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Connacht Tribune

Roadworks causing traffic build-up in Dunmore

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Temporary traffic lights at a dangerous stretch of road in North Galway is resulting in a build-up of traffic into the town of Dunmore.

The lights were erected last week on the main Tuam to Dunmore road at a location known as Twenty Minute Hill.

Galway County Council’s intention is to widen the road at this location – and while there is agreement with a landowner on one side, the same cannot be said with the landowner on the other side as negotiations continue.

If there was consent of both property owners, then the road widening programme – designed and funded by Transport Infrastructure Ireland – could be completed by this time next year.

However, if the Council has to go down the road of compulsory purchase, then the whole process could take as long as four years to complete, according to some officials.

The matter was raised by Cllr Karey McHugh at a meeting of Tuam Municipal Council when she said that traders in Dunmore were concerned about the loss of business as a result of the lights.

Cllr McHugh asked for some clarity as to how long the lights would be in place as she added that there seemed to be some conflicting views on that front.

Senior Engineer John Coyle explained that the village enhancement scheme currently taking place in Dunmore was a contributory factor to any traffic congestion.

He said that the lights were synchronised so that motorists were left waiting less than two minutes for a changeover. However, he agreed to keep an eye on the situation.

With regard to the length of time the lights will be in operation, Mr Coyle said that it was dependent on the outcome of discussions with one of the landowners concerned.

He said that if agreement could be reached all round, then there was every possibility that the road widening project could be completed by the end of next year.

Cllr Tom McHugh said that the town enhancement scheme was progressing very well and it was a case of having to get used of the lights on the main road until the works were completed.

He did express some concern that there may be lights erected at Bridge Street in Dunmore – which is extremely narrow and two cars can only pass with extreme caution – but he was assured that this was not the case.

Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Siblings find each other – and their Connemara roots – after 80 years

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Reunited...Pat and Miceál McKeown outside their mother Síle’s birthplace in Carna.

By Erin Gibbons

A family separated for over 80 years was reunited at the end of an emotional journey in Connemara last weekend – thanks to DNA testing and the expert help of heritage researchers.

Pat McKeown, who lives in Staffordshire in the UK, is the daughter of Síle Gorham from Roisín Na Mainiach, Carna – but she was given up for adoption and reared for a time in a Belfast Mother and Baby Home.

Now, at the age of 81, she found her roots – returning to her mother’s native place for the first time last weekend, in the company of her long-lost brother Micheál.

It was an emotional end to a lifelong search for her roots that even led her to hire a private detective to try and locate her family and to discover her name.

All of this proved unsuccessful – and she had effectively given up her search when she was contacted unexpectedly by a man called Miceál McKeown, who turned out to be her brother.

Micheál – an artist and sculptor – and his daughter Orla had made the connection through DNA testing, after Miceál too had set out to discover more about his own roots.

That revealed that Síle Gorham had married Michael McKeown in 1939, and Síle went on to have three more children named Áine, Séan and Miceál.

Pat visited Connemara last weekend for the first time to learn about her mother Síle and the Connemara ancestry which she feels was robbed from her for her entire 81 years.

She was accompanied by Miceál, his wife Rosemary, daughter Orla and son-in-law Rueben Keogh.

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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