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CITY TRIBUNE

Shark Swimming Club gearing up for 40th anniversary celebrations

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Shark Swimming Club coaches, from left: Noel Barrett, Lorraine Copley, Roisin Lally, Trevor Collins and Brendan Kelly.

Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

HAVING scooped Swim Ireland’s Connacht Club of the Year award last November, Shark Swimming Club will celebrate another milestone when they host a special function at Galway Rowing Club on Woodquay to celebrate 40 years in existence on Friday, June 22.

Ahead of that function next month, officials are calling on past swimmers, former coaches and retired committee members to make contact with the club so they can add them to the guest list for what promises to be a momentous occasion.

To the forefront of organising and planning the event is Chairperson Seamus Lennon who has been rummaging through the Tribune archives and researching the history of the club for his presentation on the night.

“One of the founder members was Maura Kelly and she is still alive and her son Brendan is one of our coaches,” notes Lennon. “So, that is a nice link. When you go through the years to find out who was on the committee, there were hundreds of people, along with thousands of swimmers and lots of coaches.”

In a press cutting from the Connacht Tribune, dated November 11, 1977, it was reported that ‘swimming has been given a much-needed boost with the launching of a new swimming club in the city’. The Acting President, Bill Connell, who sadly passed away recently, had highlighted the development of young talent was the main objective of Shark SC.

That mantra still holds true and since those early weeks and months when membership numbered at 50, it has now risen to 125 today. As healthy as that figure looks, Lennon outlines it has exceeded that total in the past but it subsequently dropped all the way back to 50 again when Leisureland was forced to close for a year due to storm damage in early 2014.

“When it closed down, we had to find space in other pools and the times weren’t great. We were up in Renmore (Kingfisher) a lot and most of us lived the other side of town in Knocknacarra and Salthill.

“With the location of the other pools and the times, which we couldn’t really control, and because they were in short supply, we lost a lot of members. We went down to close to 50 members but when we eventually got back in to Leisureland, we grew back up to 120 or so again,” recalls the Monaghan native, who is Head of the Science Department at GMIT.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
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

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
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 City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
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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