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Restrictions placed on events at Claregalway Castle

Declan Tierney



The many events that take place at Claregalway Castle, which have become hugely popular over the years, now require planning permission from Galway County Council, it has been ruled.

Claregalway Castle, which is owned by Dr Eamonn O’Donoghue, is the venue for the annual garden festival while it also plays host to food, craft and educational events, many of them for charities.

At the moment the castle is being restored to its former glory although this restoration process has been taking a considerable amount of time due to the detail that has to be adhered to as it is a protected structure.

But the owner of the castle has now been told that in order to host activities and events at this location, planning permission is required.

An Bord Pleanála has concluded that the staging of certain activities and events constitutes development on the grounds that a change of use has occurred. This means that planning permission is required to host such events.

Claregalway Castle plays host to events such as the Galway Architectural Festival, Galway Garden Festival, a number of food fairs, the Clare River boat race, an annual family fun day, summer music festivals as well as some international conferences.

The site accommodates a 15th century tower house which has been refurbished for residential use. The refurbishment is on-going and has been the subject of various applications for planning permission. It is not lived in currently.

The An Bord Pleanála inspector was informed during his site inspection that stone which is worked and carved on site is exclusively used for the restoration of buildings within the grounds.

Engineers on behalf of Dr O’Donoghue insisted that the activities on the grounds of Claregalway Castle did not constitute development as they did not involve works or it would not constitute the change of use of the grounds.

“This broad approach ignores the generally accepted principle that an event or an activity does not come within the definition of development and therefore does not involve works or a material change of use,” it was stated in the appeal to An Bord Pleanála.

However, the appeal failed and now planning permission has to be sought when events are held at Claregalway Castle.

Connacht Tribune

Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones




These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.

But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.

If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.


All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.

You can email that with a photograph to us, to or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.

We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.

This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances.  You can contact our team for further details at

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WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!

Enda Cunningham



Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.

A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.

Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.

Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down. 

The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.

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Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.

Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.

However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.

“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.

Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.

“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.

There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
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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