Garda chief to tackle Ballinasloe street drinking

The chief of the Galway Garda Division has said he will look at complaints of drinking on the main streets in Ballinasloe, but it would have “huge resource implications”.

Councillor Aidan Donohue told a meeting of the County Galway Joint Policing Committee this week that street drinking had become a huge issue in the town, and there were always people “lying around” the Square.

“It creates a very bad image for the town. If you’re walking up through the Square, it gives a bad impression, especially along the main street, where buses pull up and let off people. You’re encouraging them to come in for a bite to eat, it just doesn’t go down well. A number of people have complained to me.

“I know it happens in parks and places like that, and it probably shouldn’t happen any place, but I feel that along the main streets and the main square of the town is wrong. Is there anything we can do?”

Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said he would talk to the Superintendent in Ballinasloe about the matter, but he knew from Galway City, there were huge resource implications.

“Definitely, if it’s an issue, we will address it,” said Chief Supt Curley.

Cllr Donohue previously raised the matter last June at a meeting of the Ballinasloe Municipal Council, saying that visitors were shocked by the level of drinking on the streets and at the Square.

“It happens in the morning, during the day and again at night and this could be every day of the week in Ballinasloe. I am not saying that any of those who are drinking outdoors are causing any harm but it is terribly unsightly.

“They are down at the marina – in fact they are the first people meet when they arrive to Ballinasloe by boat – and are basically all over the town. I know other towns have a similar problem but I don’t think it is as obvious as it is in Ballinasloe,” said Cllr Donohue.

Meanwhile, this week’s JPC meeting heard that in County Galway in the first eight months of this year, there were 239 public order offences recorded, down 15% from 280 for the same period last year.

There was a slight decrease in assaults causing harm from 41 to 39, while minor assaults were up 16% from 183 to 212.