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CITY TRIBUNE

Record prizemoney is up for grabs at the Galway festival

John McIntyre

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Peter Allen, Chairman Galway Race Committee, Tim Higgins, Tote Ireland, Noel Meade, trainer, with the Galway Plate, and Michael Moloney, General Manager, Galway Racecourse, attending the launch of the Summer Racing Festival in the Marker Hotel, Dublin on Monday. Photo: Andrew Downes.

PRIZEMONEY at the upcoming Galway Summer Racing Festival is about to crash through the €2m barrier for the first time ever, with a minimun feature race value of €100,000 on each day at Ballybrit.

The overall prizefund has been increased by €123,000 from last year’s festival with the €300,000 Guinness Galway Hurdle on Thursday of race week maintaining its status as the second richest National Hunt race on the calendar after the Irish Grand National.

The other big highlight of the country’s most popular racing festival, the tote.com Galway Plate, sees a €30,000 increase in value to €250,000, with Tuesday evening’s feature, the Colm Quinn Mile Handicap now worth €120,000.

Details of the 148th staging of the Galway Races were unveiled at Monday’s launch in the Marker Hotel in Dublin which attracted sponsors, top trainer Noel Meade, members of the Galway Race Committee, racecourse staff, Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club, Tim Higgins, Chief Executive of Tote Ireland, and Paddy Walsh, Chief Executive of the Irish Association of Racecourses.

Reacting to the record prizemoney on offer at this year’s festival, Michael Moloney, General Manager of Galway Racecourse, said: It’s a huge credit to our sponsors and Horse Racing Ireland who with their support have enabled us to offer for the very first time a feature race every day valued at a minimun of €100,000.

“It is also particularly pleasing to see the minimun value of every race during the festival set at €15,000. We have an exciting programme on the cards for 2017 and we look forward to offering some great racing and entertainment in Galway during our week-long meeting.”

With fifty-two races over the seven days and the huge prizemoney up for grabs, it’s no surprise that Ireland’s leading owners, trainers and jockeys will all travel West in the hope of festival glory, together with a number of cross-channel raiders.

On the first evening of the festival, Monday, July  31, there will be a special opening ceremony themed ‘Gather Your Tribe’. Racegoers will be greeted by tribal drummers at the two main entrances. Patrons can then make their way to the parade ring before the horses arrive for the first race to witness a special performance by the Galway Tenors.

First race on Monday is at 5.20pm with a host of local businesses continuing their association with the festival. Sponsors on the day include The Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Galway Bay Hotel, Claregalway Hotel, Clayton Hotel Galway, Easyfix, McGettigan’s and Eventus, while The Connacht Hotel once again sponsor the feature race of the evening, the €100,000 Qualified Riders Handicap.

Situated beside the Killanin Stand, the new Festival Village will also enhance the racegoers’ experience at Ballybrit. Patrons will enjoy craft beer, a shopping village, big screen to watch the racing, betting facilities and live music all week with resident DJ’s and local bands.

Colm Quinn, BMW Athlone and Galway, are on board again for the second year running as title sponsor on Tuesday evening with the first race also off at 5.20pm. This sponsorship covers three valuable races across a top-class card, culminating in the day’s feature, The Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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