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South Galway

Gort to Tuam motorway contract signing

CONTRACTS to extend the M18 from Gort to Tuam will be signed today, Wednesday, paving the way for an economic boost to the region. The paperwork will be signed by Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, as well as representatives of the National Roads Authority The four-lane motorway, as well as additional roads, will cost around €550 million, and is expected to be completed in 2017. Theproject will involve the construction of 100km of roads. The long-awaited roadway will allow easier access to Clare and Shannon Airport for businesses and consumers in Galway and further parts of the West of Ireland. It will also solve traffic bottle-necks in places like Kilcolgan and Clarinbridge.  

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Kilcolgan ETNS web launch

Parents and teachers online together

KILCOLGAN Educate Together National School unveiled its new website this week. The school, which opened in September 2008, launched the new website (www.kilcolganetns.com), which promises greater input from pupils and teachers alike, according to principal Anna Eagleton. “With the rapid growth of our school, it is becoming increasingly important to have a wide-reaching and easily accessible and easily manageable platform to keep our parent body and community up to date. “A school website is, for many, the first contact they will have with a school and our hope is that any visitors to our site will enjoy the virtual experience as much as the real one,” said Ms Eagleton, who paid tribute to third-class teacher, Clare Lucey, who designed and built the site. “The most genuine and sincere thanks are due to Aidan McCarthy and Clare Lucey for developing the new website,” she stated. When the school first opened, there were just 20 children and two teachers. Now, in the …

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Big drive for new motorway

CONTRACTS for the construction of the Gort to Tuam motorway are being finalised this week. There were indications that the contracts could be signed this Thursday but this has not been confirmed by the National Roads Authority, who will be signing the contracts with the Public Private Partnership Company. NRA spokesperson, Sean O’Neill said he “expects the signing of the contracts to take place in the coming weeks”. The project is valued at €550 million and will extend the M18 motorway from Shannon to Tuam. Local Fianna Fáil councillor, Gerry Finnerty said he wants to see the contracts signed as quickly as possible and is hopeful local people will be employed on the project. “People want to know what is going on with this and people want to get working. People here want the contract signed so that the work could be advertised and contractors be taken on. We have a lot of lorry drivers, machine drivers and so on, …

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Gort parade wows the crowd

THERE were plenty of colourful and imaginative floats and displays in Gort’s St Patrick’s Day parade. A large crowd lined the footpaths  of the South Galway town to enjoy the parade and many side attractions, which continued for several hours.

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Moving all over the world at Seamount College

By Nicola Corless EARTHQUAKES close to Ireland and around the world will now be registered at a second-level school in South Galway. A seismometer was recently donated to Seamount College in Kinvara and was unveiled last week in the newly built science laboratory. “The seismometer was donated to us by Kevin Cullen, who is the uncle of one of our teachers here. Ruth Cullen is a geography and Irish teacher and is from Ennis. Her uncle Kevin had the seismometer and it wasn’t in use so he donated it to the school,” explained Maighread Mhic Dhomhnaill, principal of Seamount College. “It is a fantastic addition to the school. As a former geography teacher I am very excited about having a seismometer in the school and it brings the subject very much alive to the students. It won’t just pick up earthquakes off the Irish coast, it will also pick up earthquakes taking place worldwide and will record these on the …

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Meat withdrawn in Gort shop over safety concerns

A number of food products were withdrawn from a Gort grocery shop and meat distributor last month because of food-safety violations. Galway County Council issued a prohibition order, served on Real Brazil manager Sean Fahey at No 3 Sliabh Carran, Ennis Road, Gort on February 7, withdrawing all products held in a fridge and freezer at the back of the premises. This order was lifted on February 24. On the same date, an order issued by the Health Service Executive under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs Regulations 2010)  was served on Anaelson B Dias at Real Brazil, Unit 6, The Grove, Crowe Street in the town. A specified consignment of meat products was withdrawn from the grocery shop. This issue was lifted on Monday, March 3. The Food Safety Authority on Thursday announced that 14 enforcement orders were served on food businesses throughout the country during the month of February including the well-known Town Bar and Grill, on Dublin’s …

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Two die in Gort fire

Garda are not treating as malicious a fire which claimed the lives of two people in Gort. Ben Whiteman (38) and Nuala Sweeney (65) died in the fire at Tom O’Donnell’s Flats, Station Road, Gort on Thursday morning last. Friends and relatives of Mr Whiteman gathered at Mullin’s Funeral Home in Gort on Monday to bid farewell to the British national, before a private cremation in Cork on Tuesday. Emergency services were called to the fire at 2.50am on Thursday morning. The fire was brought under control by Gort and Loughrea fire services. Two bodies were taken from the damaged building and removed to University Hospital Galway. No one else was injured in the incident.

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‘Magnified’ economic decline in Gort

By Nicola Corless UNEMPLOYMENT and emigration rates increased more in Gort than any other town in the country, according to research revealed this week. Figures for towns in other parts of Ireland will not be released until April, but Professor Cathal O’Donoghue of the Teagasc’s Rural Economy Development Programme outlined details of the group’s research in Gort to a meeting of Galway County Council on Monday, as part of a presentation from The Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Area (CEDRA). According to its national town rankings, which take into account unemployment and emigration rates, Gort has seen the biggest fall nationally in a Teagasc index of small and medium sized towns. In 2002 and 2006 it was just outside the top 10% of towns in Ireland but by 2011 it had slipped to the bottom 10%. The South Galway town lost 400 jobs in just five years, between 2006 and 2011. While the population of the town dropped …

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Councillor seeks M18 safety audit

A GALWAY County Councillor has called for the local authority to request a full safety audit on the M18 between Gort and Ennis after 10 car accidents on the route in just one day last December. While the crashes on December 19 resulted in the closure of that part of the motorway, Councillor Gerry Finnerty believes there is an ongoing problem on the route. “It is consistent that there are a lot of tips happening along it. If you drive along it any day you see evidence of that. It is widespread that there are accidents on it. I am listening to the general public’s concerns as well and you nearly feel that people are afraid to use it,” he said. Councillor Finnerty proposed at a recent meeting of the council that it contact the NRA and ask them for a full safety audit because “during a recent spell of poor weather, a number of serious accidents occurred on the …

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John Nolan watches the flooding as it rises over his farm at Corker, Kiltartan. In the background, haulier Michael Lynskey locks up John’s cattle in a truck for evacuation from the slatted house before the water comes in.

Water creeping towards 2009 levels

By Nicola Corless FARMERS are calling on the OPW and Galway County Council to clear drainage channels leading from Kiltartan to the sea at Kinvara, as high water levels have left hundreds of acres of land flooded. According to Councillor Gerry Finnerty, “There are a number of houses and a number of farm sheds under threat”. “In the Tarmon, Cahermore, Ballylee, Peterswell, Ballinastague and Coole areas, there is very, very high ground water levels,” he explained. “Anywhere the small schemes have been done, like in Shanaglish, and with the clearing of the river in Gort, things have improved. They are very small schemes but they have been very effective. When you see the bigger picture though, when the water is going down from Gort to Kiltartan, acres and acres of land has been flooded in Kiltartan and Cahermore. The water is blocking the road at Cahermore and Ballinastague and that is only three miles as the crow flies from the …

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