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Students unveil Buggingham Palace – new five-star hotel




In normal circumstances, bugs would be the bane of hotel life – but not in Clonfert where a brand new five-star facility has opened ….specifically for the little mites.

And the boys and girls of St. Brendan’s N.S. are inviting every insect, bird, animal and organism in Connacht to their unique winter eco-lodge; the five-star bug hotel people are now calling Buggingham Palace.


This small village is making a big difference in biodiversity as a part of their Green Schools campaign for 2016.

The students, staff and parents of St. Brendan’s have put on their hard hats and thinking-caps and gathered enough recyclable materials like old carpets, pallets, clay pots, bamboos, bricks, twigs, leaves and pine cones to name a few and the Green Schools Committee along with their Green schools Co-ordinator Mr. Sean Corcoran have begun constructing the Bug Hotel.

We student reporters – Ben Flanagan and Cian Casey – went into the field to interview some locals for their thoughts on the matter.

Hotel Manager James Clancy from third class was well up for the challenge.

“I am looking forward to seeing many types of bees checking in, the honey bee and the solitary bee in particular, they will help to pollinate our flowers!” he said.

Parish priest Fr. Declan McInerney was full of praise for the project – mixed with a little apprehension.

“I am delighted to welcome all God’s creatures to Clonfert and I would have no problem blessing the bug hotel but I would not be staying overnight!” he admitted.

Principal Mrs. Déirdre Boyle was also delighted about all the potential new wildlife coming to her school garden.

“We have one big wildlife hotel but the children have made many mini bug hotels from plastic bottles, twigs, pine cones, tree bark and leaves, so everyone is getting on board with helping Biodiversity in any way they can at our school!” she said.

Ben and Cian also caught up with Jennifer Broderick in the school yard, who neither confirmed nor denied that they are expecting some very high profile celebrity guests – including the Beatles – to arrive any time in the coming weeks.

Green schools co-ordinator Sean Corcoran has been using his skills as a carpenter to construct the hotel, wanted to explain why Biodiversity was so important to St. Brendan’s N.S.

“Biodiversity is all life on our planet. It’s what keeps us alive so we should do our best keep it alive!

“I am delighted with the response from the pupils and parents, we have amounted plenty of recycled materials which have allowed us to construct a really colourful and diverse insect hotel.

“It is easy to construct, you just need recyclable materials, old pallets, and you can even reuse the old nails from the pallets, so that everything is recycled!

“This is just the first stage in our action plan, we have already planted a Hazel Tree for Tetra Pak Tree day on October 8, and we will be sewing lots of vegetables, fruit and flowers, building a hedgehog pit-stop and bird houses in the coming weeks and hopefully by Spring our garden will be bursting with life!” he added.

The Green Schools committee have decided upon the slogan ‘Respect and Protect All Nature’ to promote awareness in the Clonfert community.

There will be an official Green Schools opening day this Friday at 12 noon, when the hotel will be given its official name and the children will recite poems, read stories and perform their Green Schools song all under this year’s theme of ‘Biodiversity’.

And the pupils of St Brendan’s now hope that other schools will follow in their footsteps and build wildlife habitats so that Irish Schools can work together on their green theme


Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors will be asked next month to consider a sweeping overhaul of traffic flow in the city centre as the local authority seeks to create a more pedestrian-friendly core in the wake of Covid-19.

Currently under proposal in City Hall are major alterations to traffic flow which will allow for restricted car access to Middle Street – creating additional outdoor seating space for businesses in the area struggling to cope amid social distancing requirements.

Senior Engineer at City Hall, Uinsinn Finn, said they are currently considering three different proposals to alter traffic flow on Merchants Road, Augustine Street and Flood Street to reduce the need for car access to Middle Street, while still maintaining access for residents.

“We already pedestrianised Cross Street and we will be maintaining that, and there will be a proposal for Middle Street and Augustine Street.

“Businesses in the area are very much in favour of pedestrianisation – one business has objections but the others are supportive. Another consideration is that there are residents there with parking spaces and we are trying to encourage people to live in the city centre,” said Mr Finn.

The Latin Quarter business group submitted proposals for the temporary pedestrianisation of Middle Street and Abbeygate Street Lower but Mr Finn said the proposals the Council were considering were more in the line of creating adequate space for pedestrians while still allowing residents vehicular access.

This would involve creating a circuit for car traffic moving through Merchants Road around onto Augustine Street and exiting at Flood Street.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in part of Knocknacarra are calling for the closure of a laneway and for more Community Gardaí to be put on the beat following the discovery of a ‘viable’ pipe-bomb type device in the area last weekend.

Up to 13 homes in the Cimín Mór and Manor Court estates had to be evacuated on Friday evening last when the incendiary device was discovered by Gardaí concealed in an unlit laneway, leading to the emergency services being notified.

An Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called to the scene and removed the device – according to local residents and councillors, the Gardaí have confirmed that the device was viable.

Gardaí have declined to comment on the detail of the case but have confirmed that the matter is being ‘actively and vigorously investigated’.

Chairman of the Cimín Mór Residents’ Association, Pat McCarthy, told the Galway City Tribune that the discovery of the viable device on the narrow laneway that links their estate to Manor Court was extremely frightening for all concerned.

“For the best part of the past 20 years, we have been seeking action to be taken on this laneway which has been used for dumping and unsociable behaviour on a repeated basis.

“But what happened last Friday evening was really the last straw for us. This could have resulted in serious injury to innocent people and what is also of concern to us is how close this was to the two schools in the area,” said Mr McCarthy.

He said that over the coming days, the residents’ association would be petitioning all residents in the three estates concerned – the other two being Manor Court and Garraí Dhónaill – for action to be taken on the laneway.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara



Kate Middleton wearing the necklace designed by Aisling O'Brien

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A Galway jewellery designer is the latest to experience the ‘Kate effect’ after fans tracked down the woman who created a necklace for the Duchess of Cambridge which she has worn several times since it was gifted to her during her trip to the city last March.

Aisling O’Brien’s website crashed on Wednesday night when orders poured in for the piece from around the world. The necklace costs €109 with initials, while the earrings retail for €49.

“I’d never sold more than two things outside of Ireland before. I only had three of Kate’s necklaces in stock – and now I have orders for at least 50. I’ll have to start recruiting some elves,” laughs Aisling, who only set up her website during lockdown.

The 14-carat gold necklace and earrings set was designed by Aisling specially for Kate after examining her style – “understated, elegant, simplicity” is how the Tuam native describes it.

She was contacted about the commission by physiotherapist Thérèse Tully, who wanted to give the future queen a gift as she was using her room to change at Árus Bóthar na Trá beside Pearse Stadium when the royal couple were meeting with GAA teams.

(Photo: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wearing the necklace)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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