involved a shooting incident on the Wednesday night of June 15, when a gunman fired a shot into the door of a house in the Bohermore area at around 10.30pm – he is believed to have initially making his getaway on foot before being picked up in a waiting car in the Forster Court area.

Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins, who is heading up the investigation into the series of incidents, said that . . . .
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Highwire performers to stage Claddagh spectacular

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s a skill known as funambulism – highwire or tightrope walking – and later this month it seems set to draw huge outdoor crowds to the Claddagh Basin.

Staged on seven highwires spanning the River Corrib, south of Wolfe Tone Bridge, the performances on July 16/17 (Saturday/Sunday), will feature a cast of 150 people from all ages and backgrounds.

Entitled ‘LifeLine’, this spectacular event is being produced and presented by the Galway Community Circus group and will be one of the highlights of the upcoming Arts Festival.

Originally, ‘LifeLine’ had been pencilled in as part of the Galway European Capital of Culture 2020 events, before being scuppered by the Covid pandemic.

The highwire event also has a more serious undertone, in its promotion of the importance of mental health wellbeing at a location renowned for its beauty – but also for many personal human tragedies.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Knives, live ammunition and drugs seized in Knocknacarra

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Knives, live shotgun cartridges and over €10,000 worth of drugs were seized by Gardaí in an operation earlier this week in the Knocknacarra area.

Four young males – who were acting suspiciously in the Lios Mór area at Cappagh Park on Tuesday evening last at around 7pm – were approached by a Garda unit and searched.

During the search, Gardaí found a quantity of cocaine on one of the men, while nearby they also seized a number of offensive weapons including knives.

All four were detained for questioning by Gardaí after being taken to Garda HQ in Murrough, Renmore and in a follow-up search at a house in Knocknacarra, €10,000 worth of cannabis was discovered as well as three live shotgun cartridges.

One of the men – aged in his early 20s – is . . . .
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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