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CITY TRIBUNE

Ring Road ‘would be pollution threat to Rusheen Bay’

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Surface discharge from the new ring road in Cappagh would flow into the Barna Stream and into Rusheen Bay, a local resident has claimed.

The claim was made at the An Bord Pleanála oral hearing this week by Cappagh resident Kevin Gill, who argued that the planned drainage for the Cappagh valley is to allow run-off from the road to enter the local water course and to use existing sewers

“Any polluting surface discharge, such as heavy metal and hydro carbons, or surface water impacts during construction, can flow freely into Barna Stream, which flows through Barna Woods, home to a rare natural beech wood and out into Rusheen Bay both part of the Galway Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

“This discharge would be further exacerbated due to the lack of action on a local flooding issue on the Cappagh Road where after heavy rain a stream runs down our road directly where the proposed bypass junction is located,” he told the eighth day of the An Bord Pleanála hearing.

The Council responded to these claims by stating that “the source and location of this recurring local flooding is outside of the proposed works area and the proposed development boundary area”.

“The proposed road development, including its proposed drainage treatment, will not impact upon the existing flooding at this location nor will it alter the source of the flooding.”

Mr Gill asked how the engineers could have missed the fact there were no sewers in the area.

“What other parts of the plan don’t exist? How can we trust their planned construction, which destroys part of the eastern tributary of the stream, to stop the pollutant risks in an area subject to varying seasonal stream flow, when they can’t even survey the area sufficiently?

“Barna Stream’s source is in the Moycullen Bog Complex and directly links this to the Galway Bay Complex. One weekend of rain, when works are not taking place and a previously unmapped stream outside of the proposed works area, could wash pollution directly into multiple SACs, killing off the Salmon and Sea Trout spawning beds.”

Mr Gill said the road project would be at odds with the National Planning Framework (NPF), which states that the ‘liveability’ quality or of life of urban places was a priority.

“Considering the residents of Cappagh will experience a complete reversal from a safe, quiet, dark, unpolluted environment that provides plentiful foraging for animals, birds and people, to a permanently bright, polluted location, suffering from habitat fragmentation, with increased chance of serious health issues, where it is less safe due to busy road crossings and higher traffic levels, and suffers the severance of a forageable public access bóithrín that is older than any of us here – how does that scenario fit in with the NPF?” he asked.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article and extensive coverage of each day of the oral hearing this week, see the Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here.

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CITY TRIBUNE

WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!

Enda Cunningham

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects

Francis Farragher

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Council removes ‘shop local’ signage despite agreement with Latin Quarter

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Signage promoting a ‘eat, drink and shop local’ campaign, erected by a local business group, was removed by the Galway City Council – despite an understanding that permission had been granted.

The bilingual signage was placed on a number of solar compactor bins and bollard-control boxes in the city centre by the Latin Quarter business group, in an attempt to promote local businesses grappling with the effects of Covid-19.

A source in the group told the Galway City Tribune that the signage cost around €3,500 and that permission to erect it had been given by a ‘senior Council official’.

The signs were put up in mid-October but only lasted around two weeks when City Hall’s Environment Department had them removed, claiming that they had not been consulted.

“There was clearly a breakdown in communications in City Hall because we had permission from a senior official to proceed, and then the Environment Department took issue with the signs and insisted that they had to be removed,” said the source.

A Council spokesperson said they were currently in discussions with the Latin Quarter to provide promotional material and added “there’s been no falling out here”.
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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