Gardaí have no notebooks to impose street drinking fines

Street drinking at Eyre Square.

Galway Gardaí haven’t issued any fines for breaches of new street-boozing laws – because they don’t have the proper notebooks.

Six months ago, a bye-law was passed banning ‘bushing’ and drinking of alcohol in open spaces in the city centre.

But it has emerged not one on-the-spot fine has been issued by Gardaí since December.

The lack of enforcement is because Galway City Council hasn’t supplied Gardaí with the relevant paper fine books.

Garda Chief Superintendent Tom Curley and Superintendent Marie Skehill said Gardaí had requested the notebooks several times from Galway City Council but they haven’t been received.

It means they haven’t been able to enforce the bye-laws, despite widespread breaches with open-air drinking during the recent sunny weather.

Speaking at a Galway City Joint Policing Committee, Chief Supt Curley said: “The paperwork is not available yet so we haven’t used the bye-laws. City Hall hasn’t given us the notebooks yet.”

He said once the notebooks were issued, the bye-laws would be enforced. Gardaí will issue on-the-spot fines and they will be processed by the local authority.

For more on this story, see this week’s Galway CIty Tribune