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Supreme court upholds decision to close unauthorised Tuam carpark

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A controversial carpark in Tuam town has closed following a ruling by the Supreme Court.

Last month, the High Court made a ruling that the unauthorised car park at Palace Grounds must close, after a number of locals took a case against owner, Joe O’ Toole.

In the High Court last month, Justice Hedigan stated rgar Joe O’ Toole has “a pattern of constructing unauthorised developments and subsequently seeking retention.”

He ordered that the carpark should close at the end of the first week in January.

However, the High Court decision was appealed to the Supreme Court by Joe O’ Toole and a stay was placed on the closure of the split level carpark, near Super Valu supermarket.

However, the Supreme Court has upheld the decision by Justice Hedigan in the High Court and the carpark has now closed.

However, locals want the public right of way through the area to be maintained.

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NUIG defends its repeat exam fee policy

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – NUI Galway has defended its repeat exam fee policy.

The university has released a statement following calls from Students’ Union leaders to remove such repeat fees and also to give students the option to repeat exams if they feel they could have achieved better grades in normal circumstances.

In a statement released by the University, it says students who are in the most need of financial support can apply for a fee waiver for repeat exam fees, and access to this fund has been widened in the past year to reflect the financial strains under the current pandemic.

In the past year, the University states it has expanded supports for emotional and financial wellbeing to address the Covid-19 crisis.

It says there is no fee for deferring exams, and the repeat exam fee, which is unchanged for the last two years, supports all costs associated with repeats, from the setting and correcting of assignments in a more challenging context this year, to the hosting of exams online and the awarding of results.

NUI Galway has said it “charges a flat repeat fee and other universities charge a repeat fee per module,” – adding that “more than 99% of students subject to the fee will pay less than in any of the other universities charging this fee.”

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152 homes refurbished for social housing use in Galway last year

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Over 150 homes were refurbished for use in social housing schemes in Galway last year.

As part of the 2020 Voids Stimulus Programme, over 2,500 homes have been brought back into use nationwide, with 152 delivered in Galway.

As part of the programme, over €40 million was allocated for the refurbishment of 2,500 vacant social homes.

By the end of 2020, 1,925 were occupied with a further 640 tenancies accepted.

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Over one thousand new Galway addresses added to GeoDirectory database last year

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Over one thousand new addresses in county Galway were added to the GeoDirectory database last year.

Dublin accounted for the largest proportion of new address points with 33% of the total, followed by Cork at 11% and Kildare at almost 9%.

Galway recorded 4.9% of all new addresses while the smallest numbers were added in counties Leitrim and Longford.

The report by GeoDirectory finds more than four percent of houses nationally are empty.

Donegal, Mayo, Roscommon and Leitrim have the highest vacancy rate, with more than one in 10 homes empty.

Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Waterford meanwhile have the lowest rates.

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