Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us


Royal visit: plans for street closures and viewing areas



Gardaí have been calling to city centre businesses in preparation for the arrival of Britain’s Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Thursday – with plans for street closures and viewing areas being slowly released ahead of the royal pair’s trip West.

The Galway City Tribune understands that a barrier will be erected at the bottom of Shop Street – near Taaffe’s Bar – to provide a viewing area where members of the public can catch a glimpse of William and Kate.

A number of streets in the city centre will be closed to deliveries ahead of the visit, with no access from Williamsgate Street down to Mainguard Street between 4am and 3pm on Thursday.

However, it is understood that pedestrian access will be permitted – with bag searches in operation at the various access points, including at Lynch’s Castle.

Smaller arteries leading onto the main thoroughfare, such as Church Lane next to St Nicholas’ Church and Buttermilk Lane adjacent to Anthony Ryan’s will be closed to the public.

Prince William and Kate are due to arrive in the city centre sometime around midday and will call to Tigh Chóilí on Mainguard Street. It’s understood a number of businesses beside and across from the well-known trad pub have been asked for their co-operation – no businesses are said to have been asked to close.

Included on the Royal couple’s itinerary is meeting with a number of local community and youth groups, as well as a visit to the trendy restaurant and wine bar, Tribeton, situated on Merchants Road.

The Royals will also travel to Salthill-Knocknacarra GAA Club, where a number of local juvenile players will put on a display match.

Gardaí are said to have been “understandably sparse with information”, with a major security operation required to host the second-in-line to the British throne.

The Royal visit to the West forms part of an official visit to Ireland which began in Dublin yesterday. The decision to cross the Shannon is understood to have been influenced by Galway’s designation as European Capital of Culture for 2020.

According to those involved in organising the visit, Galway 2020 will be “providing the entertainment” for the couple.

A spokesperson for Galway City Council said preparations for the Galway leg of the visit were being carried out by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the British Embassy.

No civic or formal reception is due to take place, the spokesperson stated. The visit will be a more relaxed interaction with a selection of artists, cultural operators, heritage groups and local volunteers.

“We are obviously very pleased they are coming and appreciative of the fact that they are coming to Galway because of the European Capital of Culture 2020 designation,” he stated.

“Galway City Council is happy to be of assistance to the Department of Foreign Affairs, who are the primary organisers of the visit.”

The road restrictions for Thursday are as follows (times are approximate and subject to change:

  • From 4am-1pm, no vehicles will be permitted access to William Street, Shop Street, Abbeygate Street, High Street and Mainguard Street.
  • From 9am-1pm, no vehicles will be permitted access to Flood Street, Cross Street, Middle Street and St Augustine Street. Parking at this location will also be restricted.
  • From 9am-1pm, no vehicles will be permitted access to Bridge Street and Lombard Street. Traffic accessing St Patrick’s School will be accommodated. Parking at this location will also be restricted.
  • From 9am-1pm Pedestrian access to Shop Street, High Street and Mainguard Street will be restricted, pedestrian diversions will be in place. Members of the public wishing to access these streets during this period will be subject to screening by Gardaí.

Dr Mannix Road, Salthill:

  • From 9am-2pm. Traffic restrictions will be in place on Dr Mannix Road. Members of the public wishing to access Dr Mannix Road during the times indicated will be subject to screening by Gardaí.

A Garda spokesperson said: “Variable Message Signs have been positioned strategically around Galway City informing motorists of restrictions/disruption and motorists are asked to take note on the messages displayed on same.

“During the Visit of the VIP.s there will be rolling road closures as the VIPs are travelling between each location and it is envisaged that there will be some traffic disruption.”


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.”

Continue Reading


Official opening of Galway’s new pedestrian and cycle bridge



The new Salmon Weir pedestrian and cycle bridge will be officially opened to the public next Friday, May 26.

Work on the €10 million bridge got underway in April 2022, before the main structure was hoisted into place in early December.

A lunchtime tape-cutting ceremony will take place on Friday, as the first pedestrians and cyclists traverse the as-yet-unnamed bridge.

The Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, previously said the bridge, once opened, would remove existing conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists and traffic “as well as facilitating the Cross-City Link public transport corridor over the existing 200-year-old bridge”.

The naming of the new bridge has been under discussion by the Council’s Civic Commemorations Committee since late last year.

One name that has been in the mix for some time is that of the first woman in Europe to graduate with an engineering degree – Alice Perry.

Ms Perry, who was from Wellpark, graduated from Queen’s College Galway (now University of Galway) in 1906. The university’s engineering building is named in her honour.

The bridge was built by Jons Civil Engineering firm in County Meath and was assembled off-site before being transported to Galway. Funding for the project was provided in full by the National Transport Authority and the European Regional Development Fund.

(Photo: Sheila Gallagher captured the city’s new pedestrian footbridge being raised on the south side of the Salmon Weir Bridge in December. It will officially open next Friday, May 26).

Continue Reading


Minister branded ‘a disgrace’ for reversing land rezoning in Galway City



From the Galway City Tribune – Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell was labelled a “disgrace” for overturning councillors’ decisions to rezone land in the new City Development Plan.

Minister O’Donnell (pictured) confirmed in a letter to Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath last week that he was reversing 25 material alternations made by councillors to the CDP 2023-29. He made the decision on the advice of Office of Planning Regulator (OPR).

Minister O’Donnell directed that 14 land parcels that were subject to land-use zoning changes by councillors as part of the Material Alterations to the Draft CDP should be reversed.

He directed that a further 11 land parcels in the city should become “unzoned”.

The Minister found that the CDP had not been made in a manner consistent with recommendations of the OPR, which required specific changes to the plan to ensure consistency with the national planning laws and guidelines.

At last week’s Council meeting Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) asked for clarity on the process by which councillors could rezone the lands that had been changed by the Minister’s direction.

Cllr Declan McDonnell said, “What he [Minister O’Donnell] has done is an absolute disgrace”.

And he asked: “Do we have to have another development plan meeting to deal with it?”

Both Cllrs Hoare and McDonnell wondered what would become of the lands that were rezoned or unzoned by the ministerial direction.

Mr McGrath said the Council had put forward an argument in favour of retaining the material alterations in the plan, but ultimately the Minister sided with OPR.

He said if councillors want to make alterations to the new plan, they could go through the process of making a material alteration but this was lengthy.

The Save Roscam Peninsula campaign welcomed the Minister’s decision.

In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, it said the direction would mean the Roscam village area on the Roscam Peninsula will be unzoned and a number of land parcels would revert back to agriculture/high amenity.

A spokesperson for the campaign said: “the material alterations made by city councillors following lobbying by developers continued the long-standing practice of councillors facilitating a developer-led plan rather than an evidence- and policy-based plan that meets the needs of the city.

“The Minister’s direction is an important step in restoring confidence in the planning system. It is clear from the City Council’s own evidence on future housing projections that there was no requirement to zone these lands for residential purposes in order to meet the needs of the targeted population increase up to 2029,” the spokesperson added.

Continue Reading