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Traffic plan is critical to success of cable laying



A workable traffic management plan ‘that’s well policed’ will be the key to a smooth completion in the laying of a 110 kilo volt electric cable linking Ballybrit to Roscahill, according to a local councillor.

Work on the 26 kilometre (16 miles) link is expected to start over the coming summer, and when completed, the power sub-station at Ballybrit will be linked into a Connemara wind farm.

Menlo councillor, Frank Fahey, told the Galway City Tribune, that the project was a very positive one for the city and region but there were obvious concerns over the impact of the work on traffic management.

“In fairness to SSE Renewables [the energy company involved in the project] they have been in very close contact with the local communities.

“With a detailed and workable traffic management plan that’s well policed, then it’s a project that should be able to be carried out with the minimum of disruption to traffic,” said Cllr. Fahy.

A spokesman for the City Council told the Galway City Tribune that a detailed traffic management plan would have to be submitted to the Council by the company involved in advance of the work being carried out.

“There will some temporary road closures during the course of the work but all of those will be contained in the Traffic Management Plan to be submitted by the company,” said the spokesman.

The projected output from the Galway Wind Farm project is expected to be enough to provide ‘green energy’ power for 84,000 homes.

Part of the project will involve the laying of the 110kv line under the bed of the Corrib in line with a number of environmental considerations.

The Corrib will be crossed at a point south of Menlo Castle and the cable will then be laid along the roadway via the roadway adjacent to the Menlo Park Hotel and continue onto Ballybrit via the dual carriageway. West of the Corrib, the cable will be laid along the route of the N59 Galway/Clifden Road.

Cllr. Terry O’Flaherty said that the key to the smooth running of the cable laying project, lay in the preparation of a detailed traffic management plan.

“This is a very important energy link for both the city and county but it is important that traffic disruption is kept to a minimum while the work is being carried out,” said Cllr. O’Flaherty.

The Galway City Tribune understands that the project will be a ‘stand alone’ operation with no other service providers involved.

Sixty nine giant wind turbines, to be located in the Roscahill area and brought in through Galway Docks, will power the green energy link.

Overall the entire project is expected to create up to 300 jobs in the construction process and another 15/20 in more long term operation and maintenance positions. The cable trench will be 1.1 metres deep and 0.7 metres wide.

Galway Wind Park (GWP) will be a collection of four wind farms and the cable line from the 110kv sub-stations at Knockranny (Roscahill) and Ballybrit will, according to SSE, commence construction during this summer.

“As part of its ongoing community engagement, SSE Renewables met with Menlo community representatives and residents on two occasions last summer and late 2014, to outline planned works associated with the construction of this underground grid connection

“SSE Renewables remains committed to ongoing community engagement in advance of the commencement of works later this year,” the company said in a statement issued to the Galway City Tribune.

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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