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Displaying items by tag: Galway Harbour

Port of Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan has said Galway could become a stage for the America's Cup yacht race in the future.

The harbourmaster was commenting as the port outlined its vision for a new “urban quarter” with a dedicated cultural space, a “repurposed” inner basin and high rise waterfront residential development.

The “vision” unveiled by the port yesterday, involves development of some seven hectares (17 acres) of inner docklands for housing, commercial and recreational use.

The new vision for Galway Port sees high rise waterfront residential developmentThe new vision for Galway Port sees high rise waterfront residential development

A substantial portion depends on Galway securing approval for its long-planned harbour extension.

However, some 33 per cent of the area could be developed for residential use in advance of port relocation, its chief executive Conor O’Dowd said.

Around 2,000 residents in total could be accommodated in Galway’s inner dockland, O’Dowd said.

Most of the buildings proposed in the “vision” would be approximately six storeys high, but this would be the subject of public consultation, he said.

Galway Harbour Development an aerial viewGalway Harbour Development an aerial view

The Galway dockland centre pier has been earmarked for a cultural facility, and the port is “very open” to public proposals on this, O’Dowd said.

Some 22,300 sq metres (5.5 acres) would be earmarked to develop new public spaces for the city and repurpose the inner dock basin for marine recreation, he said.

Proposed public amenities include the development of “cross-city walking and cycle routes, multi-purpose cultural and event spaces, recreational water sport facilities and a completely re-imagined” street network that turns “towards the sea”, he said.

Capt Sheridan said that the port had hosted Ireland’s first Volvo Ocean Race stopover in 2009 and the finish of the race in 2012.

It has also hosted three national sea festivals in Galway, and is on the route for the Round Britain and Ireland race in May, 2022.

“I think we are well capable of hosting the America's Cup down the road,” he said.

Known as the oldest international contest still held in any sport, the America's Cup involves matches races between the yacht club that currently holds the trophy and a club that is a challenger.

Any club that meets the specific requirements of the contest – held for over a century on the US east coast before it moved to Fremantle, Australia in 1987 and subsequent venues – has the right to challenge the yacht club that currently holds the cup.

The America's Cup is currently held by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, which was successful in defending its title in Auckland in March 2021.

“These modern super yachts require very little water depth, and Galway bay is a natural amphitheatre for such events,” Capt Sheridan said.

“We dreamed about a port expansion many years ago, and we are now tantalisingly close,”he said.

“ When the Volvo ocean races called here in 2009 and 2012, we were the smallest port in the world on their route – and yet in 2009, Galway was deemed the most successful stopover in its 39-year history,” he said.

O’Dowd said the port’s planning application for a new, deep water port - which was the subject of a Bord Pleanála hearing in 2015 -is at an “advanced stage”.

The plan involves reclaiming some 24 hectares in the inner bay, and the port says a significant “hurdle” was overcome with recent approval of its proposal to provide compensatory land for lost habitats.

The port applied for a rarely used derogation of the EU Habitats Directive –the ‘Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest’ (IROPI) clause – and this has now been approved by the EU and referred to the Minister for Housing and Local Government.

If approved, the port company forecasts a completion date for the deepwater extension of 2032.

Published in Galway Harbour
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The Port of Galway has secured consent to provide compensatory habitat in return for its proposed harbour extension.

An Bord Pleanala has confirmed that the development qualifies to be considered under a derogation of the EU Habitats Directive, which allows projects to be built for "Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest". (IROPI).

The port, which is restricted by tide, applied in 2014 for a €126m expansion.

This would involve the reclamation of 24 hectares from the sea bed and extensive development of deepwater berth space.

Bord Pleanála said that certain elements of the proposed development would have a significant adverse impact on Galway bay, with permanent loss of reef, mud and sand habitats in a candidate special area of conservation.

In its submission, the port has offered compensatory habitat which it would restore.

An Bord Pleanála says it approved the IROPI case for several reasons:

It says it “concluded that the proposal presents an integrated development that enhances the social, economic and recreational benefits of the port for the wider benefit of the population of Galway and its regional hinterland”.

“The enhancement of port facilities also aligns with the European transportation policy promoting ‘short-sea shipping’ as a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable alternative to road transport,” it says.

“The enhancement of the port serving the region will therefore align with European, national and regional policies in favour of balanced spatial and economic development,” it says.

“The port and the tradition of maritime trade is fundamental not just to the economy of Galway but also to its culture and identity,” it says.

“The social and economic benefits of the project include positive impacts to tourism, marine research and development, including offshore renewable energy, urban regeneration and marine leisure opportunities,” it says.

Port of Galway chief executive officer Conor O’Dowd welcomed the confirmation as a “positive further step in the planning process”.

An Bord Pleanála says it has asked the Minister of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to “consider the adequacy of the compensatory measures proposed by the applicant”.

It has also asked the minister to “advise as to whether there are imperative reasons of overriding public interest to enable consideration of the proposed development to proceed”.

Published in Galway Harbour

No fire brigade, no doctors, no ambulance service – when a problem arises at sea, seafarers have to tackle it themselves.

That’s what makes the seafarer a “special breed” who is always “solution-focused”, according to Port of Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan.

The challenges of Covid-19, Galway’s position as a hub for renewable ocean energy, and its plans for expansion are among issues that Capt Sheridan spoke to Wavelengths about this week as part of the podcast’s occasional series on ports around the coast.

Galway secured a first Irish stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race, in 2009, and its finale in 2012. There were also three national “seafests” in the harbour, organised by the Marine Institute.

In May 2022, Galway will host a stopover for the Round Britain and Ireland Yacht Race, when some 40 competing yachts are anticipated to berth over a four day period.

“It gives a little bit of a parting in the clouds...when things are so dark,” Capt Sheridan says.

There’s also “a poet in everybody”, he adds, and Storm Ophelia in 2017 inspired one such piece which he wrote, and which he read for the podcast.

Listen below

Published in Wavelength Podcast

With its new format and course recently announced, RWYC Round Britain & Ireland Race that calls to Galway Bay next summer entry opens this Friday.

Commodore of the Royal Western Yacht Club, Chris Arscott, said, “The new format now allows for either double-Handed or four-handed crews. As the RWYC was the first club to introduce shorthanded offshore racing in the world, it is in our DNA to continue to develop and support this discipline. We are introducing a 4-handed class to offer a step-change from fully-crewed to perhaps tempt others to join the ever-growing double-handed and solo racing world. Partial crew changes are also allowed in each stopover, allowing for more crews to enjoy this amazing race, if not in its entirety but to be part of a Round Britain and Ireland team.”

The course has also been revised to three stopovers which will offer a more balanced, accessible race both to the sailors and supporters alike. From starting in Plymouth, the venues have been announced as Galway, Lerwick and Blyth. The compulsory stopovers will remain at a minimum of 48 hours, allowing crews to rest, repair, replace (whether that be kit or crew), refuel and finally return in top shape to take on their next leg. Lastly, the race will do away with IRC certified handicaps and will instead revert to class splits on length overall.

"The race will do away with IRC certified handicaps and will instead revert to class splits on length overall"

Race Director Adrian Gray said, “Besides crew work, navigation is key to success in these races, so we are moving away from the IRC mentality and returning to our original format of classes based on Length overall as well as multihull and of course monohull. It is a format that we feel will attract real interest. We are also balancing the course to make the race more accessible, more comfortable and less of a time draw to the teams generally.

We have also received some interest from the 2 handed Olympic offshore hopefuls to join us.

After all, this is a race of 4 stages, all of similar leg lengths to that which will be on offer in FRANCE2024.”

The race starts on the 29th May, 2022.

Spaces are limited so do not hesitate in getting in touch with the RWYC team and express your interest to enter here

Published in Galway Harbour

St Patrick’s festival is being marked with an illuminated gleoiteog in Galway’s Claddagh basin this week.

The gleoiteog Manuela has been decorated with lights by Bádóirí an Cladaig, the city association dedicated to training and restoration of the traditional craft.

The vessel was named in memory of Manuela Riedo, the Swiss student who was raped and murdered in Galway in October 2007

Bádóirí an Cladaig also illuminated several of its fleet of traditional vessels in the Claddagh basin over Christmas and new year, raising spirits during the pandemic.

Almost two years ago, the training organisation launched The Lovely Anne, a 137-year-old workboat built-in 1882 by boat-wright, Patrick Brannelly.

Brannelly also built An Tónaí and the Morning Star.

After being part of the local hooker fleet in the early 1900s, the vessel was sold over 46 years ago to Jim Parkinson, who fished it for many years.

 

Published in Galway Harbour
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“Voyagers from the grave” read the headline in a Melbourne newspaper, The Advocate, in 1877, and the report was about three Galway men who had by then become known as “the shaughrauns”.

The previous November of 1876, four men, had set out to fish from the Claddagh in a hooker, named Saint Patrick.

In the words of the skipper, Michael Moran, he and his crewmen Michael Smith, Patrick Moran, and his uncle John Moran, made for Slyne Head, about sixty miles from Galway.

That night a tremendous storm carried the vessel 150 miles out into the Atlantic, where four days later, three survivors were rescued by a passing Swedish vessel and taken to America.

“We had no extra good fortune, and at night foggy weather overtook us. The wind sprung up, blowing a perfect hurricane. My post was at the helm where my hands became frozen. On Tuesday night the boat was half-filled with water,” skipper Moran recalled.

“It is our custom to light turf on setting out and keep the fire going. The water put it out. Although we had potatoes and fresh fish, we had no means to cook them,” he said.

“We were four days and four nights without eating. In order to break the speed with which we were driven, we lowered a basket filled with stones and endeavoured to heave to but the cable broke on Friday morning,” he said.

That same morning, they woke to find no trace of the oldest man on board, his uncle John Moran.

NUI Galway lecturer in history Dr John Cunningham has researched the “Claddagh calamity”, and he gave a recent online talk to the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society about what happened, and how the men were given up for dead and were "waked".

Dr Cunningham is a committee member of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, a member of the editorial board of its journal, and a past editor of Saothar: Journal of Irish Labour History. He is co-editor with Ciaran McDonough of a forthcoming volume commemorating the bicentenary of James Hardiman's history of Galway – Hardiman and Beyond: Arts and Culture in Galway, 1820-2020 which is due for publication in April.

Dr Cunningham spoke to Wavelengths about his findings, and first of all, describes the vessel which the four men set sail in from the Claddagh.

You can hear the Wavelengths interview below

And you can see the full lecture by Dr Cunningham here

Published in Wavelength Podcast
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Galway City Council has accused An Taisce of “greatly exaggerating” pollution claims and believes a new sensor measuring wastewater discharge into Galway Bay will prove the environmental group wrong.

As reported by Times.ie today, this follows an estimate by An Taisce that over 30 Olympic swimming pools full of pollution is being discharged monthly into the river Corrib and bay.

City councillors have been told this week that a new “level sensor/event monitor” installed at Long Walk overlooking the Claddagh in September will make an “informed estimate”.

It is one of a series of measures being undertaken by Galway City Council and Irish Water, councillors were told.

An Taisce’s report, which was recently submitted to both Galway City Council and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), drew an angry reaction last month from the local authority.

A seven-page report issued by Galway City Council this week says it is “not discharging raw sewage from foul sewers into Galway Bay”.

It also says there is “no issue” with the Mutton island waste water treatment plant which is monitored by the EPA.

It says that it is working with Irish Water to deal with “issues” associated with two of the city’s beaches to “improve their status”.

Galway City Council says that “all known discharges are reported to the EPA”.

It also points out that the city has four designated bathing areas over 10km of coastline, with two having Blue Flag and Green Coast status and says their protection is of the “utmost importance”.

Read more on Times.ie here

Published in Galway Harbour
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Galway Bay Sailing Club in conjunction with The Royal Western Yacht Club (Plymouth) has announced that Galway Port has been selected as a stopover port for The Round Britain and Ireland Race in 2022.

This classic Round Britain and Ireland race which will be entering its 56th year will see over 40 boats competing in various classes over a three week period in May 2022. Starting in Plymouth, The Round Britain and Ireland Race has compulsory stopovers in Galway, Lerwick, and Blyth before finishing back in Plymouth.

Acting Rear Commodore Oceanic and Race Director, Adrian Gray said, “We are excited to announce the new format for this classic, well-known race. We are also delighted to announce our new stopover host, the Galway Bay Sailing Club, where we are assured to receive a very traditional Galway Céad Míle Fáilte”

The Round Britain and Ireland race sees an amazing assortment of yachts taking part. The Round Britain and Ireland race sees an amazing assortment of yachts taking part.

Galway and the Galway Bay Sailing Club are no strangers to hosting International Sailing events, having previously hosted the 2005 and 2009 Volvo Ocean Race stopovers.

Galway is also the spiritual home of the Green Dragon Irish entry in the race is perfectly placed on The West Coast of Ireland to provide a welcome respite before taking on the leg to the Shetland Isles.

Johnny Shorten, Commodore of Galway Bay Sailing Club commented, "We are proud and excited to be hosting the Round Britain and Ireland's race's stopover for the first time. A warm welcome and great Craic is awaiting all involved during the first stopover of the event. We hope it will be the first of many”.

Galway Docks is used to welcoming visiting fleets to the West Coast including the ICRA cruiser-racer fleet (above) in 2018Galway Docks is used to welcoming visiting fleets to the West Coast including the ICRA cruiser-racer fleet (above) in 2018 Photo: Afloat

Galway Harbour Master, Captain Brian Sheridan said he was delighted that the Port of Galway had been successfully selected as a stopover in the RB&I Race in 2022. “We are no strangers is hosting major maritime events and we look forward to rolling out the ‘blue’ carpet when competing yachts arrive in Galway bay for what I am sure will be a very successful race”.

The race is a combination of competitive sailing and enjoyable social gatherings. The course, around all the islands of Britain and Ireland except the Channel Islands and Rockall, can be a severe test of navigation and seamanship in the heavy weather that is often experienced. By contrast, the hospitality shown by the host Yacht Clubs and communities in the four stopover ports, in which the competitors must spend at least 48 hours, can be much more enjoyable and often just as exhausting.

Published in Galway Harbour
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Galway Bay Sailing Club, comfortably ensconced in their fine clubhouse at Renville New Harbour near Oranmore at the head of Galway Bay, can look back at many ups and downs during the fifty years of sailing development they've experienced from small beginnings in the city in 1970, until now they're one of the pre-eminent clubs on the West Coast in all areas of sailing.

Yet even the most sadistic theatrical director would scarcely have green-lighted a storyline in which – just as the final details for a year's long Golden Jubilee celebration in 2020 were being put into place by Commodore John Shorten and his committee – the Black Beast from the East, otherwise the Pandemic, crept into place to dominate everyone's lives and blast lovingly-crafted programmes into smithereens.

Work in progress? Galway Bay SC's very effective and hospitable  clubhouse at Rinvillle may have looked like "job finished" for this year's Golden Jubilee, but Commodore John Shorten and his Committee are fund-raising for further developmentsWork in progress? Galway Bay SC's very effective and hospitable clubhouse at Rinvillle may have looked like "job finished" for this year's Golden Jubilee, but Commodore John Shorten and his Committee are fund-raising for further developments

But they're a determined lot in Galway. And though initially, their main concern was that their ocean-voyaging heroes, the Quinlan-Owens family on the 43ft steel ketch Danu, should get safely home to Galway from lockdown confinement in the Caribbean, when Danu finally made port in Kilronan in the Aran Islands after a notably successful visit to the Azores during their return from the Americas, the sailors of Galway Bay were carving a season of sorts out of the times that are in it.

In fact, one of the club's most noted members, Aodhan FitzGerald - who has been both the holder (with Galwegian-by-adoption Yannick Lemonnier) of the two-handed Round Ireland Record for 14 years, while also winning the 2008 Round Ireland Race outright) has confided that the gentler pace of the permissible sailing of 2020 actually had its own special enjoyment, and the atmosphere around the club during summery evening training sessions acted as a welcome pressure-release valve for all who took part.

As for Danu's return, it so happened that a socially-distanced cruise-in-company to Inishbofin, co-ordinated by Cormac Mac Donncha (who organised last year's hugely successful Cruise-in-Company to Lorient in South Brittany) was getting under way with Kilronan the second stop as the August weekend approached, and by purest serendipity Danu got the welcome home she so richly deserved before her gallant crew had even entered the inner waters of Galway Bay.

Danu in the Caribbean last winter. Her escape from "pandemic prison" was celebrated with GBSC fellow-members in socially-distanced style in KilronanDanu in the Caribbean last winter. Her escape from "pandemic prison" was celebrated with GBSC fellow-members in socially-distanced style in Kilronan

Thus like other clubs, GBSC made the best of it afloat and ashore during 2020. But Golden Jubilees being something special, last Friday night they organised a combined Zoom session and socially-distanced clubhouse gathering to honour those who have contributed to Galway sailing for fifty years and more, and they did it so cleverly that they managed to drop a surprise Lifetime Achievement Award on Pierce Purcell totally out of the blue, as he thought he was there for something else altogether.

In a speech of appreciation of Pierce's unrivalled contribution – which pre-dates 1970 – fellow long-server Aonghus Concannon made it clear just how much GBSC and Galway Bay sailing and maritime life generally owe to Pierce Purcell's boundless enthusiasm and total generosity with his time. That said, those of us who know him rather doubt that "Lifetime Achievement" hits the target – "Successful Mid-Term Assessment" might be more appropriate……

Caught on the hop – Aonghus Concannon (left) looking properly pleased after his surprise announcement of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Pierce Purcell (right) had gone exactly according to plan Caught on the hop – Aonghus Concannon (left) looking properly pleased after his surprise announcement of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Pierce Purcell (right) had gone exactly according to plan

Other speakers (both in person and electronically) and awardees in a ceremony hosted by Andrew Drysdale with music by Lir O'Dowd included John Killeen the Chair of the Marine Institute, Galway Harbour Master Brian Sheridan, former Commodore and noted offshore racer Donal Morrissy, Pierce Purcell Jnr, Fergal Lyons, Dave Brennan, Pat Irwin, Conor Owens, Tom Foote, Vera Quinlan who received the premier cruising award, Pat Ryan and Yannick Lemonnier.

This unusual but successful ceremony was brought to a conclusion by Commodore Johnny Shorten, who in best Commodorial style congratulated the many recipients, and in talking of what the club has done and achieved in fifty years, neatly reminded everyone that no club ever thrives by standing still. He and his Officers and Committee have interesting plans for further development, and GBSC recently opened a GoFundMe page to help get the resources in place.

GBSC Commodore Johnny Shorten reminds the members that the best way to celebrate a club's Golden Jubilee is through worthwhile plans for the futureGBSC Commodore Johnny Shorten reminds the members that the best way to celebrate a club's Golden Jubilee is through worthwhile plans for the future

Isobella Irwin winning the Junior Female Sailor of the MidShipMan award at the Galway Bay Sailing Club presented by Johnny Shorten Commodore and Pat Irwin of Galway Bay Sailing ClubIsobella Irwin winning the Junior Female Sailor of the MidShipMan award at the Galway Bay Sailing Club presented by Johnny Shorten Commodore and Pat Irwin of Galway Bay Sailing Club

Rory Collins winner of the Junior Male Sailor awarded the MidShipMan award presented by Johnny Shorten Commodore and Pat Irwin Galway Bay Sailing ClubRory Collins winner of the Junior Male Sailor awarded the MidShipMan award presented by Johnny Shorten Commodore and Pat Irwin Galway Bay Sailing Club

Pat Ryan presented with the Michael Donohue Memorial Trophy for Volunteer of the year by Johnn Shorten Commodore and Captain Brian Sheridan Harbour Master Port of GalwayPat Ryan presented with the Michael Donohue Memorial Trophy for Volunteer of the year by Johnn Shorten Commodore and Captain Brian Sheridan Harbour Master at the Port of Galway

Vera Quinlan (Director of Cruising Irish Sailing Association) and Peter Owens (boat Danu) won the David Baynes Cruising Award for the best log. Presented by Johnn Shorten Commador Galway Bay Sailing Club 50th - Anniversary AwardsVera Quinlan (Director of Cruising Irish Sailing Association) and Peter Owens (boat Danu) won the David Baynes Cruising Award for the best log. Presented by Johnn Shorten Commador Galway Bay Sailing Club 50th - Anniversary Awards

Pierce Purcell Awarded the Lif1D0A0699 - Copy: Pierce Purcell -  Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Johnny Shorten Commador of the Galway Bay Sailing Club and Aonghus ConcannonPierce Purcell - Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Johnny Shorten Commador of the Galway Bay Sailing Club and Aonghus Concannon

Fergal Lyons presenting Cian and Rian Baynes of Joker, winners of the Oyster Festival Race Galway Bay Sailing ClubFergal Lyons presenting Cian and Rian Baynes of Joker, winners of the Oyster Festival Race Galway Bay Sailing Club

Fergal Lyons presenting Liam Burke, Tribal receiving the Spring Cup - Galway Bay Sailing Club 50th - Anniversary Awards night.Fergal Lyons presenting Liam Burke, Tribal receiving the Spring Cup - Galway Bay Sailing Club 50th - Anniversary Awards night. 

Published in Galway Harbour

When the funeral of Galway fishermen Martin and Tom Oliver left Claddagh church yesterday, the silence among hundreds of people lining the route was broken only by the roar of the river Corrib and the gentle sound of wind in canvas sails.

Three Galway Hookers had moored in the Claddagh Basin, with musician Sharon Shannon on board the deck of one of the vessels playing soft airs on her accordion.

Three Galway Hookers gathered at Claddagh ChurchThree Galway Hookers moored in the Claddagh Basin

Martin, who was almost 62, and his son Tom (37) died within 24 hours of each other after a fishing accident on their potting vessel on the north side of Galway Bay last Monday.

Mayor of Galway Mike Cubbard, who opened a book of online condolences, paid tribute to the two men as “salt of the earth” and “the best of friends”.

He noted that it was only a few weeks since he had recognised the role of Martin’s relatives, Patrick and Morgan Oliver, in rescuing two paddleboarders, Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn, in Galway Bay last August after 15 hours at sea.

Several generations of the Oliver family have been associated with the lifeboat service, and members of the RNLI and the fishing communities along the coast and on the Aran islands travelled to pay their respects.

Galway RNLI volunteers and members of the Galway Sea Scouts formed a guard of honour outside the church, where a private Mass was celebrated by Fr Gerry Jennings of Salthill parish, assisted by Fr Donal Sweeney of the Claddagh’s Dominican community.

Afterwards, Martin’s daughter and Tom’s sister Susanne and her mother Eileen were consoled by many friends, and relatives, as the city centre came to a standstill and construction work stopped as a mark of respect.

Crew with Badóirí an Cladaigh and the Galway Hooker Sailing Club had rigged the gleoiteog Manuela - named after the late Swiss student Manuela Riedo - along with the leath-bhád Croi an Cladaigh, and the bád mór Naomh Crónán in full sail in the Claddagh basin.

A Garda escort led the cortege over Wolfe Tone bridge and around by Long Walk and into Galway docks, as people lined both sides of the streets.

Two orange flares were released on the water surface, and members of Galway Bay Sailing Club then lit hand-held flares on the dockside, where State research ship Celtic Voyager and a number of fishing and angling vessels were berthed. 

Flares were lit at Galway Docks and Harpist Flares were lit and harpist Úna Ní Fhlannagáin (left) played at Galway Docks

The rich chords of harpist Úna Ní Fhlannagáin resonated as members of the Oliver and Griffin families cast flowers at the water’s edge in bright sunshine. 

The cortege paused for a few moments at the docks, and more tears were shed before the two hearses continued up to Rahoon cemetery overlooking the city. In the graveyard, the father and son – who had been inseparable in life - were buried side by side.

Galway harbourmaster Brian Sheridan said it was a “profoundly sorrowful tragedy for the Oliver family, and the wider fishing community”.

Published in Fishing
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