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Wind farm cabling will cause traffic disruption

Enda Cunningham



Major traffic disruption is expected across Galway over the next six months during the laying of an underground cable to connect the new Galway Wind Park in Roscahill to the national electricity grid.

However, the backers of the project have insisted they will be working to minimize disruption.

Work is set to begin this week on laying a total of 21km of cabling from west of Moycullen to the existing Salthill-Screebe substation and then the substation in Ballybrit on the eastern side of the city.

Part of the 110kV cable route runs under the bed of the River Corrib.

Already, the project is causing traffic disruption, with early morning tailbacks reported this week.

The SSE Renewables project involves laying:

■ 6.3km on the N59 between Doon Road and Moycullen;
■ 9km on the N59 betyween Moycullen and NUIG
■ 2.3km between Menlo and Kirwan Roundabout
■ 2.5km between Kirwan Roundabout and Ballybrit

The road works are expected to be completed in August, while the windfarm at Cloosh Valley – under construction since the end of 2014 – will be operational at the beginning of next year.

At a public meeting in Moycullen last week, locals expressed concerns in relation to overall traffic movements, while representatives from SSE Renewables and their contractors (GMC Utilities) gave assurances that all efforts will be in place to minimise disruptions.

The company said progress and difficulties, should they arise, will be closely examined on a regular basis.

All road users have been advised to be fully aware of the works and the possibility of delays as they undertake journeys, as works may be along different sections of the planned route at different times of the year.

Works in the general vicinity of schools will take place during school breaks and holidays.

At the meeting, business owners stressed that business had been adversely affected due to the N59 roadworks over the past fifteen months and they hoped that such delays would not continue with the cable operations.

According to the contractors, cable laying work will be undertaken from 8am to 7pm on Mondays to Fridays and from 8am to 5pm on Saturdays.

The works in Moycullen village and primary junctions will take place during May and during night hours to minimise disruption and delays to local residents and business outlets.

Traffic management and controls with traffic light signals, will be in place over the coming months. The temporary traffic lights will be on a countdown timer and monitored, taking full account of traffic flows.

A total of 69 turbines will be erected at the wind farm, producing enough green energy to power around 84,000 homes – the equivalent of almost 90% of the houses in the county.

Meanwhile, it is believed that the road surfacing works in the Clydagh-Uggoole and Kylebroughlawn areas will go ahead from February 8. The public lights are in operation and works are on-going on the provision of the walking-cycling paths.


Glass roof over Latin Quarter among raft of proposals to Galway City Council

Stephen Corrigan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to put a roof over the Latin Quarter – with outdoor heaters to combat Galway’s changeable weather – is among a raft of suggestions that will be considered by the Council as it draws up the next City Development Plan.

The widespread use of outdoor theatre and extended opening hours for retail and cultural attractions are also on the cards as members of the public and lobby groups push for a city that offers the broadest range of tourist attractions.

As part of series of measures put forward to improve the outdoor offering in the city, one submission – which is understood to have been noted by the Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath in his report on plan, which is at ‘pre-draft’ stage – is to put a glass ceiling on the city centre’s main commercial thoroughfares.

Planners are currently considering the proposal as part of more than 500 submissions made to Council in the first public consultation for the document, which will shape development in the city for six years after 2023.

It’s proposed that by covering the length of Quay Street/Latin Quarter in high retractable glass panes ‘mounted on decorative supports’, and installing street heaters, ‘a comfortable outdoor ambiance could be created’.

This is one of almost 50 submissions made in the area of economic development, where the theme of improving the city’s night-time economy and tourism offering feature prominently.

In another submission from Fáilte Ireland, the tourism authority expresses its desire that the next City Development Plan should have a chapter dedicated to tourism, such is its importance to the city’s economic success.

As well as developing Galway’s growing reputation as a ‘foodie destination’, developing the night-time economy is identified as being ‘an important aspect of ensuring a vibrant city centre and means more than just developing a bar and restaurant culture’.
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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100 new jobs for Galway City Sports Direct outlet

Denise McNamara



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The Sports Direct retail giant is set to create up to 100 new jobs when it takes over the former Debenhams department store in the Corrib Shopping Centre.

And the company’s sister outlet Heatons looks set to make a return to the city – possibly in the same building, although management are remaining tight-lipped.

Sports Direct has taken a lease on the Debenhams premises, which has been vacant since before the pandemic, and it will open in June.

“The 65,000 sq ft store will comprise four floors and will consist of Sports Direct, USC and Brand Max. 100 jobs for the store will be created,” a spokesperson confirmed to the Galway City Tribune.

The spokesperson could not confirm that the Heatons brand – which is also owned by English billionaire Mike Ashley – will also be opening as part of the move. The group is currently advertising for staff to work at a new Heatons store in Galway.
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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Forty firefighters tackle major blaze at Galway golf shop

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Up to 40 firefighters from across the city and county fought a major fire at the GolfStyle superstore off the Tuam Road for around six hours on Thursday morning.

Gardaí on routine patrol in the Liosbán Business Park shortly before 3am noticed smoke coming from the roof of the building and immediately alerted the fire service.

The building, which was unoccupied at the time, is understood to have suffered major structural and roof damage in the fire that started in the first floor.

At one point, 11 fire engines from the city, Athenry, Loughrea, Carraroe and Gort fought the blaze, using water tankers and aerial ladders, as well as having a command unit in place.

Firemen equipped with breathing apparatus also had to force their way into the building to tackle the source of the fire, that possibly could have been caused by an electrical problem.

The fire was brought under control at around 7.30am, but the Fire Brigade remained at the scene for a number of hours afterwards in case of any secondary outbreak.
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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