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Connacht Tribune

Widening work along deadly stretch hits the buffers

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There is no chance of movement on a road widening project along what was once the deadliest stretch of national route in the county, despite the fact that the necessary land has been bought and paid for.

That’s because there’s no more money to do the work – and this in turn has led to fears that the original landowners will soon be able to claim squatters rights on the property because of the length of the delay.

It was planned to widen the old N6 road between Ballinasloe and Loughrea close to Cappataggle and a process was put in place in which land was acquired on either side of a two mile stretch.

But Transport Infrastructure Ireland, which acquired the necessary land, has not moved on the road improvement works.

However, Cllr Aidan Donohue believes that this was money badly spent as there has been no movement on widening the road since the M6 motorway was provided. “It was a waste of money,” he added.

The Fine Gael councillor said that he could not understand the logic of acquiring land on either side of the old N6 road when the motorway was being planned.

Cllr Donohue said that the landowners were paid for the property on either site of the old N6 and were yet grazing it. He has now asked Galway County Council officials to investigate the situation.

He raised the matter at a meeting of Ballinasloe Municipal Council and said that the lands were ‘bought and paid for’ without any work taking place.

“It is mind-boggling what is going on. They decide to widen the road and then give up on the idea despite the land being bought”, he said.

There is a stretch of the old N6 that is not governed by an extensive had shoulder. In the past, it used to be dotted by white crosses which indicated the number of lives that were lost at this stretch.

It has been suggested that the development of the motorway has resulted in TII losing interest in this stretch despite it still being a national road.

Senior Engineer Damien Mitchell said that the Council were looking for funding to bring the surface of the road up to acceptable standard. He expressed doubts that funding would be provided for its widening in the present climate.

Cllr Michael Connolly said that there could be an issue of squatter’s rights coming into play. He said that if the farmers were utilising the land for seven years, then they could claim it back.

Mr Mitchell said that he could not say what land had been acquired by the Council but he would find out before the next meeting. He said that he would also find out what agreements were entered into with the land owners.

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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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’

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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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