History of Salthill Book Launch

Salthill History - Book Launch

There is a treat in store for anyone with an interest in the history of Salthill. Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh will launch A History of Salthill, Part 1 by well-known local man, Paul McGinely, in the Galway Bay Hotel on Thursday 26th July at 7pm.

The evening will include an audio-visual presentation on 19th century evolution of the place as a marine resort. Salthill people, its attractions, fishing tradition and famine experience will all feature. Going by past presentations it will be both informative and entertaining.

I have seen a copy of the book. It is a beautiful production in hard copy, good quality paper and photographs and well researched and presented information. An excellent addition to the library of anyone with an interest in Salthill’s history.


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Hot Summer Days Are Here

Last March I was taking photographs in the snow which brought much of the country to a standstill. Now the weather is more like what we would expect to get in the South of Spain. A hot, dry June has led in to a July with drought conditions. Great for those selling sun screen, bottled water and ice-cream but not so good if growing crops. This weather could potentially last for months and if it does we will all gain a renewed appreciation of how valuable and delicate a resource our water supply is.

We should take practical steps to conserve it now and not wait until it might be too late. Some such steps could include:

  • Placing a stone in the cisterns of older toilets with larger than needed flush volume so less water is used each time it is flushed.
  • Turn off automatic flushing of toilets in unused buildings such as schools closed for the summer holidays.
  • When washing hands or vegetables do o in a basin and then reuse the water for plants.
  • Take shorter than normal showers, and shower rather than fill the bath.
  • Don’t leave taps running when washing teeth or rinsing dishes.
  • Get leaking pipes and dripping taps repaired.
  • If you come across leaks coming up through the road report it to Irish Water.
  • Don’t wait for the authorities to impose “hose bans” before you stop watering the grass, washing the car or filling backyard pools.


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Ed Sheeran Concerts at Pearse Stadium on May 12th and 13th

Gates open 17:00 hours Event starts 18:00 Event ends 23:00 each day.

If you have any query relating to concert works in Pearse Stadium between May 5th and 16th call Aikens Promotions on 087-9769315 between 08:00 hrs – 22:00 hrs.

Car Pass and Resident Cards will be issued in the week preceding the concerts to residents inside the Garda Cordons. These will be valid for other big GAA games to be played in Pearse Stadium this year. If you need additional passes contact Pearse Stadium on 091-862500 between 10am and 2pm, before Thursday 10th.

Salthill one traffic system      Click on map image to enlarge.

Road Closures at following junctions

  • Dalysford Rd / Promenade

  • Rockbarton Rd / Promenade

  • Rockbarton West / Revagh Rd

  • Threadneedle Rd / Dr Mannix Rd

  • Threadneedle Rd / Glenard

  • Rosary Lane / Taylor’s Hill

  • Salthill Lower / Devon Park

  • Salthill Village / Oaklands

A One-Way System will operate between 7pm Friday 11th to 12 midnight on Sunday 13th. The direction of traffic flow will be from Threadneedle Road down Doctor Mannix Road and towards the Prom via Rockbarton Road or Dalysford Road.

Residents are asked to park their cars off-street if possible to facilitate safe flow of pedestrians and traffic. Residents who normally make journeys like going to the supermarket during the time of the “lock-down” might consider varying their routine a little to minimise traffic through the area at this time.

Bus Route 401 will operate but will not follow the normal route due to road closures on Saturday and Sunday.


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Views from my Window on March 1st

A poem “A March Snow” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, and some views from my window on March 1st.


A March Snow

Let the old snow be covered with the new:
The trampled snow, so soiled, and stained, and sodden.
Let it be hidden wholly from our view
By pure white flakes, all trackless and untrodden.
When Winter dies, low at the sweet Spring’s feet
Let him be mantled in a clean, white sheet.

Let the old life be covered by the new:
The old past life so full of sad mistakes,
Let it be wholly hidden from the view
By deeds as white and silent as snow-flakes.

Ere this earth life melts in the eternal Spring
Let the white mantle of repentance fling
Soft drapery about it, fold on fold,
Even as the new snow covers up the old.

February snow scene

March snow February snow scene February snow scene

February snow scene

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Feast of Saint Valentine

Saint ValentineValentine’s Day, also called the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. Originating as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus, Valentine’s Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

One story is that the Christian priest Valentine rose to prominence during the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius II who banned marriage for his soldiers to stop then leaving the ranks and to keep them focused. Secretly behind the scenes St Valentine was blessing the marriages but was caught and beheaded on February 14 around 270 AD. While awaiting execution he cured the jailer’s daughter of blindness.

Relics of the saint are to be found in Whitefriar Street Church, located right in the centre of Dublin city and is open to the public daily. See http://www.carmelites.ie/stvalentine.html for more on the story.

For many the day has religious significance, but the commercial aspect is the most obvious. UPS will deliver 88 million flowers for Saint Valentines Day. And despite coinciding with Ash Wednesday this year, a fast day for many, restaurants will be packed.

What will you do this Valentine’s Day?

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Claim Tax back before 31 December Deadline

Some important things for taxpayers to remember are:

  • There is a four year time limit for claiming tax refunds, so if you have a claim for 2013,  submit it by 31 December 2017.

  • The quickest, easiest and most convenient way to claim your tax back is online, using in PAYE Services in myAccount, or through RevApp.

  • If you are not already registered for myAccount, you can register quickly and easily on the Revenue website.”

So for example if you have paid eligible health expenses, prescription charges, nursing home fees, tuition fees or flat rate expenses, get your claim in before the year end deadline. While claims are of course subject to verification, most online refund claims are paid within five working days. You can do all this easily and conveniently online, using PAYE Services in myAccount. You can access myAccount on all mobile devices or through RevApp.  Paper based claims will take a bit longer.



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New Bishop of Galway Appointed

Bishop Brendan Kelly

Pope Francis has appointed Derrybrien native, and Bishop of Achonry, Brendan Kelly as the new Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora.

The incoming Bishop of Galway is a fluent Irish speaker, and has a keen interest in education and formation.

He taught for many years at Colaiste Einde in Salthill and Our Lady’s College in Gort. His bilingual history classes in Colaiste Einde were a pleasure to attend.

Congratulations and best wishes to him in his new position.


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Borrow or pay in Instalments?

If you have bills to pay but do not have the cash on hand to pay them, should you avail of the option to pay in instalments or borrow to make a single payment? The answer is it depends on the costs of each option. If there is no additional cost to paying by instalments then that is the way to go. However, more often than not you end up paying more on an instalment plan. If you delay payment are there penalties? Can you take out a short-term loan and repay in instalments at a lower cost than that charged by whoever issued the original bill? For example, if you have a motor tax bill due and finances are tight it might be worth calling on your local credit union rather than pay the motor tax in instalments. Below is a list of tax rates for a private motor car.

Motor Tax rates
According to this table if you have a car with an engine size between 1401 and 1500 cc the annual tax to be paid is 413 if paid annually. If you pay half-yearly you make two payments of €229, and if you pay quarterly you make four payments of €116. The half-yearly payments total €458 and the quarterly payments total €464 for the year, increases of 10.9% and 12.3% respectively on the single annual payment. Can you get a credit union loan cheaper than this with 12 monthly payments. You can always pay it back early without penalty. Similar considerations might apply to car or house insurance or health insurance.

Where taking on debt is necessary at least borrow at the lowest cost. If you have for example fallen behind in credit card repayments borrow elsewhere at a lower rate (for example from your local credit union), and use the cheaper borrowing to clear the expensive credit card debt.

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Are you paying more than you need to for your mortgage?

It seems that there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people paying more than they need to for their mortgages, because they are afraid to ask for better terms. In some cases a new valuation and filling in a simple form will get them a lower rate. The information may be somewhere on the banks’ websites but thy are not writing out to individual customers telling them this. That way they can tell the government they are reducing rates but because people have to actively apply for the new rates and most will not without prompting they still actually collect payments at the higher rates. Customers on trackers or in arrears may be excluded. Customers on fixed rates may have to pay a break fee on the current agreement but some may still benefit on new terms. Phone your bank with your mortgage details and let them work out for you what makes most sense. You have nothing to loose by asking your mortgage provider if you can get a better deal, so ask!

If you know someone who might benefit from this information please pass it on to them.

The following is taken directly from KBC’s website but similar is likely to apply with at least some of the other banks as well. Ask them!

From https://www.kbc.ie/our-products/mortgages/existing-customers:

Existing Private Dwelling Home (PDH) Customers have something to dance about. To reward your loyalty as a KBC customer,  you can now apply to move to our new Business Loan to Value (LTV) Rates. Simply follow the steps below and you could have some of the lowest mortgage repayments on the market.

Step 1: Get your home valued.  Choose a KBC appointed valuer from our nationwide panel. Provide the valuer with the instruction letter from the information pack. The valuer will provide you with a copy of the valuation report to send to us along with your application form.

Step 2: Using your outstanding mortgage balance and property value you can calculate your Loan to Value (LTV) to find out the LTV Percentage (%) applicable to your mortgage. Then choose a rate type that suits you. Read the terms and conditions. We advise you to seek independent financial & legal advice before completing the application form. Please refer to eligibility conditions below* to ensure you are eligible for the Existing Customer Loan to Value Rate Options.

Step 3: Download and complete the application form and send it with a copy of your valuation report to Freepost, KBC Bank Ireland, Sandwith Street, Dublin 2.

What happens next? All customers will receive a letter confirming your LTV, the outstanding balance of your mortgage and the full details of your new rate and revised repayment.

*You may not avail of the Option if your mortgage account is currently on a Tracker Interest Rate.  If only part of your mortgage account is on a Tracker Interest Rate, you may avail of the Option in respect of the portion of the mortgage account that is not on a Tracker Interest Rate however the aggregate amount outstanding in respect of all portions of your mortgage account will be used for the purposes of calculating the Loan to Value Percentage.

The Option is not available if your account is in arrears unless you have entered into a mortgage arrears resolution option with us.  If you are currently availing of an interest rate reduction as part of a mortgage arrears resolution option you are not entitled to apply for the Option. Customers with investment or pension back mortgages cannot avail of the offer.
Customers with a Loan to Value of >90% also cannot avail of the offer, these customers can however avail of our existing suite of 2, 3 and 5 year fixed rates for existing customers.
This option is not available to existing buy to let mortgage customers.

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Clocks go back 1 hour this weekend.

Clocks back 1 hourDaylight saving time ends on Sunday at 2am so remember to put your clocks back 1 hour.  The good news is you’ll get a whole extra hour in bed in the morning, if you want it. But don’t forget to adjust your alarm clock – or you could find yourself having an earlier than expected breakfast.

Beware your internal body clock takes a few days to adjust so just because the mechanical clocks are put back an hour does not mean it is a good idea to change your routine completely overnight. Much better to phase the changes over a few days if you can. Having the bank holiday on Monday should help.

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