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South Park pitch more like a bird sanctuary due to pipe problem



The flooded pitches at South Park.

A city GAA club has been discommoded for almost a year because its local authority owned pitch is submerged in water.

Fr Griffin/Éire Óg football club’s training sessions at South Park have been disrupted for nearly 12 months because of a drainage problem that occurred during the winter storms of 2013/2014.

The club, which has 145 members, does have a pitch it can use at Crestwood for matches, but its training sessions for Junior A and Junior B adult men’s teams, as well as underage, have been curtailed.

The ladies section of St Michael’s GAA Club also used to train at Fr Griffin/Éire Óg’s pitch at South Park but they, too, have been ‘put out’. Schools that use the pitch have also been disrupted.

Tom Cox, Chairperson of Fr Griffin/Éire Óg, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune that the club has been inconvenienced as a result of flood at the pitches in the Claddagh.

There are fears that the flood problem at the pitch won’t be rectified in time for the coming season, discommoding the clubs again this year.

On any given day, the flooded pitch is like a mini lake and bird sanctuary as birds congregate on the water.

Mr Cox and representatives of the club, as well as local area City Councillor Catherine Connolly (Independent), and the Claddagh Residents Association, separately, have made representations to the local authority about the flooding at the Swamp.

The problem first surfaced in the wake of last winter’s storms. Mr Cox explained that there is a drainage system at the pitch which channels water from the field through a pipe, out into the River Corrib at Nimmo’s Pier.

At the end of this pipe there is a ‘no-return valve’, which prevents water flowing back up the pipe onto the pitch. However, this valve is apparently broken and water is backing up onto the pitch – it is tidal, and so at high tide the pitch floods even more.

The City Council has advised Mr Cox and Cllr Connolly that the problem isn’t as simple as first feared and that the pipe may be corroded and in need of replacement.

Mr Cox and Cllr Connolly have urged the City Council to carry out the necessary works as soon as possible, and they have received assurances from the local authority that it is included in its schedule of works. The water that is funnelling back the drainage pipe is salt water, which poses its own problems for the pitch, and damages the playing surface.

“We are hopeful that as part of the planned matserplan for Southpark, the pitch will be upgraded. We expect that the drainage problem caused by the broken no-return valve will be fixed quickly – we’re told it is in the schedule of works. And then we hope that the masterplan will be expedited so that the damage from the salt water on the pitch will be fixed as part of the overall masterplan. We have been given assurances that the masterplan will be ready in quarter one of this year,” said Mr Cox.

A City Council spokesperson yesterday confirmed that the masterplan is included in a schedule of works this year. The problem with flooding will also be addressed, he said.


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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