Galway

  • Bus Eireann has returned to financial stability, and is today announcing ambitious plans for the future.

    The company achieved an operating profit last year of €1.6 million - compared with a loss of €6.8 million in 2017.

    It also reduced its deficit from €23.7 million to €6.7 million in the past year.

    Bus Eireann says the financial recovery was due to the implementation of over 60 businesses measures over the last two years, together with strong growth in passenger numbers -which are now at their highest since 2008.

    Bus Eireann carried 83.6 million passengers in 2018.

    The company says 102 new buses will be introduced countrywide this year - double decker buses will be introduced in Galway, Cork and Limerick cities with low floor accessible buses being introduced in Mayo, Galway, Sligo and parts of Donegal.

    250 new drivers have also joined Bus Eireann following a recent recruitment drive.

     

  • Businesses across Mayo, Galway and Roscommon are encouraged to attend the launch of the new Regional Enterprise Plan for the area taking place on Monday.

    The launch of the Regional Enterprise Plan for the West, the third of nine such events nationwide will be held at Portershed Galway at 9am on Monday.

    The plan will be launched by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys and then Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Sean Kyne.

    Minister Kyne says the West has shown great progress in employment levels since the launch of our Regional Action Plan in early 2015.

  • The Cabinet has approved the business case for an outer bypass for Galway City.

    The project will now be submitted to An Bord Pleanala, and if approved, will proceed to construction stage.

    Transport Minister Shane Ross says the scheme will reduce traffic congestion in Galway city, and provide direct access from the new motorway to industrial parks at Ballybrit and Parkmore.

    Galway East TD Séan Canney has welcomed today's Cabinet decision, which he says brings the outer city bypass a step forward to alleviate traffic congestion.

    Deputy Canney told Midwest News this evening that the creation of this bypass will reduce commuting time for thousands of workers in Galway, and will improve access to University Hospital Galway and NUIG.

  • Cabinet Ministers have approved legislation to allow people living on islands to vote on the same day as the mainland.

    Islands off the Mayo, Galway and Donegal coasts usually vote two days before the rest of the country in elections and referenda.

    The Minister with responsibility for the islands Sean Kyne says that, with improved transport services to and from islands in recent years, same-day voting is more practical and should be introduced.

    His Galway West colleague, Fianna Fail TD Eamon O'Cuiv had introduced the Islands Voting Bill, which was approved at today's Cabinet meeting.

    Minister Kyne says this decision will enable the electoral legislation to proceed to Committee Stage.

     

     

  • The Government needs to immediately outline their contingency plan for rolling out Covid-19 vaccines to the over-70's.

    That's according to Galway East TD Séan Canney, a member of the Regional Group of TDs who say clear and concise information in now needed to reduce any further anxiety.

    It follows the HSE's advice last night that people over the age of 70 should be given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, rather than the AstraZeneca,due to lack of evidence about how well the AstraZeneca protects older people.

    However, there are issues over the storage and transportation of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and Deputy Séan Canney says that, while GPs will be administering the Pfizer vaccine, we need to know how and when this will commence.

    He's calling for urgent clarification on the matter from the Government & Minister for Health.

  • The deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn should be awarded a Mayoral reception in Galway for his work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    That's according to Galway City Councillor Alan Cheevers.

    Dr Ronan Glynn is a native of Claregalway, and has served as acting CMO when Dr Tony Holohan was on leave.

    The Fianna Fail Councillor believes Dr Glynn's leadership at national level deserves recognition, and he's calling on the Mayor of Galway Colette Connolly to give a mayoral reception in honour of Dr Glynn.

    His call comes shortly after Dr Tony Holohan was awarded the Freedom of Dublin for his leadership throughout the pandemic.

    Speaking to Midwest News, Councillor Cheevers says Dr Ronan Glynn should be recognised in his home county for his work over the past 15 months....

     

  • Fianna Fail councillors have formally asked the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) to audit the company established to manage Galway’s year as European capital of culture.

    The party’s group on Galway city council said it wants the audit carried out “as soon as possible, to ensure accountability is in place for taxpayer funding”.

    In a letter to the C&AG the group points out that the Galway 2020 company confirmed it had spent €18m of the €19m received from government and EU sources. “This is despite the widespread cancellation of events caused due to Covid-19,” the letter states.

    A limited entity, Galway Cultural Development and Activity Company, was established to run the European capital of culture programme. The not-for-profit company provides a governance structure and has a voluntary board.

    The Sunday Times is reporting that after it’s programme was suspended because of the pandemic, 17 staff were made redundant.

    A revised programme of events is to run from September to March 2021.

  • There are calls for the latest report from Ireland's Mother and Baby Homes Commission to be published as soon as possible.

    The Children's Minister confirmed yesterday that she's received the 5th interim report which is focused on the burial arrangements of those who died while living in the homes.

    It brings the Government a step closer to approving the excavation of the Tuam site where almost 800 children are believed to be buried.

  • Campaigners say the state could be in breach of international law for its involvement in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.

    The Irish Council for Civil Liberties says the crime of 'Enforced Disappearance' involves a state refusing to disclose the whereabouts of people who've been abducted.

    It's thought hundreds of children were secretly buried on the Tuam site.

    Thousands of children were also thought to have been illegally adopted through homes nationwide.

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    A Canadian software company is to create 150 new jobs in Galway over the next three years.

    SOTI  -a provider of mobile device management solutions, is to begin recruiting imediately for 50 new jobs, with a further 100 jobs to be created over the next three years.

    The company, which was established in 1995 and has ten offices around the world, expects to employ over 1,000 staff by the end of the year.

    SOTI said it will use the Galway office to strengthen its presence in Europe as it targets new markets like retail, healthcare and field services.

    The company's founder and CEO Carl Rodrigues says Galway is an attractive destination to source talent, as it's already home to many Fortune 500 companies.

     

     

     

  • Mayo-based retailer Carraig Donn has announced the opening of a new store in Galway next month.

    The new store at the Gateway Shopping Park in Knocknacarra will open its doors on Friday 11th September, bringing the total number of Carraig Donn stores to 42.

    Knocknacarra will be the largest of their retail stores at 4,700 sq ft.

    This is the third Carraig Donn store in Galway, and will create up to 20 new jobs.

    Carraig Donn is headquartered in Westport, and now employs over 500 people nationally.

     

  • A High Court case taken by a former postal sorting worker in Galway has been struck out.

    56-year old Claire Stephens  - a married mother who worked in the Galway Mail Sorting office- claimed she was bullied over a number of years, with alleged gay rumours circulating about her.

    An Post had denied that it failed to deal properly with the allegations.

    The case was due to resume at the High Court yesterday, but Mr Justice Charles Meenan was told by Ms Stephen's solicitor that her client asked the case be struck out, and the judge granted her request.

  • A number of residents and staff at a nursing home in south Galway have tested positive for Covid-19.

    The Health Service Executive has confirmed the outbreak.

    In a statement, it said it is working with the facility to support management in delivering care to the residents.

    It continued: "Public Health HSE West are conducting a daily outbreak teleconference with the facility and Community Healthcare West."

  • According to the final litter survey of 2018 by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL), Castlebar is now ‘Cleaner than European Norms’ and is 12th from the top in the ranking of 40 town and cities nationally. Sligo town also achieved Cleaner than European Norms designation and was ranked 6th best town nationally

    FOR Castlebar, 12th positionis a jump of 8 places over the previous survey.

    An Taisce, who carry out the surveys on behalf of IBAL, commented on Castlebar in its report: “With 70% of sites surveyed getting the top litter grade, Castlebar has again scored very well and has come a long way from a few years ago in the IBAL litter league.  There were no seriously littered sites.  Some examples of top ranking sites included Market Square, Market Street, County Council Car Park and the residential area of Maryland – these sites were not just good with regard to litter but also overall presentation and maintenance. “

    Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton, will present the awards at a ceremony today, crowning Fermoy as the cleanest town among those ranked according to litter levels in 2018, with Waterford City again Ireland’s cleanest city.

    Just under 90% of towns surveyed were deemed clean, a slight improvement on the previous year. 

    Roscommon town ranked 14th and was designated as Clean to European Norms, Ballinasloe was deem Moderately Littered and ranked 33rd.

    While Galway city centre improved in its ranking, the Ballybane area of  the city ranked 39th and is designated as Seriously Littered.

     

  • In the Dail today, the Ceann Comhairle has launched a blistering attack on those who attended last month's golf dinner in Clifden, saying it's damaged public confidence in the Dáil.

    Opening this afternoon's sitting of the house, Sean O'Fearghail criticised the attendees, saying there were serious public health breaches and intelligent people made a decision which was fundamentally wrong.

    He's confirmed the golfing society was never formally established by the Houses of the Oireachtas, and has never received any funding.

    Sean O'Fearghail says confidence in politicians has been damaged as a result.

  • The Chairperson of the board of Galway 2020, Aideen McGinley has notified the board of her intention to step aside as Chair.  Ms McGinley will remain in and committed to the position of Chair until a new appointment is made and following that, will continue to support the project as a strategic advisor to the board. 

    Having managed the establishment and overseen the implementation of important Governance structures and procedures, she now believes that as the project moves to a new delivery phase, a new chair with different skill sets would be best placed to take the project forward.

    She remains completely committed to Galway 2020 and is heavily involved in the process to recruit a new chair to ensure the necessary handovers are undertaken and complete.

    In reviewing the needs of the organisation as it enters the next phase of delivery, the board has been augmented and refreshed with a range of additional skills and experience . The board has announced three new appointments.

    Arthur Lappin, a leading film and theatre producer for over 30 years joins the board bringing specific industry expertise to the role.  Arthur played a key role in producing the bid book during the bid phase for Galway 2020 and has served on the boards of more than 30 cultural organisations in film, theatre, dance, opera, education and multi-disciplinary arts centres.

    Finbarr Bradley, a fluent Irish speaker who is an author, co-author and former professor of finance at DCU, currently teaching at UCD Smurfit Business School also joins, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the board of Galway 2020. 

    Additionally, Ivonka Kwiek, an anthropologist and culture manager living and working in Galway, will also take up a position on the board of Galway 2020.  Her experience in the culture sector will be of significant benefit to the board of Galway 2020.

     

     

  • Changes to the legislation that govern dog-breeding establishments are in the pipeline in an effort to tackle over-breeding in often squalid and inhumane conditions.

    Minister of State for Rural and Community Development, Galway based TD Sean Canney, also wants to tighten controls on the sale of animals to ensure they are not separated from their mothers before a certain age.

    And he wants the public’s input into what breeds should be tightly controlled or even banned, as is the case in other countries.

    Minister Canney recently visited the Limerick Animal Welfare Centre, where he saw at first hand the work that goes in to caring for and treating animals that have been cruelly abandoned.

    From litters of kittens abandoned in plastic bags by the side of a road to dogs abandoned by owners on remote roads, it is often left to shelters such as Limerick Animal Welfare to bring these animals back to full health and try to rehome them.

    Last year, following a public consultation process, Minister Canney’s Department published new Guidelines for Dog Breeding Establishments and these came into effect on January 1 of this year.

    Separate to the work on dog breeding establishments, Minister Canney also wants the public’s input into whether any breeds should be tightly controlled or even banned, as in the case in other countries.

    This review of measures relating to the control of dogs in Ireland will go to public consultation in the coming weeks and inputs from all sectors will be welcome

  • The father and son who rescued the two paddle boarders who were missing in Galway Bay overnight were given a hero’s welcome when they returned to the docks in the city this (THURS) afternoon.

    Patrick Oliver (38) and his 18-year old son Morgan were hailed for their role in saving the two females by correctly working out their location off the Aran Islands using tidal and weather information.

    And while the father and son team were being welcomed back to their home port in their seven-metre potting vessel Johnny O, just over a mile away the relieved families of cousins Sara Feeney (23) and Ellen Glynn (17) were overjoyed at Galway University Hospital as they greeted the arrival of the Irish Coastguard helicopter from Inis Oirr with the rescued paddle boarders on board.

    The families of the two rescued females, including Ellen’s dad Johnny Glynn, who captained Galway United to win the 1991 FAI Cup, hugged each other as the pair were taken from the helicopter and taken by ambulance on the short journey to the hospital to be checked out.

    Well-wishers greeted the two families as they made their way to the hospital while half an hour later another group lined the quayside to welcome home the father and son team, the latest in a long line of fishermen of the Oliver family from the Claddagh, who had made the remarkable rescue off the smallest of the Aran Islands shortly before noon.

    Patrick Oliver praised the cousins for ‘doing everything right’ to help them survive the night on the bay when the warm sunny evening gave way to a thunderous night of wind and rain.

    The identity of the missing pair became known during the morning with soccer clubs in the region raising the alarm after it emerged that one of the missing paddleboarders was a daughter of Johnny Glynn.

    Glynn is an iconic figure in Galway, having not only captained Galway United to their sole FAI Cup success in 1991 but he also scored the only goal of the match and since then has been involved in developing dozens of young players.

    Well-wishers rushed to greet him and the other family members at Galway University Hospital to rejoice in the rescue just as hope was beginning to fade.

     

     

  • Children are cycling through Galway to mark World Car Free Day this morning.

    They're taking part in Kidical Mass which will see them pedal from Fr. Burke Park through the city and back to the park.

    There'll be rolling road closures for the event with music, face painting and bike games afterwards.

  • 96% of Ireland's bathing waters are meeting the EU's minimum standards.

    The Environmental Protection Agency's annual report shows 111 out of 148 bathing waters were deemed "excellent" in 2020 - an increase of four on 2019.

    Ballyloughane Beach in Galway is one of two beaches with poor water quality in 2019 that have improved, along with Brook Beach in Portrane, Dublin.

    However, Clifden Beach in Co Galway, which has been classified as "poor" water quality for 5 years in a row, will now be declassified as a bathing water for 2021.

    Mary Gurrie of the EPA says Clifden is one of four locations nationally that currently have "poor" water quality....