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South Galway

Stepping into the ring in Gort

THIS weekend, 22 of South Galway’s best-known rugby and GAA personalities will go toe-to-toe in a different discipline to raise money for Gort RFC and Southern Gaels Gaelic Football Club. Hundreds of people are expected to turn out to support the 20 men and two women when they step onto the canvas in Sullivan’s Hotel on Saturday night for the White Collar Boxing event. “We have been getting a really good response so far. People are really looking forward to the event. We have had lots of interest on Facebook and have already got more than 1,200 friends on there. We have the potential to hold 1,000 people and we would be expecting at least 600 to 700,” outlined Ronnie Giblin, one of the event organisers. All proceeds from the night will go to Gort Rugby Club, which covers South Galway and North Clare and Southern Gaels Gaelic Football Club, which includes the parishes of Ballindereen, Beagh, Kinvara, Gort and …

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Tributes paid to Kilbeacanty hurler

Tributes were paid this morning to Kilbeacanty and Galway hurler Niall Donoghue following his sudden death yesterday. Niall (22) was a member of the Galway U-21 panel that won the All Ireland in 2011. He broke on to the senior panel last year and played in the All-Ireland final against Kilkenny. “The heart of Kilbeacanty Hurling Club and parish has been left devastated and saddened by Niall’s sudden passing,” said club chairman Justin Fahy. Mr Fahy expressed sympathy to the Donoghue family from the club, its members and players. “Niall was our son, our brother, our friend, our hero and was an integral part of our club. There are no words today, we are rocked to the core and just devastated. We ask you all for your thoughts and prayers and your support for Niall’s family and our community,” he continued. Club member Gerry Finnerty says the community of Kilbeacanty is “trying to come to terms” with the loss. “He …

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Relocation of welfare services ‘unacceptable’

GORT and South Galway will be without “an essential service” from next week, according to Councillor Bridie Willers. The Department of Social Protection confirmed that community welfare services are to be relocated from Gort and other locations in south and east Galway to the new Intreo office in Loughrea with effect from next Monday. The new social welfare office in Station Road, Loughrea and the community welfare officer will cover an area from Kilchreest to Kinvara. According to Councillor Willers, “The decision by the Department of Social Protection to axe the community welfare officer (CWO) service in Gort will leave many vulnerable people in distress and is totally unacceptable. “There is no public transport whatsoever between the towns of Gort and Loughrea. People who do not own a car, and there are many, will have to travel by bus to Galway/Oranmore and then catch a bus to Loughrea,” she added. Bus Éireann confirmed there is currently no direct public transport …

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Literary gathering to celebrate women writers

UP to 150 people are expected in Coole Park and Gort this weekend for the 19th annual Lady Gregory Autumn Gathering. This year, the gathering centres on women writers and includes readings and workshops by a number of well-known writers and academics. “By inviting famous women writers of Irish descent from around the world to follow in the footsteps of this remarkable woman, we are honouring Lady Gregory’s contribution to Irish arts and culture in this unique gathering. We seem to be attracting a wider international audience, both male and female, with this enhanced Gathering. “Spread over five days instead of three, from Thursday to Monday, more overseas visitors will be attracted to South Galway and to Ireland, in support of the Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative,” explained honorary secretary of the event, Marion Cox. Last year’s events as part of the Gathering were booked out and Marion is expecting a large crowd again this year. “The feedback has been absolutely …

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Motorway would be a ‘game changer’

THE opening of the Gort to Tuam motorway would be a “game changer” for Galway and would bring with it a “much-needed economic boost”, according to one local representative. Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins has written to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to ask that every effort is made to ensure early delivery of the new Gort to Tuam dual-carriageway. “I have written to Minister Brendan Howlin and informed him that this road is a very necessary piece of infrastructure for the people of East Galway and beyond. I have urged him to ensure all financing matters are finalised so it can proceed to construction as soon as possible” she said. “Having proper road facilities in the county will open up all sorts of opportunities in terms of foreign direct investment, given improved accessibility. The motorway will deliver a much-needed economic boost to Galway East and to all the towns and villages along the route and trigger a revitalisation …

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Swimmers making a splash for local boy

DOORUS resident Mark Dwyer, along with 10 experienced swimmers, will take to the sea later this month to raise money for facilities for local boy Conor Keane. Mark will swim 2.4km from Oileán Eide to Lynch’s Pier, Doorus to raise money for the Conor Keane Trust on Saturday, September 28. The swim takes place at 10am and Mark believes it can be done in 40 minutes. “It will be a high tide but the rate of knots in the deepest part will be slack. We have rescue set up with RibWest, a local company that run trips to the Aran Islands and the GOYA gang here will also provide kayak support. I am hoping that we will have 10 to 12 swimmers on the day but I don’t really want any more than that because I want to have sufficient support and safety really is paramount,” he said. Weather conditions will not deter Mark and his fellow participants and he …

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Kinvara's picturesque harbour area. Photograph by John Kelly.

Sewage treatment plant saga nears end

A DECADES-long wait for a sewage treatment plant in Kinvara is nearing an end. An Bord Pleanála this week gave the go-ahead for construction of the wastewater treatment plant in the South Galway village. Currently, untreated sewage is pumped into Kinvara Bay about 100m from the pier. “It has been one of the longest running sagas in South Galway but the end seems near for the development of a new sewage treatment plant for the town,” Junior Minister Ciarán Cannon commented. “This is the last major stumbling block out of the way and we are now ready to begin the preparation of contract documents and commence the tendering process. There are no really onerous conditions attaching to the grant of permission and this makes the next stage very straightforward,” he said. “I have been liaising closely with council engineers and they have confirmed to me that they will now finalise the contract documents and are hopeful that we can go …

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A new voice for Gort

Gort is going global thanks to a new project in the town, which it is hoped, will bring the South Galway town to a new audience. It is not technically on the airwaves but Gort Local Radio is online. Broadcasting intermittently for the past few weeks, founder and volunteer Donal Hanlon believes South Galway needs its own voice. “This came about through a radio media production course that the VEC run in Gort. It is led by Sinead Morgan and I was on the course since last November. I approached Sinead and I told her I felt Gort needed a local radio station. There is no radio station between Clare FM and Galway Bay FM. They cover Gort but they are commercial radio stations. This is totally community based,” he explained. Community Radio Stations are owned and controlled by the communities they serve. “We like Connemara FM. It is a good community station and that is one of the standards …

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