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Autism unit planning decision expected

A PLANNING decision is expected on July 11 in relation to the development of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder Unit (ASD) unit catering for children with autism and special needs at St Joseph’s National School in Kinvara.The board of management at the school applied to Galway County Council in April for planning permission to fit out the ground floor of a former convent building for use as an ASD unit.The former convent is a protected structure, built in 1878. The application also proposed to carry out refurbishment works to the building, including the replacement of the windows and doors, along with the upgrading of the roof structure. Permission for a rear extension to the building to accommodate a kitchenette and bathrooms was also sought by the board.Following a request for further information last month, the school board lodged its response with the council this past week and a planning decision is now eminent.The applicants were asked for further information in respect …

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No start date for Kinvara Sewerage Scheme

A START date has yet to be confirmed for work to begin on the Kinvara Sewerage Scheme. Councillor Gerry Finnerty tabled a motion at a recent meeting of Galway County Council seeking information on the timeframe for the project’s completion. The answer he received from the council, he said is “unsatisfactory”.

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Charity’s work reducing number of dead horses

THE number of horses abandoned in the Sliabh Aughty mountains has increased in the past year, according to a local charity. However, the number found dead is down significantly.During its recent annual census of abandoned horses on a commonage of 2,400 acres in the mountains, Forgotten Horses Ireland counted 139 horses, an increase from the 127 counted in 2012.The organisation believes the exact number of abandoned horses on this commonage may be higher but poor weather conditions on the day of the census hampered the count.Speaking about the results of the 2013 census, Rozmina Kachchhi, chairperson of Forgotten Horses Ireland, said, “In the winter of 2011/2012, 22 horses were found dead, mainly due to malnutrition. “By contrast, only three horses have died since the charity began working on the commonage in March 2012; two from gunshot wounds and one from unknown causes.“This transformation in the numbers of abandoned horses perishing on this large commonage is due to the constant monitoring …

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First ‘place heroes’ graduate in Gort

A GROUP of transition-year pupils from Gort Community School recently graduated as ‘Laoch Áite’ (place heroes) from Ireland’s very first place-based learning programme in secondary schools.Twenty-five pupils took part in the Áitbheo (living place) programme, enabling them to take a much closer look at where they live and help them interpret their immediate environment in more depth.Interactive modules on landscape, built heritage, people and places in history, culture, biodiversity, conservation and biomimicry were delivered by guest tutors, providing a great starting point for the pupils to begin research into their own place. This initiative aimed to develop a strong sense of place in the pupils, which they will take with them into their adult lives.The programme, which was delivered by the Burrenbeo Trust, encouraged pupils to gain a greater appreciation for the rich heritage that exists around them by utilising the nation’s premier learning landscape, the Burren. Complementing this, a dedicated blog was created to allow pupils showcase their local …

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