Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

CITY TRIBUNE

Plans lodged for €30m Connacht Rugby stadium

Enda Cunningham

Published

on

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

Commission critical of Mental Health Unit at UHG

Dara Bradley

Published

on

Aspects of Galway’s new psychiatric unit – officially launched by a Government minister to much fanfare this week – have been branded “inadequate” and “inappropriate”, in an official report published last week.

The Mental Health Commission has highlighted failings at the new Adult Acute Mental Health Unit at University Hospital Galway, following an official complaint from a chairperson of a Mental Health Tribunal held at the facility.

An inspector with the Mental Health Commission carried out an inspection of the unit and found that the Mental Health Tribunal room there “was not adequately sized, ventilated and soundproofed and that the facilities did not respect the dignity of the patient during the Mental Health Tribunal”.

The new unit was built last year, at a cost of €20 million, after the old building was decommissioned because it was ‘not fit for purpose’.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) moved to address a number of issues at the new facility, after a series of complaints from service users and their advocates, were highlighted in this newspaper.

Patients said they felt isolated, demeaned and dehumanised in the new unit. Lack of sleep due to the noisiness of the new inpatient facility, and a reduction in human contact with staff since it opened last Autumn were chief among the concerns. A ‘draconian’ no-smoking policy where inpatients and visitors are ‘stopped and searched’ for tobacco, and where those caught smoking outside the unit were ‘punished’, was also causing distress.

Last February, the HSE acknowledged there were infrastructural problems with the new facility, and said it was working to address lighting and noise issues at the new unit. It defended its ‘no smoking’ policy.

This latest report from the Mental Health Commission into the failings of the new facility, was published the day after Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly, officially ‘cut the ribbon’ on the new unit last Monday.

On the eve of his visit, the Galway City Tribune contacted some of the inpatients who had complained about the facility last year. “Unfortunately, none of the issues we raised about the unit have been addressed as of yet,” said one service user who responded.

The centre has 50 beds, and residents are referred there by 12 consultant-led teams, including two psychiatry of later life teams, a mental health intellectual disability team, and a rehabilitation and recovery team.

In July of this year, the Mental Health Commission carried out an inspection of the facility, after receiving complaints about the provision of appropriate private facilities and adequate resources to support the Mental Health Tribunal process.

“This room where mental health tribunals were held was partitioned to provide a tribunal room and a training/multi-purpose room. It was not soundproofed and proceedings could be heard in the training room next door. The room was small, approximately five metres long and 3.5 metres wide. A narrow table with six chairs was in the centre of the room. The width of the table did not allow adequate space for people sitting opposite each other being insufficient to accommodate mental health tribunal members, the patient, his/her advocate, any attending nurses and the consultant psychiatrist. There were no windows; there was a Velux style window in the ceiling, which could be opened remotely. The room was stuffy and hot at the time of the inspection. The room infringed the right of the patient to be treated with respect and dignity during the tribunal process,” the inspector found.

A previous inspection of the tribunal room in the old ‘not fit for purpose’ building, found that it was bright and spacious, with natural light coming through a number of windows along one wall, and it was well ventilated. This room was now being used for training and meetings and all tribunal hearings are now held in the smaller room, according to staff.

The Mental Health Commission issued an Immediate Action Notice to address these concerns and said in a statement this week that it was “engaging with the approved centre to ensure the service is meeting the needs of patients attending a Mental Health Tribunal”.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Good luck England ! – as the poster and I screamed ….

Avatar

Published

on

Mark Gardiner

Mark Gardiner, our man in Japan for the Rugby World Cup

Excitement has been building all week and even though Hiroshima isn’t a host city we are still getting a fair share of rugby fans passing through.  Since last Saturday I’ve noticed some Irish fans coming into the pub, people who have arrived to take in some of the sights of Japan and then head off to take in the some of the pool matches.

There’s been some from Wexford, Mayo, Roscommon, Kerry, Laois, Dublin and Donegal but none from Cork yet!  All of those fans will now be making their way to Yokohama which is situated right next to Tokyo and around 4 hours on the bullet train from Hiroshima.  I’m giving the first two games a miss and will wait for Ireland to move closer to my adopted home city.

The Russia game will be held in Kobe, just one hour away, so I’ll be going to that with my son Tom on the eve of his 10th birthday.  More accustomed to going to baseball games together hopefully he’ll see a try fest and enjoy a very different sporting atmosphere.

Earlier in the week, my Guinness rep walked in looking proud as punch to present me with five big Guinness posters for the rugby. As I unrolled one I couldn’t believe my eyes!  [See poster below.]   He couldn’t understand so I told him it was like having a Kirin beer poster with “good luck Korea” on it. He got the message pretty lively!

For some reason, the big story here is how much beer rugby fans drink.  They’re very wary about bars, restaurants and stadiums running out so there have been numerous articles in papers telling landlords to order twice the norm.  I had the local newspaper calling me yesterday almost begging me to tell them that I’d ordered way more beer than I normally would.

Tonight we have the opening game at 19:45 local time so hoping to get a good crowd into the pub for that.  I will try and post some photos in the next few days. A big win for Japan is probably vital in order to catapult the tournament into the mainstream consciousness so hopefully, they won’t disappoint.

If anyone reading this plans to come out, there is a great forum on Facebook “Irish Rugby World Cup Japan Forum” or you can contact me on the Molly Malone’s Hiroshima Facebook page. Fingers crossed for Sunday.

Follow Mark Gardiners World Cup Diary here and on the Galway App.

Mark Gardiner is a former Galway resident now resident in Hiroshima, Japan where he owns and operates Molly Malones Bar.

Read his weekly unique insight into the 2019 Rugby World Cup here and on the Galway App. 

Galway App Links

Apple – https://tinyurl.com/yy8b6uq7
Android – https://tinyurl.com/y5pcyunp

 

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

More than 70 kids under 12 in Direct Provision in Salthill

Enda Cunningham

Published

on

The Eglinton Direct Provision Centre in Salthill

Galway City Tribune – More than 70 children under the age of 12 are living in a Direct Provision Centre in Salthill, figures from the Department of Justice show.

The Eglinton can house up to 210 people who are either seeking asylum or have been granted refugee status but have been unable to secure alternative accommodation.

The statistics show that the Salthill centre – which is for families and single females – has 77 residents under the age of 18.

Of these, 35 are aged four or under; 37 are aged between 5 and 12; and five are between 13 and 17 years of age.

Direct Provision is big business for service providers – figures show the companies behind Galway City’s two centres earned more than €77m since 2000. Last year alone, the Eglinton made a profit of €520,000.

The Great Western House centre off Eyre Square is for single males only, and there are currently no people under the age of 17 resident there. That centre has a maximum occupancy of 162 people.

Between both centres in Galway, there were a total of 359 occupants at the end of July.
This is a preview only. For extensive coverage on Direct Provision in Galway, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Advertisement

Weather

Weather Icon
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending