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Sod turned on replica Claddagh cottage



Once a poor fishing village just outside the old city walls of Galway, the Claddagh is one of the oldest villages in Ireland with its existence having first been recorded with the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century.

Home to Victoria Cross recipient Thomas Grady, Claddagh locals have supplied the city with seafood up until as recently as the 19th century, and was often the prime location for regular fish markets.

The beautiful authentic Irish cottages that once dotted the area were sadly demolished in 1935 and were replaced by a housing estate scheme, much to the despair of those at the Claddagh Arts Centre who take pride in the Claddagh heritage.

With nothing remaining to remember the cherished history of the area, the Claddagh Arts Centre have teamed up with local campaigners to take matters into their own hands.

Extensive research was carried out by the Centre over the past year, everything from the dimensions of cottages to the construction materials used, and the hard work has since paid off.

The Centre has finally been granted planning permission to construct a brand new authentic Claddagh cottage.

The level of research is clear in the Centre’s promise to keep the cottage as close to the originals as possible, with everything from the doors to the roof to be constructed authentically.

The cottage will serve as a museum where members of the public can have a traditional cup of tea and a scone, or relax in the landscaped gardens.

The cottage and adjacent Arts Centre will offer workshops on stone and wood carving and be available for use for community events such as traditional music nights, Irish language classes and charity fundraisers.

The walls will be built with lime mortar and local stone, some sourced from an original thatched Claddagh cottage before being white washed.

A stone fireplace will similarly be made of locally-sourced stone and the roof will compose of bog oak rafters, cross members of hazel and willow before being topped with bog scraw and finished in wheaten straw thatch.

The floor will consist of local flagstone, the windows of old style timber sash, and the front and back doors will be half doors.

An emotional Kay Conroy, who has been campaigning for the cottage since 1968 finally had her dream realised when she was given the honour of turning the first sod on the build, last Thursday.

Local councillor Catherine Connolly and King of the Claddagh Mike Lynskey said a few words to mark the occasion along with proprietor of the Centre, Cathriona Walsh and her father.

“We have huge community support and we are certain that this project can only add to Galway’s bid for Capital of Culture 2020 and its reputation as a hub for history and the arts,” said Cathriona.

Official construction will commence on October 14, but the Centre has not received a single cent in funding by way of grants, and would be extremely grateful for any donations people would be willing to offer.

Depending on the amount, donations will be rewarded with anything from donor’s names inscribed on a stone of the cottage, to free rental space for events, or matching Claddagh wedding rings designed to the contributor’s specifications amongst other gifts.

Anyone interested in helping out with the project in other ways, such as the construction itself or promotion of the project can call into the Claddagh Arts Centre on Upper Fairhill Road while donations can be made at Fundit.

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area



A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

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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Planners approve homes for ‘cuckoo fund’ investor



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The green light has been given for the construction of 345 apartments at the Crown Square site in Mervue – the majority of which will be put on the rental market and operated by a ‘cuckoo fund’ for a minimum of fifteen years.

Crown Square Developments, which is owned by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has secured permission from An Bord Pleanála for the ‘Build to Rent’ development, with four blocks ranging ranging from four to nine storeys in height.

There will also be a neighbourhood facility with a gym, a primary care medical centre with pharmacy, a ‘working from home’ lounge, six shops, a games room and a creche.

There will be 240 two-bed apartments, 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds, all of which will be specifically for the rental market and not available to purchase.

A breakdown of the apartments shows there will be 240 two-beds; 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds.

To meet social housing requirements, the developer plans to transfer 35 of the apartments (20 two-bed, 10 one-bed and 5 three-bed) to Galway City Council.

A total of 138 car-parking spaces have been allocated on the lower basement levels of Crown Square for residents, along with shared access to another 109 spaces and another 13 for use by a ‘car club’. There will be 796 secure bicycle parking spaces to serve the apartments.

The Board has ordered that the apartments can only be used as long-term rentals, and none can be used for short-term lettings.

Under ‘Build to Rent’ guidelines, the development must be owned and operated by an institutional entity for a minimum period of 15 years and “where no individual residential units shall be sold separately for that period”. The 15-year period starts from the date of occupation of the first residential unit.

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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