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CITY TRIBUNE

18 rapes reported in Galway City last year

Enda Cunningham

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Mill Street Garda Station

There was an increase in the number of rapes and sexual assaults reported to Gardaí in Galway City last year, according to new statistics.

A meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) heard that there were 18 rapes reported in 2016, an increase of five on the previous year.

Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said that a number of these would be ‘historical’ rapes.

Sexual assaults were also up by six to 27 last year.

Meanwhile, undercover Garda operations saw cases of burglary and theft from people in Galway City slashed in half last year.

The meeting heard there were 71 thefts from the person – such as mobile phones – in 2016, down 44% from 127 the previous year.

Burglaries were down from 435 in 2015 to 237 in 2016, a reduction of 46%.

Chief Supt Curley said this was down to undercover police work.

As a whole, there were 6,724 crimes reported in Galway City in 2016 – down 16% on the 7,961 in 2015, the meeting heard.

Thefts from cars and vans were down 8% from 145 to 133, while thefts from shops were down 7% from 571 to 529.

Other property crime was down 20% from 289 to 231, the meeting heard.

Meanwhile, there was a 5% increase in public order offences – such as drunkenness – which were up from 652 in 2015 to 683 last year.

There was a 35% drop in the number of assaults causing harm, from 89 to 58, while minor assaults were down 8% from 217 to 200.

For domestic incidents, breaches of barring order, safety orders and protection orders were up 46% from 37 to 54, while there was a 4% increase in cases where no offence was disclosed (where no official complaint is made) from 176 to 183.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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