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CITY TRIBUNE

Action demanded on discarded drug needles and anti-social behaviour

Denise McNamara

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Litter, drug needles and vandalism of trees are destroying the enjoyment of parks on the east side of the city.

That’s the assertion of city councillor Noel Larkin, who believes the Council are not doing enough to thwart anti-social behaviour in the valuable public spaces available for residents.

Trees were “butchered” in Terryland Forest Park. The cuttings have been strewn about for over a month despite calls to the Council for a clean-up.

“This tranquil walkway has become a scene of mass destruction. This is a vast area and frequently used by walkers, dog-owners, children and the elderly from a lot of nearby estates and communities,” he fumed.

“There was a serious element of drug dealing in the past in areas of this park which was successfully eradicated after our complaints. Now, there is serious dumping going on here.”

It prompted one visiting good Samaritan to organise her own litter-pick last Thursday.

French student Alice Roy, who was staying in Riverside during her studies, was so appalled by the condition of the park that she put up posters in the area to mobilise volunteers to pick up the “awful waste”

The poster read: “Who is feel (sic) bad to see garbage in this pretty little public park?”

Remarked Cllr Larkin: “She is heading back to France in a few weeks with this impression of our beautiful City. Galway City Council need to take more stringent action on illegal dumping throughout the City.”

During February, the Independent representative said he had reports of drugs paraphernalia and substantial litter under trees in the public park at Castle Park.

“This litter is gathered once or twice a week by local volunteers and includes used and unused drugs and needles, tablets and condoms. There are also reports of these trees providing a safe haven for sexual activity as well as drug- taking and anti-social behaviour,” he told the Galway City Tribune.

“I duly notified the City Council and insisted that urgent action be taken – either the trees were to be fenced off or cut down completely. Being conscious of the bird-nesting season starting at the beginning of March, I was hoping for immediate action to be taken, but one month on, nothing has been done.

“This pitch is also being invaded by stray horses on a regular basis, and although Galway City Council officials have been following up on this, these invasions occur mostly at weekends when there are no officials about.

“These amenities – park, pitch and clubhouse – were built for the community, are maintained by a number of volunteers, used by many youth organisations and are being destroyed by a few unscrupulous people.

“It’s time to get tough on these offenders whose sole intent appears to be self-gain at the expense of the whole community.”

A spokesman for Galway City Council said there was an ongoing issue in relation to the dumping of needles.

“The guards and ourselves are aware of it. There is a protocol to deal with drugs paraphernalia, in particular needs. There was a commitment by the guards that out of hours the Gardaí would have a sharps box in the squad car, but I’m not sure where that stands at the minute.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors will be asked next month to consider a sweeping overhaul of traffic flow in the city centre as the local authority seeks to create a more pedestrian-friendly core in the wake of Covid-19.

Currently under proposal in City Hall are major alterations to traffic flow which will allow for restricted car access to Middle Street – creating additional outdoor seating space for businesses in the area struggling to cope amid social distancing requirements.

Senior Engineer at City Hall, Uinsinn Finn, said they are currently considering three different proposals to alter traffic flow on Merchants Road, Augustine Street and Flood Street to reduce the need for car access to Middle Street, while still maintaining access for residents.

“We already pedestrianised Cross Street and we will be maintaining that, and there will be a proposal for Middle Street and Augustine Street.

“Businesses in the area are very much in favour of pedestrianisation – one business has objections but the others are supportive. Another consideration is that there are residents there with parking spaces and we are trying to encourage people to live in the city centre,” said Mr Finn.

The Latin Quarter business group submitted proposals for the temporary pedestrianisation of Middle Street and Abbeygate Street Lower but Mr Finn said the proposals the Council were considering were more in the line of creating adequate space for pedestrians while still allowing residents vehicular access.

This would involve creating a circuit for car traffic moving through Merchants Road around onto Augustine Street and exiting at Flood Street.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in part of Knocknacarra are calling for the closure of a laneway and for more Community Gardaí to be put on the beat following the discovery of a ‘viable’ pipe-bomb type device in the area last weekend.

Up to 13 homes in the Cimín Mór and Manor Court estates had to be evacuated on Friday evening last when the incendiary device was discovered by Gardaí concealed in an unlit laneway, leading to the emergency services being notified.

An Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called to the scene and removed the device – according to local residents and councillors, the Gardaí have confirmed that the device was viable.

Gardaí have declined to comment on the detail of the case but have confirmed that the matter is being ‘actively and vigorously investigated’.

Chairman of the Cimín Mór Residents’ Association, Pat McCarthy, told the Galway City Tribune that the discovery of the viable device on the narrow laneway that links their estate to Manor Court was extremely frightening for all concerned.

“For the best part of the past 20 years, we have been seeking action to be taken on this laneway which has been used for dumping and unsociable behaviour on a repeated basis.

“But what happened last Friday evening was really the last straw for us. This could have resulted in serious injury to innocent people and what is also of concern to us is how close this was to the two schools in the area,” said Mr McCarthy.

He said that over the coming days, the residents’ association would be petitioning all residents in the three estates concerned – the other two being Manor Court and Garraí Dhónaill – for action to be taken on the laneway.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara

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Kate Middleton wearing the necklace designed by Aisling O'Brien

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A Galway jewellery designer is the latest to experience the ‘Kate effect’ after fans tracked down the woman who created a necklace for the Duchess of Cambridge which she has worn several times since it was gifted to her during her trip to the city last March.

Aisling O’Brien’s website crashed on Wednesday night when orders poured in for the piece from around the world. The necklace costs €109 with initials, while the earrings retail for €49.

“I’d never sold more than two things outside of Ireland before. I only had three of Kate’s necklaces in stock – and now I have orders for at least 50. I’ll have to start recruiting some elves,” laughs Aisling, who only set up her website during lockdown.

The 14-carat gold necklace and earrings set was designed by Aisling specially for Kate after examining her style – “understated, elegant, simplicity” is how the Tuam native describes it.

She was contacted about the commission by physiotherapist Thérèse Tully, who wanted to give the future queen a gift as she was using her room to change at Árus Bóthar na Trá beside Pearse Stadium when the royal couple were meeting with GAA teams.

(Photo: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wearing the necklace)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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