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CITY TRIBUNE

Skeletal remains on Shop Street to be excavated

Denise McNamara

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Archaeologists are to excavate skeletal remains found on Shop Street during the ‘big dig’ due to fears they would not survive future work on underground services if left in situ.

Fragments of a skull, pelvis, vertebrae and leg were uncovered half a metre from Café Express’ front door on Shop Street during the current excavation.

After consultation with the National Monuments Service, the Moore Group applied for an excavation licence to remove the bone fragments. It appeared that most of the skeletal remains had been disturbed before and been laid together in one pile. However, there was one group of bones which may be in their original burial.

Declan Moore of the Moore Group Archaeological and Environmental Services said they could not say when the human remains would be removed as they were still waiting for official permission.

“These are disarticulated human remains – they are not fully complete – so it is a sensitive matter. We are going to remove them within the next few weeks but I couldn’t say at this stage when that will happen.”

Galway City Council Heritage Officer Dr Jim Higgins said the remains will now go to the National Museum for a more forensic examination by an osteoarchaeologist.

“They will see if the remnants belong to one or two or more people. They’ll be able to tell if there was anything unusual about the death, if they died from disease or a natural death. To determine the age, they will need a long bone to determine the height of the corpse or they may can look at the dentition (teeth),” he explained to the Galway City Tribune.

“To date the remains, they can send a sample for carbon dating to determine whether it’s medieval but you can often determine that from the context – if found in a particular layer of earth – or if beside pottery that goes back to the 13th or 14th century.

“I would say it’s most likely from St Nicholas’ Cemetery but radiocarbon dating would clarify that.”

The osteoarchaeologist will write up a report in a matter of weeks, which will be sent to the archaeologists, Galway City Council and the National Monuments Service. The remains will stay in the National Museum unless a request is made from another designated museum to display them.

“Galway City Museum is one of 17 or 18 designated museums in the country that have been approved by the National Museum of Ireland so the director could apply to have them displayed here in Galway if the bones were of sufficient interest which depends on the report.”

Their removal has not delayed work on the underground services due to the presence of an archaeologist during the project.

The pedestrianised spine of the city is being dug up in stages as part of a multi-million upgrade of the drainage and underground service system and will eventually be covered by a new surface to replace the cobblestones.

CITY TRIBUNE

Gardaí raid cocaine lab in Galway City

Enda Cunningham

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Some of the cash and drugs seized by Gardaí in Galway

Two men have been arrested following a Garda raid in which a cocaine laboratory was discovered in Galway City.

In total, Gardaí seized €178,500 in cash, €50,000 worth of cocaine (subject to analysis) and a number of drug manufacturing components as part of an intelligence-led operation into the sale and supply of drugs in the Galway Garda Division.

At 7.40pm yesterday (Sunday) the Divisional Drugs Unit in Galway stopped and searched a car on the M6 motorway in the vicinity of Loughrea where €17,580 worth of cash was seized.

As part of a follow-up search, Gardaí uncovered what is believed to be a cocaine processing laboratory and seized cocaine (pending analysis) with an estimated value of €50,000 at an address in Galway City.

At this address, Gardaí seized a quantity of mixing agent, a cocaine press, vacuum packer, industrial gas masks, and a cash counting machine, which are believed to have been used in the manufacture of cocaine for sale or supply.

In a further follow-up search, Gardaí seized €161,000 in cash at a separate premises in the city.

One man in his 20s was arrested following the detection on the M6, while a second man in his 30s was arrested at a property in Galway City.

Both men are currently detained at Galway Garda Station under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drugs Trafficking) Act 1996.

These seizures were part of an intelligence led operation and were detected by the Galway Divisional Drugs Unit with the assistance of the Western Regional Armed Support Unit.

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CITY TRIBUNE

“It will be akin to the notorious Rahoon flats”

Enda Cunningham

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The Rahoon flats, which were built in 1972 and demolished in 1998, widely regarded as a failed social housing project.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – More than 700 local residents have signed a petition against plans for the construction of 330 apartments in Knocknacarra – which have been likened to “the notorious Rahoon flats”.

Child safeguarding concerns have also been raised by the principal of Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh – who pointed out that the apartments will look directly into 19 classrooms.

A total of 27 objections were lodged against Glenveagh Living’s plans to build 332 apartments in six blocks – ranging from four storeys to seven storeys in height.

Locals have demanded An Bord Pleanála hold an oral hearing into the plans – that planning authority is due to make a decision by March 20, although it can decide to hold such a hearing first.

A computer-generated image of the Glenveagh plans for the site opposite Gort na Bró and beside Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh.

One of the objections – which accuses the developer of designing “tenement style” homes in a “blatant attempt to profiteer from the housing crisis” – was signed by more than 700 local residents.

Another objector said the development was “akin to the notorious Rahoon flats, with people being packed on top of each other”.

Locals have raised concerns about the huge number of apartments planned; overshadowing of homes; inadequate open space, playing pitches and community infrastructure; parking and traffic problems; low quality of design and road safety.

Glenveagh Living did not respond to a request from the Galway City Tribune for comment.
This is a preview only. To read extensive coverage of the Glenveagh plans and objections, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Arts fraternity rallies as Theo faces deportation

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Less than a year after being invited by the Arts Council to perform at a conference about diversity in the arts, a musician, DJ and rapper – who is about to embark on a project for Galway 2020 – is facing deportation.

Theophilus Ndlovu left Zimbabwe after what he claims was a lifetime of abuse at the hands of the people who were supposed to mind him.

His mother left when he was just six years old and he never met his father. He was placed in the care of an unofficial foster family but it was never a happy arrangement.

“These people I stayed with were abusing me. They were never my family. I was running away from persecution and abuse and the way I was treated by these people. I had to fend for myself since I was ten years old,” he recalls.

When Theo was 20, he saved up enough money from mowing lawns and selling chickens to escape, arriving in Ireland where he sought asylum. Authorities placed him in a Direct Provision Centre in Finglas for a fortnight before he was transferred to the Great Western Direct Provision Centre off Eyre Square, where he has remained for nearly four years.

Almost immediately, Theo felt at home.

“This is my family. Galway is where I found my voice. It has become my home. It is just where I’m meant to be.”

Theo has immersed himself in the arts community and has become a leading hip-hop artist, known as Touché, performing regularly at venues such as the Róisín Dubh and the Black Gate. He was instrumental in getting fellow asylum seekers and refugees involved in music collaborations.

He is a founding member of the multicultural music project ‘Atmos Collective’ and has facilitated numerous music workshops in Galway, “teaching, motivating and inspiring hundreds of young people along the way”, according to co-founder Alice McDowell, an Australian filmmaker and fiddler.

The collective was recently granted funding by the Galway European Capital of Culture 2020 committee to host community music workshops in the city and county over the next year as part of their ‘Small Towns Big Ideas’ scheme.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here.

The petition is available online HERE

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