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Scariest show in town as Macnas pulls out the stops for ghoul parade

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A scary character.

This year’s Macnas Halloween parade surpassed all expectations for the 30,000 spectators who braved gale force winds to witness a ghoulishly terrifying gathering of other world creatures.

The 16-foot giant Crum, powered by a team of ten, was said to be on a journey in search of beings to sacrifice in order to satisfy his enormous blood lust.

But in fact Crum appeared to be among the most benevolent of the characters in Symphony for the Restless, which took over the streets of the city on Sunday evening as darkness fell.

Far more horrifying for the little ones  – and adults of a nervous disposition – were the ghouls with terrible eyes who seemed to almost reach into your soul as they stared through you. Gollum from Lord of the Rings did not have a patch on the hideousness of these nasties.

Buoyed by a local brass jazz ensemble, the 2014 Macnas offering was nothing short of spectacular.

Several families were so impressed they hot-footed it around the town to catch the parade for a second time.

Once again we were treated to a succession of gigantic animals – there was a bum-shaking elephant, a giant winged Pegasus, a Troy-style horse and an evil-looking goat. An enormous sun somewhat lightened the dark sky.

The 300 volunteers who donned fabulous constumes and makeup engaged in some serious interaction with the crowd, pulling some of them out for the odd dance while other spectators were treated to some creepy embraces.

It was the second year that the company has staged a parade to celebrate Samhain – said to be the yearly point in time where the two worlds meet. They asked the public for donations to fund the spectacle following a row with the Galway Arts Festival over funding to stage the parade during the summer of 2013.

This year’s offering was getting a second outing immediately, taking top billing in Dublin for the Bram Stoker Festival on Bank Holiday Monday.

Perhaps the second performance fee (and a grant from Galway City Council) enabled artistic director Noeline Kavanagh to go all out this year. There was no expense spared for this production. It managed to go up a notch on last year. It was quite simply the artistic highlight of the year for street theatre in Galway.

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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