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Restoration of miller’s cottage could spur Tuam heritage trail

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The restoration of an old miller’s cottage in Tuam should provide the opportunity to develop a heritage trail in this part of the town.

But disappointment has been expressed that there are no plans to replace the concrete slabs that linked Shop Street to where the old miller’s cottage is located.

The millar’s cottage is a focal point in Tuam but the rear part of it was removed to facilitate the construction of the town’s inner relief road.

However, there are now works taking place to have this part of the building restored and it is expected that this will be completed in a matter of months.

Local independent councillor Shaun Cunniffe took issue all along with its demolition as only the façade remained in place. He is demanding that it be replaced with cut stone.

The majority of the cottage was demolished during the construction of the inner relief road in Tuam, but since then it has not been restored.

The rear of the building was demolished as part of the works and there are now demands that it be put back together again.

It is a major focal point in the town and its restoration has been promised by a local supermarket owner who obtained planning permission late last year for the development.

The building was to be used as a venue for the Old Tuam Society and Tuam Tidy Towns while a conservation expert would be employed to monitor the works during the reconstruction phase.

The miller’s cottage, which was part of the old Garvey’s Mill, is one of the main historical points in Tuam.

It is one of the few remaining water powered corn mills in the West of Ireland. It closed as a working mill in 1964 having been operating since the 1830s.

“I welcome the rebuilding that has begun on the miller’s cottage and look forward to its completion and I believe that this is the ideal time to replace the concrete slabs that were put there during the road construction.

“It will be a missed opportunity not to replace these slabs with a suitable stone wall perhaps with small railings on top like the original structure.

“This would greatly improve this area and I am urging the council not to let this opportunity pass when construction work is ongoing in this area.

“I have asked over and over again to have these replaced and I genuinely believed, as indicated to me, that these slabs would be replaced,” Cllr. Cunniffe added.

Connacht Tribune

Confusion reigns – but publicans continue serving pints outdoors

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Galway City publicans continued this week to serve alcohol in newly created on-street outdoor dining sections – despite warnings from Gardaí that it was against licensing laws.

The local branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) said it is hoping Government will, if necessary, introduce legislation that facilitates pubs serving alcohol in public spaces reclaimed for outdoor hospitality.

On Friday last, our sister newspaper, Galway City Tribune revealed that Gardaí had visited a number of city pubs warning they were not legally permitted to serve alcohol outdoors in temporary on-street seating areas created by Galway City Council.

Publicans were told that if they continued to flout the rules, files would be sent to the DPP.

When the crux subsequently hit the national headlines, Justice Minister Heather Humphreys urged Gardaí to ‘use their discretion’.

“The overwhelming majority of licensed premises are operating safely, and we in Government are determined to continue to support them. If local issues arise, I would urge local authorities, Gardaí and businesses to engage.

“However, I will also examine whether further measures are required from Government. Licensing law is a complex area but I have spoken to the Attorney General this morning and we will take further action if necessary,” Minister Humphreys said.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Apple plans second bite at Athenry data centre

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An artist's impression of the proposed Apple Data Centre.

Apple intends to have another bite at plans to build a data centre in Athenry.  Apple Operations Europe has applied to Galway County Council for more time to construct a controversial data centre on a greenfield site at Derrydonnell.

The company said it will identify “interested parties to develop the project” between now and 2026 to meet global growth in demand for data storage facilities.

It will spark hope in the County Galway town of a revival of the €850 million project that was dogged for years by planning delays and court appeals and was subsequently shelved. It may also attract fresh objections.

The world’s largest technology company was granted planning permission to build a €850 million data centre near Athenry in 2015.

An appeal to An Bórd Pleanála by a handful of local residents was not successful, and the planning appeals board confirmed the local authority’s decision in 2016.

But the company ultimately aborted its plans for County Galway in 2018 after three objectors sought a review of the decision through the courts.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Mum’s dream holiday turns to nightmare after cancer diagnosis

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Julia McAndrew, in hospital in Mexico.

A mother who went to Mexico on a dream holiday to spend Christmas with family is too weak to return home after being diagnosed with advanced cancer.

From the minute Julia McAndrew landed in the South American country, her health took a major downward spiral.

Her son and daughter were shocked when she asked for a wheelchair to make it through the airport.

She and daughter Eliska had flown out to see her son Patrick, who had relocated to Mexico to run an online learning business.

They initially thought she had fallen ill due to the rigours of a 22-hour, multi-stop flight.

But when her stomach problems did not improve and she began to lose a lot of weight and suffered from very low energy, they sought medical help.

This had to be done privately and without the financial help of an insurance company, Patrick reveals.

She was initially diagnosed with anaemia and kidney failure and underwent various treatments, including blood transfusions that appeared to be working.

But three weeks ago, medics discovered that what she had was Stage 4 breast cancer. Julia had cancer a decade ago but was given the all-clear after receiving treatment and a major change in lifestyle.

“It’s returned with a vengeance this time around. It’s spread to her pelvis, ribs and lungs,” reflects Patrick.

The cost of the treatment is $40,000 (€33,000) a month. Her family are hoping to build up her strength enough to endure the long flight home to Oranmore.

They have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise €280,000 to pay for her treatment and in less than a week a phenomenal €36,000 has been donated.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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