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Oppostion to bypass is gaining momentum



Opposition to the emerging preferred route for the controversial city bypass is gaining momentum, the Galway N6 Action Group is claiming.

The city residents’ group says it will be organising a meeting in the next fortnight to mobilise opposition to the planned road.

“After all of the initial positive spin from ARUP and Galway County Council when the announcement of the preferred route was made two weeks ago, the reality on the ground for homeowners is very different.

“At the time of the announcement, much was made of the willingness of ARUP to work with residents to mitigate the worst effects of the new route. However, it is becoming very clear that the scope for mitigation is very limited because of the number of houses affected,” it said in a statement.

The drivers of the project – the County Council and consultants ARUP – acknowledge that some 41 homes will be knocked, a further 10 houses will be seriously affected and a total of 300 land and property owners are impacted.

“That amounts to more than 1,000 people if one assumes four people per household,” said a spokesperson for Galway N6 Action Group.

“ARUP personnel are courteous and attentive, but their scope to make meaningful changes is severely compromised by the number of homes affected on a relatively short stretch of road.

“Householders are now faced with the fact that the stark choice they are confronted with is to agree to the proposed route or to oppose it because the third option, which is meaningful mitigation, is very limited.”

The group says members have been denied access to traffic figures to substantiate the need for the road.

“ARUP are unwilling or unable to provide this data. It is alienating to residents when they are not being furnished with the information which substantiates the need for the bypass and the destruction of their homes and or the reduction of their quality of life.”

Householders affected have questioned why alternatives haven’t been progressed including a bus service crossing the Quincentenary Bridge from Knocknacarra and Salthill to Parkmore. The group was also “shocked to learn” that an Environmental Impact Study on the preferred route is not yet complete.

“There is a growing sense that this process is disrespectful to homeowners.

“They feel they are being rushed through a process where ARUP’s deadlines are more important than the needs and rights of residents to be presented with a comprehensive package of reasons outlining why this inner bypass is the only solution to Galway’s traffic congestion problems.

“It is leading to increased opposition to the route and the Galway N6 Action Group is being approached by other communities along the proposed route as residents along the route try to join forces in opposition to the proposed route. Because of this, the group is likely to hold a public meeting in the next two weeks to coordinate the growing opposition to the emerging preferred route,” the group said.

Meanwhile, residents in Barna impacted by the emerging preferred route are having another meeting this week to discuss their next course of action.

Barna N6 Action Group will meet in the youth centre beside Barna Church today, Friday June 5 at 8pm. It is a public meeting but in particular anyone whose property or land is affected by the road is urged to attend.

“At the previous meeting about half of those who are affected and who received letters had already met directly with consultants Arup and officials from Galway County Council. Since then the other half have met with the consultants and, so, at our upcoming meeting everyone will have met with the consultants and we will have a better indication of the impact this will have on Barna,” a spokesperson said.

More than 300 people attended meetings in Westwood and Menlo Park hotels last week where 3-D images of the proposed road were on show.

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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