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Connacht Tribune

State scheme offers hope to homeowners

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A leading finance expert has offered hope to Galway’s distressed mortgage holders by insisting that those who are eligible for the Government’s mortgage-to-rent scheme should never lose their home.

Changes to the original schemes eligibility criteria now means that an estimated 14,000 home-dwellers in mortgage arrears nationwide qualify for inclusion under the scheme, according to mortgage debt expert, Paul Cunningham.

Recent figures from the Central Bank’s Long-Term Mortgage Arrears in Ireland Report state that 1,124 households in Galway are in mortgage arrears for over two years while over 860 of those have been in arrears for at least five years.

“Thousands of people in serious arrears have suffered years of anxiety and isolation, but there is a new reality which now concentrates on finding a solution in almost every case,” said the CEO of Government-sanctioned company, Home For Life (HFL).

“We have encountered widespread distress among homeowners, many of whom believe they have failed their families because they couldn’t keep up payments.

“Unfortunately, many cases involve people in extreme stress simply because no-one had told them there was another way out of what seemed to be an impossible malaise.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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.

Connacht Tribune

Free House provides a launch pad for Galway’s musical talent

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Turnstiles...providing a launching pad for themselves and others.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Back in the summer of 2019, a series of ticket-free, DIY gigs took place in a packed-out Club Áras na nGael on Dominick Street. Dubbed Free House, the nights breathed life into Galway’s local music scene and raised the profile of the featured acts – as well as that of the venue itself.

It began as a vehicle for punk four-piece Turnstiles who – largely through bass player Jake Tiernan – curated and performed in the events and, as they went from the strength to strength, so too did the project.

Now, as venues prepare to welcome fully-fledged gigs back, Free House is returning, with Jake and Turnstiles’ drummer Luke Mulliez facilitating the project.

Beginning this Friday with two surprise bands back in Áras na nGael, the plan is to stage an event every two weeks.

When they first occurred, the gigs were defined by their inclusivity as much as the quality of the acts that performed. It was all manner of artist in a venue that could host any type of gig-goer. The challenge now is to cultivate the same atmosphere in an ever-changing environment.

“I’ve had this fear that, even for the next year, everything is going to have to be super regulated and what was good about those gigs was that everything was unregulated,” Jake admits.

“The furthest I can see restrictions going is a capacity limit so if they say ‘a hundred people max’ then that’s fine. We could have a hundred free tickets and I think we could get the same atmosphere.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

One half of Hollywood’s golden couple sings Galway’s praises after trip

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Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello and his chihuahua Bubbles, with Fergus Lally of Galway’s Celtic Chauffeurs at the Cliffs of Moher.

He may be married to the highest paid actress in the world, but that did not stop Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello savouring the best that Galway had to offer – hailing the people, the cheese, chocolate and salmon during his trip west.

The American actor, who played stripper Big Dick Richie in Steven Soderbergh’s box office hit Magic Mike, was not joined by Modern Family’s Sofía Vergara until a week later on his trip around Cork.

But he did ring his wife of six years in the US while exploring the countryside of south Galway and Clare with guide, Fergus Lally, who had picked him and his chihuahua Bubbles up from the Glenlo Abbey Hotel in Bushypark on the city’s edge.

“I had a great time with him. I brought him to the Cliffs of Moher and along the way we stopped off at the Hazel Mountain Chocolate factory, the cheese shop at the Aillwee Caves and he had a tasting at the Burren Smoke House in Lisdoonvarna,” reveals Fergus.

“He had an amazing time tasting all the foods. The back of the car was full – everybody did well out of him. He was blown away with the places I brought him. He loved the history of the Corcomroe Abbey and Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara. He was a great guy. I was delighted to drive him. The two of us just clicked.”

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie  

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Connacht Tribune

Mini pause proves there are no easy routes to recovery

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Melbourne...continuous lockdown for most of the past two years.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

You think we have it bad this week – what with the delay in a full reopening?  You could be living in Melbourne. The city with a population of five million has been under almost continuous lockdown for most of the past two years.

Since March 2020, there have been 262 days of lockdown in Melbourne, across six periods where people’s movements were incredibly restricted. That included curfews between 9pm and 5am.

Australia and New Zealand were two of only a handful of countries in the world which pursued elimination, rather than containment, strategies with the virus, or Zero Covid as it was called.

For a long time, it seemed like the correct strategy, the one setting the standard. Both countries clamped down hard with very restrictive lockdowns and effectively closed their borders.

They threw all their resources into testing, contact tracing and even testing the wastewater. Those who were identified as cases and close contacts were isolated. The countries also introduced mandatory hotel quarantine.

And it was very effective; when the Alpha (Essex) strain hit Ireland and other countries in December and January, both countries were fully open and enjoying unrestricted access to stadiums, hotels, restaurants, schools. Anytime, there was the hint of an outbreak strict local and regional lockdowns were imposed, some for several weeks, some for longer.

Sure, there were long and severe lockdowns. But there was also a lot of freedom, over 450 days without restrictions.

The strategy only worked if you cut off the country completely from all other countries in the world. New Zealand, for example, did that because it did not have sufficient capacity to deal with the kind of crisis China and Italy had faced, when people died because they could not be intubated, or there were not enough ventilators to go around.

There were downsides. The cost, for one, was exceptionally high. It meant a huge diminution in people’s personal rights. Limited availability in mandatory quarantine hotels meant a lot of New Zealanders and Australians living abroad were prevented from returning home.

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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