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CITY TRIBUNE

Talented city rower Keogh hits new high at World finals

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Galway's Aifric Keogh and Cork’s Emily Hegarty competing in the Women's A Pairs final at the World Championships in Plovduv, Bulgaria.

A rower from Furbo is on her way to booking a place at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after creating history for Irish rowing last week.

Aifric Keogh (26) and her rowing partner, Emily Hegarty from Cork, became the first Women’s Pair from Ireland to qualify for an A final when they stormed to victory in their semi-final at the World Championships in Plovduv in Bulgaria last week.

The pair were rowing fourth at the midway point of their semi-final, behind Britain, Spain, and Italy, but a call by Keogh in the bow seat to increase their stroke-rate and length saw them power past the other three crews to win the semi-final, and in the process consign the British crew to the B final.

The duo went on to finish 6th in the final at a championship in which the O’Donovan brothers and Sanita Puspure both claimed World gold, but qualification for the A final was a major victory in its own right as the newly-paired duo set their sights on Tokyo.

“Aifric rowed by Aileen Crowley at the World Championships in Sarasota in Florida last year, and they finished 2nd in the B final, which meant they finished 8th overall. Aileen moved on this year, so Aifric needed a new partner, and Rowing Ireland selected Emily,” explained Keogh’s father, Jim.

“The two of them went to a three-week camp in Italy to prepare for Plodvod, and it obviously paid dividends last week. Last year’s finish of 8th, and this year’s finish of 6th, would have been enough to qualify Aifric on both occassions if it was an Olympic qualification year, so the hope is they will continue their form from Plovdov in the coming year,” he said.

Next year will be a qualification year, with two opportunities to make it to Tokyo: the top 11 boats at the World Championships Regatta in Linz in Austria next year will qualify for Tokyo; with a further two boats to qualify from what is basically a repechage regatta in 2020.

Qualification for the Olympics will be the ultimate reward for the sacrifices Keogh has made since taking up rowing at Coláiste Iognáid.

“She went along to a taster day before starting in Coláiste Iognáid and enjoyed rowing. It meant 6am starts for training while she was at school, but she enjoyed it.

“She went to NUI Galway, and then moved to Cork to train full-time at the National Rowing Centre facility at Iniscarra. She is rowing full-time now, as there really isn’t time for anything else.

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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