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Supermac’s boss secures Renville House for €3.2 million

Enda Cunningham



The magnificent 19th Century Renville House in Oranmore has been purchased by Supermac’s boss and hotelier Pat McDonagh for €3.2 million at auction.

The property, which is set on 135 acres overlooking Galway Bay, had a guide price of €2m and was chased by four bidders.

Bidding quickly rose to €2.7m at the auction in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway last week, at which point the property was declared as being ‘on the market’. hall Renville House-11

Mr McDonagh then vied with one other bidder, before the hammer came down at €3.2m.

He confirmed to the Connacht Tribune that he was the successful bidder, but was not in a position to discuss his plans for it at the moment.

Renville House is 388 square metres (4,176 sq ft) and was built in circa 1820, comprising an extensive two storey house, formerly known as Renville Lodge and is in need of some modernisation. There are many traditional features remaining, including timber windows with shutters, marble fireplaces and plaster work.

It was purchased in 1960 by the Lydon family from the Blake family, one of the Tribes of Galway.

The ground floor accommodation includes a kitchen and dining room, two bathrooms, library, study, drawing room, laundry room and boot room, while upstairs are five bedrooms and two bathrooms.

It’s approached via a half-mile winding avenue and is set on an elevated setting with farmyard to the rear, Coach House and a derelict Herd’s Cottage. It backs onto Galway Bay with over 800 metres (2,600 ft) sea frontage.

Paddy Jordan of Jordan Auctioneers in Kildare told the Connacht Tribune: “The sale had generated huge interest since the outset of the marketing campaign and it had been one of the finest properties we have sold, particularly in terms of the reaction of viewers when they saw the quality of the land, the setting and its unique charm, there were almost no negative comments, which is very unusual.

“We had been quoting €2m prior to the auction. There was a certain X-factor with the property which was hard to put a number on, and really it depended on people’s individual desire to purchase – it now appears this X-factor was possibly €1.2m over the guide.

“There are three key factors when buying a property – location, location, location and this result certainly bears testament to that,” said Mr Jordan.

The Coach House is located behind the main residence and it is a traditional limestone building converted into living accommodation making it ideal for guests or staff. It comprises a kitchen, living room, bathroom and two bedrooms (one en suite).

The yard is located to the rear of the main residence and coach house and comprises a number of traditional farm buildings including a lovely two storey limestone building which could convert to a guest cottage in addition to six boxes; four span hay shed with lean-to; silage slab; old milking parlour; sheds and cattle crush.

The derelict Herd’s Cottage is located in the middle of the holding and has its own internal gravel drive providing access, but is in a poor state of repair.

The average price of agricultural land in the county last year was €7,443 per acre – this sale equates to around €24,000 per acre.


Party-goers in Galway hit with Covid fines

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway’s most senior Garda has issued a renewed appeal this week for young people to desist from organising or attending any house parties as the local Covid-19 situation worsens – last week Gardaí were called to break up a number of gatherings in different parts of the city.

A total of 15 people were found to be attending one house party in the Salthill area last weekend while Gardaí were called to two other smaller gatherings – one in the Doughiska area and the other in Rahoon.

Cautions and Fixed Payment Notices (fines) were issued to a number of those involved. This week, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley has pleaded with young people ‘to stay away at all costs’ from such gatherings.

“We have very high Covid incidence rates in the Galway area over the past week; death rates from the disease are at their highest ever level; and the last thing we need now is groups of people coming together in confined settings.

“If one person has Covid at such a gathering then, in all probability, most others there will pick it up too and spread it their contacts and family members. I am pleading for people just not to do this.

“We are entering into our most critical period in trying to contain the spread of Covid-19, with the next month or so absolutely vital in our efforts to keep everyone healthy and safe and to try and avoid further loss of life,” he said.
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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Community gives new lease of life to Merlin allotments

Stephen Corrigan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – In 2018, the allotments in Merlin Woods were in danger of falling by the wayside, with declining numbers and underuse blighting a facility that had huge potential.

Since then, the community has pulled together to create a space that locals are proud of and one that its advocates are hoping could be a template for other communities across the city.

Chairperson of the Committee behind this new lease of life is Michael Tully, who says the allotments have become a focal point for area, bringing together locals from all walks of life.

“It’s all about netting the community together and the response we’re getting has been unbelievable,” says Michael, who joined the committee in 2018.

“I started off as a user of Merlin Woods, walking by the allotments and thinking to myself that it would be great to grow my own fruit and veg.

“I started talking to a few of the plot-holders like John Rabbitte, Martin Lohan, Jim McCormack and Daithí O’Brien and they told me how to apply. I applied to the City Council and got my allotment in early 2018 and there were about eight allotments in use at that stage, all of us working away on our own.”

Two years later, all 42 allotments are in use, but it took the cooperation of Galway City Council and Trojan work from the community to get it to this point, explains Michael.

“We came down here every Saturday to clear the paths, dig out the weeds and make the place better. The sense of community was unbelievable. Anyone who couldn’t dig was bringing down flasks of tea and cakes to those that were,” he laughs.
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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National Transport Authority to progress Galway’s Park and Ride

Dara Bradley



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A dedicated unit established within the National Transport Authority will look at the potential of Park and Ride to help solve Galway City’s traffic congestion problem.

Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, said that Park and Ride facilities should not be restricted to the east, and sites needed to be located to the west and north-west to take account of commuters from Connemara.

Mr McGrath said Park and Ride would be advanced this year as part of the Galway Transport Strategy. He said that the Council, in conjunction with the dedicated unit within the NTA, would investigate feasible sites for the location of Park and Ride facilities.

Mr McGrath said that site selection and acquisition of land could commence in the second quarter of this year. He said he expected that Park and Ride would be progressed well before the Galway City Ring Road was built.

Director of Services for Transport, Ruth McNally, also said that the NTA was looking at the potential of sites in the city for Park and Ride and she insisted that money – or a lack of it – was not halting progress.

“Money is not a major issue for capital projects,” she said.

They were responding at Monday’s City Council meeting to councillors who lamented the slow progress on developing Park and Ride.
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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