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Connacht Tribune

Sites in County Galway mooted to house city Travellers

Dara Bradley

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Two sites in County Galway have been suggested as suitable for halting sites to re-home Travellers from Galway City, who are currently living in overcrowded hardstands.

Galway Airport at Carnmore was flagged as a possible site for caravans to help solve the city’s Traveller accommodation shortage, which is said to be at crisis point.

A site in Oranmore, owned by Galway City Council, is another option being eyed-up by the local authority.

During a discussion on the mid-term review of Galway City’s Traveller Accommodation Plan (TAP), 2014-2018, a kite was flown about the possibility of using Galway Airport as a halting site.

Fine Gael City Councillor, Pearce Flannery said the facility was jointly owned by Galway City and County Councils and was currently “lying idle”.

Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said it was not true to say it was idle but Cllr Flannery insisted it was “radically underutilised” and would be ideal for a halting site.

Cllr Flannery told the special meeting that the Galway Airport site could be used as a short-to-medium term solution.

“This is not a Galway City problem. We need to deal with it in the context of our county counterparts,” he said.

Cllr Flannery urged Mr McGrath to liaise with Kevin Kelly, CE of Galway County Council, with a view to finding a city and county solution.

“I don’t agree with hardstands and never will,” said Cllr Flannery who said the long-term solution was “societal integration”.

Mr McGrath said that Galway Airport was “not properly zoned” to facilitate a halting site. And he pointed out that half of it was owned by the County Council.

“So, you have a problem,” he said, hinting that Cllr Flannery’s proposal might not find favour among Galway County Councillors.

Mayor of Galway, City Councillor Noel Larkin, said: “I don’t think Galway Airport will solve the problem. You can’t just take over the airport.”

Councillors were given a map and some detail about what the City Council has planned in terms of Traveller Accommodation at Carrowmoneesh in Oranmore.

A proposal for 10 caravan bays on the eight-hectare site off the N18, which is adjacent to Galway Metals and Deerpark and opposite Galway Business Park, was presented to City Councillors.

Mr McGrath said anything in Oranmore would require obtaining planning permission from the County Council, and subsequently An Bórd Pleanála.

Senior Executive Officer, Dermot Mahon, outlined how Traveller accommodation in the city is at “breaking point”.

Cúl Trá in Salthill is a six-bay halting site that is severely overcrowded with 18

caravans and 35 children living there.

The meeting heard how Cúl Trá is a fire hazard and an ‘Carrickmines’ in waiting – a reference to the tragedy in South Dublin where 10 Travellers including a young pregnant mother lost their lives at a fire in a halting site in 2015.

The ‘temporary’ halting site at Carrowbrowne has been there for eight years. The 13 families with 46 children are living on a site where planning permission has expired in December 2015.

Galway County Council has notified the City Council that it is an unauthorised development and “enforcement proceedings” are anticipated.

Mr Mahon outlined plans for five new halting sites at Keeraun in Knocknacarra, Westside, Headford Road, Merlin Park and Oranmore.

City Couniillors deferred approval of the mid-term review until the March 6 meeting.

Connacht Tribune

Time and history conferred character on this home

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The Hermitage, Ballymoe: on the market with a €425,000 guide price.

The Hermitage at Lisnageeragh, Ballymoe is a property on which time and history has conferred a character that no new property could mirror.

Overlooking 16.3 acres of rolling green fields which are included in the sale, this is indeed a unique house and comes to market with charming well maintained stone buildings. These could provide further family accommodation, holiday rentals or craft studios.

The front hall has a beautiful, curved window and leads to two reception rooms on either side of the house. The sitting room has an open fireplace with a black cast iron surround and wooden floors which gleam from years of care and reflect the light coming from two large windows. To the right-hand side, the dining room also has an attractive bay window and an oil-fired stove and it is indeed the perfect social /entertaining space.

To the rear of the house the kitchen is a classic example of a successful marriage of the old and the new. Bespoke shaker style units combine perfectly with modern recessed lighting, attractive tiling and includes a pantry area to one side. A good-sized bedroom and adjacent bathroom complete the downstairs of the main house.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms one of which has an en suite shower. The main bedroom is a delightful space which leads to another small room, a perfect nursery or walk in wardrobe.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

A time when we learned once more that no man is an island

Francis Farragher

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Country singer Dolly Parton getting the jab: she sang about it and part-funded research on the vaccine.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of the oft-repeated pub jokes whenever the price drink was increased, whether it by Finance Ministers or publicans who felt that their margins were being whittled away, was that: “As long as it doesn’t get scarce, we’ll be happy enough.”

Who could have believed though in the first month or two of 2020 that this scenario would unfold (at least in pubs), where the opportunity to meet friends – and the odd ‘auld enemy’ too – over a couple of pints in the local bar would be snatched away from us?

We probably have learned to adapt to the reality of the pandemic and most of us will remember the real sense of fear and constriction that pervaded our every word and action early last year.

2020 was the universal version of ‘annus horribilis’ – the term made famous by Queen Elizabeth in 1992 when royal marriages started to collapse like cards houses in the breeze.

Being of rural stock, I loved the little video earlier this from country music icon, Dolly Parton, who adapted a verse of her famous Jolene song to mark her first shot of the Moderna vaccine (she also donated $1 million to its research) in a very sincere effort to try and encourage the general public to get inoculated.

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

I’m begging of you not to hesitate,

Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

Cause when you’re dead that’s a bit too late.”

A year before that, times were indeed very strange across Ireland and indeed the world. I remember on the Sunday night before St. Patrick’s Day when a sense of incredulity greeted the news in my own local that ‘a lot of the pubs in Galway city were closing down’. Surely, this couldn’t happen in our own little watering hole in the sticks, but it did.

Michael Karmen’s soundtrack from the Band of Brothers series – a wonder piece of music even to my untrained ear – will always remind me of that early Spring period of lockdown in 2020.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

€4.5m worth of property sold during online event

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This detached house at Seacrest in Knocknacarra attracted a "staggering" level of interest.

More than €4.5 million worth of sales were recorded at the O’Donnellan & Joyce auction last week, where 350 people had pre-registered to bid on the 40 properties which went under the hammer.

80% of the properties sold during the auction or following negotiations immediately afterwards.

Among the properties sold at the auction were:

106 Seacrest, Knocknacarra, Galway. Guiding at €250,000 due to the extent of renovation and upgrade works required, the auctioneers were staggered at the level of interest in this 4-bed detached house.

Siobhra Hennessy, Senior Auction Co-Ordinator, said: “There is an increasing demand for city centre homes in need of repair. Couples want to put their own stamp on a property and often look for properties similar to this.”

Bidding commenced at €250,000 but quickly rose to over €350,000. After intense bidding from a number of internet and telephone bidders, the sale price of €364,000 was reached and the deal was done.

192 Bohermore, Galway. A 2-bed terraced house which attracted great attention, with many enquiries and bidders pre-registering. The house needs complete restoration and modernisation works but obviously appealed to a wide audience. It guided at €120,000, but sold for €179,000, despite the great amount of work required. Again, this is an example of a near-derelict building that offered great potential.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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