A city councillor has demanded that the Council exclude the ‘bier keller’ and giant Ferris wheel from this year’s Galway Continental Christmas Market.
In his submission on an application from Milestone Inventive for an event licence, Cllr Padraig Conneely said he strongly objected to the inclusion of a beer tent on a public space as it was at odds with the city’s participation in the World Health Organisation’s European Healthy Cities Network of which Galway had been a member since 2006.
He pointed out that there were 281 licensed premises in Galway City, with a further 34 off-licence outlets.
A presentation to the Galway City Joint Policing Committee by the Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force complained about the supply, access and availability of alcohol in the city, stated the Fine Gael representative for the city central ward.
In the five-year Galway Alcohol Strategy to 2017 – which has as its stated aim to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm – the Council had committed to reducing the availability of alcohol by reviewing alcohol outlet density and seeking to strengthen zoning regulations. They had also vowed to limit the availability of alcohol at civic, sporting and public events.
“We’re being hypocritical when it comes to alcohol and licenced premises. We’re paying lip service on the one hand in these strategies and by participating in the Health Cities initiative, yet we hand out a licence for the biggest bar on Eyre Square, a place already saturated with pubs,” he fumed.
Of the Ferris Wheel, he said there is no need for a ‘Blackpool effect’ for Galway’s Christmas market.
To read the rest of this article and for details on a new weekend flea market opening next month, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.