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Questions raised about county councils level of support for tourism

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Galway Bay fm newsroom:
Questions have been raised about the level of support for tourism throughout the county.
At a meeting of the county council this week, Councillor Seán Ó Tuairisg said that Donegal County Council provides very significant support for the promotion of tourism.
He suggested that Galway County Council should also have a greater involvement in the industry.
Councillor Seán Ó Tuairisg said that Donegal County Council has seven staff members working on the promotion of tourism in that county.
He asked if Galway could follow suit.
Councillor Ó Tuairisg said Galway – in both the east and west of the county – has a wide range of attributes that could underpin very significant growth in the tourism sector.
However, he said, these advantages had to be promoted and marketed.
County Council CEO, Kevin Kelly, said that while there was not a dedicated tourism unit – all sectors of the council had a role in the industry.
He said they would like to have designated members of staff dealing with tourism specifically but that money and resources are not there.
However, the matter can be reviewed after the next budget, the CEO said.

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Councillors approve €136m county Galway budget for 2021

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A budget of €136m for the running of Co. Galway next year has been approved by Councillors this afternoon.

Several amendments were passed to the draft budget, such as increases for burial grounds and fire services across the county.

However, the difference was made up by taking funds from the local authority’s capital, or reserve, account rather than depriving other areas of the budget.

Councillors also agreed to provide funds from each municipal district to create a central fund to promote tourism across Galway.

Chief Executive Kevin Kelly has recognised that 2021 will bring challenges, but he’s confident that key services can be provided to meet the needs of the people of Galway.

Today’s approved budget of €136m for next year represents an increase of €8m on the figure for 2020.

County Cathaoirleach, Councillor James Charity, says it’s a relief the budget has been balanced, but more funding is needed – we’ll be looking at this in depth on FYI Galway from 5…

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Major step forward for plans to build new pedestrian structure adjacent to city’s Salmon Weir Bridge

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There’s been a major step forward in long-running plans to construct a new pedestrian bridge across the Corrib in the city, adjacent to the Salmon Weir bridge.

The City Council has published a notice of application to An Bord Pleanála for approval, as well as notice for a compulsory purchase order for lands needed.

The proposed new footbridge would run parallel to the iconic Salmon Weir Bridge and would provide a safe river crossing for pedestrians and cyclists between the city centre and Galway Cathedral – and onwards to NUI Galway.

It would be a three-span structure 24 metres downstream from the Salmon Weir Bridge, connecting Goal Road with Newtownsmith.

The need for the crossing has been long identified due to inadequate pedestrian and cyclist facilities on the existing bridge, which has a high volume of pedestrian, cycle and road traffic.

Under the Galway City Transport Strategy, the Salmon Weir Bridge would ultimately become a “public transport only bridge crossing”.

Galway City Council has now published a notice of application to An Bord Pleanála for approval for the new pedestrian bridge.

The plans are available on the Galway City Council website, or from the Planning offices at City Hall, until January 21st.

Meanwhile, the local authority has also issued a CPO notice for lands needed to construct the proposed new bridge.

Affected landowners have until Thursday January 21st to lodge objections with An Bord Pleanala.

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Three confirmed cases of Covid-19 being treated at Galway Hospitals today

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There are three confirmed cases of Covid-19 receiving treatment at Galway hospitals today.

Two cases are being treated at UHG, while another is receiving treatment at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe.

There’s been no confirmed cases of the virus at either hospital in the past 24 hours, but a number of suspected cases are being treated.

Of five suspected cases in total, four are at Portiuncula, with one at UHG.

Meanwhile, there are no Covid-19 patients at ICUs in either hospital.

Nationally, 253 people with the virus are being treated in Irish hospitals today – 36 of them in intensive care units.

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