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.
Anger over destructive vandalism to facilities at Loughrea Lake
Galway Bay fm newsroom – A local councillor is expressing anger at destructive vandalism at facilities at Loughrea Lake over the weekend.
Councillor Moegie Maher says there’s been considerable physical damage caused, as well as graffiti sprayed on the freshly painted walls.
Graffiti has been a persistent issue at the popular amenity in recent years – though the latest developments mark a major escalation in the vandalism.
Over the weekend, vandals damaged bathroom fixtures and piping, kicked down doors, sprayed graffiti on internal walls and also set a number of bins on fire.
Councillor Maher says Gardaí are doing all they can, and due to GDPR issues, CCTV cannot be installed at the location.
Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, he outlined what happened over the weekend.
Galway records average of 99 Covid cases per day as holiday season continues
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway is recording an average of 99 Covid 19 cases per day over the last five days.
As the West continues to experience a fourth wave, a significant increase in cases has been noted in tourist hotpsots such as Galway city, the Aran Islands and Westport.
The walk in test centre in the city is now recording a positivity rate of 12.8%, while the centre in Carnmore has a positivity rate of 10.5%.
Director of Public Health in the West Breda Smyth says there is a very high infection rate in the city at the moment with the age profile predominantly in the under 40s.
She has urged the younger cohorts of the population, particularly those aged between 19 and 30, to avail of a vaccine in a pharmacy or by registering on the HSE vaccine portal.
Breda Smyth told Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks there is a high level of infection in the community and the public health guidelines are key in surpressing the virus as the holiday season continues.
To hear more, tune into Galway Bay fm news.
393 Galway claims recorded by Personal Injuries Assessment Board
Galway Bay fm newsroom – 393 Galway claims were made to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board last year.
2,898 claims came from Dublin, 884 from Cork and 590 from Limerick.
Nationally, there was a 16 per cent decrease in the volume of claims made to the board.
Awards have halved since new guidelines were introduced in April.
The Personal Injuries Assessment Board is publishing its annual report for 2020 this morning.
26,009 new claims were dealt with last year – with 206 million euro worth of compensation given out to accident victims.
The number of personal injuries claims made to the board fell by 16 per cent in 2020, mainly due to the pandemic.
There were far fewer people on the roads, attending workplaces or meeting together in public – and so there were fewer accidents.
In 2020, the average award was just over 24,000 euro.
Last year was the last full year the Book of Quantum was used to determine compensation amounts.
New guidelines came into effect on April 26th of this year – and the PIAB says the average awards has halved since then.