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South Galway

The late PJ Mara

The death has occurred of PJ Mara, one of the best-known figures in the Irish political arena. A public affairs consultant and former senator, Mr Mara was married to the late Breda Brogan from Kinvara, whose family owned the landmark Brogan’s pub in Ennis. Tributes have been paid to Mr Mara by Toaiseach Enda Kenny, Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin and many other politicans abd friends. Mr Mara is probably best remembered as a political adviser to former Taoiseach Charles Haughey. He served briefly in the Seanad on two separate occasions, in 1981 and 1982, on the nomination of Mr Haughey. A flamboyant  figure, he was press secretary for Fianna Fáil between 1983 and 1987. In 1987 he was appointed Government Press Secretary, and he held this position until February 1992, when he left the public service to move into the private sector. Mr Mara came back to Fianna Fáil as director of elections for the 1997, 2002, and 2007 general elections.  

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‘Our life’s work is gone and nobody cares’

A SOUTH Galway man, whose farmyard and milking parlour are under water, has described the “terrible mental strain” he feels from the loss of his livelihood and his efforts to keep his herd of 95 cows alive. “Two days after Christmas, the water came into the yard. It was like the tide coming in on top of us,” Micheál Flaherty recalled. “I don’t know what I will do, to be honest,” the Tierneevin dairy farmer admitted, “because the parlour will cost a lot of money. We will have to rewire it completely. It is all under water. It will take months for the water to even go away. If it stopped rising today, it would still take three months for the water to recede. That is my income. I have nothing else. All our life’s work is gone and nobody cares. “I genuinely thought we could keep the water out. I had two good pumps from the council. It came …

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FF leader visits flood-hit areas

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin met residents in flood-hit communities during a whistle-stop tour of South Galway and Clare on Friday. Accompanied by Clare FF Deputy Timmy Dooley, Deputy Martin stopped off in some of the areas worst affected by the recent flooding, which has left numerous residents cut off from their own homes. His tour started in South Galway where he spoke to householders in the Gort area and his itinerary included New Quay, Boston, Tubber and Springfield on the outskirts of Clonlara. According to Deputy Dooley, the Fianna Fáil leader doesn’t want to make a “political showcase” out of his visit but was anxious to show his empathy with people who have been badly hit by flooding and hear first hand their experiences. “Micheál Martin wants to inform himself on a nationwide basis about the individual situations so that FF can devise comprehensive solutions to the flooding problems, which have arisen. “Every political party needs to engage with …

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President visits flood hit South Galway

President Michael D Higgins visited Labane in South Galway today (Monday) and met some the farm families and business people affected by severe flooding. “I took the opportunity of thanking all of the agencies and volunteers who have been assisting those affected and of paying tribute to the extraordinary sense of community that has prevailed for nearly a month now,” President Higgins said. Continuing, he said, “One particular aspect of the floods in Labane to highlight is the situation of those who are isolated and marooned and facing a painful wait for the waters to recede. It is only then that the task of recovery, in so far as possible, can begin.” The President expressed thanks to the Army who have been in Labane since December 9. “I had the opportunity as well of directly thanking the voluntary services, the State agencies and the local authorities, who are all working together with a great sense of cooperation. “While everybody was …

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BIM withdraws plan for Galway Bay Salmon Farm

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has withdrawn its plans for a controversial large-scale organic salmon farm North East of Inis Óirr. BIM held a board meeting on Monday after which it announced that it will not proceed with its application for an aquaculture licence for a proposed 15,000 tonne organic salmon farm in Galway Bay. There had been widespread objections to the plans for the Galway Bay Deep Sea Salmon Farm, notably from the Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages movement, set up by freshwater angling clubs, hoteliers, guest house owners, in-shore fishermen and environmentalists. A statement from BIM said it had withdrawn the application in line with the new National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development. The strategy drawn up by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine follows extensive consultation and forms the basis for the drawdown of €30 million in EU funding dedicated to Irish aquaculture development over the next five years from the European Maritime Fisheries Fund …

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Yeats’ trail takes Galway Golden Mile built heritage award

South Galway’s Yeats’ Mile was among the winners in this year’s Golden Mile of Galway Awards. Councillor Peter Roche, Cathaoirleach Galway County Council and Delia Colahan CEO of Galway Rural Development presented the Golden Mile of Galway Awards 2015 and launched the Golden Mile 2016 Calendar in Claregalway on Thursday. The overall winner of the Golden Mile was Lisheenaheilta Golden Mile Group, Glenamaddy. The Burren Lowlands Group, Gort, took home the Built Heritage award for the Yeats’ Mile at Ballylee. The Yeats’ Mile extends from Ballylee Cross to the Ballyaneen lios or fort. It is one of the most historic roads in the county as it includes Thoor Ballylee, an old mill previously operated by the Rowland family and restored in the 1990s and miller’s house, Yeats’ cottage which dates back to 1870, ring forts, a blessed well and 19th century farmhouses. Among those to have traversed the route were WB Yeats, Lady Gregory, the blind poet Raftery and the local …

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No progress on Gort Garda Superintendent

A GARDA Superintendent is unlikely to be appointed to Gort but the situation will be kept under review, it has been confirmed. This was outlined in a letter from Chief Superintendent of Human Resources and People Development, Anthony McLoughlin, to South Galway county councillor, Michael Fahy. Councillor Fahy wrote to Garda Headquarters in Dublin demanding that a garda superintendent be reinstated in Gort, following a break-in at the local mart the weekend before last. “The Galway Garda Division has recently received a total of six additional gardaí to the division. In May 2015, there were five probationers allocated to the Galway Garda Division. Furthermore, there has been one consequential transfer to the Galway Garda Division. It is anticipated that Human Resources and People Development will be in a position to allocate more probationer gardaí to the Galway division as recruitment continues,” Chief Superintendent McLoughlin explained. He noted there are four superintendents allocated to Galway currently and that the distribution of …

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Supreme Court refuses Derrybrien appeal

THE Supreme Court has refused, on grounds including it does not make “futile orders”, to declare that planning decisions relating to a windfarm development on a mountain site at Derrybrien did not permit deforestation of more than 115,000 trees. The site was the scene of a massive bog slide in October 2003 when nearly half a million tonnes of peat and debris was displaced, causing considerable damage to the surrounding area and pollution to a nearby fishing river. Following a 2008 decision of the European Court of Justice that Ireland had not fulfilled its obligations under a 1985 EU Directive related to assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, a local residents group appealed in 2009 against the 2005 refusal of the High Court to grant injunctions stopping the deforestation. The Chief Justice said, while the Supreme Court was prepared to approach the appeal “on the assumption the planning permission did not cover or …

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Brazilian man ‘savagely killed’ in Kerry

THE trial opened in the Central Criminal Court in Tralee this week of a Kerry man charged with the murder of a Brazilian man, who lived in Gort. The court has heard that Bruno Lemes de Souza was “savagely killed” and his body found weeks later in a drain in a bog near Listowel. John Paul Cawley (22) of Ardoughter, Ballyduff, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr de Souza at Shronowen Bog, Tullamore, on February 16 or 17, 2012. Opening the case before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, senior counsel for the prosecution, Conor Devally said the jury would hear evidence of an extended family living in North Kerry, including a Brazilian man, Wenio Rodriguez da Silva, his partner Sandra Cawley, their two young children, and Ms Cawley’s two brothers, Charlie Cawley and the accused, John Paul Cawley. Arrangements were made with the deceased, who lived in Gort, to call to Mr da Silva’s house at Ardoughter on …

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Galway must match Kilkenny’s intensity

THE intensity and work rate that Galway will need to beat Kilkenny on Sunday must be twice what it was against Tipperary, according to captain, David Collins. The Liam Mellows clubman said the positivity that is in the squad this year has helped him. “If it wasn’t, I would be sitting down and out and would not be playing. The depth in the squad is massive and we need that going forward,” Collins told The Clare Champion. Asked at what stage in their semi-final against Tipperary did he feel that it would be their day, he replied, “When I saw Johnny Glynn hooking Maher and Mannion picking the ball up and putting it over the bar, I said ‘this is it, this is our game, we are on the curve’. The work rate and the intensity that the boys kept bringing was superb and we need to keep that going now. “We have kept it going in training and we …

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