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CITY TRIBUNE

Residents fail to prevent go-ahead of new pastoral centre

Declan Tierney

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Residents in Bushypark have failed in their efforts to prevent the construction of a new pastoral centre beside the local church – they felt that it would have an adverse impact on the church which is a protected structure.

The residents also questioned the merits of providing a pastoral centre given the fact that there are only two Masses in St James’ Church, one on a Saturday evening and the other on a Sunday morning.

It was also argued that the local GAA sports centre provides facilities for the youth while the national school has a community hall, funded by the residents, that can play host to several local events.

According to the residents the former presbytery was sold without consultation with the local community and this could have accommodated a pastoral centre without the need for a new building to dominate and impact on the church and graveyard.

However, St James’ Parish Council have been given the green light to build the new pastoral centre as the appeal by local residents to An Bord Pleanala has failed.

The appeal was lodged by Bushypark Parishioners Group who argued that the proposed pastoral centre is much too big for the site and will be out of character with the church which is a protected structure.

Earlier this year city planners gave the go-ahead to St James’ Parish Council for the construction of the pastoral centre along with the renovation of the church which includes a new porch, new stained glass windows, the replacement of slates and other modifications.

Permission was granted subject to 10 mainly standard conditions being complied with. One of them requires the Parish Council to outline what the pastoral centre will be used for.

Residents expressed a series of concerns about the proposals, while environmental group An Taisce said that while the repairs to the church should be permitted it urged thay the pastoral centre be refused.

When the planning application initially came before Galway City Council, it was opposed by An Taisce while 10 residents – two with addresses in Sligo and Inis Mór – along with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (the former National Roads Authority) also objected to the proposal.

City planners approved the revised application for an 830 square foot pastoral centre (around two-thirds the size of the 1,300 sq ft one originally planned) and restoration and renovation works to St James’ Church. Proposed alterations to the choir gallery were dropped.

The residents, who lodged an appeal to An Bord Pleanála, argued that there is insufficient car parking at the proposed development. They have also questioned the need for a pastoral centre as there is an existing hall nearby.

They also informed the Planning Appeals Board that the view from the Grotto will be obscured from the pastoral building and have also expressed concerned over what the facility will be used for.

They stated that the proposed treatment plant would be close to the existing entrance and graveyard while enclosing the area in a cage system, as was proposed, would be “unsightly and a health hazard”.

The Bushypark Parishioners Group were also opposed to the felling of mature trees and said that details were unclear as to the applicants’ proposals with regards to existing trees within the site and their protection.

“The pastoral centre is premature pending the determination of the (city) by-pass route,” it was further argued.

However, their appeal failed to win the support of An Bord Pleanála and permission was granted for the pastoral centre.

CITY TRIBUNE

Hero’s welcome following rescue of two women on Galway Bay

Stephen Corrigan

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Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan, who rescued Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn off Inis Oirr island, on their arrival back at the Galway RNLI Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The miraculous rescue on Galway Bay yesterday of two young women from Knocknacarra brought 15 long hours of searching to a euphoric conclusion, as cousins Sara Feeney (23) and Ellen Glynn (17) were brought safely to shore.

A major search and rescue operation was launched after the pair went missing from Furbo Beach on Wednesday night, when they were swept away by a sudden wind while paddle boarding.

Claddagh fisherman and former Lifeboat shore crew member Patrick Oliver and his 18-year-old son Morgan joined the search early on Thursday morning and were the heroes of the hour after they discovered the two women on their boards, clinging to a lobster pot about two miles south-west of Inis Oírr, where despite their ordeal, they were described as “ok, but shaken”.

In the face of torrential rain and high winds overnight, both women had drifted almost 20 miles out to sea, but amazingly neither required serious medical attention.

Sara’s mother, Helen Feeney, raised the alarm shortly after 9pm on Wednesday evening when she noticed the pair missing as she walked their dog along the shore.

Sara, a daughter of Helen and Bernard Tonge, and Ellen, daughter Deirdre and well-known former captain of Galway United Johnny Glynn, were both said to be in good spirits at the hospital yesterday afternoon.

One relative told the Galway City Tribune that the family was “utterly humbled by the generosity of people” who had took part in the search and said, “unbelievable doesn’t even begin to describe it”.

“Thank you from all the family to everyone who helped, words will never express our gratitude.”
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Photo: Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan, who rescued Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn off Inis Oirr island, on their arrival back at the Galway RNLI Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway farm operators fall fowl of locals

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Neighbours of Mad Yolk Farm have asked Galway City Council to determine whether planning permission is required for a portable chicken coop earmarked for the land in Roscam.

This week, Mad Yolk Farm has indicated that it will be adding chickens to the site, which has already been the subject of planning enforcement by the local authority.

In a Facebook post, the operators said they are planning to rear organic chickens on site, with neighbours fearing as many as 450 birds in the chicken ‘caravan’.

“Our chicken caravan is now built and our beaked ladies will arrive in eight days. We’ll be moving the hens onto fresh grass each day and they’ll be free to forage for insects and take mud baths. They’ll be free to behave like a chicken should,” the business said on social media.

It has prompted a neighbour of the property to write the Council to formally ask for a declaration “whether the work/development described in the form is or is not development or is or is not exempted development under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act”.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cold water poured on Spanish Arch ‘bushing’ sprinkler plan

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway City Council has poured cold water on a suggestion that it should install water sprinklers to deter ‘bushing’ at city centre hotspots for outdoor drinking, such as Spanish Arch.

Councillor Eddie Hoare (FG) this week said the local authority should examine providing sprinklers, to deter bushing, after Spanish Arch and Middle Arch were packed with hundreds of revellers during the sunshine last weekend, and the areas were littered with alcohol bottles and cans.

Cllr Hoare said large crowds were prohibited from gathering outside due to Covid-19 social distancing guidelines, and if the partying continued “Galway will be the next county to be locked down”.

He said CCTV cameras should be installed at Spanish Arch and Middle Arch and added: “Galway City Council should consider installing sprinklers as a long-term solution.”

However, the City Council said it was not its intention to install sprinklers.

“It’s so hot at the moment, if you put out a sprinkler anywhere in Galway, people would just dance under it. We’re so unused to this muggy heat, that if you did that (installed sprinklers), on top of your 12-pack of Bacardi Breezers, or whatever it is young people drink these days, you’d have the biggest wet t-shirt competition this side of Ibiza – people would just dance under them. No, we have no plans for sprinklers,” remarked a City Council spokesperson.

He said the Council was unaware of a separate suggestion – announced by Mayor of Galway Mike Cubbard on social media – that certain city areas be exempted from the street drinking bylaws, to allow them to be monitored and controlled.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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