Salthill Live Bank Holiday Music Festival Cancelled

The Salthill Live Music Festival planned for Pearse Stadium on Sunday, June 5th has been cancelled. The line up was to include Nathan Carter, Una Healy, and Sharon Shannon amongst others. Nathan Carter will instead play in Munroe’s pub that night.

I understand that some of the other artists were a bit peeved to learn from members of the public about the cancellation when, they themselves, had not been informed.

The Black Eyed Peas concert on the Saturday is still scheduled to go ahead.

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Today Evil has a Name

Today Evil has a Name

Today evil has a name, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin,

Instigator of murderous war, bombing and shooting.

His current aim, the extinction of a free Ukraine.

Women and children forced to flee.

To leave their homeland, where they should be safe and free.

Those who stay dice with death,

in the face of the invaders threat.

Weapons of destruction make noise like thunder,

as flesh and bone of human beings they tear asunder.

Towns, cities and peoples’ lives totally destroyed,

on the command of one who is evil personified.

Citizens raped, murdered, set on fire.

Ambassador Filatov’s denials make him a liar.

Worse; an apologist for crimes against humanity?

The very worst forms of inhumanity.

Tens of thousands have already died.

Their basic human rights denied.

Why this insanity?

Why can’t he let these people be?

We must stand with Ukraine,

and ensure the tyrant’s efforts are in vain.

Today evil has a name. One history will connect with shame.

Today evil has a face. One that will be remembered in ignominy and disgrace.

Today we are called to play our part.

Implementing sanctions is just a start.

But we must do a whole lot more.

So on our behave, Government has promised an open door.

People need a place to live,

And we should share what we can afford to give.

People have a right to live in peace,

And we wish that war and strife would simply cease.

But protecting life, freedom, and democracy is a choice.

One for which we must be prepared to pay the price.

Today evil has a name.

Our choice, oppose it or share the blame.

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We all want to help. I have written some poetry for pleasure over the last two years, since the first lockdown began. As a small gesture any profits from the sale of this poetry will be donated to the Irish Red Cross to help with their work for the Ukrainian people.

It may be purchased for €4 via this link.

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A Sense of what being Irish means to Me

At this moment in time as we approach our national holiday we will be organising parades, cultural events and all sorts of activities to acknowledge and give expression to our sense of Irishness. We will feel a pride in who we are that is perhaps heightened around St. Patrick’s Day.

At this moment in time we are at war. Even if bombs are not dropping on our island we are engaged in an economic and ideological battle. Our Ukrainian neighbours are more directly under attack and need our help. Their response to aggression from a neighbour with vastly superior fire power has shown the strength of their feeling of what it means to be Ukrainian. Unfortunately this will cost many of them their lives.

We all want to help. I have written some poetry for pleasure over the last two years, since the first lockdown began. As a small gesture any profits from the sale of this poetry will be donated to the Irish Red Cross to help with their work for the Ukrainian people.

It may be purchased for €4 via this link.

A Sense of what being Irish means to me

What does being Irish mean to me?

More than just a legal definition of nationality.

It is a personal, multifaceted, sense of being.

That depending on context can be somewhat changeable.

And so to some extend undefinable.

Words like heritage, culture, race, nationality come to mind.

Yet each of these in turn are not easily defined.

A birthright tied to a sense of place.

A sense of belonging to a Celtic race.

Like our diaspora, who around the world do roam,

I grow more conscious of it when away from home.

A sense of belonging; to a place, a people, a tribe.

A sense of connection I struggle to describe.

I feel drawn to the land where I and my ancestors were conceived.

To a land into which others, once strangers, are now received.

It is a sense of shared experience.

In a sense a kind of indefinable mystery.

Music, language, history.

No one aspect can define it.

Nor is any one aspect required.

An eclectic mix of many things.

Some things of conscious mind and some of feeling heart.

The total greater than the sum of every part.

Embedded memories of lived experience and folk memory.

My Irishness is an innate sense of identity.

It’s an identity that I hold with pride.

Something held deep inside.

It’s a fundamental aspect of my being.

I can feel it more than explain what it is I mean.

That is what a sense of being Irish means to me.

I am Irish and proud to be.

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Galway council revokes plans for temporary cycleway

Galway City Council has revoked plans for a temporary cycleway along Salthill promenade.

Councillors overturned an earlier decision to support the plan, after concerns from local residents, businesses and emergency services.

After almost four hours of debate they voted 13 to 4 to abandon plans for the cycleway.

Tonight’s vote comes after a couple of weeks of intense debate around two route options put forward by council engineers for the temporary cycling infrastructure.

Almost 7,000 submissions were made to a public consultation process about the proposals, with 60% of respondents opposed both routes, with the traffic and access issues topping the list of concerns.

Emergency services also said that traffic changes would have an impact on access and response times, on the west side of the city and further afield.

Lobbying was intense and some of it went way beyond what could be considered reasonable. Apparently the meeting had been delayed because of a threat made to the City C.E.O. Some councillors had received abusive calls and emails as did their families. There are also reports of a number of false submissions having been made in the names of people who did not actually make submissions at all. Such submissions should be handed over to the gardaí for further investigation to see if it was part of an organised plan or just a few isolated idiots acting badly. Otherwise this tactic could lead to the undermining of our processes for public consultation and local democracy.

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Glór Tíre Competition at Elimination Stages

Galway girl Katelyn Molloy is our favourite on this year’s TG4 country music talent search Glór Tíre,  “voice of the country”.

Katelyn is being mentored by country star Ciarán Rosney in the televised competition. The show, now in its 18th season, has returned to a new studio, set and format. The seven-part series filmed in Studio 5, Cue One in Claregalway, features Ireland’s biggest names in country music including Johnny Brady, Ciarán Rosney, Olivia Douglas and Mike Denver, who are each mentoring two contestants.

The initial eight contestants is now down to five who will face the public vote that will reduce the number to three on Tuesday, February 15th (9.30-10.30pm) and the overall winner will be declared at the final on the following Tuesday, the 22nd.

With the New Glor Tire App you can vote for your favourite contestants and keep up to date with the mentors and the contestants throughout the series. You get five free votes, and if you wish you may purchase additional votes.

To avail of five free votes download the app from:


Glór Tíre on the App Store (apple.com) or GlorTire – Apps on Google Play

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Cost of Postage Stamps up again

An Post has announced a price hike for national and international stamps, with it to cost an extra 15 cent to send a letter anywhere in Ireland from next month.

From March 1st, the price of a national stamp will increase from €1.10 to €1.25, while an international stamp will increase from €2.00 to €2.20.

The cost of a national 10-stamp booklet will remain at the current price of €11.

Anna McHugh from An Post said that despite the increase, Irish stamp prices remain lower than many European countries.

“The increases when they come in will still be less than the average across Europe by quite a bit. The average across Europe for the domestic standard letter is €1.58 and it will be €1.25 in Ireland,” she said.

If you expect to have significant postage costs in the near future it might pay to buy your stamps before March 1st. As the stamps now have the “N” and “W” designations on them instead of the cost, any bought before the increase will be good afterwards as well.

Cost Savingshttps://salthillservices.wordpress.com/cost-savings/

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Impacts of Proposed Cycle Lane through Salthill

With regard to the current proposals for a cycle lane through Salthill, along R336 Seapoint Promenade, R336 Salthill Road Upper and the R336 Knocknacarra Road.

Actions have implications and impacts. If the negative consequences of a proposal outweigh the positive then a “do nothing” response is the appropriate one, at least until such time as a modified proposal is developed that eliminates or mitigates the negative impacts to an acceptable degree. This is one such proposal.

The impacts of what is currently proposed would include:

  • Loss of parking. When there are events in Pearse Stadium or Leisureland it is assumed that parking is available along the Prom. Indeed such availability has been used in the past and accepted by Galway City Planning department as part of the justification for many contentious planning permissions.
  • Loss of access to Prom and beaches of those not fit and active enough due to age or other reasons.
  • Turning local residential areas into full-time car parks. An immediate concern to residents in roads off the Prom is where displaced parking would be accommodated. We already have overflow from the commercial centre of Salthill, but should this proposal go ahead we are likely to have outside our homes blocked up with traffic date and night. Residential estates become routes for commuter traffic making a mockery of the statements in the city development plan to preserve and enhance the amenity and character of such neighbourhoods.
  • Making local residential areas where children and others currently walk and cycle, play, push prams etc. effectively into no go areas. In other words transferring the problems the pro lobby sees for the existing situation on the route to the local residential areas.
  • Increased duration and distance of travel for thousands of commuters daily, resulting in delay, frustration and extra emissions from traffic.
  • Emergency services will not escape the delays. Every minute added to the arrival time of the fire brigade may make the difference between a property being saved or totally destroyed. It might mean the difference between saving or losing a life. The same goes for the ambulance and other emergency services.
  • Threadneedle Road would be backed up and gridlocked at all it’s junctions with one of the options. They would not be the only ones.
  • Overall the traffic situation which has been identified as a major problem in Galway will be worsened. If frequency of buses is reduced because of longer travel time to cover modified routes will this drive more from public transport to the comfort and convenience of their cars for daily commutes to work? Commuters have to start earlier to get to work on time and arrive back home later in the day? Will the distance between stops be increased in an effort to compensate, again making the bus option less attractive to some commuters, particularly the less agile?
  • The Salthill business community has expressed the view that it would be disastrous to the area, leading to bad feeling and seriously affect a number of businesses that rely on nearby parking to facilitate their customers. This in turn may mean some loss in jobs.
  • Like it or not some people depend on cars for their mobility. Many an elderly person is not fit enough to cycle or walk to where they want to go. Their car is their independence.
  • In bad weather, mostly coinciding with the school year but not the proposed time for this experiment, along the exposed Prom is not the route of choice for most children cycling to school.
  • It does not take six months to do a quick test run and see what happens. We would question the nature of the trial proposed. It does not appear to be a sensible approach. Much less drastic actions could be taken to better define the problem and potential solutions and discovering the extend of any overlooked or unintended consequences as a result of implementing the proposals, before committing such a high level of resources.
  • How will thousands of cars daily passing through residential areas affect the safety of those areas for the residents? How will the traffic noise in the early hours of the morning affect their sleep? How many jobs are likely to be lost in local businesses? What will be the actual cost to different people in terms of health, finances, living standards, amenity value? How many more car miles will be travelled. What will be the net effect on the environment? Where are the projections?

On the plus side for the small minority of people who are both fit enough and inclined to cycle this route they get a few km of car free road all to themselves.

When you weigh up the pluses and minuses this definitely comes down to a situation where “Do Nothing” is the appropriate response until a plan is put forward that more reasonably balances the losses and gains to different groups.

Part 2

As currently proposed it is both thoughtless and selfish. In addition to the problems with the actual proposal there are concerns about how it was arrived at, and the nature of the “public consultation”.

If initial support for the idea was due to a hazy notion that it would be good for the environment to put in a cycle lane, again it was based on flawed logic which had not been thought through. Some people may take to their bikes for some of the time but thousands of people will have to make longer round trips in cars and buses in their daily commute all year round, causing massively more emissions and congestion than that saved by converting a few to cycling.

Our council’s senior engineer is quoted as saying that the “do nothing” option presented to councillors at the meeting was only a “benchmark”; and doing nothing was “not an option in this scenario”. He said the public consultation was not about “asking the public if this is a good idea or not ”. It was about “tweaking it to meet certain needs of stakeholders, businesses, residents’ ‘. Further, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council told a local authority meeting “unless councillors make a different decision”, he was “doing my level best to implement” the decision. It would seem then, that the city council management have decided to implement a proposal not because it makes sense but because the elected representatives passed a motion. That they consider the “public consultation” a box ticking exercise that can basically be ignored. The motion passed by councillors was proceeded by an extraordinary situation. A vote not to discuss the motion before voting on it. They voted to pass a motion without discussing it and several have since claimed they did not realise the implications and if they had to vote again they would vote differently. If they are honest, then, there is only one correct thing to do. Have a serious debate on all the pros and cons and then with their new found appreciation of the implications vote on the matter again. The city manager is obviously leaving this option open to them as his “unless councillors make a different decision” statement shows.

There should be honest, open and comprehensive discussion and debate on this matter, and the public should be allowed a genuine voice. To claim that everyone who supports the idea of a cycle lane is for this particular proposal would be as wrong as to assume that everyone who is against this particular proposal as presented so far is against a cycle lane.

We all make mistakes from time to time. When we do, it is to be hoped that we have the courage to admit it and do what we can to rectify the situation. We expect no less from our leaders in any sphere of life. If the people who have great control over what happens where we live and who make decisions that greatly impact our daily lives lack the courage and character to do likewise, if they find that they no longer represent their constituents, then surely it is time for them to relief themselves of their positions or be relieved of them by those whom they are supposed to represent.

It is up to the people of Galway to make their voices heard. If you have views on this issue make them known. But please do so in a reasoned, considerate and honest manner. And don’t leave it until it is too late to count. Do it now.

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Proposed Cycle Lanes on the Prom in Salthill

Feedback on my last post was that while it was good to have access to all the information it was complex to follow. So here is a useful summary circulated by the Glenard residents. Apologies for anyone on multiple email lists.


Cycle Lanes on the Prom – Update

Galway City Co took a decision last September to develop a temporary two-way cycle track from Grattan Road to Blackrock and a one-way cycle track from Blackrock to the Barna Road. They are now considering 3 options on how to proceed.

The first option proposes a one way vehicular traffic system for incoming traffic all the way from the Barna Road to Grattan Road. This would affect our area very badly as all Westward bound traffic from the Grattan Road / Lower Salthill area would be diverted up Dr. Mannix Road (DMR), (an estimated 774 vehicles per hour during the evening peak).

The second option proposes a one way traffic system from the Barna Road to Blackrock with a two way traffic system maintained along the prom from Blackrock to Grattan Road. There would also be various “pinch points” along the prom where the cycle lanes would fall slightly short of the standards recommended in the Cycle Design Manual. This option would allow traffic to travel in both directions along the prom but on reaching the Blackrock mini roundabout all Westward bound traffic would be diverted up Threadneedle Road, where it would turn left at the top and continue Westwards. Option 2 is a better option for our area but only slightly so, as it is inevitable that much of that diverted traffic will over time re-route up DMR, rather than go out to Blackrock and be diverted there. Option 2 would be better if the Council abandoned the Blackrock to Barna Road cycle lane and allowed two way traffic on that section.

The third option is labelled as “Do Nothing” i.e. leave things as they are but this is unlikely to be accepted by the Council.

Another major consequence of all this is the loss of parking on the prom – Option 1 would remove 108 car parking spaces along the prom, while Option 2 would require the removal of 216 spaces. Parking in Salthill is already a major problem and this will make it worse.

The timing of this trial / study period i.e. March to September is also highly questionable, as one would expect that a January to June or a July to December period would give better balanced research, with more diverse weather and usage conditions.

This is a very important issue for the future of our area. Public Consultation will take place soon (up to 5pm January 28th) and we urge all our residents to think about the issues, to take part in the process and make their views known. If anybody needs help or more information please contact your road representative or Peadar Ó hUallacháin at 086-8258704. Thanks very much.

They also circulated a sample letter that could be used as a submission on the issue, a copy of which is attached. Of course you can make explicit all your own concerns, and have it in before 5pm on Friday, January 28th.

Note this is not a planning application. There is no fee required to make your views known on this issue. 

For those who want to study the technical details, they can be found at http://www.galwaycity.ie/SalthillTemporaryCycleway 

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Theft from car on Rockbarton Road

Got this email from a local resident today.

Sorry to bother you. This is (name) in number (?), Rockbarton Road.  Just wondering if you can send out email to locals. I think you have most people’s email addresses.  My car was gone through yesterday evening in driveway with number of items stolen. Just want people to be aware. I had left car unlocked as was bringing in shopping and was heading off again. It was only a small time-frame, around 7.15pm

Just thought others should know.

If anyone has any information or spots anything suspicious please pass it on to Gardaí.

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Public Consultation on the proposed Salthill Temporary Cycleway

Public Consultation on the proposed Salthill Temporary Cycleway will commence on Friday 14th January 2022, (for two weeks).

Information including drawings, cross sections and FAQs on the two proposed options will be available online, at www.galwaycity.ie/SalthillTemporaryCycleway from Friday 14th January.  

Galway City Council welcomes observations on the two proposed options: 

Online – through an online form available at www.galwaycity.ie/SalthillTemporaryCycleway  

By post – to Transport, Galway City Council, College Road, Galway 

By email – to activetravel@galwaycity.ie 

Deadline for submissions is 4.00pm on Friday 28th January 2022.

Note there is no fee required to make a submission.

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