Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

Below an attempt at putting some thoughts in verse.

 

         Another New Year

Christmas has come and nearly gone.

We can review the past, then move on.

We approach the start of another new year.

I hope for you, it is without want or fear.

The future always is in part unknown.

But it is up to each to make it their own.

For the coming year, what do you desire?

To what exactly do you aspire?

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

And in so doing, to yourself stay true.

If you wish to be loved, then love.

If you wish to be rich, then enrich.

For it is in giving that we receive.

In forgiving that we get reprieve.

What are your dreams made of?

Is it some or all of the above?

Your future in part is in your hands.

Its up to you to make your plans.

Once a higher ideal has you inspired,

Actions with those plans are required.

So as another new year draws near,

face it with confidence and good cheer.

The old year has been and nearly gone.

We can review the past, then move on.

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Salthill Car Park Flooded Again

car recovery Salthill

The severity of storm Elsa took us by surprise last night. Once again the Toft car park beside the Aquarium was flooded and up to 50 cars were damaged. The flood waters have receded this morning but the vehicle recovery people are busy removing damaged cars. Vehicle owners are advised to have their cars towed instead of attempting to start them which can cause further damage. Motorised should drive with caution due to storm debris still on the roads.

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Happy Christmas

Christmas Crib

Wishing all our friends and clients a very happy Christmas.

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The Importance of Enforcement

Enforcement

Whether it is the school yard bully, hardened criminals kidnapping and torturing a man and issuing death treats, unauthorised quarrying or erecting signage in defiance of existing planning conditions they all share some things in common. They show contempt for the law and their neighbours. The perpetrators may have become emboldened over time because they initially escaped sanction for more minor transgressions but each time the responsible authority failed to sanction them it reinforced the message they they can do what they like no matter what the consequences to others. Over time what they might initially have considered risky behaviour becomes normalised and pushes the boundaries of what they now consider risky even further from what is legal or generally considered by society at large to be acceptable. Penalties for breaking the rules must be enforced if the unscrupulous are to be made comply.

Over the years we have heard and read about numerous cases of bullying resulting in suicides. On the 28/11/2019 RTE’s Prime Time aired a program which claimed that 1 in 8 quarries operating in the country are unauthorised. Concerns with environmental damage and illegal activity even when highlighted is not dealt with because the operators use delaying tactics in the legal process to disrupt attempts at enforcement. Failure to penalise illegal parking makes life disruptive for communities put into involuntary lock-down when concerts or sporting events take place in locations that lack the basic infrastructure required for such events to run smoothly. The normalisation of all these and many other illegal activities is facilitated by a failure in enforcement.

But it is not good enough for the responsible authorities to say we have other more important priorities to deal with, or we lack the resources, or the system is flawed preventing us from dealing with the matter. Generally, where there is a will to deal with a problem, there is a way. We all have an obligation to cry foul when we become aware of wrong doing. The person who keeps quite about a shady accounting practise, who accepts poor governance in their organisation, turns a blind eye to false information in a planning application, or allows their bosses to dictate an outcome other than that supported by the facts and what is right, shares some of the blame in allowing the practice to continue.

The Local Authority is not (or at least should not be) simply a collection of isolated functions all totally independent of each other. There should be a synergy that makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts. For example, the enforcement function should operate within the law and follow certain guidelines. But when it comes up against obstacles it should not just decide there is nothing to be done. It can engage levers of influence that may lie outside its direct control. Is the offender or their associates and subsidiaries a recipient of grants administered by the Local Authority. If the Council announced that no affiliates of, for example, the GAA would receive any funding through the Council in the coming year if there were any unresolved issues with unauthorised developments then we might suddenly find a high degree of compliance with the planning laws.

If changes in the law are needed let them specify what they are and get our elected national representatives on the job for which they are paid, drafting and passing necessary legislation.

Bear in mind also that if the Council spends money on taking court cases and seeking injunctions, then that money is taken from some other project. Having to get a court order may mean help for some homeless person, or a local school or club, repairs to roads or footpaths etc. is further away. This would not sit well with the public. Publish what it is costing the Council to take such actions along with the names of the people responsible. Engage the lever of public opinion by publishing how much was cut from what project as a result of which injunction.

Other sponsors could make it a condition of receiving sponsorship that there were no questions unanswered concerning accounts, governance or unauthorised development. Should they not do a little due diligence in deciding on sponsorship as in other aspects of the business. How does the fact that signage at Pearse Stadium, paid for by a local Hotel, has been illegally erected in direct conflict with existing planning conditions and a bone of contention with local residents for nearly a year and a half sit with their public relations and corporate social responsibility policies?

A failure to enforce the rules potentially leads to anarchy, and alienates responsible law abiding citizens from the responsible authorities who are charged with protecting them. Pushed to extremes, there is a risk that some may take the law into their own hands. A failure by those in authority to enforce the rules is a dereliction of duty, and it has consequences.

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Warning Letter finally issued for Illegal Signage at Pearse Stadium

Almost sixteen months after the signage was illegally erected at Pearse Stadium and over five months after the attempts at retention were rejected by the city planning office a “warning letter” has finally been issued for its removal.

We have learnt that the GAA had also applied to have the structures deemed exempt from planning but the City Council has refused to explain on what grounds the exemption was sought, saying the public was not entitled to such information. When the question was put to them, they would only say that the request for exemption was refused.

Based on our experience it would seem that the enforcement function within Galway City Council is not fit for purpose. A complaint has been raised with the Ombudsman seeking a number of clarifications around the planning process.

The real question of concern to the local residents is what exactly the GAA are planning to erect at Pearse Stadium that they have so far kept secrete.

 

 

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Oaklands

Oaklands

Oaklands, called after the noble tree,

is just a stone throw from the sea.

The neighbours here are very keen,

to ensure that it is nice and clean.

To this end, some of them spent many hours.

They cut the grass and plant nice flowers.

To those that do, I say thanks a mil.

For adding to the beauty of Salthill.

 

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A Beautiful Sunny Day in Salthill

Another beautiful sunny day in Salthill today. Good to just take a walk and forget about the cares of the world for a while.

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Katelyn Molloy to release new Single

Katelyn Molloy Music

Looking forward to the release of  the new single, “Good Girl gonna go Bad“, by our favourite Irish country singer,  Katelyn Molloy. The new single is to be released at midnight on Sunday 27th of October and will be downloadable from all music platforms. Katelyn is hopeful that her latest release will go in at number one, just like her previous single, The Nerny Beat.

To discuss booking Katelyn to play at your event contact her via her email address at info@katelynmolloy.com,  or via her facebook page.

 

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Poor Clares release ‘Calm the Soul’

The Poor Clares have released a song ‘Calm the Soul’ with the hopes it will help others. The song was produced in collaboration with professional vocalists and musicians. An offline launch took place at the monastery in Galway last Thursday. Sr. Consilio Fitzgerald, the founder of the Cuan Mhuire addiction treatment centres was invited by the nuns to launch the song. She said some of the people the nuns work with found it deeply moving.

The simple poem ‘Calm the Soul’, from their book of poems and prayers of the same name published in 2012, touched people who read it so deeply that the Sisters thought that a musical setting to the words could make it more widely accessible. They began to experiment with various tunes and came up with a melody that draws on the musical motifs of a traditional Irish love song, and it seems to really capture the mood of the poem.

The paperback edition of the book Calm the Soul: can be purchased via The BookDepositoty.

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5th Croí Galway Night Run

Croí Night Run

This year is going to be bigger and better than ever in celebration of our 5th anniversary – register now and help us continue to lead the fight against heart disease and stroke in the West of Ireland!

What: 5km Run, Jog or Walk
When: Friday, 11th October 2019 @ 8pm
Where: Salthill Promenade, Galway
Questions? See our FAQ!

Enter a corporate team!
Contact christine@croi.ie to learn more.

Each registrant will receive an exclusive goodie-bag containing:
– Special 5th anniversary long-sleeved running top
– Team Croí neck snood
– Medal for all participants (including U-12s)
– Exclusive Evergreen Healthfoods voucher

New this year:

All abilities (competitive runners, family walkers, beginner joggers, etc.) and ages are welcome, and this year we will corral participants based on previous race finish times or on predicted times. This staging will help with a smoother flow of traffic, creating a faster and safer environment for participants.

As always, the run will be chipped timed and so all participants will receive a text with their time after the event – a real bonus for the more competitive runners!

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