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Neighbours’ relief as derelict house up for sale



Neighbours living beside a derelict site, that was attracting an unsavoury element and causing huge problems for those trying to sell their homes, have welcomed the news that the house is now up for auction.

Late last year, City Councillor, Donal Lyons, called on the individual or institution that owned 54 Cruachan Park, Rahoon, to either restore or sell the detached house, before it was razed to the ground altogether.

“It was very hard to find out who the legal owners were,” he told the Galway City Tribune.

“We had also requested the City Council to get the owners to make it secure.”

At the time, the state of the four-bed property was said to be devaluing the whole area, but also the quality of life of residents living nearby.

The windows of the particular house had been broken again, the internal walls were damaged, fires were regularly being lit inside, and unruly groups were holding almost nightly parties inside.

Things came to a head, however, when residents witnessed “a mini-riot” outside the property. Cllr Lyons said that Gardaí were powerless, as there had been no complaint made by the owner.

“That’s the difficulty with this house and similar properties – residents are in ‘no man’s land’,” he said at the time.

“Who do they turn to in the present situation? They want it safeguarded, so that people don’t have access to it in the future. Otherwise, it will become an eyesore.”

The worst fear for neighbours, he said, was that the house would be burned to the ground by revellers, referring to a case on the Ballymoneen Road, where the owner eventually had to demolish the property altogether.

Galway City Council’s powers were restricted under the Derelict Sites Act 1990, and it had to go through the slow process to rectify the situation. Following on from an inspection by a community warden in October, the registered owners – a couple with an address in Ballyglunin, Tuam – were traced through a search of the Land Registry, and a notice was issued to them.

This stated that Galway City Council intended to put the property on the register of derelict sites unless certain works were carried out within a 28-day period to remove ‘the indication of dereliction’.

Since then, the property was boarded up and this had the effect of cutting out the anti-social behaviour, and the house has now been put on the market.

“We are delighted to hear that it is for sale, and there will be some comfort for neighbours that the property will be taken on possibly by a family,” Cllr Lyons said yesterday.

“It is a nice neighbourhood and a fine house.”

O’Donnellan & Joyce have advertised the house on its list of properties to be sold by auction on June 27. With an advised minimum value is €130,000, the house is described as being in need of refurbishment, but one which would appeal to a DIY enthusiast, as it offers a blank canvas.

Connacht Tribune

West has lower cancer survival rates than rest



Significant state investment is required to address ‘shocking’ inequalities that leave cancer patients in the West at greater risk of succumbing to the disease.

A meeting of Regional Health Forum West heard that survival rates for breast, lung and colorectal cancers than the national average, and with the most deprived quintile of the population, the West’s residents faced poorer outcomes from a cancer diagnosis.

For breast cancer patients, the five-year survival rate was 80% in the West versus 85% nationally; for lung cancer patients it was 16.7% in the west against a 19.5% national survival rate; and in the West’s colorectal cancer patients, there was a 62.6% survival rate where the national average was 63.1%.

These startling statistics were provided in answer to a question from Ballinasloe-based Cllr Evelyn Parsons (Ind) who said it was yet another reminder that cancer treatment infrastructure in the West was in dire need of improvement.

“The situation is pretty stark. In the Western Regional Health Forum area, we have the highest incidence of deprivation and the highest health inequalities because of that – we have the highest incidences of cancer nationally because of that,” said Cllr Parsons, who is also a general practitioner.

In details provided by CEO of Saolta Health Care Group, which operates Galway’s hospitals, it was stated that a number of factors were impacting on patient outcomes.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Marathon Man plans to call a halt – but not before he hits 160 races



Loughrea’s Marathon Man Jarlath Fitzgerald.

On the eve of completing his 150th marathon, an odyssey that has taken him across 53 countries, Loughrea’s Marathon Man has announced that he is planning to hang up his running shoes.

But not before Jarlath Fitzgerald completes another ten races, making it 160 marathons on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

“I want to draw the line in 2026. I turn 57 in October and when I reach 60 it’s the finishing line. The longer races are taking it out of me. I did 20 miles there two weeks ago and didn’t feel good. It’s getting harder,” he reveals.

“I’ve arthritis in both hips and there’s wear and tear in the knees.”

We speak as he is about to head out for a run before his shift in Supervalu Loughrea. Despite his physical complaints, he still clocks up 30 miles every second week and generally runs four days a week.

Jarlath receives injections to his left hip to keep the pain at bay while running on the road.

To give his joints a break, during the winter he runs cross country and often does a five-mile trek around Kylebrack Wood.

He is planning on running his 150th marathon in Cork on June 4, where a group of 20 made up of work colleagues, friends and running mates from Loughrea Athletics Club will join him.

Some are doing the 10k, others are doing the half marathon, but all will be there on the finishing line to cheer him on in the phenomenal achievement.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Galway ‘masterplan’ needed to tackle housing and transport crises



From the Galway City Tribune – An impassioned plea for a ‘masterplan’ that would guide Galway City into the future has been made in the Dáil. Galway West TD Catherine Connolly stated this week that there needed to be an all-inclusive approach with “vision and leadership” in order to build a sustainable city.

Deputy Connolly spoke at length at the crisis surrounding traffic and housing in Galway city and said that not all of the blame could be laid at the door of the local authority.

She said that her preference would be the provision of light rail as the main form of public transport, but that this would have to be driven by the government.

“I sat on the local council for 17 years and despaired at all of the solutions going down one road, metaphorically and literally. In 2005 we put Park & Ride into the development plan, but that has not been rolled out. A 2016 transport strategy was outdated at the time and still has not been updated.

“Due to the housing crisis in the city, a task force was set up in 2019. Not a single report or analysis has been published on the cause of the crisis,” added Deputy Connolly.

She then referred to a report from the Land Development Agency (LDA) that identified lands suitable for the provision of housing. But she said that two-thirds of these had significant problems and a large portion was in Merlin Park University Hospital which, she said, would never have housing built on it.

In response, Minister Simon Harris spoke of the continuing job investment in the city and also in higher education, which is his portfolio.

But turning his attention to traffic congestion, he accepted that there were “real issues” when it came to transport, mobility and accessibility around Galway.

“We share the view that we need a Park & Ride facility and I understand there are also Bus Connects plans.

“I also suggest that the City Council reflect on her comments. I am proud to be in a Government that is providing unparalleled levels of investment to local authorities and unparalleled opportunities for local authorities to draw down,” he said.

Then Minister Harris referred to the controversial Galway City Outer Ring Road which he said was “struck down by An Bord Pleanála”, despite a lot of energy having been put into that project.

However, Deputy Connolly picked up on this and pointed out that An Bord Pleanála did not say ‘No’ to the ring road.

“The High Court said ‘No’ to the ring road because An Bord Pleanála acknowledged it failed utterly to consider climate change and our climate change obligations.

“That tells us something about An Bord Pleanála and the management that submitted such a plan.”

In the end, Minister Harris agreed that there needed to be a masterplan for Galway City.

“I suggest it is for the local authority to come up with a vision and then work with the Government to try to fund and implement that.”

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