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Salthill-Silverstrand coast walk moves forward

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Coastal walkway in Galway takes step forward

City councillors are to be asked to set aside funding from the upcoming local authority budget for consultants to progress the proposed coastal walkway from Salthill to Silverstrand.

Galway City Council has applied for a final foreshore licence to carry out work on the €7 million project – which has met with numerous delays over the past decade.

A spokesperson for the local authority said that when the licence is approved tenders for the works can be advanced.

The approval is required so that technical documentation can be drawn up for tenders for work on the walkway to be progressed.

“It will be necessary to provide funding for such consultancy [work] in the 2015 budget,” a Council spokesperson said.

The project will see the construction of scenic pathways and footbridges spanning the shoreline between the two tourist attractions, while protecting the coast against erosion.

Galway West TD Brian Walsh said: “This is an important project from a number of perspectives. Firstly, a coastal protection scheme is urgently required to ensure that Silverstrand beach and Lough Rusheen are not lost to erosion.

“But the scheme also represents a great opportunity to construct an important amenity and enhance the tourism value of areas west of the city. It’s a chance to maximise the potential of Salthill, Silverstrand, and the scenic area in between.

“Environmental and engineering surveys have been carried out in the coastal area between Sailín and Silverstrand, which includes landmark drumlins at Knocknagoneen and Gentian Hill.

“Erosion has caused significant damage to the geographical features and has left cliff faces at both locations in a dangerous condition. Remedial work will take place to make these areas safe as part of the project,” said Deputy Walsh.

The Council’s application for a foreshore licence will now be assessed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

“This is an important project with enormous positive potential for Galway, its residents, and its many visitors. I will be supporting this scheme every step of the way until its completion,” added the Fine Gael TD.

An Environmental Impact Statement – carried out for the local authority in 2006 – found that without erosion prevention work, Silverstrand beach would be eradicated within 25 to 40 years, while the Knocknagoneen drumlin beside it would be cut off from the mainland.

City councillors are to be asked to set aside funding from the upcoming local authority budget for consultants to progress the proposed coastal walkway from Salthill to Silverstrand.

Galway City Council has applied for a final foreshore licence to carry out work on the €7 million project – which has met with numerous delays over the past decade.

A spokesperson for the local authority said that when the licence is approved tenders for the works can be advanced.

The approval is required so that technical documentation can be drawn up for tenders for work on the walkway to be progressed.

“It will be necessary to provide funding for such consultancy [work] in the 2015 budget,” a Council spokesperson said.

The project will see the construction of scenic pathways and footbridges spanning the shoreline between the two tourist attractions, while protecting the coast against erosion.

Galway West TD Brian Walsh said: “This is an important project from a number of perspectives. Firstly, a coastal protection scheme is urgently required to ensure that Silverstrand beach and Lough Rusheen are not lost to erosion.

“But the scheme also represents a great opportunity to construct an important amenity and enhance the tourism value of areas west of the city. It’s a chance to maximise the potential of Salthill, Silverstrand, and the scenic area in between.

“Environmental and engineering surveys have been carried out in the coastal area between Sailín and Silverstrand, which includes landmark drumlins at Knocknagoneen and Gentian Hill.

“Erosion has caused significant damage to the geographical features and has left cliff faces at both locations in a dangerous condition. Remedial work will take place to make these areas safe as part of the project,” said Deputy Walsh.

The Council’s application for a foreshore licence will now be assessed by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

“This is an important project with enormous positive potential for Galway, its residents, and its many visitors. I will be supporting this scheme every step of the way until its completion,” added the Fine Gael TD.

An Environmental Impact Statement – carried out for the local authority in 2006 – found that without erosion prevention work, Silverstrand beach would be eradicated within 25 to 40 years, while the Knocknagoneen drumlin beside it would be cut off from the mainland.

Connacht Tribune

One half of Hollywood’s golden couple sings Galway’s praises after trip

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Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello and his chihuahua Bubbles, with Fergus Lally of Galway’s Celtic Chauffeurs at the Cliffs of Moher.

He may be married to the highest paid actress in the world, but that did not stop Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello savouring the best that Galway had to offer – hailing the people, the cheese, chocolate and salmon during his trip west.

The American actor, who played stripper Big Dick Richie in Steven Soderbergh’s box office hit Magic Mike, was not joined by Modern Family’s Sofía Vergara until a week later on his trip around Cork.

But he did ring his wife of six years in the US while exploring the countryside of south Galway and Clare with guide, Fergus Lally, who had picked him and his chihuahua Bubbles up from the Glenlo Abbey Hotel in Bushypark on the city’s edge.

“I had a great time with him. I brought him to the Cliffs of Moher and along the way we stopped off at the Hazel Mountain Chocolate factory, the cheese shop at the Aillwee Caves and he had a tasting at the Burren Smoke House in Lisdoonvarna,” reveals Fergus.

“He had an amazing time tasting all the foods. The back of the car was full – everybody did well out of him. He was blown away with the places I brought him. He loved the history of the Corcomroe Abbey and Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara. He was a great guy. I was delighted to drive him. The two of us just clicked.”

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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Connacht Tribune

Covid-19 outbreak compounds UHG crisis

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UHG's Emergency Department.

As Government applied the brakes on the planned full reopening of society this Friday, the West’s largest public hospital remained in a state of crisis – dealing with Covid-19 outbreaks, large numbers of patients and lengthy wait times in its Emergency Department and postponed elective procedures.

An outbreak of Covid-19 at University Hospital Galway (UHG) was having a significant impact on critical care services, Saolta University Healthcare Group has warned.

UHG confirmed it was dealing with Covid-19 outbreaks on two wards of the city hospital. A further two wards were being used exclusively to treat Covid positive cases.

This was impacting other patients – elective procedures were postponed at UHG this week due a lack of beds.

On Monday, 41 patients with Covid-19 were being treated in UHG compared with 19 the same day last week.

Portiuncula was treating eight Covid positive patients on Monday, twice as many as last week.

There were two Covid patients in ICU in Ballinasloe and six in ICU in UHG; there were four in ICU in total at both hospitals last week.

Saolta said that people presenting at the Emergency Department in UHG were experiencing long waiting times.

“The hospital has seen a significant increase in patients presenting to the hospital and many of these patients are very sick and need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.

“As a result of the ongoing pressures and lack of bed capacity a number of elective procedures are being postponed. Patients are being contacted directly if their procedure is being postponed,” Saolta said.

Read the full story – and our latest on Covid-19 – 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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Connacht Tribune

Galway lecturer’s transatlantic story of Boston dynasty and Irish roots

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Larry Donnelly, with the Bostonian, on the grounds of NUI Galway.

Of all the transatlantic cultural differences that greeted Bostonian Larry Donnelly on arrival in Galway, the search for a clean towel in something called a hot press left him puzzled and perplexed most of all. He also came to quickly realise that Hoover had so conquered the vacuum cleaner market that the brand name had become a verb.

But the Boston-born son of an Irish father and Scottish mother – from a famed American political dynasty with roots firmly embedded in Galway and the west – found infinitely more that united his old and new home than divided them.

His voice is familiar to radio listeners from his frequent analysis of American politics; his thoughts are already well-known to readers of his weekly column in TheJournal.ie – and law students at NUIG have benefited from his expertise in that field on both sides of the Atlantic.

He spent a fair portion of lockdown writing the Bostonian, a biography in part – not just his own, but of his family and his uncle, US Congressman Brian Donnelly (the man forever synonymous with the Donnelly Visas) in particular.

Typical of him, he rarely puts himself centre-stage but what he succeeds in doing is putting his life, his work and his journey into context. He was a man with roots on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean long before he ever made the journey to live here.

The photo on the cover of the Bostonian sets out the stall for the book, uniting uncle and nephew in an iconic pic; US Congressman Brian Donnelly marching in the 1983 Dorchester Day Parade in Boston – and an eight-year-old Larry Donnelly in the baseball cap looking up in wonderment.

“I’d always intended it to be a book about more than me. I particularly wanted it to be the story of Brian’s political career because that deserves to be told – but I didn’t think he would allow that to happen, because he has always loathed the limelight,” he says.

Read the full story – and an exclusive excerpt from the Bostonian – 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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