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Anglers unite against fishing ban on Galway’s seafront and canals

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Fishermen in the city and county have united to resist plans to ban fishing at Galway beaches, canals and along the River Corrib.

Galway Bay Sea Angling Club (GBSAC) and Galway City Salmon Angling Association have separately written to Galway City Council opposing new bye-laws that would outlaw fishing in public spaces.

The organisations fear for their futures, if the laws are passed; and worry that Galway County Council might follow suit and also ban fishing, if it is stopped within the city boundary.

Athenry-based chairman of Galway Bay Sea Angling Club, Brian Reidy, has written to Council Director of Services, Tom Connell, registering his members’ ‘total opposition’ to the plans.

Shantalla’s Billy Smyth, secretary of Galway City Salmon Angling Association, has also formally objected to the plan to ban fishing in the city.

The draft bye-law states that nobody shall “fish in any part of a park or open space save with the permission in writing of the Council and subject to the terms and conditions of such permission and any person so fishing shall be obliged to comply with rules and regulations which may apply.”

This has set alarm bells ringing among anglers.

The Galway Bay Sea Angling Club fear the bye-law would outlaw fishing at Ballyloughane, Silverstrand and Blackrock, which is used by its members.

Mr Reidy said: “Our members feel strongly that we should be encouraging young people to enjoy outdoor pursuits rather than criminalising such activities. Angling as a sport also has associated positives such as instilling an appreciation of the environment and nature and encouraging social interaction and intergenerational relations.

“Galway has a proud angling tradition which should be promoted and encouraged not restricted. We would of course be fully supportive of enforcing hefty fines for any anglers who leave an area littered, however to deny people, in particular children the chance to engage in a hugely popular and healthy outdoor activity is against better judgement in the opinions of our members.”

Mr Smyth said if the bye-law is passed it could have serious consequences for the tourism industry in Galway, as well as members of the Galway City Salmon Angling Association.

Its submission said: “We fish on the ‘high bank’ which is situated on the public walkway between the Salmon Weir and O’ Brien’s Bridges. A number of our members have fished this stretch of river for salmon and trout for over 50 years. Galway natives and tourists alike have also fished the canals and rivers in Galway for Trout, Perch and Roach for generations.

“Angling on the ‘high bank’ is a major tourist attraction . . . and this priceless Galway fishing amenity could be lost, if this ill-conceived bye-law is passed.

Members of our club along with thousands of others fish along the Promenade in Salthill and other beaches for Mackerel when the salmon season is over. “Mackerel fishing on the prom is also a major tourist attraction, and it is where a lot of young people learn how to fish. In this day and age when young people are spending most of their time on computers and other gadgets, we should be encouraging them to pursue outdoor sports such as fishing, instead of implementing stupid laws that restrict this kind of activity.

If this bye-law is passed it could cost jobs in the four tackle shops in the city and Salthill, as all of the fishing that takes place in Galway City is in public open spaces.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Bikers do their bit to mark anniversary of blood service

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The Blood Bike team and supporters with the charity’ s newest motorbike, Cara, during the fundraising day at the Galway Plaza. Pictured are (from left) John Moylan, Bridie Lyons (Fundraising Manager), Sean Griffin, Fergus Turner, James Treacy, Pat McDonagh, Dave O'Leary (Chairperson), Ronan Kane (Fleet Manager), and Sergio Massidda.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Blood Bike West, and the big birthday was marked in style with a sun-drenched afternoon at Galway Plaza’s Bike Fest West.

Galway stuntman Mattie Griffin was the headline attraction; there was face painting, games, plenty of ice-cream – and hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts and families.

The birthday celebrations kicked off with a 160-strong motorcycle spin around the Galway countryside, raising well-needed funds for the volunteering efforts of Blood Bike West.

As a 100% volunteer-run and funded organisation, donations are vitally important for Blood Bike West to continue operating their medical transport in the West of Ireland.

Since its inception in 2012, demand for their volunteers’ services continues to grow:  collecting and delivering all manner of urgent medical items regionally and nationally, such as bloods, breast milk, medicines, scans, and equipment.

In 2021 alone, Blood Bike West delivered 983 urgent medical deliveries throughout the country.

As part of Galway City Councils Community, Blood Bike West undertook to operate a 24/7 service, including 165 medication deliveries from pharmacies to the self-isolating and vulnerable during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Since Blood Bike West’s inception in 2012, this increase sees the ongoing need to replace and renew their fleet of motorcycles.

Their motorbikes, Madison, Heather, Margaret, and newly inaugurated bike Cara, are regularly seen on Galway roads, delivering consignments to and from local and regional hospitals.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Park fun to mark Africa Day

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Pam Mncube-Zoki of Africa United Galway, speaking at the National Integration Conference at NUI Galway last week. The group are co-organisers of Africa Day which takes place in Salthill Park on May 28. Photo:xposure

On Saturday next (May 28) in Salthill Park, Galway’s African community invites people to join them in a celebration of culture as part of the national Africa Day celebrations.

Africa United Galway, emerging from lockdown and having hosted online festivals for the past two years, will be delivering a family fun day event.

Africa Day 2022 will reinforce a collaboration between Africa United Galway and Galway Africa Diaspora, Shining Light Galway and GoCom Radio (broadcasting live), who have worked to create a festival that will showcase Galway as a city of culture.

Among the performances on the day will be Afrobeat dancer Lapree Lala of Southside Moves, who will show how to dance in African style; Elikya Band will be bringing indigenous African Congolese music; The Youth Performances will be displaying their talent in rap, singing, speaking, and dancing and for the young at heart.

Galway Afrobeat performer Dave Kody will get the crowd moving and there will be poetry through spoken word and cultural displays. There will be a photo booth and face painting and everyone will get to have a taste of African cuisines.

In the spirit of inclusion and integration, The St Nicholas Collegiate Church Parish Choir will be presenting a special African performance as well as a feature presentation by the Hession School of Irish Dance, who will be presenting the famous Riverdance.

Also organised is a football friendly between the African community and An Garda Siochana.

The Mayor, Colette Connolly, will officially be opening the event with a keynote speech and several African Ambassadors are expected to be present on the day to reinforce the culture, beauty and strength of Africa and support for its people.

Africa Day is sponsored by Irish Aid and supported by Galway City Council.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Domestic Violence Response recorded highest number of clients in 24 years under Covid ‘shadow’

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At the launch of the Domestic Violence Response (DVR) Annual Report were Rachel Doyle and Elizabeth Power of DVR, Deputy Catherine Connolly and Anne Reynolds. Photos Sean Lydon

BY TIFFANY GREENWALDT-SIMON

A domestic violence support charity in Galway has recorded its highest number of clients in 24 years – “under the shadow” of Covid-19.

Domestic Violence Response (DVR), which is based in Moycullen, also reported its highest level of counselling support sessions in its 2021 annual report published last week.

The charity saw 136 new clients in 2021, and a total of 266 people utilised its services. It also saw a significant increase of return service users.

The support service also provided 51 nights of emergency accommodation through a partnership between Airbnb, Safe Ireland, and Women’s Aid.

Elizabeth Power, Coordinator of DVR Galway, said: “Our 2021 annual report highlights the stark reality of the level of domestic violence in Galway. Under the shadow of Covid-19, DVR recorded the highest number of clients in our 24-year history and delivered the highest number of support services.

“Our staff noted increases in the level of worrying and harrowing experiences of control and abuse. The trauma of these experiences will live with our service users long after Covid-19 fades into memory.

“While Covid-19 restrictions are behind us, domestic violence continues to be present in hundreds of homes throughout Galway.

“As we move through 2022, we will continue to provide our much-needed services to women and men throughout Galway, with an extensive counselling support and advocacy service and a number of new initiatives including a partnership with the HSE which will be launched in the coming months.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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