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South Galway

A haven for cancer patients at Hollyblue House

LONDON LADY Catherine had been planning to move back to the West of Ireland to enjoy a slower pace of life, when she found herself grappling with a cancer diagnosis.  It was the persuasion of her son that brought her to the door of Gort Cancer Support. Despite some initial hesitancy, Catherine crossed the threshold of Hollyblue House to discover services that have proven to be hugely beneficial to her. “I don’t know what to call them angels or saints,” she told The Champion. “When you come here you never talk about cancer and there’s a beautiful, peaceful vibe. You definitely feel better after a visit.” With welcome signs in English and Portuguese, Gort Cancer Support is a truly inclusive place. All kinds of services are available from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), prosthesis fittings, and reflexology to play therapy. Practical services are offered by a fleet of volunteer drivers who take people to appointments. The service is coordinated from this …

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Gort to celebrate St Brigid’s bank holiday with arts events

A NEW arts collective in Gort is celebrating the nation’s latest Bank Holiday with a series of events in the town. Gort Arts Collective is hosting a series of events to celebrate the new St. Brigid’s bank holiday between February 4 and 5 with events including a procession, an outdoor large-scale projection onto the town’s courthouse, an art exhibition, and theatre performances. The Gort Arts Collective, a group of 40 artists who work in a variety of art forms: painting, sculpture, the written word, and filmmaking aims to bring the community together to celebrate old traditions and create new ones through the medium of the arts. Noreen Scully from the group said, “Ours is an old Irish market town that enjoys a rich and diverse cultural community – and it’s important for everyone in the town to feel that they belong. “The arts are a great way to do this and Brigid is the perfect opportunity. Brigid was a saint, …

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Funds continue to roll in for Gort’s Biogas challenge

MORE than €80,000 has been raised as part of efforts to launch a judicial challenge to the granting of planning permission for a biogas plant in Gort.  Opposition group, Gort Biogas Concern, confirmed earlier this month that legal representation has been secured to initiate the court challenge. The group said it is determined to overturn An Bord Pleanála’s decision to allow the controversial project, in the wake of its rejection by Galway County Council. The Concern Group has also revived its awareness-raising walking campaign which invites people to walk the town’s scenic ‘Golden Mile’ every Sunday to learn more about the project and the strength of local opposition.  A statement from the Concern Group confirmed this week that €82,000 has been raised to-date “in order to protect Gort and South Galway from a catastrophic biogas development”. “From far and near people have donated €82,000 in less than two weeks after the public meeting on January 4,” the statement said. “Contributions …

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Community gets ‘ball rolling’ on biogas plant legal challenge

Less than two weeks after a public meeting to discuss concerns about a grant of planning permission for a biogas plant in Gort, more than €60,000 has been raised to fund a legal challenge. Gort Biogas Concern Group have confirmed to The Champion that legal representation has been secured to initiate a judicial review. The group said it is determined to overturn An Bord Pleanála’s decision to green light the controversial project, in the wake of its rejection by Galway County Council.  “Six days after the meeting over €60,000 had been raised,” spokesperson Ciarán O’Donnell said. “We had around 400 people attend the meeting last week and raised a lot of funds on the night so that we can take a court challenge to this decision. Local business people are genuinely worried, everyone is worried and even though everyone is struggling financially, they are putting in money they can’t afford, because they feel so strongly. We even had a school …

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Dung protester unapologetic after Gort biogas meeting

A MAN who threw dried cow dung at two TDs attending a public meeting in Gort last week has refused to apologise.  The meeting took place at O’Sullivan’s Hotel in Gort on January 4 to air public views on the recent grant of planning permission for a biogas plant close to the town centre. The gathering of around 400 people launched a fundraising campaign to mount a legal challenge. Since the meeting, more than €60,000 has been raised and legal representation secured.  The throwing of dung at Junior Minister Anne Rabbitte and Deputy Ciaran Cannon generated national headlines over the course of the last week, and a Garda investigation is underway. The incident prompted the reissuing of safety guidelines to Oireachtas members and a national debate about the security of public representatives. Farmer Joe Baldwin declined to speak to The Champion but told RTÉ’s Liveline he did not believe he had anything to apologise for. He denied any intention to …

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Gort Biogas Concern has organised a major public meeting to discuss An Bord Pleanála's granting of permission for a plant close to the town.

Biogas plant planning permission branded ‘absolute disaster’

AHEAD of a major public meeting  to discuss the granting of permission for a biogas plant in Gort, campaigners described the news as an “absolute disaster” for South Galway.  At the end of last month, An Bord Pleanála granted permission for the facility which will be less than one kilometre from the town centre, covering a ten hectare site. While Galway County Council turned down proposals from Sustainable Bio Energy Ltd, the appeals board overturned that decision and has given the green light, subject to 22 conditions.  Gort Biogas Concern Group organised a public meeting on Wednesday (January 4) to examine options, including a judicial review. “In terms of health issues, traffic issues, environmental issues, we have grave concerns,” group member Ciarán O’Donnell said ahead of the gathering. “The main thing is that this is a 25 acres massive industrial plant, 900 metres away from Gort town centre, ten metres from Gort river. It’s 100 metres from the nearest resident …

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Irish Water lambasted over handling of Gort water issues

RESIDENTS of Gort are being “driven crazy” by problems with the town’s water supply and Irish Water has been strongly criticised for its handling of the situation. People in the town were left without water through some of last week’s extreme cold weather, while the town has a boil notice in place just days before Christmas. Local county councillor Gerry Finnerty said the problems have been going on for a long time, and Irish Water can’t blame it on the frosty weather seen last week. “The first call I’d have got was in November that there was an outage and that was long before there was any frost, and it’s ongoing since then. “The outages are unannounced, nobody knows anything, you just turn on the tap and find you don’t have water and it’s just driving people crazy.” Local TD Ciaran Cannon was also very angry when he spoke to the Clare Champion this week. “We had a very significant …

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Gort Cancer Support opens Pop Shop

GORT Cancer Support has announced the return of its Christmas Pop Up Shop which opens today, Thursday December 1, at 6pm, at their premises in Hollyblue House, Garrabeg, Gort (H91 WFP8). The event promises visitors a fabulous array of Christmas decorations, candles, gifts, jewellery, games and much more. It is shaping up to be a great night with the Tierneevin Choir attending to get everybody in the Christmas spirit. Donations of unused, unwanted gifts always gratefully accepted at any time.

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