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Street closures to facilitate series of celebrations in ‘The West’

Denise McNamara

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Revellers are being urged to “cross that bridge” this summer for a feast of street parties planned for the ‘The West’.

The West End Traders’ Association is planning to close Dominick Street Lower to Henry Street – namely from Monroe’s Tavern to the Bierhaus on five weekend nights – with a sixth night also planned – to cars to make way for a sea of people.

Spokesperson Gary Monroe of Monroe’s Tavern said the traders planned to hold an array of events in order to ensure the city’s festival atmosphere during the height of the tourist season spreads across the water.

On Friday, June 3 the first of the silent discos are planned. Next off is a two-day street party earmarked for June 14 and 15.

Friday and Saturday, July 22 and 23, will be a chance for the thousands of visitors to the Galway International Arts Festival to take a break from the ‘madding crowds’ along the main strip, to sit on benches on Dominick Street, enjoy a drink and listen to the entertainment laid on.

Another silent disco is planned to mark the end of the Galway Races on the August Bank Holiday Monday, with the final event planned for Sunday, September 18.

The pedestrianisation of the area is an initiative in place since 2010, which has attracted new customers to the area, said Mr Monroe.

However, it does not come cheap; traders pay €15,000 to erect barriers, provide security and lay on entertainment. The biggest nights have featured an entire bill of live bands performing on the lorry stage.

“If you come as a stanger you definitely think it’s the end of the town when you get to the bottom of Quay Street so we miss out on the first, second or third bite. Costs are going up, people are drinking at home, coming out later, so we have to keep trying to get more people here,” the businessman insisted.

“We’d love it if we had a few quid off the [Galway City] Council or the Arts Council to promote the place. It’s all owner-occupied businesses here – they put their heart and soul into it, it’s very demanding, very challenging, but we’re trying to make it happen to encourage more people to visit.”

The traders recently released an online video featuring traders old and young, new and recent, to the district.

Traders describe the West End as a mecca of the city’s best pubs, live music venues and traditional music enclaves, offering Galway’s “best dining” experience as well as a wealth of cultural and arts hubs.

Urging visitors and locals alike to “cross that bridge”, they exclaim on their website: “It’s that part of town that as a tourist you’re delighted to discover. It’s off the beaten track and may take a bit of finding but when you get there you know you’ve discovered the soul of the city, where the locals are maybe a little bohemian and maybe a little eccentric, but always friendly.”

Connacht Tribune

Two arrested following taxi hijacking in Galway

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Gardaí have arrested two men following the hijacking of a taxi in Co Galway last night.

Shortly before midnight, Gardaí received a report that two men who were passengers in a taxi had attacked the driver and stole his vehicle.

The driver was ejected from the car on the M18 motorway.

Gardaí were alerted and observed the car in Claregalway.

A managed containment operation to ‘block in’ the taxi was put in place with assistance from the armed Regional Support Unit.

The car was brought to a stop on Bothar na dTreabh and two men fled on foot. The two men, one in his mid-20s and the other in his early-30s, were subsequently arrested.

They are currently detained at Garda HQ in Renmore under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Small shops fight back in store wars

Dara Bradley

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Caroline McCarthy

A popular city boutique has threatened to re-open in breach of Covid-19 restrictions – to highlight the unfairness of supermarkets selling so-called ‘non-essential’ goods.

The proprietor of Lanidor on Eyre Street said she is ‘taking a stand’, and has urged all retailers to follow suit, unless the authorities crack-down on those bending the rules.

“This stuff about ‘oh we’re all in it together’ is a load of rubbish,” fumed Caroline McCarthy, who said the multiples were ignoring restrictions while independent retailers remain shuttered.

She said all non-essential retail should be open, or none, but the current situation was “discriminatory”.

“I’ve had it at this stage. I’ve lost it. I can’t put up with this anymore. On a point of principle and on a practical level, someone has to do something about it. It’s not that we want to open.

“We have adhered to every single one of the regulations. But we are making a stand now. We will go ahead and open, at a date to be announced, if they are not shut down. And we would call on retailers across the country to do the same,” she said.

Under public health guidelines only ‘essential’ retail outlets are permitted to open. They are not permitted to sell ‘non-essential’ goods during Level 5. This is to stop people congregating and browsing in order to limit the spread of the virus.

But large retailers such as Dunnes Stores and Marks and Spencer stand accused of selling ‘non-essential’ clothing during the pandemic, even though clothes shops should be closed.

Galway Gardaí visited stores last weekend on foot of a complaint.

A spokesperson for M&S said it was following the guidelines but the tills in its Galway store’s clothing section was staffed on Saturday.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Vaccine roll-out stalls after advice

Dara Bradley

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Staff from the Paediatric Department at UHG (from left) Mary Scally, Clinical Nurse Manager 1; Cecily Cassidy, Clinical Nurse Manager 2; and Lisa Porter, Play Specialist with shadowbox theatres and accompanying tote bags which are being shared with children in hospital during April as part of an Arts and Health project for Galway 2020 called A Bird at My Window and Other Stories.

The roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine programme in Galway has stalled due to updated advice on the AstraZeneca jab.

Operations at the mass vaccination centre at Galway Racecourse in Ballybrit were  suspended Tuesday, for the remainder of this week at least, to allow the HSE to ‘reconfigure’ its roll-out plan following the new guidance.

The European Medical Agency safety committee concluded that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects of AstraZeneca.

National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) then issued revised recommendations for its use, including not administering it to people under 60.

For people who have already received their first dose, NIAC said people aged 60 and older should continue to receive their second dose, as should those under 60 with underlying conditions.

Those under 60 without underlying health conditions – mostly healthcare staff – should have an extended period between the first and second dose, “to allow for further assessment of the benefits and risks as more evidence becomes available”.

Anyone who develops unusual blood clots with low platelets after the first dose should not take the second.

HSE West said vaccination clinics for the over-60s proceeded as planned; it would not say how many people had their vaccination jabs cancelled at Ballybrit.

“Everyone scheduled to get their vaccine at Ballybrit vaccination centre this week has been contacted,” a spokesperson said.

“The HSE is actively looking at the implications of the updated NIAC recommendations for the vaccine roll-out and the implementation of the programme. On receipt of national guidance we will recommence scheduling of vaccines at the Ballybrit vaccination centre.”

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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