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CITY TRIBUNE

Street light replacement programme ahead of schedule and under budget

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From the Galway City Tribune – Galway has been hailed a leading light for its replacement of streetlights with greener more efficient LED technology, a programme which is ahead of time and under budget.

Galway City Council has confirmed that around 9,600 streetlights have been converted to LED as part of its energy-efficient upgrade programme.

That represents 95% of the replacement of streetlights completed as of April of this year, which is eight months ahead of schedule.

A total of €3.06million was already invoiced for the work, and the final estimated cost of the programme will amount to €3.4m, according to an update report given to city councillors. This will be €700,000 under budget.

The local authority said that the new streetlights will result in approximately 64% energy savings annually.

Annual monetary cost savings will be approximately €340,000, and the CO2 savings will be approximately 975 tonnes per year.

The average payback of the investment will be 9.8 years, according to the report by the City Council.

It gave the example of Hazel Park, off the Thomas Hynes Road where there are 38 lighting columns. Before the upgrade, energy consumption there was 11,537 kWh per annum, costing €1,700 a year and producing 6.28 tonnes of CO2.

After the LED upgrade, the new energy consumption had plummeted to 5,025 kWh per annum, the new energy cost was €754 and some 2.73 tonnes of CO2 are produced now per year, more than half the previous figure.

Similarly, the energy saving in Ballybrit Court off the Monivea Road was 76%. It had 17 public lights that consumed 5,657.00 kWh per annum at a cost of €848 per year. That was cut to 1,343.00 kWh per annum and an annual bill was €201.

Councillors were told that the replacement programme is ahead of time and under budget by about €700,000.

The new lights have produced over 60% energy savings but also reduced the cost on ongoing energy bills.

Assistant Engineer in the Transport Department, Colm Shaughnessy, told councillors at this week’s meeting that the Covid pandemic and Brexit played to the Council’s advantage for this scheme. They put in a large order at an agreed price for the lights before there were serious issues with cross-border transport and price hikes and the city was much quieter to roll them out during the lockdowns.

With the agreement of councillors who had voted to include the cost in the budget, they had also gone ahead with their own programme instead of waiting for the national scheme, which would not begin for local authorities in the west for a number of years.

As a result, Galway City Council is one of the first local authorities in Ireland to achieve a full upgrade of public lighting to energy efficient LED lanterns.

The bollards used to light up the South Park and the Blackrock walkways were custom-designed for Galway not to interfere with views and had attracted the attention of other local authorities. The lights automatically switched off at night to give nature time to rest.

Nine such walkways would be lit up, with 115 lighting blackspots across the city identified that would also have lamps installed.

He cited the example of Cabbage Lane linking the Headford Road to Bohermore at St Finbarr’s Terrace which had been the location for antisocial behaviour and illegal dumping. Now that it was illuminated there were less complaints about it.

Cllr Niall McNelis (Lab) said it was a “huge success story”, and he praised the Council staff responsible for delivering the project ahead of schedule and with a reduced budget.

Councillor Eddie Hoare (FG) said: “This has been a really successful programme of works delivered on time and well under budget. The rollout will result in a 50-60% reduction in Galway City Council’s public lighting energy use and will provide annual savings of approximately €340,000 per annum. All involved in the rollout deserve great credit.

“The rollout will make our roads safer for all road users and reduce antisocial behaviour in our estates. I also very much welcome a commitment by Galway City Council to look at other areas not included in this scheme.”

Cllr Mike Crowe (FF) remarked that during his tenure on the Council he had never seen a more professional rollout of a programme of works. “It’s top class . . . it’s impacted positively on residents, travel and lorry drivers.”

Greens Councillor Martina O’Connor said lighting was something recognised as giving women freedom. “Walkers out at all hours of the night will benefit from this scheme.”

A motion by Social Democrats Cllr Owen Hanley, seconded by Cllr McNelis, asking Iarnród Éireann to upgrade the ‘line’ or walkway between Renmore and Lough Atalia with lighting to make it safer was unanimously agreed.

CITY TRIBUNE

24/7 Garda surveillance on feuding Galway families

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Specialist Garda units have been maintaining round-the-clock surveillance over the past week in different parts of the city in an effort to keep the lid on a vicious ongoing feud between two families.

The feud, which resulted in a number of houses being firebombed and a gunshot being fired into a doorway earlier this month, is still simmering but Gardaí have put in place a ‘watch and follow’ strategy in relation to gang members.

Gardaí have also confirmed that they are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry into what they regard as the most serious of the incidents which occurred in the latest outbreak of the feud.

That involved a shooting incident on the Wednesday night of June 15, when a gunman fired a shot into the door of a house in the Bohermore area at around 10.30pm – he is believed to have initially making his getaway on foot before being picked up in a waiting car in the Forster Court area.

Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins, who is heading up the investigation into the series of incidents, said that . . . .
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Highwire performers to stage Claddagh spectacular

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s a skill known as funambulism – highwire or tightrope walking – and later this month it seems set to draw huge outdoor crowds to the Claddagh Basin.

Staged on seven highwires spanning the River Corrib, south of Wolfe Tone Bridge, the performances on July 16/17 (Saturday/Sunday), will feature a cast of 150 people from all ages and backgrounds.

Entitled ‘LifeLine’, this spectacular event is being produced and presented by the Galway Community Circus group and will be one of the highlights of the upcoming Arts Festival.

Originally, ‘LifeLine’ had been pencilled in as part of the Galway European Capital of Culture 2020 events, before being scuppered by the Covid pandemic.

The highwire event also has a more serious undertone, in its promotion of the importance of mental health wellbeing at a location renowned for its beauty – but also for many personal human tragedies.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Knives, live ammunition and drugs seized in Knocknacarra

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Knives, live shotgun cartridges and over €10,000 worth of drugs were seized by Gardaí in an operation earlier this week in the Knocknacarra area.

Four young males – who were acting suspiciously in the Lios Mór area at Cappagh Park on Tuesday evening last at around 7pm – were approached by a Garda unit and searched.

During the search, Gardaí found a quantity of cocaine on one of the men, while nearby they also seized a number of offensive weapons including knives.

All four were detained for questioning by Gardaí after being taken to Garda HQ in Murrough, Renmore and in a follow-up search at a house in Knocknacarra, €10,000 worth of cannabis was discovered as well as three live shotgun cartridges.

One of the men – aged in his early 20s – is . . . .
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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