Stronger than ever water charges protests across the country.

Thousands brave hostile weather conditions in show of
resistance to government’s water regime.

Sligo News File Online.

Once again sectoral interests antagonistic to the anti water charges
campaign are attempting to downplay the extent of the turnout for
today’s demonstrations.

However, the thousands who have taken to the streets in virtually every corner of the country is visible proof the people are not being fooled by factions whose aim evidently is to undermine the campaign.

Braving hostile weather conditions, crowds on a massive scale
have assembled and marched in counties from Donegal to Cork to Dublin, showing the sweeping national resistance there is not alone to water charges and the continuing vicious austerity but also a government widely perceived to have nurtured the interests of the wealthy and well heeled at the expense of workers, families, the sick and the elderly

Many today will also question where exactly Sinn Fein stands on the
water issue. In the volume of propaganda they have released, they
still, when specifically questioned, have not revealed whether the party supports amending the Constitution, placing ownership of Ireland’s water resources with the people and future generations of the country, and trusteeship with the State, and their position regarding the future of the existing Irish Water utility.

Sligo News File submitted questions on both issues for the attention the party’s spokesperson on the environment, Brian Stanley. Despite follow up requests, and assurances from the party press office that our email had been passed to him, we have not, over a week later, received any reply from Mr. Stanley.

 

Ballymote library reportedly targeted for closure.

Move rapped by local TD.

Sligo News File Online.

Sligo-Leitrim TD, John Perry
Sligo-Leitrim TD, John Perry

Reports of the possible closure of the public library in Ballymote has
sparked a storm of protest in the south Sligo town.

Closure of the facility is believed to have been down for consideration by a SPC committee of the council today.

The winding down of the operation, which was established only a few years ago, is understood to be part of a planned cutback in services rooted in the need to improve on the council’s finances and multi-million legacy debt.

John Perry, local TD and a former junior Coalition government minister, has hit out at the apparently proposed move . Rapping the council, he said money for the library is not provided by the Department of the Environment.

However, there is some sympathy for the council’s situation as not only has the authority to contend with a massive debt overhang, but the Coalition’s Local Government fund has also been slashed. As well, the authority is facing government pressure to find €10 million over the next few years to reduce the debt pile.

A local library user said last night that closure wasn’t an option.”No
matter what the financial situation is the service must be kept open
and fully serviced. We will be relying our local TD and councilors to see that it is.”
 

 

 

 

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Irish Independent apologises to Gerry Adams.

‘Failure to give due prominence to Press Ombudsman decision in favour of the Sinn Fein Leader’

Sligo News File Online.

Gerry Adams, Leader, Sinn Fein.
Gerry Adams, Leader, Sinn Fein.

The Irish Independent has issued an apology to Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD over its failure to give due prominence to a decision in favour of Mr Adams by the Press Ombudsman.

The latest development follows several decisions by the Press Council to uphold complaints by Mr Adams about articles in the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent.

 On 17th October 2014, the Irish Independent published a decision of the Press Ombudsman, affirmed by the Press Council on appeal, upholding a complaint by Gerry Adams that a statement in an article published on 17th May was an unfounded accusation, in breach of the Code of Practice for Newspapers and Magazines.

The decision was published on Page 22 of the Irish Independent. Today, the Independent said that as the article of 17th May was published on page six, the decision should have been published on one of the first six pages of the newspaper,  and apologised to Mr. Adams.

 

Minister to address ICSA National Conference.

Venue is Alexander Hotel, Dublin, on 5th February 2015

Sligo News File Online.

ICSA President, Patrick Kent
ICSA President, Patrick Kent

The ICSA has announced that Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney will address the association’s annual conference at Dublin’s Alexander Hotel, next month, 5 February 2015.

Other speakers include Kevin Hanrahan, Teagasc Rural Economy and Austin Finn, Macra Land Mobility Service.

The opening address will be delivered by the national president of the organisation, Patrick Kent.

The conference kicks off at 1.30pm.

 

Calleary: Central Bank mortgage rules will stop Mayo families trading up.

‘€60,000 deposit to secure a mortgage of €300,000’.

Sligo News File Online.

Dara CallearyHundreds of families across Mayo will be trapped in their homes, unable to trade up, because of new Central Bank rules on mortgage lending, according to Mayo Fianna Fail TD, Dara Calleary. 

Under the new regulations, he said, non-first time buyers will have to save a 20% deposit in order to secure a home loan.

He said: “While the easing of the rules for first time buyers is welcome, the situation for people wishing to trade up from their starter home has been made much more difficult, and could result in families across the county finding themselves trapped in houses or
apartments that are no longer suitable for their needs.

“The deposit needed to secure a mortgage of €300,000 is €60,000; a vast sum for any family to save, especially if they are already repaying a mortgage on their first home.  In many cases this could simply prove impossible. These Central Bank rules are extremely
onerous and do not take ability to pay into consideration.  Families who have never missed a mortgage repayment will be penalised because they are unable to come up with a 20% deposit.

“Many people in Mayo bought at the height of the boom and now find themselves in negative equity and may not be able to save the required deposit levels.  This will effectively rule them
out of ever finding the funds to ever buy a new home, and is extremely unfair.  In its submission to the Central Bank, Fianna Fáil expressed concern about how these rules would impact first
time buyers, however while rules for first time buyers appear sensible, the situation for people looking to trade up has been made infinitely more difficult”.

 

 

Excavation works at junction Hughes Bridge and Ballast Quay ongoing over next few weeks – Sligo County Council.

HGVs travelling along Ballast Quay in direction of Hughes Bridge/Inner Relief Road required to turn right onto Pirn Mill Road from where Inner Relief Road can be accessed at Junction S8.

Sligo News File Online.

Hughes Bridge, Sligo 1Sligo County Council have notified road users that excavation works, which have commenced at the junction of Sligo’s Hughes Bridge and Ballast Quay, will be ongoing over the next two to three weeks.  The works relate to the diversion of utilities such as Eircom, UPC, ESB and other services.

To fully facilitate the works, the authority have stated that all Heavy Goods Vehicles travelling along Ballast Quay in the direction of Hughes Bridge/Inner Relief Road will be required to turn right onto Pirn Mill Road from where they can access the Inner Relief Road at junction S8.  All other motorists may continue along Ballast
Quay and turn left onto Hughes Bridge.

“Hughes Bridge will continue to be reduced to one lane for northbound traffic for much of the coming fortnight.  Delays are inevitable and motorists are advised to plan ahead and allow an extra 10 minutes journey time, particularly during the
morning and evening peaks.

“As always”, the authority added,  “we continue to urge all road users to exercise caution when traversing the bridge as construction plant and machinery will be moving between different work locations.”

 

 

 

Tesco gets green light for €20 million retail development in Ballina.

Store expected to employ 100.

Sligo News File Online.

Tesco LogoAn Bord Pleanala has granted Tesco Ireland Limited planning permission for a new  €20 million retail store and car parking on a 1.2 hectare town centre site at Market Road/Market Square, Ballina.

In their application, Tesco sought approval for the demolition of all existing structures – including existing stores on site – and the provision of: (i) a retail store of c.6,881 sqm gross floor area, c.2,406sqm convenience and c.1,031sqm comparison net sales
area, including subsidiary alcohol sales area, ancillary offices, staff facilities, bulk store and cage marshalling area; (ii) a café (152sqm); (iii) circulation space to include atrium at ground floor and first floor levels; (iv) elevation and totem signage; (v) service yard at first
floor level; (vi) 280 no. car parking spaces to be provided at grade/undercroft (part under first floor retail); (vii) access off Market Road; (viii) road upgrades to Market Road to include amendments to lane layouts and a right turn lane into the development; (ix) the provision of a Link Road between Market Road and Pearse Street with amended entrance to existing car park to the rear of AIB; (x) pedestrian crossings on Humbert Street, Pearse Street and Market Road/proposed Link Road; (xi) taxi set down along the proposed Link Road; (xii) pedestrian link to Humbert Street from the development; (xiii) public toilet adjacent to the Link Road; (xiv) plant, ESB substation and all ancillary landscaping, site development works and site services.

Mayo County Council issued permission for the development in July 2014, subject to 36 conditions.

The decision was subsequently appealed to An Bord Pleanala by Sean McHale, Allied Irish bank, Lidl Gmbh, and A McEvoy. Tesco also appealed conditions of the county council permission on a number of grounds. A submission as observer was made by Kevin Moran.

Granting permission for the development the Board said that having regard to the “Retail Planning Guidelines for Planning Authorities” issued by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government in April, 2012, its location in the established town centre of Ballina, the established use of the site as a shopping centre and the pattern of development in the area, it is considered that, subject to compliance with the affixed conditions, the proposed
development would not adversely affect the vitality and viability of BallinaTown Centre, would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity and would constitute a reasonable expansion of the existing retail use of the site. The proposed development would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience and would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

The Board said it completed an Environmental Impact Assessment of the proposed scheme which took account of the Environmental Impact Statement submitted with the application and the report, assessment and conclusions of the Inspector in relation to the environmental impacts of the scheme, the conclusions of which were broadly accepted by the Board. They considered that the environmental impacts of the proposal are acceptable and, subject to compliance with the mitigation measures set out in the Environmental Impact Statement, the proposed development would not have significant effects on the environment.

The twenty-four conditions attached by the Board include:

1. The development shall be carried out and completed in accordance with the plans and particulars lodged with the application including the Environmental Statement, except as may otherwise be required in order to comply with the following conditions. Where such conditions require details to be agreed with the planning authority, the developer shall agree such details in writing with the planning authority prior to commencement of development and the development shall be carried out and
completed in accordance with the agreed particulars.
Reason: In the interest of clarity.

2. The total convenience goods net retail sales area as specified in the development description (as defined in Annex 1 of the “Retail Planning Guidelines for Planning Authorities” issued by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government in April, 2012) of the store shall be as delineated on a revised floor plan, details of which shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority prior to the commencement of development. The floor plan shall also delineate the extent of the
area for subsidiary alcohol sales.
Reason: To comply with national policy, as set out in these Guidelines.

3. The proposed development shall be amended as follows:
(a) traffic flow on Market Road shall remain two-way with the junction layout at Market Road/New Street amended accordingly to facilitate same,
(b) provision shall be made for two pedestrian crossings on Market Road (one either side of the junction of Market Road/New Street)
(c) the junction of Pearse Street and New Street shall be a T-junction with priority given to traffic on Pearse Street,
(d) the existing Circular Road, Bohernasup, Humbert Street, Market Road mini-roundabout junction and all approaches shall be redesigned with the exact extent of re-surfacing and vertical and horizontal realignment to be agreed in advance with the planning authority. (All works shall be carried out by the developer); and
(e) a controlled pedestrian crossing shall be provided at the junction of Bohernasup and Humbert Street adjacent to the existing mini- roundabout. Revised drawings showing compliance with these requirements shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority prior to commencement of development.
Reason: In the interest of traffic safety and orderly development.

4. The boundary wall on the north-east side of New Street adjoining the Allied Irish Bank car park shall be as shown on Drawing Number PL-200. Anti-ram bollards shall be provided along the south-western boundary of Allied Irish Bank, details of which shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority prior to the commencement of development.
Reason: In the interest of clarity.

5. (1) Water supply and drainage arrangements, including the attenuation and disposal of surface water, shall comply with the requirements of the planning authority for such works and services.
(2) The proposed attenuation tank shall be relocated onto the car park area from the access roadway for maintenance and durability reasons.
Reason: In the interest of public health.

6. Prior to commencement of construction of the development, details of the materials, colours and textures of all the external finishes to the proposed development shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority.
Reason: In the interest of orderly development and the visual amenities of the area.

7. (a) The requirements of the planning authority in relation to the proposed new entrance, traffic signalisation, road layout, internal circulation in the car park and car parking shall be complied with.
(b) The alterations to the public road shall be subject to road safety audits prior to commencement of development and at operation stage.
Reason: In the interest of traffic safety and orderly development.

8. Site development and building works shall be carried out only between the hours of 0800 and 1800 from Mondays to Fridays inclusive, between 0800 and 1400 hours on Saturdays and not at
all on Sundays, Bank or Public Holidays.
Reason: In order to safeguard the residential amenities of property in the vicinity.

9. (1) An additional stairway from the car park to Market Road shall be provided for direct access to the Market Road shops (2) The embankment at Market Road shall be of a stone wall finish.
Revised drawings showing compliance with the above requirements shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority prior to commencement of development.
Reason: In the interest of visual amenity.

10. No advertisement or advertisement structure (other than those shown on the drawings submitted with the application) shall be erected or displayed on the building or within the curtilage of the site in such a manner as to be visible from outside the building, unless authorised by a further grant of planning permission. Details of specification, materials and colours of the signage shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority prior to the commencement of development.
Reason: In the interest of visual amenity.

11. Comprehensive details of the proposed public lighting system to serve the development shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority prior to the commencement of development. The lighting shall be orientated or cowled appropriately to avoid overspill of light onto adjoining residential
properties fronting Humbert Street.
Reason: In the interest of public safety and visual amenity.

12. All service cables associated with the proposed development (such as electrical, telecommunications and communal television) shall be located underground. Ducting shall be provided by the developer to facilitate the provision of broadband infrastructure within the proposed development.
Reason: In the interest of visual and residential amenity.

13. The management and maintenance of the proposed development, following completion, shall be the responsibility of a legally constituted management company, which shall be established by the developer. A management scheme, providing adequate measures for the future maintenance of the
development; including the external fabric of the buildings, internal common areas, landscaping, roads, paths, parking areas, lighting, waste storage facilities and sanitary services shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority before any of the commercial units are made available for occupation.
Reason: To provide for the future maintenance of the development in the interest of visual amenity.

14. The construction of the development shall be managed in accordance with a Construction Management Plan, which shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority prior to commencement of development. This plan shall provide details of intended construction practice for the development, including:
(a) location of the site and materials compound(s) including area(s) identified for the storage of construction refuse;
(b) location of areas for construction site offices and staff facilities;
(c) details of site security fencing and hoardings;
(d) details of on-site car parking facilities for site workers during the course of construction;
(e) details of the timing and routing of construction traffic to and from the construction site and associated directional signage, to include proposals to facilitate the delivery of abnormal loads to the site;
(f) measures to obviate queuing of construction traffic on the adjoining road network;
(g) measures to prevent the spillage or deposit of clay, rubble or other debris on the public road network;
(h) alternative arrangements to be put in place for pedestrians and vehicles in the case of the closure of any public road or footpath during the course of site development works;
(i) details of appropriate mitigation measures for noise, dust and vibration, and monitoring of such levels;
(j) containment of all construction-related fuel and oil within specially constructed bunds to ensure that fuel spillages are fully contained. Such bunds shall be roofed to exclude rainwater;
(k) off-site disposal of construction/demolition waste and details of how it is proposed to manage excavated soil;
(l) Means to ensure that surface water run-off is controlled such that no silt or other pollutants enter local surface water sewers or drains.
A record of daily checks that the works are being undertaken in accordance with the Construction Management Plan shall be kept for inspection by the planning authority.
Reason: In the interest of amenities, public health and safety.

15. A plan containing details for the management of waste (and, in particular, recyclable materials) within the development, including the provision of facilities for the storage, separation and collection of the waste and, in particular, recyclable materials and for the ongoing operation of these facilities shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority prior to commencement of development. Thereafter, the waste shall be managed in accordance with the agreed plan.
Reason: To provide for the appropriate management of waste and, in particular recyclable materials, in the interest of protecting the environment.

16. Deliveries to the premises and to the service yard shall only be made between 0730 hours and 2200 hours from Monday to Friday and between 0800 hours and 2000 hours on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank or Public Holidays.
Reason: In the interest of residential amenity.

17. Details of all proposed road markings shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority prior to commencement of development.
Reason: In the interest of traffic safety.

18. A detailed plan and elevations for the entire pedestrian access from Humbert Street, including details of finishes to path, lighting (which shall be Ballina approved Heritage lamp posts), boundary treatments, landscaping and walls shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority prior to commencement of development.
Reason: In the interest of residential amenity.

19. Full details, plan, elevations, finishes and location of the proposed screen wall to the rear boundaries of the houses numbers 1 to 4 on Humbert Street shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority prior to commencement of development. The wall shall be constructed by the developer
at their own expense.
Reason: In the interest of residential amenity.

20. Full details, plan, elevations and finishes of the proposed screen wall to the rear boundaries of the houses numbers 5 to 16 on Humbert Street shall be submitted to, and agreed in writing with, the planning authority prior to commencement of development. The wall shall be constructed by the developer at their own expense.
Reason: In the interest of residential amenity.

21. The developer shall facilitate the preservation, recording and protection of archaeological materials or features which may exist within the site. In this regard, the developer shall –
(a) notify the planning authority in writing at least four weeks prior to the commencement of any site operation (including hydrological and geotechnical investigations) relating to the proposed development,
(b) employ a suitably-qualified archaeologist who shall monitor all site investigations and other excavation works, and
(c) provide arrangements, acceptable to the planning authority, for the recording and for the removal of any archaeological material which the authority considers appropriate to remove.
In default of agreement on any of these requirements, the matter shall be referred to An Bord Pleanála for determination.
Reason: In order to conserve the archaeological heritage of the site and to secure the preservation and protection of any remains that may exist within the site.

22. Prior to commencement of development, the developer shall lodge with the planning authority a cash deposit, a bond of an insurance company, or other security to secure the provision and satisfactory completion of roads, footpaths, watermains, drains, public open space and other services required in connection with the development, coupled with an agreement empowering the planning authority to apply such security or part thereof to the satisfactory completion of any part of the development. The form and amount of the security shall be as agreed between the planning authority and the developer or, in default of agreement, shall be
referred to An Bord Pleanála for determination.
Reason: To ensure the satisfactory completion of the development.

23. The developer shall pay to the planning authority a financial contribution of €65,572.46 (sixty five thousand five hundred and seventy two euro and forty-six cents) in respect of public infrastructure and facilities benefiting development in the area of the planning authority that is provided or intended to be provided
by or on behalf of the authority in accordance with the terms of the Development Contribution Scheme made under section 48 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended. The contribution
shall be paid prior to the commencement of development or in such phased payments as the planning authority may facilitate and shall be subject to any applicable indexation provisions of the Scheme at the time of payment. The application of any indexation required by this condition shall be agreed between the planning authority and
the developer or, in default of such agreement, the matter shall be referred to the Board to determine.
Reason: It is a requirement of the Planning and Development Act 2000 that a condition requiring a contribution in accordance with the Development Contribution Scheme made under section 48 of the Act be applied to the permission.

24. The developer shall pay the sum of € 25,000 (twenty five thousand euro) (updated at the time of payment in accordance with changes in the Wholesale Price Index – Building and Construction (Capital Goods), published by the Central Statistics Office), to the planning authority as a special contribution under section 48 (2)(c) of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, in respect of the provision of an artistic feature. This contribution shall be paid prior to commencement of development or in such phased payments as the planning authority may facilitate. The application of indexation required by this condition shall be agreed between the planning authority and the developer or, in default of such agreement, the matter shall be referred to An Bord Pleanála to determine.
Reason: It is considered reasonable that the developer should contribute towards the specific exceptional costs which are incurred by the planning authority which are not covered in the Development Contribution Scheme and which will benefit the proposed development.

The development is expected to employ 100.

 

 

Gardai investigating apparent arson attack at constituency office of Mayo Fine Gael TD, Michelle Mulherin.

Fire discovered after report of broken window in building.

Sligo News File Online.

Michelle Mulherin, TD.The constituency office of Mayo Fine Gael TD, Michelle Mulherin has been damaged in an apparent arson attack.

Gardai who were called to the building in Ballina following a report of a broken window discovered a fire when they arrived.

The fire was brought under control by a unit of the local fire service.

It’s understood that flammable material had been thrown into the
building at John Street, but, according to reports, only minimal
damage was caused.

The scene has been cordoned off, and gardai have launched an
investigation