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CITY TRIBUNE

Supermac’s long-standing support has a key role in Galway’s success

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Galway GAA sponsors, Pat and Una McDonagh of Supermac's, with hurling captain David Burke after the Tribesmen won the Leinster final replay against Kilkenny at Semple Stadium last month.

Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

As the All-Ireland hurling final approaches on Sunday, the Galway jersey with its Supermac’s logo is everywhere to be seen. In every village in Galway, along the streets of the city, and, indeed, right around the globe through the channel of social media.

For Galway people, Supermac’s is now imbedded in the culture of the Tribes while, for others, it is a declaration of a person’s ‘Irishness, particularly those who have emigrated and reside abroad. For those who return home, a Supermac’s outlet is usually one of their first destinations as they look to reacquaint themselves with home comforts.

When owners, Pat and Una McDonagh, opened their first Supermac’s outlet in Ballinasloe in 1978, little could they have known how their business would grow to the empire it has become today – or that they would become one of the longest running sports sponsorships in Irish sport.

Although the Supermac’s brand did not appear on the Galway hurling jersey until 1991, they had been one of the first contributors to the county hurlers’ training fund long before that. In later years, they have also rowed in behind the county footballers, along with the camogie and ladies football teams.

Sitting in the Lough Rea Hotel – one of a number of hotels he has absorbed into the company’s portfolio – McDonagh is a picture of contentment. Around him, the Galway hurlers press day is being held. The place is a hive of activity.

As he notes himself, with all Galway teams being extremely competitive in their championships in 2018, it has been a fantastic year. “It is amazing. When one team gets over the line, as the senior hurlers did last year, it gives a bit of confidence and a bit of self-belief and a bit of enthusiasm for the others to follow suit.

“There has been a pride that has been generated with winning the Liam McCarthy Cup after so many years and that has spread and it is contagious around the county – and around the other teams as well. I think that is what has given those other teams that little bit of an extra boost to go and achieve more and to go for it.”

Sport, as in business, requires a great deal of the same attributes – self-belief, mental toughness, confidence, and pride in what you are doing – and the managing director of Supermac’s believes these are now permeating throughout all teams in the county.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

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

Planners approve homes for ‘cuckoo fund’ investor

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The green light has been given for the construction of 345 apartments at the Crown Square site in Mervue – the majority of which will be put on the rental market and operated by a ‘cuckoo fund’ for a minimum of fifteen years.

Crown Square Developments, which is owned by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has secured permission from An Bord Pleanála for the ‘Build to Rent’ development, with four blocks ranging ranging from four to nine storeys in height.

There will also be a neighbourhood facility with a gym, a primary care medical centre with pharmacy, a ‘working from home’ lounge, six shops, a games room and a creche.

There will be 240 two-bed apartments, 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds, all of which will be specifically for the rental market and not available to purchase.

A breakdown of the apartments shows there will be 240 two-beds; 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds.

To meet social housing requirements, the developer plans to transfer 35 of the apartments (20 two-bed, 10 one-bed and 5 three-bed) to Galway City Council.

A total of 138 car-parking spaces have been allocated on the lower basement levels of Crown Square for residents, along with shared access to another 109 spaces and another 13 for use by a ‘car club’. There will be 796 secure bicycle parking spaces to serve the apartments.

The Board has ordered that the apartments can only be used as long-term rentals, and none can be used for short-term lettings.

Under ‘Build to Rent’ guidelines, the development must be owned and operated by an institutional entity for a minimum period of 15 years and “where no individual residential units shall be sold separately for that period”. The 15-year period starts from the date of occupation of the first residential unit.

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

Councillors divided over vote on Salthill Prom cycleway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to install a temporary two-way cycle lane along Salthill Promenade hangs in the balance, with city councillors split ahead of a vote next week.

On Monday night, the 18 city councillors will discuss Mayor Colette Connolly’s motion that the lane be installed on the coastal side of the road from Blackrock to a point opposite Galway Business School.

A poll of the councillors carried out by the Galway City Tribune yesterday found nine in favour of the proposal, with one indicating they will abstain. A simple majority is required and if there is a 9-9 split, the Mayor holds a ‘casting’ vote, effectively a second vote.

There has been a flurry of lobbying by cycling campaigners urging councillors to vote in favour, as well as some complaints from residents worried it will again impinge on their parking as visitors to Salthill seek somewhere to park up while they swim or walk along the most utilised resource the city has.

During lockdown, Gardaí removed parking on the Prom to deter people from gathering in a public space. This resulted in motorists blocking driveways and entering private estates, leading one estate off Threadneedle Road to hire a private clamping company.

Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) believes there are a maximum of 250 spaces that would be lost to the project on one side of the road as currently proposed, including seven disabled spaces, which could be reassigned close by.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read extensive coverage of the issue and to see how each councillor intends to vote, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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