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Almost half of local garda stations not connected to PULSE

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The Minister for Justice has revealed that almost half of all Garda stations in the Galway are not connected to the PULSE computer system.

The news comes in the same week that it was revealed there are four Garda Stations in County Galway that no longer have a Garda permanently assigned to them.

Minister Frances Fitzgerald has admitted that 24 out of the 46 Garda stations – right across the county – have no access to PULSE.

The figures were released to Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Anne Rabbitte, who said this week that she was shocked by revelation.

“The fact that only half of Garda stations in the county are connected to PULSE is extremely worrying.  This is the Gardaí’s primary method of recording information and evidence and is an essential tool in the fight against crime,” she said.

Among the stations without access to PULSE are Corrandulla, Monivea, Killimor, Woodford, Eyrecourt, Kilrickle, Ardrahan, Ballygar, Ahascragh, Kilconnell, Kiltormer, Moylough, Williamstown, Milltown, Glenamaddy and Corofin.

Connemara stations without access include Recess, Letterfrack, Maam, Roundstone, Ros Muc, Indreabhán, Leitir Móir and Cill Rónáin on the Aran Islands.

“The majority of these stations are in rural areas – many of these communities have seen marked decreases in Garda numbers and are fearful about crime levels.  These latest revelations will do nothing to appease their concerns,” said Deputy Rabbitte.

“The point of a national system is to have all stations feeding their data in so that a national picture of the incidences of crime can be monitored, and remedial action, in terms of resourcing and planning, can be taken.

“The Minister must work with the Garda management to ensure all of our stations are feeding into the PULSE system as quickly as possible,” she added.

Meanwhile there are four Garda Stations in County Galway that no longer have a Garda permanently assigned to them.

The four unmanned rural Garda Stations include Kiltormer, Ardrahan, Corofin and Milltown; Corofin lost its permanent Garda since 2015.

The stations are policed by Gardaí from neighbouring stations.

The figures were released to the Ireland edition of The Times, an online sister publication of the Sunday Times.

An Garda Síochána had resisted releasing information about staffing levels at each station across the country, following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from The Times.

However, it provided a breakdown of the number of Gardaí at each of the 564 stations in Ireland after being directed to do so by the Information Commission.

The figures reveal that some seven per cent of all Garda stations nationally, or 37 out of 564, no longer have a permanent Garda assigned to them and are policed by officers from other stations.

The four unmanned Garda stations in Galway are in addition to the ten that were closed a few years ago.

In 2013, the Government closed the doors on ten Garda stations in the county.

The closed stations were Ballymoe and Kilconly in the Tuam District; Kilchreest, Kilcolgan and Shanaglish in the former Gort District, which is now downgraded; Kiltullagh in the Galway District; Leenane in the Clifden District; Menlough in the Ballinasloe District; and New Inn and Tynagh in the Loughrea District.

The cost of maintaining County Galway’s network of shut-down rural Garda stations amounts to nearly twice as much as the savings accrued from the closures.

The Government confirmed the net-cost to the Exchequer of maintaining the 10 rural Garda stations that were closed in Galway in 2013 is €3,000 per station per year.

The Department of Justice has confirmed that the annual saving arising from the closure of 139 Garda stations in 2013 is €4,000 per Garda station. But the Office of Public Works (OPW) has conceded that it is spending some €7,000 per station every year to maintain the closed buildings.

CITY TRIBUNE

‘Horrific’ conditions at ‘temporary’ halting site

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Mould and damp around the shower, toilet and sink area in one of the units at the Carrowbrowne temporary halting site beside the Headford Road.
Mould and damp around the shower, toilet and sink area in one of the units at the Carrowbrowne temporary halting site beside the Headford Road. [File pic]

Living conditions at Carrowbrowne ‘temporary’ halting site on the Headford Road are “truly dreadful” and “distressing”, according to four University of Galway academics.

The quartet, who visited the halting site earlier this month, called on the authorities to provide “decent and culturally appropriate accommodation” for the 13 families living at the ‘temporary’ site, “as a matter of urgency”.

The call comes in the same week a former city mayor was sharply criticised for promoting ‘anti-Traveller rhetoric’.

Galway Traveller Movement urged Fianna Fáil to suspend City Councillor Michael John Crowe, pending a full investigation into comments he made in a press statement issued on Monday and repeated on local radio, about Galway City Council buying a house in Renmore for Traveller accommodation.

As that controversy raged on social media this week, Dr John Cunningham, Director of MA History, University of Galway, said he was shocked by the “scandalous” conditions he saw at Carrowbrowne ‘temporary’ halting site.

“I was at an event on campus earlier this year where President Michael D (Higgins) gave a speech and specifically denounced conditions in Carrowbrowne and he would know some of the families, who lived in the Westside area.

“So, I was aware of the circumstances but faced with the actual reality of it was just utterly shocking,” Dr Cunningham told the Galway City Tribune.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Kissing goodbye to hated gates under pilot project

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It was agreed to start the project with the gates in the Claddagh and Terryland Forest Park.

Kissing gates at South Park and Terryland Forest Park will be removed in a pilot project to assess their impact on public spaces.

Galway City Council has agreed to trial the removal or replacement of kissing gates in the city on a case-by-case basis while waiting for the completion of an audit that will be used to develop a policy on the controversial barriers at Wednesday’s Recreation and Amenity Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) meeting.

The follows anger among the cycling community that the one in South Park had been removed to facilitate a private company fun run only to be returned days later as reported in last week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway City East Councillor Owen Hanley, who attended the meeting, said it is still to be decided what barriers would be erected in their place and it would depend on the needs of the location.

“Previously I worked with Council staff on the Terryland Forest Park kissing gate along the cyclebus route and we agreed to use chicanes to slow but not stop users,” he revealed.

“Whatever goes in will allow cyclists and wheelchair users to pass. We have been given no timelines but it will be in the short-term and I will be following up on this.”

He said the Council has been discussing how to handle kissing gates since he was elected as a Social Democrat over three years ago.

“The rare instances where mopeds or motorbikes damage our green spaces does not justify the widespread use of kissing gates, in fact many times, kissing gates don’t even stop this behaviour. Kissing gates present a very real barrier to people who use wheelchairs or buggies, or cycle, preventing them for accessing public parks as well as routes to work and school.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Abuse and violence towards LGBT+ people is ‘massively under-reported’

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Fiona McDonagh-Delaney, Project Co-ordinator and Tiernan Arnup, Administration and Communications, Amach LGBT+, Westside Recource Centre. PHOTO: BRIAN HARDING.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) people in Galway continue to suffer verbal abuse, violence, and threats of violence while socialising in the city, according to advocates.

Amach, which supports the local LGBT+ community, said that homophobia and hate crimes persist despite recent legislative gains and societal change in Ireland in recent years.

A new report by An Garda Síochána highlighted that just 17 ‘hate-related incidents’ were recorded in the Galway Garda Division in 2021.

That includes hate crimes and hate-related, non-crime incidents recorded across nine discriminatory motives including age, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and gender.

But Fiona McDonagh-Delaney, project co-coordinator at Amach in the Westside Community Centre, said it was an “incredibly low figure”, that showed “massive under-reporting”.

LGBT+ Ireland reported a four-fold increase in calls to its helpline last year of people experiencing hate crime, based on their LGBT+ status, she said.

Ms McDonagh-Delaney said that was the reality on Galway’s streets too, even if the official Garda figures did not reflect that.

She said there was a “sense of normalisation” of threats of violence and violence itself, based on LGBT+ status. This had become “commonplace” in Galway and LGBT+ people avoided certain areas at weekends because of it.

“We’d know ourselves that on a Friday and Saturday night, you don’t go up around Eyre Square on a night out. You know what areas to avoid because you know you are at high risk of experiencing some form of abuse. Whether it’s verbal abuse, the threat of violence or actual violence,” she said.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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