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Water levels in the reservoirs on the Aran islands of Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr are reaching critically low levels with locals fearful that supply will run out by the August Bank Holiday weekend.
“This is a clash of ideals, people who want to see rural Ireland closed down and those who want to see it prosper,” was how Fianna Fáil councillor Al McDonnell described the challenge to the recently adopted Mayo County Council Development Plan (2014-2020) by the Department of Environment and Local Government. The Development Plan sets out a number of guidelines for planning and development in the county for the next six years, including the contentious issue of rural housing. It is the second time that the Department of Environment and Local Government has challenged the plan adopted by the members of Mayo County Council. In late 2008 a delegation from Mayo County Council travelled to Dublin and met the Oireachtas Committee on Environment when a similar issue arose, they put their case forward and were ultimately successful in getting the development plan they wanted passed. “We were right the last time and they were wrong,” was how Fine Gael councillor Gerry Coyle responded to a letter received by the councillors telling them to change the adopted plan.
The Fine Gael/Labour Government has been accused of abandoning all pretence of providing a home for people in Galway city where there are now 3,597 households on the housing waiting list, an estimated 10,000 people have been on the list for periods of up to 12 years.
Plans for a greenway between Ballinasloe and Galway has taken another step forward after Galway county councillors gave their approval to an agreement which will allow the National Roads Authority to begin the design process.
City councillors have refused to give approval to works to lower the road under Lough Atalia Bridge until proper consultation is carried out with businesses and locals affected by the estimated two-month closure of this major route and the details of a full transport management plan are provided.
There was a lukewarm reception for Athlone mayor Gabrielle McFadden’s plans for a farmers market in the town during the All Ireland Drama Festival and a March Madness shopping weekend at the end of this month.
Galway city manager Brendan McGrath has confirmed that he remains “steadfast to see the return” of the seven day burial service, however, due to staffing and budget issues it will take a number of months before the service returns.
Westmeath is to have a new economic forum starring the best and brightest entrepreneurs the county has to offer.
The Central Bank is to launch a special €10 coin later this month commemorating Athlone’s John Count McCormack.
An Athlone town councillor insists that she will fight to ensure non-council representatives are appointed to the board of the town’s new arts and tourism body.