county Galway

  • Additional fines of over €5m have been imposed on the state as a result of an ongoing failure to ensure proper environmental standards were adhered to at a wind farm in county Galway.

    According to RTE, daily fines of €15,000 have been mounting since November last year, when the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled against Ireland, in relation to the Derrybrien wind farm in south Co Galway.

    As well as a one-off penalty of €5m, which was paid last January, a further €5.5m is now owed.

    The fines will continue to accrue until the situation is resolved, in line with the court's ruling.

    It found that Ireland was in breach of environmental safeguards in relation to the construction of the wind farm, almost 20 years ago.

    The court ruled that Ireland must comply with a 2008 instruction to properly examine the consequences of the development at Derrybrien.

    The case centred on long-standing concern about the impact of the 70-turbine development on the Slieve Aughty mountains.

    The wind farm was built and is operated by a subsidiary company owned by the ESB.

    During the construction phase in 2003, a massive landslide occurred, pushing thousands of cubic metres of peat down the mountain.

    Last November’s ruling by the European court cannot be appealed, as it was the final stage in lengthy proceedings against Ireland.

    Last  August, the ESB submitted an application for Substitute Consent to An Bord Pleanála. The company says it will not comment further while the application is being considered.

    The CJEU's fines, amounting to €105,000 every week, will not be lifted until the ESB completes a retrospective environmental impact assessment (EIA) at the development.

     

  • County Galway girl Saoírse Ruane, one of the stars of last year's RTE’s Late Late Toy Show, has learned how to cycle her bike again. 

    The 8 year old from Kiltullagh lost a leg as a result of a tumour. Her story, and her fundraising for charity, inspired the establishment of the Late Late Toy Show's own foundation.

    Over €6m was raised during last November's TV extravaganza .

    Saoírse’s mum Roseanna posted on Instagram yesterday how proud she is of her daughter, with a video of Saoirse cycling down a country road, head-to-toe in safety gear and soundtracked by Alicia Keys’ Girl On Fire.

     

  • Gardai in Tuam are investigating a single vehicle fatal road collision at Willaimstown in the early hours of this morning.

    The collision occurred at 2.20am this morning on the Williamstown to Castlerea rd(R360), about a half a mile outside Williamstown.

    The male driver, aged 19, was seriously injured and later pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not yet been released, but it's believed the young man is from the area.

    His body was removed to the University Hospital Galway where a post mortem examination will take place.

    The road is currently closed to traffic to facilitate a Forensic Collision examination and diversions are in place. The road is expected to remain closed until about 1.30pm to 2pm this afternoon.

    Gardai are appealing for witnesses in particular for anyone who may have been on that stretch of road between 1.45am and 2.10am to contact them at Tuam Garda station on 093 70840, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

  • A restaurant owner in county Galway says moving services online has saved her business.

    It comes as An Post reveals it's handling more than 2 million parcels a week due to a surge in online shopping.

    Ann Dunne from the White Gables cafe in Moycullen has described how hampers have saved her business.

    They sold 300 hampers in the first week of Level 5 restrictions.

    They were initially developed for people who were cocooning during the first lockdown:

    They're just some of the 2 million parcels that are being processed by An Post every week.

    That compares to 900 thousand around the same period last year.

    Garrett Bridgeman from An Post thinks most customers will stay shopping online even after COVID-19.

    An Post adds they're seeing a significant rise in the number of parcels from Irish businesses as well.

    So much so, they anticipate Black Friday could be replaced by 'Green Friday' later this month.

  • A man in his seventies died after the car he was driving went into the sea at Kinvara, in county Galway yesterday evening

    It happened at around eight o'clock yesterday evening at The Quay area of Kinvara.

    He was brought to University Hospital Galway in a critical condition but later passed away.

     The man's name has not been released by gardai. 

    Gardaí are appealing for anyone who was in the area at the time to come forward.

  • A man in his sixties was fatally injured  by a “freshly-calved cow” on a farm in county Galway yesterday.

    It is understood that the man was attacked by the cow on a farm near Moylough, and died as a result of his injuries.

    The accident occurred just before 3pm yesterday afternoon.

    The man’s name has not yet been released

    It is the fifth farm fatality recorded in Ireland this year.

  • The quality of water in Irish rivers is getting worse, according to an Environmental Protection Agency report.

    Roughly half of the country's coastal waters, rivers and lakes have unacceptable levels of pollution.

    The report found just 20 rivers have pristine conditions - down from more than 500 in the 1980's.

    EPA Water Programme Manager, Mary Gurrie, says agriculture and urban wastewater are the main contributors to the problem.

    The report names Ireland’s “worst of the worst” water courses, which included nine river sites, 10 lakes and six estuaries.

    The Kilgolgan river in Galway is one of these, it’s said to be under pressure from urban waste-water pressures form Loughrea.

    The Owenriff river in Co Galway is another of the nine, where run-off of phosphate fertiliser from forestry has been linked to poor ecological standards and had an impact on fish populations.

    Both rivers have declined since the last assessment, the Kilgolgan river, which was previously moderate, and the Owenriff, which was previously deemed to be in good ecological condition.

    Listed among the 10 “worst of the worst” lakes are : Lough Alewnaghta which straddles the borders of counties Clare and Galway; Ballyquirke Lough in Co Galway; Lough Rinn in Co Leitrim; and Templehouse in Co Sligo.

     

     

  • Irish Water, working with Galway County Council have started work on an upgrade to the Glenamaddy sewerage scheme. Once complete, the works will lead to improved public and environmental health, and provide a platform for social and economic development.

    The €7 million project will be delivered by Ward and Burke and is expected to be completed by 2020. The works will include the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant at Mountkelly, a new pumping station on the Creggs Road, the upgrade/rehabilitation of 700m of existing sewers and the construction of 1,700m of new rising main and outfall sewers.

    Colm Boyd of Irish Water told Midwest News that the company faces a serious challenge with the size and scale of issues with the wastewater across the country. A sewer network and treatment plant that is fit for purpose is essential in order to support business and social development in Glenamaddy, and these works will facilitate ongoing growth. These works will have a lasting benefit for local residents, business owners, and the environment.