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St Enda’s building added to Protected Structures list



Coláiste Éinde has been added to the City Council’s record of protected structures, despite strong objections from the Galway Diocesan Office to the entire building being considered as of architectural merit.

Forty-six structures were put forward to be included in the draft City Development Plan 2017-2023, with just 16 submissions received on these.

A report circulated to councillors stated that the school first opened in 1928 in Furbo, and moved to its present location in 1937. It was a preparatory college for students aspiring to become national school teachers. Part of its ethos was to promote the Irish language, and it operated as an Irish-speaking boarding college with a wide student catchment.

“The limestone five-bay entrance porch has semi-circular arched openings, the centre bay being the entrance lobby,” it stated.

“Above the open porch there are five flat-arched openings to the first floor balcony. The piers between have limestone caps and above a decorative cornice the three-bay plastered attic storey is flanked by limestone parapets, and topped by a projecting cap stone.”

The appraisal at the end of the document recommended that the building be included in the register of protected structures:

“This early 20th century school building represents educational design of the period and is of architectural, social and historical interest.

“While there appears to be some new buildings of a later period on the site and in the courtyards, and the window frames have been changed, the arrangements and character of the school has substantially unchanged since construction. The large scale of the building is comparatively unusual for an educational building in the West of Ireland.”

However, the Galway Diocesan Office had made a submission to the draft Development Plan objecting to the inclusion of Coláiste Éinde in the register of protected structures (RPS).

“The building is in poor condition, and inclusion in the RPS would incur greater costs to rehabilitate the building,” it stated.

While agreeing that certain aspects were of merit, many Councillors did not see the value of preserving the structure as a whole.

“There is no doubt that it has historical value, being associated with Padraig Pearse, but large parts are more modern,” remarked Cllr Pearce Flannery.

Cllr Cathal Ó Conchuir agreed, adding that aspects, such as the dressing rooms (built in the last 20-30 years), were not worth keeping. He suggested that anything built prior to 1980 should be considered as valuable, rather than taking the building as a whole.

Senior Planner, Helen Coleman told members: “The Minister has made these recommendations, based on detailed surveys under the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH).

“Cathal Crimmins’ (architect and historic building consultant) appraisals were carried out before we brought these recommendations to yourselves, so that we have a clear, up-to-date idea on the value of these.

“For the most part, his advice mirrors the NIAH in terms of the architectural, social, and historical value of these structures. The Minister felt these were of considerable value to the heritage of the city.”

Mr Crimmins agreed that there were parts of the building not worth preserving, but he described the main building as “a very interesting complex” and one that was “very unusual for the West of Ireland.”

Cllr Ó Conchuir, who is a teacher in a different city secondary school, felt that the applicant’s fears were unjustified.

“When Coláiste Íognaid was being developed, there was no problem, even though it was protected,” he said.

Cllr Ollie Crowe proposed that the submission made by The Galway Diocesan Office be adopted, while Cllr Colette Connolly proposed that the Chief Executive’s recommendations – in keeping with those of the Minister – be accepted. The latter motion was passed by 11 votes to 7.



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.

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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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