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CITY TRIBUNE

Rising rents will destroy this great city’s soul

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Double Vision with Charlie Adley

The Swiss couple next to me at PJ McDonagh’s are getting stuck into plates of oysters. Their tweenie son with a cheeky grin is watching me out of the corner of his eye, fascinated by the way I’m creating a lacy lattice of ketchup over my chips.

Then he lifts the squeezy bottle and tries to do the same, but in his eagerness lashes a scarlet splash over half the table.

In a flash both his parents are onto him, but I laugh out loud and point to my spudular artwork.

“He was only trying to learn about local culture!”

We all laugh. He flashes me a grateful toothy grin.

How could you feel anything but love while eating this freshest of fish? Steamed inside a crispy batter, forkfuls of snow white flakes of cod, as fine as any anywhere in the world.

The chips are superb too, with a lingering potato hit up the schnoz as you exhale, which I do as I head up the river walkway to O’Brien’s Bridge.

I’m a man on a mission.

Well, no. I’m a scribbler on a long-overdue ramble, hoping to arrive at Taylor’s Bar early enough to find a barstool.

The only time I’ve been in there since it reopened was during the Arts Festival, and much as I enjoyed the nostalgia hit of walking back into my old pub, the place was absolutely jammers.

I knew I needed to come back after the madness and just be there; see how it felt.

At nighttime I had no particular spot in the old Taylor’s. I’d linger in the back bar, watching musicians mingled with hosteleros, and then chat to the hardcore regulars who inhabited the middle bar. Inevitably I’d end up in the front bar, where arty types with a capital ‘A’ engaged in drunken conversation and serious flirtation with self-described entrepreneurs from Shantalla and eccentric gardeners from the Claddagh.

Afternoons were a different matter. After work I’d take the barstool right at the end of the front window, cosily trapped by wall and bar.

Supping a mug of coffee I’d chat to ever-smiling Una, do the crossie and gently enjoy the space and place.

To read Charlie’s column in full, please see this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.

The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.

A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.

Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.

The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.

“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.

“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”

Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.

“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.

The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools

Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.

“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.

“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.

A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
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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