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CITY TRIBUNE

Plans progress for new neighbourhood park in Knocknacarra

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Galway City Council has approved outline plans for a new neighbourhood park for Knocknacarra – which will include playing pitches, playground, community centre and outdoor exercise equipment – with the planning application expected to go on public display before the end of the year.

At a local authority meeting last week, it was agreed to progress the plans for the ‘Kingston lands’ (adjacent to St John the Apostle National School) and the existing pitch at Millars Lane to planning application stage.

Councillors this week welcomed the plan which includes playing pitches, a children’s playground, changing rooms/community centre, outdoor gym equipment, a pedestrian walkway, a two-way cycle path as well as 75 parking spaces.

Overall, the Kingston masterplan was described as “a good news story’ for the area, over twenty years since the idea was first mooted.

The pitch can be used for both GAA and rugby and there will be a multi-use games area.

The plan was shown in the community in April and Stephen Walsh from the Council’s Parks Section told the meeting it was one of the best participated public consultations they ever had. He said the promotion and use of public land was one of the best solutions to anti-social behaviour and that up to 500 children would be engaged in activities at this facility when it was up and running.

A hockey pitch will further be developed at Millars Lane as part of the masterplan.

Residents from the White Oaks/Doire Gheal estate on the Clybaun Road have previously expressed concerns over security and noise, and these issues can be raised again when the ‘Part 8’ planning application is drawn up. The Part 8 process involves the Council effectively applying to itself for planning permission – the plans must go on public display, and submissions and objections can be made, before a decision is made.

Outgoing Mayor of Galway, Cllr Pearce Flannery said it was a much-needed facility for the area on publicly-owned land that was currently waste land.

Councillors further welcomed the announcement that an all-weather pitch at Cappagh Park is almost complete, and Cllr Peter Keane wondered if it could be floodlit.

Mr Walsh said that there was no planning permission for flood lighting for the pitch, but that funding for a Part 8 application for floodlit astro-turf cages, beside the pitch currently under construction, is being sought at the moment.

The Kingston plan, as put forward by Keith Mitchell, Landscape Architect with the Land Planning and Design company, Cunnane Stratton Reynolds was adopted by the Council. The Part 8 planning application for Kingston is expected to be drawn up before the end of the year, and it will be put on public display for a period of six weeks.

CITY TRIBUNE

WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!

Enda Cunningham

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Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.

A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.

Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.

Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down. 

The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.

Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.

However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.

“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.

Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.

“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.

There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
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

Council removes ‘shop local’ signage despite agreement with Latin Quarter

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Signage promoting a ‘eat, drink and shop local’ campaign, erected by a local business group, was removed by the Galway City Council – despite an understanding that permission had been granted.

The bilingual signage was placed on a number of solar compactor bins and bollard-control boxes in the city centre by the Latin Quarter business group, in an attempt to promote local businesses grappling with the effects of Covid-19.

A source in the group told the Galway City Tribune that the signage cost around €3,500 and that permission to erect it had been given by a ‘senior Council official’.

The signs were put up in mid-October but only lasted around two weeks when City Hall’s Environment Department had them removed, claiming that they had not been consulted.

“There was clearly a breakdown in communications in City Hall because we had permission from a senior official to proceed, and then the Environment Department took issue with the signs and insisted that they had to be removed,” said the source.

A Council spokesperson said they were currently in discussions with the Latin Quarter to provide promotional material and added “there’s been no falling out here”.
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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