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Street drinking could cost you €1,500 under new bye-laws

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Visitors and locals alike could end up forking out up to €1,500 if caught drinking outside a designated licensed area by a community warden or a beach lifeguard if new bye-laws proposed by Galway city councillors get adopted.

Draft bye–laws for the regulation and control of alcohol consumption in public places were presented to this week’s Galway City Joint Policing Committee by Fianna Fáil Councillor Peter Keane, who said they were drawn up in response to complaints by Gardaí they had no power to confiscate alcohol and could do little to thwart public drinking.

The biggest difference between the new bye-laws and the previous ones operating since 1989 was that Gardaí or council employees, including community warden and beach life guards could seize alcohol and destroy it without warrant.

Anybody caught drinking in an undesignated licenced area can be served with a €100 fine, which must be paid within 21 days. That goes up to €200 if not paid and if it is not paid within 56 days the person will be summonsed to appear in court where they can face a maximum fine of €1,500 on conviction.

The bye–laws would make it illegal to bring drink to any beach, river or park and would close down popular drinking spots in the summer where huge crowds gather such as the Spanish Arch, Eyre Square, Salthill Park and Toft Park.

A designated licenced premises includes tables and chairs outside a hotel, restaurant or pub.

The bye-laws could be relaxed in a certain area by applying for an occasional licence during major civic celebrations, sporting events, special community events or festivals.

Cllr Keane said the councillors were acutely aware of the city’s reliance on tourism and the fact it was promoting itself as a city of festivals.

“We’re not kill-joys. We’re not against people having a drink in public. But let’s do it in a controlled environment, in a manner where Galwegians and tourists alike are not harassed. We don’t have control over the availability of alcohol but we do in the manner it’s consumed.”

Cllr Niall McNelis (Lab) said the reason for including a relaxation for certain areas was to ensure glass-free zones could continue during the Galway Races, the Galway Arts Festival and during particular public events in the Latin Quarter and the West End.

“We don’t want to kill the golden goose,” he said.

For more on this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune

Connacht Tribune

Galway historian’s 14 new books bring running total to 70!

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Steve Dolan.

There may be a book in everyone – but producing 18 of them for publication in one week is taking it to a different level. And yet that’s what Galway historian Steve Dolan has done for Heritage Week. . . adding 18 books this year to bring him up to 70 over the last seven years – and he’s firmly committed to hitting one hundred.

By day – and given the workload, increasingly by night – he is the chief executive of Galway Rural Development (GRD), but the Carrabane resident has had a lifelong passion for history. And that’s what he turns to as a form of relaxation which peaks at this time every year.

Not alone that; he already has the first five of next year’s publications completed – and he’s only starting!

This year’s booklets are all on the theme of Gaelic Games and every one of them is in aid of a different community group or charity. Theoretically, they are limited editions, but – given his own love of the subject matter – he won’t see anyone who shares that passion miss out.

While all eighteen new publications share that GAA theme, the diversity of subject matter within that is breath-taking – and an incredible achievement in terms of the workload and production.

From the story of the county title that Liam Mellows were robbed of in 1942 to the contribution of An Cath Gaedhealach to Galway GAA in 1947/48 or Galway’s 1923 and 1925 All-Ireland victories to sport in County Galway during the revolutionary years; the books are as much about social history as about sport.

See the full list of publications in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

And if they are of interest to you, you can contact Steve at sdolan@grd.ie to buy them.

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Connacht Tribune

Why did Galway suffer just half as many Covid deaths as Mayo?

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Galway and Mayo, two neighbouring counties, have had hugely contrasting experiences with Covid-19-related deaths.

Analysis of the latest figures reveals that Mayo’s Covid mortality rate is more than double that of Galway’s.

The disparity has prompted a Galway West TD to call for an investigation to see what caused the disparity.

Fresh data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) shows that Covid deaths in Galway have topped the 250 milestone.

Up to the end of July, HSPC has been notified of some 251 Covid deaths in Galway since the Pandemic was declared in 2020.

This gives a mortality rate of 97.3 per 100,000 population, which is the second lowest of any county in the Republic after Sligo.

During the same timeframe, neighbouring Mayo notified 296 Covid deaths, which gives a mortality rate of 226.8 per 100,000.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Hurling legend’s distillery plans for heart of Conamara

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Joe Connolly....Conamara vision.

Plans have been lodged to build a multi-million euro whiskey distillery on the Conamara coastline – the brainchild of Galway hurling legend Joe Connolly and his family.

And if it gets the green light, it will square a circle that has its roots firmly in the same Conamara soil – where both of the All-Ireland-winning Galway captain’s grandfathers were renowned distillers too . . . only of the illegal variety.

The plans for the Cnoc Buí Whiskey Distillery & Heritage Centre outside Carna – lodged by Údarás na Gaeltachta on behalf of Drioglann Iarthar na Gaillimhe Teoranta – describe a facility that will provide a first-class visitor experience and greatly enhance the local area’s tourism offering.

Once complete, Cnoc Buí will comprise the distillery itself, bonded warehousing, a bottling hall and tasting bar – as well as the heritage centre, shop and café.

That will create over 30 jobs in the first five years, with the heritage centre alone aiming to attract 16,000 visitors in the first year of operation – rising to at least 52,000 by year five in Iorras Aithneach, an area blighted by unemployment and emigration.

On top of that, their own economic analysis envisages the creation of another 130 jobs in the Carna/Cill Chiarain area – in leisure, hospitality and accommodation on foot of that significant increase in visitor numbers.

The Connollys see Cnoc Buí as ‘an asset which will enrich the entire community’.

“It will enhance the local tourism product and serve as a focal point for both the local community and visitors,” said Cnoc Buí director Barry Connolly.

“The building has been carefully designed to reflect the beauty of its surroundings, because we want our distillery to be an attractive hub, with its Visitors’ Centre and Tasting Bar. It will provide employment, draw in tourists and add value to other business in the area,” he added.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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