Planning permission has been granted for new mobile phone antennae at the ESB substation in Rahoon – ESB Telecoms had urged Galway City Council not to concern itself with health and safety fears of local residents relating to its plans.
The company, which is a subsidiary of the electricity supplier, said the ‘upgrade’ is required in order to boost 4G coverage in the area for its customers – Vodafone and Eir Mobile.
It told the City Council that it “regards the protection of the health, safety and welfare of its staff and the general public as a core company value in all its activities”.
It added that the Council need only concern itself with planning issues relating to the proposal and to leave health and safety issues to ComReg, the Commission for Communications Regulation.
ESB Telecoms had sought permission to add a new platform to its ‘Five Lamps’ structure at the junction of Rahoon Road and Seamus Quirke Road, which would accommodate new antennae and dishes.
According to the company, the importance of its existing site “cannot be over emphasised” as it forms “an integral part” of ESB’s network, and that of its customers, which are Vodafone Ireland and Eir Mobile.
“For both operators, the quality of coverage, particularly 4G coverage, can be seen to fail noticeably in comparison to 2G and 3G, and this quality falls away the further the distance from the structure.
“With many developments of this nature, there may be concerns from residents about the perceived implications of the development, primarily in relation to the adverse health effects of the installation. It is ESB Telecoms’ policy to continually review and update standards in light of new developments and research findings.
“Planning authorities are urged to concern themselves with design and siting issues only and should defer any health and safety issues and their monitoring to the relevant authorities, in this instance, ComReg,” the company said in its planning application.
It added that it regularly carries out tests at its site – the last tests were in June 2019 and November 2017 – and the results were “well within the safety standards”.
There were no objections or submissions from members of the public.
In its assessment of the application, the Council referred to Government guidelines which stated that planning authorities should be primarily concerned with the appropriate location and design of telecoms structures “and do not have competence for health and safety matters in respect of telecoms infrastructure”.
The guidelines spread: “These are regulated by other codes and such matters should not be additionally regulated by the planning process,” adding that monitoring arrangements were not a matter for the Council either.
The Council said the mast had already been in place for almost 20 years, and the additional antenna would in in accordance with the setting.
Permission was approved for the extension to the mast, with a condition attached that ESB Telecom allow, subject to reasonable terms, other licensed mobile telecoms operators to co-locate their antennae onto the mast “in order to avoid the proliferation of telecoms structures”.
No end in sight for work on junction near Galway Clinic
From the Galway City Tribune – The City Council has declined to set a date for the completion of the Martin roundabout replacement near Galway Clinic – which was due to have opened more than a month ago.
In a statement, the Council would only confirm that the project was over 50 per cent completed.
“The project is now progressing to the surface type works including the installation of roadside kerbs, provision of footpaths and cycle lanes and road surfacing. These elements of the works will progress quite rapidly over the next month and there will be more of an appreciation for the progress on this project and the final layout will start to become apparent,” said a spokesperson.
“Ducting and preparatory works for the traffic signal installation is in progress and installation of the lights themselves will commence once the majority of surface works are complete. The final phase of the works will consist of significant landscaping of the junction.”
Work began on the junction in February, with an expected six-month schedule.
“There have been some delays to the programme as a result of industry-wide, supply-chain issues related to the war in Ukraine. There has also been further delays due to rock being encountered on site.
Rock was expected, however the hardness of the rock has been greater than anticipated and as such, has been slower to break and excavate on site,” according to the Council.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article and to support our journalism, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Galway Docklands Festival set to make a big splash in the city!
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The city’s link to the sea is to be celebrated later this month with the staging of the inaugural Galway Docklands Festival featuring a range of culinary treats, sea tours, demonstrations and talks.
Running from the weekend of Friday, October 21 to Sunday, October 23, the event has the aim of celebrating the city’s bond with the sea and the local waterways network.
Organised by the Galway Hooker Sailing Club, Galway Bay Boat Tours and Galway Bay Seafoods, the spectacle has a packed schedule of events – many of them free – through each of its three days.
The ‘pay events’ – ranging from €5 to €15 – include a coffee morning, beer and seafood sampling as well as an historical boat tour of the Claddagh and Galway Bay (€15).
Boatbuilder Cóilín Ó hIarnáin will be giving free demonstrations of his skills on each of the three days; Ciaran Oliver will give a walking tour of the seafront (€10); while there will also be a free Galway Hooker rigging demonstration.
For the more adventurous, there are supervised powerboard ‘taster spins’ (€10) while for ‘the foodies’ the Galway Bay Seafoods fish’n’chips, the Hooker beer and seafood sampling, as well as the family cooking demonstrations – all priced at €10 each – look set to be big attractions.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Mayor told to stay away from homecoming over funding snub
From the Galway City Tribune – The Mayor of Galway was asked to stay away from homecoming celebrations for extreme adventurer Damian Browne, the Galway City Tribune understands.
Mayor Clodagh Higgins was told that she was not to attend the event at the Docks on Tuesday as there had been disappointment in the ‘Project Empower’ camp that funding had not been made available from Galway City Council.
The Galway City Tribune has learned that Project Empower, which is led by Voluntary Manager MacDara Hosty, applied for €30,000 in funding from the local authority’s Marketing Fund in September 2021, but was deemed ineligible.
A spokesperson for Galway City Council confirmed this week that Project Empower did not meet the criteria set down by the fund which seeks to support the holding of major events and festivals in the city.
In documents seen by this newspaper, Project Empower proposed that Galway City Council be the title partner at a cost of €30,000 plus VAT.
The Tribune understands that the Council’s refusal to provide this funding was at the root of the Mayor’s snub on Tuesday, which drew attention online as members of the public questioned her absence.
When contacted, the Mayor refused to be drawn on questions relating to the Marketing Fund, but said it was her intention to offer a Civic Reception to Damian Browne at the nearest opportunity.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story and extensive coverage of Damian Browne’s homecoming, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.