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Campaign to tackle scourge of litter and graffiti in city

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IN a bid to clean up Galway City, groups will be asked to choose an area they will keep free of litter and graffiti.

 

The ‘Adopt a Spot’ initiative will be launched by Galway City Tidy Towns (GCTT) in the coming weeks and will be open to residents associations, businesses, schools and voluntary groups.

Participants will be urged to pick up litter and help remove graffiti tags and fly-posting on buildings.

Cllr Niall McNelis, chairperson of GCTT, said the project will encourage businesses and residents alike to “take ownership of their areas”.

He believes the initiative could reap long-term financial benefits for the city as the millions of euro in commercial rates that are currently spent on cleaning up Galway could be re-directed to develop community services and build new amenities such as playgrounds.

The city also plans to adopt an Australian anti-graffiti model called TAG. The ‘Taskforce against Graffiti’ will give group leaders a paint supply to ensure that graffiti tags on walls are removed within 24 hours where possible – an action that greatly reduces the likelihood of the location being re-targeted.

According to Cllr McNelis, ‘Adopt a Spot’ will make Galway “a nicer place to live, work and visit”.

The GCTT will give a presentation on the initiative to the Galway City Business Association tomorrow (Wednesday). Both organisations will co-ordinate the project alongside the Galway Chamber and the Galway Volunteer Centre.

The ongoing campaign to make Galway cleaner was given a boost this week when the city’s West End Traders received an Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) award in recognition of their efforts to tidy up the city centre through a mix of clean-up days, anti-fly-posting measures, painting and provision of cleaning equipment. The initiative was brought about by the businesses themselves in conjunction with Galway City Council.

The group saw off stiff competition from Limerick, Killarney, Drogheda and Tralee among others to be named as the inaugural winners of the IBAL Business Award.

The body represents over 100 businesses in an area that encompasses Dominick Street, Ravens Terrace, William Street West, Henry Street, The Small Crane and Sea Road.

Dr Tom Cavanagh of IBAL commended the West End Traders for “creating a real sense of community spirit” – something that is “not easy to achieve” in an urban area like Galway.

“We need to see similar groups thrive in our other cities. At a time when local authority resources are so constrained, areas will not be well maintained without this level of self-initiative,” added Dr Cavanagh.

Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Council rows back on ‘reduced delays’ projections for Kirwan junction

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Motorists have described it as ‘a disaster’ and a former mayor has said the project gave very poor value for money, but Galway City Council have this week asked the public to be patient with the revamped Kirwan junction, close to the Menlo Park Hotel.

Since the four-arm signalled junction opened early last week, motorists have complained of traffic queues stretching back to the Quincentenary Bridge and Corrib Park.

And now the Council has rowed back on its consultants’ claims that the junction would increase capacity by 15% and reduce waiting times by 25%.

Former mayor and local taxi driver, Cllr Frank Fahy, told the Galway City Tribune that given the negative impact of the junction on traffic, the €5 million spent on the project represented ‘very poor value’ as regards taxpayers’ money.

“I will admit that the junction is now safer for pedestrians in that they can hit a button to give them a safe crossing, but since it opened there have some very serious traffic tailbacks,” said Cllr Fahy.

However, City Council Acting Director of Services for Transport, Uinsinn Finn, told the Galway City Tribune that the new junction needed time to ‘bed in’ with a familiarisation process.

“The main objectives of this project were to make far safer for pedestrians and cyclists to negotiate, as well as making it safer for motorists too, without impacting [negatively] on the traffic flow,” said Mr Finn.

He added that since it opened – and over the coming few weeks – data on all aspects of how the junction was functioning would be compiled which could involve changes to light sequencing, lanes and peak traffic flows.

One motorist who contacted this newspaper said that the daily “nightmare” journey from the Barna Road to the Headford Road during the morning peak traffic time had added up to 40 minutes to his journey time.

“The two lanes are regularly gridlocked from the junction, back the N6, over the Quincentenary Bridge and back to Corrib Park.

“In the mornings, it’s now easier to go down Taylor’s Hill and into town, past Eyre Square and up Bohermore to get down to the Headford Road.

Councillors were told by consultants in 2017 and again in 2018 – when they voted to proceed with the changeover to a junction – that average delays would be reduced by 25% and junction capacity would increase by 15%.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Man hospitalised following Eyre Square assault

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Gardaí have appealed to the public for information into an assault in Eyre Square last weekend which led to a young man being hospitalised.

The victim of the assault – a man in his early 20s from the city area – suffered a cut to his knee and may have had a substance sprayed towards his eyes.

Following the incident – that occurred close to the Eyre Square taxi rank shortly after midnight on Saturday night last – the victim was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Galway.

It is understood that the victim was released later that morning and has made a full recovery. This week, Gardaí are poring over CCTV footage in an effort to try and identify the perpetrators of the assault.

The assailants are understood to have fled on foot after the incident towards St Patrick’s Avenue on the east side of Eyre Square.

A Garda spokesperson has appealed for anyone who was in the vicinity of the taxi rank on Eyre Square between 12 midnight and 12.30am on the Sunday morning (Saturday night) of July 25 last, and who may have witnessed the incident to contact them.

(Photo: the assailants fled on foot towards St Patrick’s Avenue off Eyre Square)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Council turns down controversial phone mast plan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Galway City Council has refused an application by Eircom to erect a 12-metre telecoms mast in a housing estate in Knocknacarra.

The local authority turned down the company’s application for planning permission to install the structure in the heart of Drom Óir over concerns that it would create a visual obstruction in a residential area – and would have a detrimental impact on property prices.

Eircom had also sought retention to keep a concrete foundation for the mast in situ after it was forced to abandon works earlier this year, amid protests from residents in Drom Óir and Leitir Burca. This was also rejected.

City planners issued the company with a warning letter in April to cease works after contractors on site drew the ire of nearby residents, who accused Eircom of seeking to install the mast ‘by stealth’.

A total of 26 letters of objection were submitted to the Council from residents of the two estate.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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