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Thousands pay tribute to the late Bobby Molloy

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The remains of Bobby Molloy are carried from Galway Cathedral as oarsmen, some of who rowed with Bobby with Colaiste Iognaid in the 1950s, form a guard of honour. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

It was quite appropriate that the remains of the late Bobby Molloy were brought on their final journey to the music of Galway Bay.

For a man who loved sports of all kinds, but who had particularly excelled in the water, it was a fitting tribute to the former Minister for Defence and Mayor of Galway.

High profile current and past TDs, including Micheál Martin, Eamon Ó Cuiv, Brian Cowan, Noel Grealish, Frank Fahey, and Micheal Kitt, joined members of local government and many friends and admirers on Wednesday afternoon in paying their respects at Galway Cathedral.

In silence, the coffin, draped in the Irish tricolour, was led in before noon by his sons, Daragh and Donncha, brothers, and other family members. It was not until the bells rang out for midday that the organ was sounded, and Bobby Molloy’s neighbour, Pat Lillis, sang How Great Thou Art.

Speaking on behalf of the Molloy family, his eldest child, Sinéad, said that her father had enjoyed a long and fulfilled life.

“Those that knew him, knew him as kind, straight-forward, warm, always calm, and caring. As one of his good friends said after he passed away: ‘he was a good talker, and a great listener, and he always gave sound advice.’”

She said that her dad grew up in Salthill, one of eight children, and was an exceptional sportsman; he was delighted to receive a letter in his teens addressed simply to: Robert Molloy, Athlete, Galway.

As a ‘Jes boy’ he took up rowing, which, of all the sports he played, was to be his enduring passion, even into his university years.

“Despite his recent health challenges, whenever he met anyone involved in the sport of rowing, his eyes would light up and he would proceed to recall every bend in the river and every race,” his daughter said.

“He loved Connemara, and the islands off Connemara – he had a deep affinity with the people of the area. He spent many of his holidays with his grandparents in Clifden, and always felt at home there. He was a Gaelgeóir and loved the language.

Once when Sinéad remarked at the high support for him in the polling stations of Aran he replied: “Why wouldn’t I? Didn’t I dance the feet off every woman on the island.”

She said that her dad met Alzheimer’s Disease with dignity and grace, as with all challenges he had faced in his lifetime.

“We feel blessed that he knew us right to the end, and continued to live life as fully as possible.”

Members of Galway Rowing Club, along with former crew members from the Jes and UCG rowing clubs formed a guard of honour outside the Cathedral, and City Council members in their robes walked ahead of Bobby Molloy’s remains as they were taken to the New Cemetery, Bohermore.

Robert Molloy is survived by his wife Phyllis; children, Sinéad, Sorcha, Daragh, and Donncha; sisters, Pat, Marie, Adrienne, and Margot; his brothers, Gerard and Michael; seven grandchildren, in-laws, Susan, Linda, and Enda, and other close family and friends.

 

For more on this story, see the Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Designated drinking zones in city centre are ‘only solution’

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Properly staffed designated areas are the only solution to out-of-control outdoor boozing, according to the city councillor who drafted the city’s drinking bylaws.

Cllr Peter Keane told the Galway City Tribune it was likely that councillors would seek to ‘tweak’ the existing bylaws in the near future to find a long-term solution that would enable young people to ‘enjoy a drink outdoors in a safe and controlled environment’, not just now, but in the future too.

To avoid a repeat of scenes around Spanish Arch over recent weekends, the Fianna Fáil councillor said providing areas where the consumption of alcohol was allowed would enable Gardaí to properly enforce the drinking bylaws throughout the rest of the city.

He said he could ‘absolutely appreciate the concerns of residents’ in the Claddagh and elsewhere where anti-social behaviour including urinating in gardens ‘and worse’ had been a blight in recent weeks, but said with proper control, those worst excesses could be avoided.

In the first ten days of June, 83 on-the-spot fines were issued in the city for drinking in a public place.

And last Saturday night, Gardaí closed off the Quincentenary Bridge after hundreds of young people gathered on the carriageway and turned it into a “highly-dangerous road traffic risk situation”.

“Control is the key word for me. Gardaí don’t have the resources, nor do they have the appetite as far as I can see, to deal with the lack of control there has been during the recent good weather.
“If you were to designate, say for example the Spanish Arch or a green area in Salthill, where the bylaws didn’t apply, you could put a number of wardens in place there to control the situation. You could provide adequate bins and toilets, and enough bodies to staff it, and that would allow gardaí to police the bylaws elsewhere,” said Cllr Keane.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story and coverage of the re-opening of the hospitality sector and outdoor dining, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Dispute simmers between businesses and Council over outdoor spaces

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Friction between businesses and local government over the reclaiming of public space to facilitate outside hospitality marred the beginning of the city’s ‘outdoor summer’.

Galway City Council has come under fire over its handling of plans by bars and restaurants to use street furniture to facilitate outdoor dining and drinking.

Most city watering holes and eateries resumed trading on Bank Holiday Monday – serving outdoors only – for the first time since Christmas, and the authorities reported that it was successful for the most part, although it needed time to ‘bed in’.

The city vintners’ group said its members with adequate outdoor space were happy to be back and described the mood as ‘euphoric’ in places.

But several outlets expressed disappointment with the Council.

In Eyre Square, the Skeff Late Bar and Kitchen claimed it had to cancel 200 advance bookings – up to 800 people – for this week, after the Council refused permission for “extended outdoor seating”.

On Middle Street, Sangria Tapas Restaurant lashed the Council for refusing it permission to use certain types of awning and windbreakers to facilitate outdoor dining. “Surely the powers that be can take time to support the industry that supports the city?” its proprietor said in a complaint to City Hall.

‘Back the West’, businesses criticised the Council for rowing back on promises to provide additional outdoor space on Dominick Street Lower and Dominick Street Upper, in time for outdoor hospitality’s reopening on June 7.
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

Council chief: ‘landlords see 4% rent increase cap as a target’

Enda Cunningham

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said that the 4% annual cap on residential rent increases is now seen as a target by many landlords.

Brendan McGrath said that affordability continues to be a major problem for renters in the city and that an increasing number of people availing of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme have to pay ‘top ups’ to their landlords.

The HAP scheme replaces rent supplement for those with a long-term housing need – the individual finds a private rented accommodation within specific rent caps and the Council pays the landlord directly. The tenant then pays a rent to the Council based on their weekly household income.

The maximum monthly rents under the scheme range from €330 for an adult in shared accommodation to €900 for a single parent or couple with three kids.

Based on their household size, tenants can also apply for a 20% extra ‘discretionary’ payment on top of their HAP payment.

However, Mr McGrath said many on the HAP scheme in Galway have to pay top ups to their landlords.

“Rents as a percentage of income is increasing and affordability remains a major problem for the city’s renters. The majority of HAP tenants require additional discretionary payments to assist them in maintaining their tenancies, particularly single person households.

“An increasing number of HAP tenants now have to pay top ups to their landlords even with the 20% extra HAP discretionary payment applied for their particular household size,” Mr McGrath said in a report to councillors.
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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