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

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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.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill as event confirmed

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill this weekend as an event has been announced for Sunday.

It’s been confirmed by organisers on social media – who say they’re being unfairly portrayed in a negative light.

In a statement, the Galway Car Scene group say they pay road tax like all other road users – and they have “every right” to be in Salthill this weekend.

It comes as they’ve confirmed the event will be taking place there on Sunday as originally planned.

They add it’s unfair to accuse them of blocking up Salthill and other parts of the city given the chronic traffic issues every day of the week.

They’ve also created an online petition calling for a designated place for car enthusiasts to go – which has so far gathered almost 250 signatures.

It claims the car enthusiast community in Galway has been unfairly painted as a negative and anti-social group.

The group say they’re happy to go elsewhere, but say any time they try to find a venue they’re shut out.

The event planned for Sunday has encountered significant opposition, much of which is based on a previous “Salthill Sundays” event held in May.

Those opposed say they’re not against an event of this kind in principle – but they strongly feel that Salthill just isn’t the right venue.

It’s also argued that if the organisers want to be taken seriously, they have to engage with stakeholders like Galway City Council and Gardaí to ensure a well-planned and safe event.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cars down to one-way system on Salthill Promenade

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A one-way system of traffic may be introduced along the Promenade in Salthill to facilitate the introduction of temporary cycle lanes.

The suggestion appeared to come as a shock to some City Council members who supported the cycle lane in a vote last month – one has called for a “full discussion again” on what exactly they had actually approved.

Councillors had voted 17-1 in favour of the principle of providing a cycleway that will stretch from Grattan Road all along the Prom.

The motion that passed at the September meeting proposed that the Council “shall urgently seek” to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of the Prom.

It was agreed that from the Blackrock Tower junction to the Barna Road would be a one-way cycle track.

The motion was voted on without debate, which meant Council officials did not have an opportunity to question the proposal.

At a meeting on Monday, the debate was revisited when Uinsinn Finn, Director of Services for Transportation, indicated that a one-way traffic system would be introduced in Salthill to facilitate a two-way cycle lane from Grattan Road to Blackrock.

This could mean that the outbound lane of traffic, closest to the sea, could be closed to all traffic bar bikes.

Mr Finn said that he would have sought clarity at the previous meeting – if debate were allowed – about what was meant by ‘temporary’.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway Christmas Market gets go-ahead for next month

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s the first real sign of a restoration of normality in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors in the city – the return of the Christmas Market next month to Eyre Square.

This week, the City Council’s planning department gave the go-ahead for the outdoor retail and gourmet food ‘spread’ that has been part of the festive season in Galway since 2010.

The exception was last year when, like so many other public gatherings since the Covid crisis broke in March 2020, the event had to be cancelled because of public health concerns.

Christmas Market Organiser, Maria Moynihan Lee, Managing Director of Milestone Inventive, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that she had received official confirmation on Thursday from the City Council of the go-ahead being given for the event.

“This is really wonderful news for the city and especially so in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors. For every €1 spent at the market another €3 will be spent on the high street – this will be a real boost for Galway,” she said.

Maria Moynihan Lee confirmed that the market would have an earlier than usual start of Friday, November 12 and would run through until the Wednesday evening of December 22.

(Photo: Declan Colohan)

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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