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CITY TRIBUNE

40% drop in criminal activity in Galway City

Dara Bradley

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A senior Garda has reminded city motorists to lock and remove all valuables from cars parked in public places after figures confirm an increase in thefts.

But, overall, there was a big drop in crime in Galway City – which was mainly attributed to the snow of recent weeks.

Superintendent Marie Skehill said many thefts from vehicles in Galway were carried out on cars that were unlocked.

She warned people visiting graveyards, GAA and soccer pitches, city parks and other amenities, to lock their vehicles and to take valuables such as handbags and laptops with them.

Supt Skehill made the comments during the latest Joint Policing Committee meeting.

In her local crime stats report to the meeting, Supt Skehill revealed that overall crime has reduced by 40% in the first two months of 2018, compared with January and February last year.

There were some 773 crimes recorded during those months in 2018, which included a period of time when the city was in lockdown due to snow and severe weather. That was 523 fewer crimes compared with the first two months of 2017.

Despite a dramatic reduction in crimes, thefts from vehicles, shops and from people all increased during the first two months of the year.

Thefts from vehicles were up by seven (37%) to 26 incidents; thefts from person were up by five incidents (71%) to 12; and thefts from shops were up by 22 (33%) to 88 incidents.

Theft other, which can include thefts of mobile phones in pubs, was down by 12 (24%) to 39 incidents.

Burglaries have halved during January and February compared with the same two months last year. There were 32 burglaries reported during that period, 36 fewer than the same period in 2017.

There were four serious road accidents, two more than January and February of 2017.

Supt Skehill noted that public order offences have fallen by 14% to 82 incidents; but assaults causing harm have increased by three to 10, and minor assaults are up by 19 to 45, which is a 73% spike.

Labour Party City Councillor Niall McNelis said online theft and fraud was now widespread and Supt Skehill agreed to include stats for this particular crime in the next Garda report if agreeable to the Garda analyst.

Community activist Joe Loughnane, chairman of GARN (Galway Anti Racism Network), said a lot of people were going to his organisation with complaints about racist abuse.

These included Irish Travellers, East European bouncers and bar staff, Asian fast-food workers and African taxi drivers. He accused Gardaí of not taking seriously racial abuse.

Supt Skehill said she and Chief Supt Tom Curley take racists crimes seriously, and she confirmed Galway Garda Station has an ethnic liaison officer, and all community Gardaí are ethnic liaison officers.

CITY TRIBUNE

WATCH: The Olivers to the rescue … again!

Enda Cunningham

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Father and son rescue team Patrick and Morgan Oliver were back in action in Salthill this morning, when they helped a swimmer who got into difficulty.

A member of the public raised the alarm at around 10.30am and the Coastguard sought the assistance of Galway Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks.

Two members of the lifeboat shore crew made their way to the promenade to assist in the rescue.

Patrick and Morgan Oliver were fishing off Salthill at the time and spotted the man taking refuge on Palmers Rock about 200 metres from Salthill shore. They took him on board their fishing boat and brought him back to Galway Docks. Galway Lifeboat in the meantime was stood down. 

The man was taken into the Lifeboat station where he received treatment for symptoms of hypothermia until an ambulance arrived.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Assurances given on progress of road, bridge and bus projects

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It will take time and a lot of money, but the city’s network of major transport projects will proceed on schedule – that was the assurance given this week to councillors by City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.

Councillors had expressed concerns at their meeting on Monday about the slow rate of progress being made with major capital projects including two new pedestrian bridges over the River Corrib.

However, Brendan McGrath told the meeting that the timelines for the range of capital transport projects – while challenging – were reasonable, pragmatic and achievable.

“All of the projects are moving forward but we must adhere to all the procedures and the different stages that have to be complied with: we have no choice in that,” said Brendan McGrath.

Senior City Council Engineer, Uinsinn Finn, in reply to a number of queries about potential new bus routes, said that while the Council worked closely with Bus Éireann and the bus companies, the local authority didn’t decide on the routes.

Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Peter Keane (FF), asked ‘how it could take 63 months’ to deliver a pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Corrib even though the piers (old Corrib Railway Line) were already in place for the project.

“How can it take over five years to put a bridge like this over the Corrib,” he asked, after hearing that this €11 million Greenways-linked project would not be completed until 2026.

There is a snappier timescale for the Salmon Weir Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge – to be located adjacent to the existing structure on the southern side – with planning consent expected by next Summer and a completion date set for the end of 2022.
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

Council removes ‘shop local’ signage despite agreement with Latin Quarter

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Signage promoting a ‘eat, drink and shop local’ campaign, erected by a local business group, was removed by the Galway City Council – despite an understanding that permission had been granted.

The bilingual signage was placed on a number of solar compactor bins and bollard-control boxes in the city centre by the Latin Quarter business group, in an attempt to promote local businesses grappling with the effects of Covid-19.

A source in the group told the Galway City Tribune that the signage cost around €3,500 and that permission to erect it had been given by a ‘senior Council official’.

The signs were put up in mid-October but only lasted around two weeks when City Hall’s Environment Department had them removed, claiming that they had not been consulted.

“There was clearly a breakdown in communications in City Hall because we had permission from a senior official to proceed, and then the Environment Department took issue with the signs and insisted that they had to be removed,” said the source.

A Council spokesperson said they were currently in discussions with the Latin Quarter to provide promotional material and added “there’s been no falling out here”.
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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