All set for the Salthill Fives

This bank holiday is going to be a bumper one: glorious weather, the pitches are ready for the five-asides in Salthill Park, the food tents and communications centre are in place. School is finished for all non-exam second level students. What more could you ask for?

Top up on the sun screen, keep hydrated, and enjoy the holiday weekend.

Day 1 all action

Lots of sun-burnt bodies around today. Use the factor 50.

Buses full and having to take detours down Rockbarton Road as can not get down Dalysfort Road due to cars parking both sides of the road.

Also traffic wardens ticketing anything with wheels on a footpath. No mercy being shown. You have been warned.

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An Tóstal – 70th Anniversary

An Tóstal Salthill Festival takes place at Ladies Beach on May 6 and 7. It will feature the best of currach racing as well as coastal customs, traditions, music, and dancing.

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Worked at least 3 years in the UK? You might be entitled to a UK State Pension

If you are an Irish resident who has worked in the UK for at least three years but less than the 10 years required to qualify for a full UK State Pension, you may still be eligible to buy years for a UK State Pension.

The process of buying a UK State Pension years back involves making voluntary contributions, which can help to fill gaps in your National Insurance record. This can be particularly beneficial if you have moved to Ireland and are no longer making National Insurance contributions in the UK, as it can ensure that you receive the full amount of the UK State Pension to which you are entitled.

The amount you can receive from the UK State Pension will depend on your National Insurance record. For example, if you have contributed for 35 years, you can receive the full amount of the new UK State Pension, which is currently £179.60 per week. If you have contributed for less than 35 years, your pension entitlement will be reduced on a pro-rata basis.

The UK state pension services will allow you buy back years by making voluntary contributions. You can start the enquiry process here… Or you can jump straight into the app process here Social Security abroad: NI38 – GOV.UK (

Typically you can go back over the last 6 years and buy them back. This will stay the same. However there is a window of opportunity for most people who have the min 3 years to buy back years they missed between 2006-2016. This option was due to expire in April 2023, but due to a backlog of applications the time limit has been put back to July 31st, 2023

How much a year costs depends on whether you are considered “class 2” or “class 3” Class 2 costs €163.80 per year you buy Class 3 costs €824.20 per year. Broadly speaking, Class 2 is for those living and working outside the UK now. Class 3 is for those living and NOT working outside the UK, but there may be some other conditions to determine which class you might fall in to.

Each year you buy gets you an extra £275 a year (provided you get to the min 10 yrs) This means you need to live for roughly 3 years after retirement for class 3 to be worthwhile…. Or…just 7 Months for class 2.

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Rockbarton Park Street Feast

At its heart, Street Feast is about connecting with your neighbours over great locally sourced food, but it’s also about building resilience and sustainability in our neighbourhoods. Making and sharing food together is a special act and can be a huge force for good; a way to find common ground and to share culture.

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Autism Awareness and Acceptance

A lively bunch of volunteers, at Salthill beach today, drumming up support for people with autism. The Irish Autism Society is celebrating its 60th year in 2023. You can find out more about what they do at

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Reminder – Clocks go forward 1 hour on Sunday

The clocks go forward by an hour at 1am on next Sunday morning, March 26th, marking the start of longer days as we head into the summer months. This effectively means we skip the 1am hour and go straight to 2am.

Clocks in the 27 EU member states will change at the same time, so you might have one less hour of sleep this Sunday if your life is governed by the clock.

In 2019, the European Parliament voted to end the seasonal time changes, but the decision has yet to be implemented. Indeed there has been much debate and little agreement amongst people as to whether we should continue to change the clock with the seasons.

REM, the phase of sleep where dreams happen and memory and learning function form, occurs during the last third of the night. Any additional disruption interferes with circadian rhythms (our evolutionary instinct to detect dawn or dusk) and makes us sleepier and disoriented. So ease yourself into the change if you can.

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Cycle and bus lane for Dr. Mannix Road parked for now

From the Galway City Tribune –Public consultation planned for a proposed cycle lane along Dr Mannix Road in Salthill has been delayed yet again, with priority being given to bus and cycling measures nearer the city.

According to the Glenard Residents’ Association’s latest newsletter to people living in Glenard, D’Alton, Dr Mannix Road and Na Cúilíní the delay is due to planning for the BusConnects project, which is a massive overhaul of the city’s public transport network.

Under the plan, there are two bus routes planned for the area instead of one, with buses travelling up and down the entire length of Dr Mannix Road, instead of just one section of it (Dalysfort Road junction to Threadneedle Road junction) as is the case now.

“The threat of a ban on parking on both sides of Dr Mannix Road, the loss of trees and green areas to accommodate the cycle lane continues to hang over our area,” the newsletter stated.

“This is a source of concern to residents, not only on Dr Mannix Road but throughout our area as it would case parking overflow throughout the estate.”

A spokesperson for the association told the Galway City Tribune said residents were not against cycle lanes in general, but what was proposed would not work in this area.

“We have 43 houses with open driveways on that section of the road and most park outside their houses. A lot of people are elderly. There’s a huge amount of traffic with people dropping and picking up from the schools, people parking for Pearse Stadium and the GAA club – there are seven junctions off the Dr Mannix Road,” he explained.

“We are trying to reach a solution – that’s why we are proposing a 30km/h speed limit here as a compromise solution so everybody could use it and it would be safer for all road users.”

The plan for two bus routes along the full stretch of road would also remove space, with bus stops and shelters likely to be installed. That would also have to be taken into account before any cycle lane was considered.

Under the 2023 schedule of works planned by Galway City Council, the project is not mentioned.

A spokesperson for Galway City Council confirmed that while some early stage options for a “secondary cycle route” on Dr Mannix Road, the focus is on the development and delivery of Ballyloughane Active Travel Scheme; Doughiska Road South Cycle Network Scheme; Eglinton Canal Active Travel Scheme; Clybaun Road Active Travel Scheme; Bothar Stiofain Cycle Network Scheme and Ballybane and Castlepark Cycle Network Schemes.

“The progression of other routes, including Dr Mannix Road, will follow the development of the above schemes,” the spokesperson stated.

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Soft and fluffy when it falls.

Wet, cold to touch, crunches underfoot.

White, very white.

Brightens up day or night.

Hides what lies underneath,

while footprints above reveal passing feet.

Be very careful how you go,

because its slippy in the snow.

Traffic on the roads compacts the snow,

from soft and fluffy to solid ice.

Be very careful how you go,

because crashing is not very nice.

As it melts it turns to slush.

Definitely not the time to rush.

Then there’s water everywhere.

Beware the danger and take care.

Nice to look at, nice to see.

But if one has far to travel, rather you than me.

Poetry for Your Pleasure

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Save on Postage Stamps

It’s the time of year when many of us reach out to friends and loved ones, particularly those at a distance, through the simple act of sending Christmas cards.

Each year it becomes a little more expensive to do so and in the current inflationary environment many need to be a little frugal to make ends meet. You can reduce the costs by buying An Post postage stamps in the form of their Christmas bundles, offering a 20% reduction on the normal price.

You can get a booklet of 20 national stamps for €20 instead of €25.

You can get a booklet of 20 national stamps plus a booklet of 5 international stamps for €28.00 instead of €36.

Everything adds up including all the little cost savings you can make.

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Maintenance Needed in Salthill Park and Surrounding Area

‘The photograph above is of the area just inside the Northwest corner of Salthill Park, beside the ESB substation.

There used always be some flooding here, but it’s become larger and more long-lasting since the Council tarmacked the pathway in recent years, and the surrounding grassed area is becoming swampy. As one local resident put it, “the law of unintended consequences.” A little bit of remedial work is required to drain the excess water away before we end up with someone suffering a serious injury or fatality. Some people are forced out onto the roadway and put themselves at risk.

The footpaths along Rockbarton Road and Ardnamara are in a terrible state with uneven and broken curbs adding further potential for injury in an area which according to the last census had one of the highest proportions of elderly people in the country, and for whom a fall can have serious consequences.

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