City Council orders shopkeeper to stop flying Galway flags

Joe Quinn outside his Bon Bon shop in Salthill yesterday. Photo: Iain McDonald.

Flying the flag for Galway GAA’s successful hurling and football teams could prove costly for one city business.

The Bon Bon Summer Shop opposite Salthill Promenade has been threatened with fines of up to €12.7 million, if it doesn’t remove from its roof a maroon and white flag with silhouettes of Galway stars Joe Canning and Johnny Heaney.

The temporary ‘pop-up’ shop, that has been selling seaside classics like buckets and spades, beach balls, and plastic windmills for 21 years, has also been told to remove its wares from the path outside the store.

A community warden and planning officer both separately visited the popular children’s shop over the past weeks, and then the warning letter was sent.

It read: “The unauthorised advertising flags on the roof of the premises and all merchandise and advertising materials on the public footpath to the front of the premises are to be removed immediately.”

It warned that a person found guilty of an offence in breach of the Planning Act is liable to a fine “not exceeding €12.7 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.”

Bon Bon owner, Joe Quinn, described the threats from the Council as “ridiculous”.

“We’re adding a bit of colour to the place. It’s a joke,” fumed Mr Quinn.

“We pay our rates. Salthill is full of derelict buildings and there are so many shops that have closed. We’re brightening up the place. It’s a seaside resort. The amount of people who pass-by and tell us we’re adding a bit of colour to Salthill and then we get this ridiculous letter with a threat of millions in fines.”
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