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Public Accounts Committee raises fresh concerns over funding of city arthouse cinema

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Public Accounts Committee has raised fresh concerns over the controversial city arthouse cinema, which has opened to the public recently after a long battle.
PALAS at Merchant’s Road is run by Dublin firm Element pictures, after it took over the beleaguered project from the Solas group and brought the cinema to completion.
However, members of the PAC have raised concerns over the fact that a private company is now running a business funded by the taxpayer to the tune of 8.4 million euro.
The construction of the cinema took 12 years due to being dogged by a variety of issues – including financing.
Element Pictures has invested about 1.65 million euro in the project, and will pay just €1 in annual rent for the 25 years.
The government is due to undertake a post-project review later this year once final accounts on the cinema have been completed.
Speaking at this week’s PAC hearing, Galway West TD Catherine Connolly said when she was on the City Council, she and some of her colleagues found it difficult to question the project.

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Uber taxi service launches in Galway

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – From today people in Galway will be able to book a taxi through Uber, making it the third city Uber has launched in Ireland outside Dublin. 

The US-based firm says the launch is a response to a significant increase in demand in Galway, with thousands of local residents opening the Uber app in recent months.

The first drivers are already on the road and Uber says it aims to bring at least 100 drivers onto the platform by the end of the year. 

Uber was founded in 2009 and now operates in 72 countries and over 10 thousand cities.

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Cabinet approval for surgical hub for Galway and site for new elective hospital

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https://mcdn.podbean.com/mf/web/jpivmp/CLIP_BIG91w17.mp3

Galway Bay fm newsroom – Cabinet has today approved a new surgical hub for Galway – and given the green light for a site at Merlin Park to be used for a new elective hospital.

The surgical hub will focus on high volume surgeries like ear, nose and throat issues, urology, orthopaedics, gynaecology and general surgery.

A similar hub operating in Tallaght has reported a 90 per cent reduction in patients waiting more than three months for procedures.

While Merlin Park was already understood to be the location for a new elective hospital, it’s now officially been rubber-stamped.

Galway West TD and Junior Minister Hildegarde Naughton says what’s important now, is that we keep the ball rolling.

While there are no firm details on the now-approved surgical hub in Galway, Minister Naughton says it will also be a very important facility.

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Step forward in development of masterplan for Gort town centre

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There’s been a step forward in plans to develop a masterplan for the improvement of Gort town centre.

The masterplan will be designed in collaboration with the local community to make the town a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

There’ll be a strong focus on revitalising public spaces, and making them more attractive, accessible and safer.

A design team has now been appointed by Galway County Council, and will engage with Gort Town Team and local community stakeholders.

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