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CITY TRIBUNE

Residents want ‘problem’ laneway to be closed off

Stephen Corrigan

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A residents’ association in Knocknacarra has begun polling homeowners with the view to closing off a problem alleyway between two housing estates.

An Cimín Mór Residents’ Association presented Galway City councillors with notice of their intention to conduct a poll on the future of the alleyway, which they say has been the source of a spate of anti-social behaviour in the area.

The pedestrian laneway, which links An Cimín Mór with Manor Court, has been contributory to several instances of damage to property in the area, according to residents’ claims – as they seek the support and advice of city councillors.

Councillors are told in the letter that there have been five burglaries in the estate over the past few years; a car has been stolen while many more have been tampered with; a prefab in the adjacent former Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh has been set alight; and the closed school building has been damaged.

It is stated that a partial vote among homeowners has already been carried out – with more still to vote on the issue.

“Some of the voting results are not in because some of the delegates chosen in different allotted areas of the estate are not interested in collecting the said vote because they want it open.

“The indications are, from the results in so far, that the closest homes to the alleyway are strongest in relation to the closure, whereas the rest of the estate want it open – and quite a number are indifferent [sic].”

The result, thus far, has been forty homes in favour of the closure – out of 113 respondents.

Sinn Féin Councillor for Galway City West, Cathal Ó Conchúir, was requested by residents to pass the letter to his colleagues on the Council.

According to Cllr Ó Conchúir, the issue has arisen as a result of the layout of the alleyway.

“There is an issue with the laneway – it is a curved alleyway so that leads to anti-social behaviour.

“I think the solution could be that when the new school is built up there, where Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh was, the laneway could be incorporated into the school grounds and then they could open and close gates for access,” he said.

While the vote is an influential factor, Galway City Council cannot accept votes conducted by residents on their own behalf, said Cllr Ó Conchúir.

“Polls conducted by a residents’ associations are not acceptable to the Council – they have to be carried out by an independent party.

“The reason for this is that sometimes, residents find it hard to say no to their neighbours,” he added.

CITY TRIBUNE

Proposals to change speed limits in Galway City are voted down

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Planned speed limit changes for Galway City are stuck in the slow lane after councillors rejected a proposal for new bylaws.

The bylaws would have introduced a 30km/h zone in the city centre and 19 other changes, including increased speed limits in areas such as Bóthar na dTreabh to 80km/h.

Management at City Hall have now been sent back to the drawing board to draft new speed limit bylaws after a majority of elected members voted against them – it could at least two years before new proposals are ready.

At a meeting this week, several councillors spoke out against plans to increase speed limits to 80km/h on approach roads into the city.

Many of them criticised the system of selecting roads for speed limit changes, lashed the public consultation process and decried the lack of input from councillors, despite speed limits being a reserved function of elected members.

Councillors were particularly peeved that the proposal had to be accepted in its entirety, without amendments, or rejected outright – they could not pick and choose individual changes.

Deputy Mayor Collette Connolly (Ind) led the charge against the bylaws, which she described as “idiotic”.

She lambasted the “incomprehensible decision” not to lower speed limits to 30km/h outside schools and she said it was “utter raiméis” (nonsense) that speeds can’t be lowered to 30km/h, if 85% of the traffic on that road travels at 50km/h.

Cllr Connolly said the bylaws were “flawed”, and cited the decision to leave Rahoon Road/Shantalla Road at 50km/h, despite a crèche and two schools on other roads like Lough Atalia remaining at 30km/h.

(Photo: A speed van on Bóthar na dTreabh on Thursday morning)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, including how each councillor voted and a map of the proposed changes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Corrib to be opened up as new tourism and leisure blueway

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The first steps are to be taken next year to explore the development of a ‘blueway’ tourism and leisure trail along the River Corrib, from Nimmo’s Pier and onto the lake itself.

This week, Galway City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that monies had been set aside to begin exploratory work on what will be known as the Great Western Blueway.

A figure of €65,000 has been allocated in the City Council’s 2021 annual budget to commission an initial study of what’s involved in the setting up a blueway trail on the Corrib.

“The Corrib river and the lake are a most wonderful natural asset for the entire western region and I have no doubt that this project has fantastic potential in terms of enhancing the tourism pulling power of the city and its environs,” Mr McGrath told the Galway City Tribune this week.

Should the project come to fruition, it would be the fifth such waterway attraction to be developed in the island of Ireland.

Already there are Blueways on the Shannon, from Drumshanbo to Lanesboro; the Shannon-Erne project from Leitrim village to Belturbet (Cavan); the Royal Canal at Mullingar; and at Lough Derg from Portumna to Scariff in Clare.

According to Mr McGrath, the attractions developed along the Great Western Blueway would be environmentally friendly, featuring such attractions as kayaking, paddling, adjacent cycle trails as well as scenic walkways and visitor centres.
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

Future of Leisureland secured through increased Council funding

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The future of the Leisureland pool and gym facility, which last September faced possible closure due to the Covid emergency, has been guaranteed for the coming year, following an increased financial subsidy from the City Council in their 2021 annual budget.

City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, told the Galway City Tribune that the local authority was committed to the future of the Leisureland facility and had increased the subsidy for 2021 from €300,000 to €500,000, in the process securing its viability for the coming year.

“We are all acutely aware of the value of the Leisureland facility, not only to local clubs but also to the many, many people who use the pool and gym on a weekly and often on a daily basis.

“Like so many other aspects of life and leisure in Ireland, the coronavirus emergency had a hugely negative impact on the viability of the facility, but thankfully we can now look forward with confidence to its continued usage in 2021,” said Mr. McGrath.

He also said that the City Council was committed to the further enhancement and usage of the greater Leisureland site which could act as a focal point for the regeneration of the entire Salthill area as a major local and national tourism centre.
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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