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Film studio plan for airport may take wings

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A Galway-based company has made approaches to elected members and officials with a view to transforming Galway airport in Carnmore into a TV and film studio.

The South Connemara production company is currently in discussions with a number of overseas interests in relation to TV and film projects to be shot in Galway.

Danu Media is located in Inverin and is run by Emmy-award winning producer Siobhan Ni Gadhra and John Brady, who is also an award winning producer.

They have written to councillors and officials in Galway in the hope that part of the Galway Airport can be transformed into a television and film studio.

Such a plan has already been mooted by Galway Chamber of Commerce. They said that the two hangars would make ideal studios as they were the right size and right height. The runway would be maintained so that film stars could be flown in.

The airport at Carnmore is now in the joint ownership of Galway City and Galway County Councils. There are no longer any commercial flights arriving at the facility.

It has even been suggested that the old airport become the location of a new hospital but the development of film studios is the latest proposal for the site.

In a submission to elected representatives Siobhan Ni Gadhra said that Galway has the highest concentration of film and television production outside the Dublin and Wicklow areas.

“However, in order to grow, we believe that the industry requires a large studio facility to create the necessary infrastructure to attract large projects and also to act as a creative hub.

“Such a development in Galway would lead to job creation, additional tourism revenue and indirect spend in numerous other areas.

“It is also worth noting that Ireland has one of the most beneficial tax incentives in TV and Film production in the world, in order to attract international projects to shoot here.

“Over the years, we have been involved in attracting both local and international projects to the Galway area and I firmly believe that Galway has huge potential as a major centre for international television and film production”, Ms. Ni Gadhra added.

She added that their company was currently in discussions with a number of overseas partners in relation to TV and film projects, to be shot in Galway and the surrounding areas.

“In 2014, when the Irish Film Board sought expressions of interest in relation to increasing studio space available in Ireland, our company submitted a plan to build a studio in Galway. While looking at available space, the potential of the Galway Airport site became apparent to us,” she said.

The film industry on the east coast developed primarily due of the existence of Ardmore, and more recently the new studio that opened in Ashford, County Wicklow.

Projects such as Ripper Street and Vikings, with local spends of €25 to €35 million euro per series, could not have been attracted without a large studio facility in place.

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Taste of Galway at ‘Flavours of Ireland’

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Joanne Nunn, Kuoni Tumlare; Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland; and David Keane, DK Connemara Oysters, at Flavours of Ireland 2022.

Some 60 tourism companies from Ireland attended ‘Flavours of Ireland’ 2022 in London last week – including Connemara Wild Escapes, DK Connemara Oysters and Killary Fjord Boat Tours.

‘Flavours’ is Tourism Ireland’s annual B2B tourism workshop, where tourism companies from Ireland meet and do business with top global inbound tour operators.

Now in its 20th year, ‘Flavours’ took place in the Guildhall, in the City of London, and was attended by around 100 global inbound tour operators who deliver business from all over the world, including the United States, Mainland Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa.

‘Flavours’ provides an excellent opportunity for the participating tourism providers from Galway and Ireland to highlight and sell their tourism product and build valuable relationships with the key decision-makers in attendance.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Planning Regulator wants Galway City Council U-turn on Development Plan

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From the Galway City Tribune – The Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) has asked Galway City Council to roll back material alterations to the new City Development Plan proposed by councillors.

In July, elected members voted through a raft of changes to zonings in the Draft City Development Plan 2023-29, which went out on public display.

But the Planning Regulator has now warned City Hall that many of the proposed changes do not comply with the OPR’s recommendations, and are contrary to national planning guidelines.

The OPR specifically highlighted problems with proposals to rezone as residential land deemed at risk of flooding.

Anne Marie O’Connor, Deputy Regulator, wrote to the Council’s Planning Department outlining the OPR’s fresh advice on the changes to the draft plan proposed and approved by councillors.

The draft plan will come before elected members again this month.

Councillors will be asked to row back on some of their previous material alterations, which ran contrary to advice of the OPR.

Ms O’Connor said the OPR welcomed many of the changes made by the City Council in its draft plan. She said, however, that the OPR “has a number of outstanding concerns relating to the response of the planning authority to its recommendations and to a number of proposed material alterations relating to the zoning of lands”.

These relate to changes that conflict with national and regional objectives for compact growth; with legislative requirements regarding climate action and core strategies; and with rezoning land at risk of flooding.

The OPR highlighted a dozen or more material alterations by councillors that are “not consistent” with the National Planning Framework for compact growth.

These include re-zoning of land from agricultural or recreational and amenity to residential.

The changes voted on by councillors, the OPR noted, were done against the advice of the Council’s Chief Executive Brendan McGrath.

The OPR said the changes proposed by councillors represented a “piecemeal approach” to zoning and were “inconsistent” with national policy.

These comments related to proposed rezoning of land at Rahoon; Dublin Road; Quarry Road, Menlo; Ballindooley; off Circular Road; Menlo village; Roscam and Barna Woods.

The OPR also raised “significant concerns” over five material alterations proposed for residential zonings of land at Western Distributor Road; Terryland; Menlo Village; Headford Road and Barna Woods which are located within flood zones.

The approach by councillors “may place people and property at unnecessary risk from future flood events”, the OPR warned.

Ms O’Connor told planners that if the draft plan ignores the OPR advice or is at odds with its recommendations, the Council Chief Executive must inform the OPR in writing the reasons for doing so.

Save Roscam Peninsula in a 33-page submission to the draft plan echoed many of the concerns outlined by the OPR.

The Council has pencilled in four dates in November and December to approve the plan.

It will meet on November 21, 24 and 28 and December 1 when material alterations will be voted on individually.
This article first appeared in the print edition of the Galway City Tribune, November 4. You can support our journalism by subscribing to the Galway City Tribune HERE. The print edition is in shops every Friday.

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The show goes on . . . for the 183rd time

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At the launch of The Irish Draught Horse Society Show were: Seán McGuirk, Chairman; Elizabeth Dean Coogan, Council Member; Margaret Buckley, Treasurer; John Harney, Chairman Ballinasloe Horse and Agricultural Show; Cllr. Dermot Connolly and Maeve O'Meara, Secretary.

JOHN HARNEY from Mountpleasant first joined the Ballinasloe Horse and Agriculture Show Committee, all of 60-years ago, on April 24, 1962. Both John and the show are still going strong as they celebrate their 183rd event on this Sunday. Here, he looks back on his involvement with this iconic show through the years.

THE Ballinasloe Show back in the early 1960s was going well with both the Showgrounds and Duggan Park both used for running the competitions.

My first introduction to the show was stewarding the pony competitions in the Mountpleasant end of the Duggan Park with the rest of the GAA field being used for trade stands.

At that time, it was a very big show with horses, ponies, cattle and sheep, pigs and fowl – also there was a big garden and farm produce section as well as a home craft and baking section with flowers and plants supported by a very large women’s committee.

At that time, showjumping took place in the afternoon with the top riders in the country taking part.  I was elected Chairman at the AGM in 1975, a position I held for ten years.

During that time, the Duggan Park Committee approached the Show Committee for a piece of the showgrounds behind the GAA Stand for dressing rooms.

This was brought up a number of times at our committee meetings, and at first, the view was that the Duggan Park Committee would buy the ground.

However, after much deliberation it was decided by the Show Committee to ‘give the ground’ for the sum of £1 with the proviso that the dressingrooms could be used on show days by the local ICA to do catering for the event.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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