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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Rainbow’ coalition to control Galway City Council

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Outgoing Mayor Niall McNelis and former mayor Noel Larkin have confirmed they will not be honouring an agreement they signed with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to form a controlling mayoral pact on Galway City Council.

Both councillors had signed up to a five-year ‘mayoral pact’ with the two Civil War parties. But they have confirmed to the Galway City Tribune that they changed their minds and will be supporting an alternative pact – which will result in five Independents becoming mayors over the five-year term of the new City Council.

Cllrs Larkin and McNelis insisted the deal was changed subsequent to them signing it – making it null and void and they were then ‘free agents’ to negotiate with others.

Cllr Mike Crowe, Fianna Fáil’s negotiator, said he and his colleagues had lost trust in the pair.

Under the new deal, Mike Cubbard (Ind), the poll-topper in City Central, will become mayor later today (4pm Friday), at what could be a tense and fractious Annual General Meeting of the City Council at City Hall.

Both Cllrs Larkin and McNelis have confirmed to Galway City Tribune that they have since reconsidered a deal agreed last week.

“I signed an agreement, yes. I signed an agreement, which then changed, so to me that agreement is no longer lasting. I sought legal advice and I was told by senior counsel that I’m perfectly within my rights to walk away from it. Everyone is entitled to change their mind,” said Mayor McNelis.

Cllr Larkin said, subsequent to him signing the agreement, approaches were made to other councillors who were not party to it, including an offer of a Deputy Mayor to Social Democrat Owen Hanley. This was denied by the pact.

Cllr Mike Crowe said he was “shocked” at what happened.

“You’ve two individuals who have totally committed to an agreement, signed up to it and are now reneging and ultimately aren’t going to go ahead with it. It wasn’t just shaking hands or a gentleman’s agreement; it was a completed and signed agreement,” he said.
This is an abridged preview of the article. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

CITY TRIBUNE

Council officials branded ‘ignorant’ after reneging on circus agreement

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A circus branded City Hall in Galway ‘ignorant and arrogant’ after a spat over access to public space.

Circus Gerbola criticised Galway City Council for limiting the days its big top was permitted in Claude Toft carpark in Salthill and for reneging on an agreement.

The touring troupe said that last January, it provisionally booked the carpark from August 4-21. In early July, the Council emailed the circus and said it would be limited to seven days only.

Event Producer Jane Murray said she then secured a verbal compromise to rent the carpark for 10 days, including two weekends. But then the Council contacted the circus again and insisted that the site could be used for seven days only.

“I wouldn’t call them clowns because I think it would be an insult to clowns and generations of clowning. They were just extremely ignorant and arrogant. They were so unempathetic,” fumed Ms Murray.

They then scrambled to find alternative accommodation, in Kinvara, for performances today, Saturday and Sunday.

The third planned week has been moved to Conamara. From next Monday, the big top moves to Fíbín theatre company grounds in An Tulach, Cois Fharraige, for a series of events.

A Council statement said the matter was discussed at length internally.

“The carpark in question is relied upon by locals and tourists alike for parking, particularly during the busy tourist season. The best compromise in this situation was to permit the circus to take over full use of the car park for seven days. We do envisage complaints/representations from locals at being prevented from using this car park for a full week,” it said.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the August 12 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Residents call on Galway City Council to tackle burning of rubbish

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Local residents have called on the authorities to tackle the problem of an ongoing illegal dump in the Castlegar area with the rubbish being burnt off on a regular basis.

A particularly intense fire was set off in the Bruckey area on Tuesday afternoon last with black smoke billowing from the blaze – forcing local people to close their windows and doors.

According to one local resident, even the Fire Brigade couldn’t access the blaze which eventually burnt itself out over the following days.

“This has been going on for the past four years and we have made several overtures to the City Council on the issue as well as contacting the Gardaí, but nothing is being done about this.”

He said that the land being used as dump and fire site was rented and added that those burning waste were ‘a complete law onto themselves who did whatever they liked’.

(Photo: the fire burning on Tuesday)

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the August 12 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Councillors ignore Transport Authority recommendation on estate access

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A submission by the National Transport Authority (NTA) – seeking to restrict new access points along the Western Distributor Road to ‘cyclists and pedestrians’ only – has been defeated at a City Council meeting.

Councillors voted 12-4 to reject the NTA submission presented in the draft Galway City Development Plan (2023-29) which sought to prevent new access points being provided for vehicular traffic.

The NTA in their submission said that their proposal was aimed at ‘protecting investment in public transport’ and in ‘facilitating sustainable travel’.

In his response to the submission, City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, said that the Council did not want any further restrictions to be put in place.

Councillors Niall Murphy (Green Party) and Colette Connolly (Ind) had proposed the acceptance of the NTA submission in order to improve access for cyclists and pedestrians.

Senior Planner with the Council, Caroline Phelan, said that there was a substantial bank of land in this area (off the Western Distributor Road) and the objective was to be able to access zoned land.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) said that if land in such areas was prevented from being developed by a lack of access, it would have major implications for industry, jobs, housing and schools. “We have to allow access,” he said.

(Photo: The ‘Kingston Cross’ lands on the Western Distributor Road which were earmarked for a commercial and residential development anchored by Tesco and Decathlon: An Bord Pleanála previously ruled access points would be a traffic hazard, particularly when it came to cycling infrastructure and a bus corridor on the road).

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the August 12 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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