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Traveller families plead with Council to be allowed stay

Enda Cunningham

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The three Barrett families who are living at the hardstand. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

The families living in a ‘DIY’ halting site in Doughiska have pleaded with Galway City Council to allow them stay … until they get local authority housing.
There are seven adults and seven children living on the site – including a three-and-a-half year old deaf girl who has just had an implant operation to help her hear.
The extended members of the Barrett family were ordered by the Council to vacate the local authority wasteland last week, but are refusing to move.
And the Galway Traveller Movement has said the family are victims of the Council’s housing crisis. The Barretts have been living on the site since February, but it’s understood the majority of complaints were only made to the Council in recent weeks after they brought sand and gravel, as well as a digger, onto the site to build a roadway.
They were forced to move to the unauthorised halting site after a bank repossessed the properties in which they were tenants.
Nora Barrett told the Galway City Tribune of the family’s plight, and has pleaded for a meeting with the Council’s Chief Executive Brendan McGrath to help resolve their housing problem.
Four of her 11 sons are living in the halting site, and of those three are married with children and one set to marry in July. There are seven children – aged from seven months up to five years old – on the site.
“All my sons wanted to do was to make the site safer for the kids. The only reason the gravel was brought in was because it was three feet high in muck, stones everywhere and rodents.
“It was waste ground, and dangerous for the kids. They were sustaining a lot of injuries, falling and tripping. It’s for the well-being of the kids.
“We didn’t know we were breaking the law. It was just putting down gravel and clearing the stones for the kids, because they were sustaining injuries,” said Nora.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Gardaí bid to identify body recovered near Mutton Island

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Gardai have launched an investigation following the discovery of a body in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon.

A member of the public raised the alarm after spotting the body in the water while walking on the causeway to Mutton Island.

Galway Fire Service, Gardai and the RNLI attended the scene and recovered the body at around 4pm, before it was taken to University Hospital Galway for a post mortem.

It is understood that the body may have been in the water for some time.

Gardaí are currently examining a list of missing people in the city.

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Connacht Tribune

Gardaí investigate fatal Carraroe crash

Enda Cunningham

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A man in his 30s has died following a road crash in Carraroe in the early hours of this morning.

At 3.50am, Gardaí and emergency services attended at a single car collision on a minor road.

The driver of the car, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later. A passenger in the car, a male in his 30s, was taken by ambulance to Galway University Hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

The road is currently closed and local diversions are in place. Garda forensic collision investigators will examine the crash site this morning.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Salthill Garda Station (091) 514 720 the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Land Development Agency rules out Merlin ‘land grab’

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Campaigners have warned the Land Development Agency (LDA) to keep its hands off Merlin Woods.

Local community group Friends of Merlin Woods said that the amenity on the east side of the city is not suitable for residential development.

It has sought clarification on whether the LDA has earmarked part of the recreational and amenity lands for housing, after it appeared on its online database of publicly-owned lands.

In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, the LDA said its database compiles a list of all State lands, not just land for development.

In relation to Merlin Woods, the LDA said: “Those lands aren’t included in the LDA developments in Galway. The lands database is a map-based tool which compiles all State lands and has no reflection on development potential.”

It came after Caroline Stanley of Friends of Merlin Woods raised concern that land within Merlin Woods had been earmarked for development.

“I’d be concerned that it’s marked as residential when it’s in RA (Recreational and Amenity) land. Some is marked ‘open space’ but some is marked as ‘new proposed residential’ on its [LDA’s] database. It makes us wonder why. We’d like clarity and to clear it up.

“The message we’d like to get out there is we need clarification, whether it’s a mistake on the Land Development Agency’s part, or whether it is an area that they consider as a residential area, which the community would be opposed to. We need clarity. It could be something that is in line for development later on, we don’t know, and we need clarity.”

Councillor Owen Hanley explained that the fears around Merlin Woods stem from legislation currently making its way through the Oireachtas that would strip councillors of powers to veto the transfer of land to the LDA for housing projects.

The Bill would also allow Government to direct what public lands – including those owned by local authorities – can be transferred to the LDA for development of social and affordable housing.
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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