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Connacht Tribune

Van, HGV and coach sales booming in Galway



More than 4,200 new cars were registered in Galway in the first seven months of this year – down by around 170 vehicles on the same period in 2017 – according to new industry figures.

And a strong indicator of the ongoing economic recovery could well be the boom in van sales – up more than 9% to 840 so far this year, while HGVs and coaches are up around 2.7% to 1,945.

Used car imports from the UK and Japan are continuing on an upward trajectory, with 3,790 registered from the start of the year until the end of July, which is up more than 10% from 3,434 in the same period last year.

The statistics from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show there were 4,247 cars on ‘181 G’ and ‘182 G’ plates in Galway at the end of July, down almost 4% on the 4,414 during the same period last year.

January sales were down 5.2%; February down 2.6%; March down 11.7%; April down 2.2%; May was up more than 6.8%; June down 22.6% and July, the first month of the new 182 G plates was up 2%.

The Hyundai Tucson SUV continues to be Galway’s most popular car, with 182 units sold in the first seven months, followed by the Nissan Qashqai (150); Toyota Yaris (142); Skoda Octavia (134); Toyota Corolla (129); VW Tiguan (110); Ford Focus (108); Kia Sportage (105) and VW Golf (98 units).

Grey, black, blue, red/maroon and white/ivory were the most popular colours.

Light commercial vehicle sales are also up 9.4% from 768 in the first seven months of 2017 to 840 during the same period this year.

The most popular are the VW T6 (86 units); VW Caddy (80); Toyota Landcruiser commercial (67); Ford Transit Connect (53); Ford Transit van (44); VW Golf van (39); Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (39); Citroen Berlingo (35) and Renault Trafic (27).

Registrations of new heavy commercial vehicles were up 2.7% from 1,894 units to 1,945. The most popular were the Scania 3-axle tractor (195 units); 149 Volvo buses and coaches; 127 Volvo 3-axle tractors; 118 Scania 2-axle tractors and 97 DAF 2-axle rigids.

Used car imports – when buyers turn mainly to the UK in search of higher ‘spec’ models than those available on the Irish market – were up more than 10% from 3,434 to 3,790.

The most popular imports were the VW Golf (225 units); Ford Focus (200); Hyundai i30 (173); VW Passat (142); BMW 5 Series (114); Audi A4 (108); Skoda Octavia (106); Nissan Qashqai (105); Ford Mondeo (91) and Mercedes-Benz E Class (89).

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised



Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’



Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Siblings find each other – and their Connemara roots – after 80 years



Reunited...Pat and Miceál McKeown outside their mother Síle’s birthplace in Carna.

By Erin Gibbons

A family separated for over 80 years was reunited at the end of an emotional journey in Connemara last weekend – thanks to DNA testing and the expert help of heritage researchers.

Pat McKeown, who lives in Staffordshire in the UK, is the daughter of Síle Gorham from Roisín Na Mainiach, Carna – but she was given up for adoption and reared for a time in a Belfast Mother and Baby Home.

Now, at the age of 81, she found her roots – returning to her mother’s native place for the first time last weekend, in the company of her long-lost brother Micheál.

It was an emotional end to a lifelong search for her roots that even led her to hire a private detective to try and locate her family and to discover her name.

All of this proved unsuccessful – and she had effectively given up her search when she was contacted unexpectedly by a man called Miceál McKeown, who turned out to be her brother.

Micheál – an artist and sculptor – and his daughter Orla had made the connection through DNA testing, after Miceál too had set out to discover more about his own roots.

That revealed that Síle Gorham had married Michael McKeown in 1939, and Síle went on to have three more children named Áine, Séan and Miceál.

Pat visited Connemara last weekend for the first time to learn about her mother Síle and the Connemara ancestry which she feels was robbed from her for her entire 81 years.

She was accompanied by Miceál, his wife Rosemary, daughter Orla and son-in-law Rueben Keogh.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from

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