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RTE’s Galway move is still on the long finger

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Plans by the state broadcaster, RTE, to move its regional studios to the campus of Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) remain on ice.

RTÉ has confirmed to the Connacht Tribune that there are no immediate plans to implement the proposal to move from its city centre studios at the Hynes Building, to the Dublin Road campus.

RTÉ this week reiterated that it would only be moving to the GMIT campus if, and when, it makes financial sense to do so.

In September, 2012, RTÉ surprised staff at its regional offices around the country when it announced plans to join forces with ITs, and to relocate studios to colleges nationwide.

The Galway studios, based in the Hynes Building for over three decades, was to be relocated to GMIT’s Wellpark campus, known as Cluain Mhuire, home of its humanities, arts and media departments.

Long-term the plan within RTÉ is to merge the Galway facility with the TG4 news service located in Báile na hAbhann in Cois Fharraige.

The move to Wellpark was due to start at the beginning of 2013 and was one which was warmly welcomed by GMIT at the time. The move never proceeded, however.

In the past fortnight, GMIT and RTÉ in Galway, as part of a “partnership”, announced plans for a spring talk series. The press release made no mention of the relocation proposal.

In a statement to this newspaper, the national broadcaster said: “RTÉ’s partnerships with Institutes of Technologies are across many different levels and are continuing to develop since they were first announced in 2012. They are not just related to physical moves.

“To date RTÉ Regional studios in Dundalk, Waterford and Athlone have relocated to their local IT campuses, which has proved very successful.”

In relation to the planned Galway move to GMIT lands, RTÉ’s press office quoted its Deputy Director General Kevin Bakhurst who wrote an editorial for the Irish Daily Mail in September 2013 in which he then said: “In Sligo and Galway, we won’t be physically relocating in the short-term but we are continuing to build up important working partnerships with the local ITs. RTÉ will move only when it makes financial sense.”

RTÉ this week said, “This continues to be the position presently.”

It added: “As the press release with GMIT stated last week, RTÉ’s partnership with the institute provides ongoing opportunities for both organisations to collaborate and work together. RTÉ’s relationship with GMIT has been very successful and welcoming to date, and one which we very much hope to continuing developing.”

RTÉ did not give details of when the planned move might proceed.

CITY TRIBUNE

Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill as event confirmed

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill this weekend as an event has been announced for Sunday.

It’s been confirmed by organisers on social media – who say they’re being unfairly portrayed in a negative light.

In a statement, the Galway Car Scene group say they pay road tax like all other road users – and they have “every right” to be in Salthill this weekend.

It comes as they’ve confirmed the event will be taking place there on Sunday as originally planned.

They add it’s unfair to accuse them of blocking up Salthill and other parts of the city given the chronic traffic issues every day of the week.

They’ve also created an online petition calling for a designated place for car enthusiasts to go – which has so far gathered almost 250 signatures.

It claims the car enthusiast community in Galway has been unfairly painted as a negative and anti-social group.

The group say they’re happy to go elsewhere, but say any time they try to find a venue they’re shut out.

The event planned for Sunday has encountered significant opposition, much of which is based on a previous “Salthill Sundays” event held in May.

Those opposed say they’re not against an event of this kind in principle – but they strongly feel that Salthill just isn’t the right venue.

It’s also argued that if the organisers want to be taken seriously, they have to engage with stakeholders like Galway City Council and Gardaí to ensure a well-planned and safe event.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cars down to one-way system on Salthill Promenade

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A one-way system of traffic may be introduced along the Promenade in Salthill to facilitate the introduction of temporary cycle lanes.

The suggestion appeared to come as a shock to some City Council members who supported the cycle lane in a vote last month – one has called for a “full discussion again” on what exactly they had actually approved.

Councillors had voted 17-1 in favour of the principle of providing a cycleway that will stretch from Grattan Road all along the Prom.

The motion that passed at the September meeting proposed that the Council “shall urgently seek” to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of the Prom.

It was agreed that from the Blackrock Tower junction to the Barna Road would be a one-way cycle track.

The motion was voted on without debate, which meant Council officials did not have an opportunity to question the proposal.

At a meeting on Monday, the debate was revisited when Uinsinn Finn, Director of Services for Transportation, indicated that a one-way traffic system would be introduced in Salthill to facilitate a two-way cycle lane from Grattan Road to Blackrock.

This could mean that the outbound lane of traffic, closest to the sea, could be closed to all traffic bar bikes.

Mr Finn said that he would have sought clarity at the previous meeting – if debate were allowed – about what was meant by ‘temporary’.

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

Galway Christmas Market gets go-ahead for next month

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s the first real sign of a restoration of normality in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors in the city – the return of the Christmas Market next month to Eyre Square.

This week, the City Council’s planning department gave the go-ahead for the outdoor retail and gourmet food ‘spread’ that has been part of the festive season in Galway since 2010.

The exception was last year when, like so many other public gatherings since the Covid crisis broke in March 2020, the event had to be cancelled because of public health concerns.

Christmas Market Organiser, Maria Moynihan Lee, Managing Director of Milestone Inventive, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that she had received official confirmation on Thursday from the City Council of the go-ahead being given for the event.

“This is really wonderful news for the city and especially so in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors. For every €1 spent at the market another €3 will be spent on the high street – this will be a real boost for Galway,” she said.

Maria Moynihan Lee confirmed that the market would have an earlier than usual start of Friday, November 12 and would run through until the Wednesday evening of December 22.

(Photo: Declan Colohan)

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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