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CITY TRIBUNE

Plans progress for new neighbourhood park in Knocknacarra

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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

Matriarch of Scotty’s Diner donates kidney to her son!

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A well-known family in the Galway restaurant trade have swapped chef whites for hospital gowns after the matriarch donated a kidney to her son.

Jenny and Andrew Ishmael, synonymous with Scotty’s Diner in Cúirt na Coiribe on the Headford Road in Terryland, are recovering in Beaumont Hospital after the marathon live donor operation.

It took place last Monday and staff are so impressed by the quick recovery of mother and son that they could be discharged as early as this weekend.

“It went really well. I’m still a bit sore. We’re still on the mend. It’s working perfectly,” says Andrew from the isolation ward of the hospital’s Kidney Centre.  “My creatine was over 1,000 when I came in and it’s already around 260.

“I felt weak after the surgery, but I could feel that bit of life in me again straight away. It’s amazing how quick it works. Mom wasn’t too great after the surgery – it was her first ever. She was quite sore, a bit iffy, but she’s good now.

“We have rooms back-to-back. We’ve been going for walks, going for breakfast together. It’s nice to spend that time together.”

Andrew – or Drew as he’s known to family and friends –  was diagnosed with kidney disease when he was just 16.

Berger’s Disease occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin builds up in the kidneys and results in inflammation, which over time, can hamper the kidneys’ ability to filter waste from the blood.

He managed the condition well for over a decade without too much impact on his life.

The son of classically trained chefs who studied together at Johnson and Wales College in Rhode Island, he grew up working in his parents’ American-style diner, trading since 1991.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

New River Corrib rescue boat to be deployed following ‘significant donation’

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The provision of a specialist rescue craft on the Corrib – upstream from the Weir – could now happen over the coming weeks or months following a ‘significant voluntary donation’ in the past few weeks, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

Water safety issues on the Corrib were highlighted last month when up to 10 rowers had to be rescued after their two boats were sucked in by the currents towards the Weir.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has launched an investigation into the circumstances of the potentially catastrophic incident which occurred around midday on Saturday, January 14.

A specialist D Class lifeboat is now being sourced as part of a multi-agency approach to try and improve emergency rescue operations upstream from the Weir which would be accessible on a 24/7 basis.

While the cost would be in the region of €40,000 to €50,000, the overall figure would rise to around €80,000 to €90,000 when specialist personnel training costs were included.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune that he was aware of a lot of work going on behind the scenes to try and get the Corrib rescue craft in place as soon as possible.

“I suppose we’re all trying to work together to ensure that a full-time rescue craft is provided on the Corrib and I believe that real progress is being made in this regard. This would be very good news for everyone,” said Mr Swan.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Three years on and ‘Changing Places’ facility on Salthill Promenade still not open

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Mayor of Galway, Cllr Clodagh Higgins at the site of the Changing Places facility, for which she had ring-fenced money. Work on the project only began last February, despite initial predictions that the facility would be open in January last year.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The wait for accessible, specialised toilet facilities at Ladies Beach in Salthill goes on – three years after they were ‘prioritised’ by city councillors.

Galway City Council has confirmed to the Tribune this week that the ‘Changing Places’ facility at Ladies Beach is still not open.

Construction of the facility began almost a year ago, at the end of February 2022.

The local authority confirmed that some €135,600 has been spent on the unit, which is not yet open to the public.

“The initial stages of construction went well, with the facility now largely in place. There are a number of outstanding snags to be completed before the facility can open.

“Galway City Council is liaising with the contractor to complete out these snags, with a view to opening the facility as soon as possible,” a spokesperson said.

The local authority did not elaborate on what ‘snags’ were delaying the project.

But in January, Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, suggested that staffing issues were to blame for the delay.

(Photo: Mayor of Galway, Clodagh Higgins, at the site of the Changing Places facility, for which she had ring-fenced money).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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