Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Connacht Tribune

Water plant gives new hope to Spiddal hotel proposal

Declan Tierney



The recent announcement of the provision of a new sewage treatment plant for Spiddal has given fresh hopes to a couple want to provide a new four-star hotel for the village.

It has been confirmed that a new wastewater treatment plant will be provided in Spiddal – and the developers believe that this should pave the way for a new hotel to be built in the popular tourist location.

There had been serious opposition to the plans to build the hotel on the grounds of its size while there were claims that it would not integrate into the local environment.

One of the concerns about the development related to the preservation of the Irish language.

Developer Ronan Barrett told The Connacht Tribune: “The protection of the Irish language requires the protection and growth of the Irish speaking community.

“It is important that the needs of the community now be considered and more needs to be done by Galway County Council to ensure that the community of the Gaeltacht villages are allowed to grow and flourish.

“It is not currently possible to accommodate young Irish speaking couples in these villages. Any amendment to the County Development Plan that is now under consideration, should be used to address this issue,” he stated.

When planning permission was sought for the provision of a hotel in Spiddal there were almost 50 submissions to the application and the vast majority of these were opposed to the development.

Council planners were of the opinion that the hotel would not be capable of assimilating and integrating into the local landscape because of its size and bulk.

It was the plan of Ronan and Siobhan Barrett to provide a four star hotel at Baile Eamoinn on the approach to Spiddal from the Galway side of the village.

The applicants said that the Council’s decision to refuse planning means that the community has lost an opportunity to secure a hotel for the village along with a large function room, restaurant, swimming pool and playground.

Planners felt that the hotel development would have an adverse impact on the amenities and character of this particular area.

They also said that it would detract from the visual amenity of the immediate area and would form a visually obtrusive feature as well as setting an undesirable precedent.

The Council said the proposal for a temporary sewage treatment plant for the hotel, that had the potential to create around 100 jobs, was both premature and prejudicial to public health.

But there was a lot of opposition to the development from both individuals and community groups on the grounds that it would not be a suitable development at this location.

However, those behind the project are now considering their options and if they will appeal the decision of Galway County Council.

“We had hoped to create a high quality four-star hotel facility, An Cuan, that meets the needs of the local community as a quality venue for family functions and weddings.

“We had also hoped to provide a new swimming pool, gym and children’s playground which are important recreational facilities that the local community badly need,” Mr Barrett told The Connacht Tribune.

He and his wife said that the proposed four-star hotel had been designed to include a large function room and restaurant that would have provided a venue for local weddings, family functions and community events.

Connacht Tribune

Biden is a Maree man!

Keith Kelly



US President-election Joe Biden.

The connections of incoming US President, Joe Biden, to Mayo and Louth on his mother’s side of his family have been widely reported – but it has emerged that he has just as strong links to a small townland outside Oranmore through his father’s side…as recently as four generations ago.

And the news has led to hopes that the President-elect will include a trip to Galway in any itinerary for a visit to Ireland during his presidency – and it is being reported this week that the incoming president will make Ireland his first state visit when he assumes office.

Contact had been made with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s office with the news of the President-elect’s Galway links ahead of his visit to Ireland in 2016, but Liam Hanniffy – who has uncovered the link between his family and that of Mr Biden, was told that the itinerary had already been planned, and a visit to Galway was not possible.

Liam Hanniffy, who is from Ballinacourty in Maree, has been researching his family tree since been contacted by a man from America in 2014 saying they were third cousins, and both were also related to the then US Vice-President, Joe Biden.

Research by Liam has discovered that a man called John Hanniffy, who was born just over 200 years ago in Ballinacourty Hill in Maree, is actually the great-great grandfather of the President-elect – and to make the Galway link even stronger, John Hanniffy married a woman whose parents was also born in the same townland, meaning two of his great-great-great grandparents also came from the same townlands nestled on Galway Bay.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition at

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Galway all set to re-open for business

Dara Bradley



Shop will be back.

Galway has earned the right to re-open – local lockdown sacrifices have suppressed the virus in the community, the latest figures confirm.

The collective effort of city and county residents over six weeks drove down the infection rate to one of the lowest in the country.

Gyms, all retail, hairdressers, personal services and possibly religious services and some entertainment are on course to re-open next week.

Government will announce plans for hospitality, with publicans, and in particular those who don’t serve food, hopeful they won’t be left behind. Plans to ease Christmas visiting restrictions will also be unveiled Friday.

Galway had one of Ireland’s highest Covid-19 figures when the country entered Level 5 lockdown in October but the latest stats reveal a massive turnaround.

Galway recorded 168 new confirmed cases in the fortnight to Monday, which equates to a 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 of 65.1, compared with the national average of 107.8. The incidence rate peaked at 313.9 per 100,000 in October when the number of weekly cases in Galway hit a staggering 500 – ten times this week’s total of 50 cases in the seven days up to Monday.

In the week to Saturday, 28 Covid outbreaks were recorded in the West, down from 36 the previous week. Eighteen of the new clusters were in private homes and nine were in extended family and community.

See full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition at

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Galway mum’s support from home as toddler battles rare cancer

Denise McNamara



Little fighter...Grace Bridges.

A Galway woman living in Sydney has been overwhelmed by the support shown by family and friends in her native Loughrea since her toddler Grace was diagnosed with a rare cancer last January.

“One of my friends said you can see Ireland with all the candles lighting for Grace,” reflects Emma Bane, over the phone from her child’s hospital bed which has become an all-too-familiar second home for the pair.

Yet still Grace fights, beating all the odds, as she approaches her second birthday on December 11. Metastatic Hepatoblastoma is so rare it affects one in a million children.

They returned to Westmead Hospital in the western suburbs of Sydney over a week ago after catching the common cold as her immune system is so compromised after 40 doses of chemotherapy.

Another 30 doses are planned.

“We call her our little warrior princess. She’s had three life-threatening trips to intensive care. When pathology looked at her blood sample her tumour markers were so high they couldn’t quantify them – they’d never seen anything like it. This is the third time we’ve been told she wouldn’t make it.”

Grace gets very sick when undergoing the chemo in 21 days cycles and usually has to be admitted due to severe diarrhoea and dehydration.

After her fifth surgery in September, oncologists warned that this latest round of chemo is her last chance at survival.

“They tell us to be hopeful and so far she’s beaten all the odds. That’s how amazing she is. She’s had 500 needles from February till October and 60 blood transfusions – she’s really been through the mill.”

As have Emma and her husband Adam Bridges.


There is a GoFundMe page set up to help with the cost of medical expenses. To contribute go to

This is the correct address; there was a typographical error in the one which appears in this week’s paper and on the digital edition.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition at

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads



Weather Icon