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Trawl to value angling sector

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Galway’s avid anglers are being asked for their help in compiling research on a multi-million euro industry – with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) developing a first in its kind study of the country’s fisheries management.

Anglers will be invited to share their views and opinions on recreational angling and provide the organisation with information on fishing that is currently unavailable to decision makers – at both national and local levels.

The ESRI, through their links with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), have access to a lot of information on the fish themselves – but know very little about those trying to land them.

According to Associate Research Professor at the ESRI, John Curtis, this is an area that they hope to shed new light on.

“We have a research programme with Inland Fisheries and we know a lot about the biology of the fish,” he said. “We know very little about the number of people who fish and that is something we want to build a better picture of.”

Because of the lack of information, it is hard to quantify how valuable angling is to the Galway economy, but it is a huge industry – and never more than at the moment with the Mayfly season now in full swing.

It was estimated in 2012 by Tourism Development International that it was worth almost €800 million to the Irish economy.

Brown trout angling, of which a substantial amount is concentrated in the wider Galway area, was worth roughly €148 million.

It is anticipated that this research will play a key role in the development of infrastructure and facilities available to anglers.

“There are many different types of anglers – say for instance coarse anglers, bream or pike anglers all want different facilities.

“We want to know, for example, are they looking for an angling area that is more remote,” said Mr Curtis.

He believed that this research would help those trying to attract tourist anglers, while also giving policy-makers information about the causes of pollution.

“This will help improve and protect water quality,” he said. “When these decisions come to the cabinet table, they will have the information available to them.”

Current data suggests that there are in the region of 406,000 people who take part in angling at least once per year – 252,000 of which are domestic anglers.

Around 113,000 are from overseas while 41,000 make trips across the border from the Northern Ireland – and this study will endeavour to examine the benefits of fisheries to their local economies.

As of now, the ESRI are calling on all anglers to sign-up and join the panel who can volunteer to participate in the study.

“This will be highly prized information,” said Mr Curtis. “It will allow those who own the fisheries to concentrate on the things that will bring them more business.”

The surveys will be carried out over the summer and those interested can find more details, and join the research panel on the ESRI website.

CITY TRIBUNE

Concerns over reopening of Middle Arch on Tuesday

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A Galway City Councillor has given a cautious welcome but has also raised concerns over the reopening of the ‘Middle Arch’ beside the Claddagh Basin next Tuesday.

Access was closed to the public last May following requests from the Gardai due to large crowds that had gathered in the days previously amid fears of it becoming a serious health and safety risk.

The concerns were raised by Cllr. Niall McNelis who said that a cautious welcome should be given but that the possibility of closing it in evenings needs to be seriously looked at.

He said “The decision to close it was earlier in year was due to it had become an area where large groups had gathered drinking and had led to calls by locals that it had become a serious health and safety risk. The area also does not have safety barriers and this has led to persons falling into the water in the past.

“Recently there has been a large number of calls made that the area should be reopened and that public space be made available to the public.”

Cllr. McNelis also said that a cautious welcome should be given but that the possibility of closing it in evenings needs to be seriously looked at.

“We can not have the same scenes repeated as we did earlier this year and in previous years. House gardens and Claddagh church grounds were used as toilets and large amounts of litter mainly drink, was left behind. I have met a number of residents this weekend who are not happy with decision and calls have been made by them to have it closed in evenings by City Council and Gardai should assist in clearing area if needs be.

“We do not have enough Garda personnel to have proper policing in our city, we need more resources for the city to tackle and enforce anti social behaviour.

“I have met this week with Gardai and have been given assurances that this will be closely monitored and occasions such as exam results nights, freshers week and good weather will be monitored,” he said.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Council rows back on ‘reduced delays’ projections for Kirwan junction

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Motorists have described it as ‘a disaster’ and a former mayor has said the project gave very poor value for money, but Galway City Council have this week asked the public to be patient with the revamped Kirwan junction, close to the Menlo Park Hotel.

Since the four-arm signalled junction opened early last week, motorists have complained of traffic queues stretching back to the Quincentenary Bridge and Corrib Park.

And now the Council has rowed back on its consultants’ claims that the junction would increase capacity by 15% and reduce waiting times by 25%.

Former mayor and local taxi driver, Cllr Frank Fahy, told the Galway City Tribune that given the negative impact of the junction on traffic, the €5 million spent on the project represented ‘very poor value’ as regards taxpayers’ money.

“I will admit that the junction is now safer for pedestrians in that they can hit a button to give them a safe crossing, but since it opened there have some very serious traffic tailbacks,” said Cllr Fahy.

However, City Council Acting Director of Services for Transport, Uinsinn Finn, told the Galway City Tribune that the new junction needed time to ‘bed in’ with a familiarisation process.

“The main objectives of this project were to make far safer for pedestrians and cyclists to negotiate, as well as making it safer for motorists too, without impacting [negatively] on the traffic flow,” said Mr Finn.

He added that since it opened – and over the coming few weeks – data on all aspects of how the junction was functioning would be compiled which could involve changes to light sequencing, lanes and peak traffic flows.

One motorist who contacted this newspaper said that the daily “nightmare” journey from the Barna Road to the Headford Road during the morning peak traffic time had added up to 40 minutes to his journey time.

“The two lanes are regularly gridlocked from the junction, back the N6, over the Quincentenary Bridge and back to Corrib Park.

“In the mornings, it’s now easier to go down Taylor’s Hill and into town, past Eyre Square and up Bohermore to get down to the Headford Road.

Councillors were told by consultants in 2017 and again in 2018 – when they voted to proceed with the changeover to a junction – that average delays would be reduced by 25% and junction capacity would increase by 15%.
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

Man hospitalised following Eyre Square assault

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Gardaí have appealed to the public for information into an assault in Eyre Square last weekend which led to a young man being hospitalised.

The victim of the assault – a man in his early 20s from the city area – suffered a cut to his knee and may have had a substance sprayed towards his eyes.

Following the incident – that occurred close to the Eyre Square taxi rank shortly after midnight on Saturday night last – the victim was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Galway.

It is understood that the victim was released later that morning and has made a full recovery. This week, Gardaí are poring over CCTV footage in an effort to try and identify the perpetrators of the assault.

The assailants are understood to have fled on foot after the incident towards St Patrick’s Avenue on the east side of Eyre Square.

A Garda spokesperson has appealed for anyone who was in the vicinity of the taxi rank on Eyre Square between 12 midnight and 12.30am on the Sunday morning (Saturday night) of July 25 last, and who may have witnessed the incident to contact them.

(Photo: the assailants fled on foot towards St Patrick’s Avenue off Eyre Square)
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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