Galway City Council wardens are hitting the streets next week with an education campaign to get dog owners to clean up after their pooches.
The ‘Take the Lead’ campaign was run last year with a noticeable reduction in dog fouling for a time around the city and outlying suburbs.
Speakers erected on the Prom in Salthill and in Ballyloughane Beach in Renmore reminding passersby of their responsibility to remove pet droppings have proven to be effective since last year.
This is the next stage in the war against dog dirt, with a month-long campaign involving handing out a free booklet about responsible pet ownership and community wardens dispatched to key locations to engage with the public.
Council staff will also be handing out pooper scoopers and mutt mitts free of charge to dog owners.
Advertisements will be run over the airwaves and in the local papers with appropriate signage fitted to bins in the city centre.
Further reminders will be added through stensils on the footpaths and pole-mounted signs.
Fiona Coen of the council’s environment department said there was great feedback last year after a similar campaign.
“Dog fouling is an issue that has been on top of people’s mind as the worst form of litter and has been one of the top issues of complaint from members of the public in recent times. It spoils walkways and amenities and represents a significant health hazard, especially to children.”
Mayor Donal Lyons said with the advent of spring, dog owners needed to be reminded of their duties.
“We are very fortunate in Galway City to have so many beautiful parks and walkways which can be very busy at times, especially if the weather is nice, so this is an ideal time to remind dog owners and walkers that they must clean up after their dog and be a responsible dog owner,” he said.
Cllr Niall McNelis said there was only so much that the council can do to thwart dog fouling.
“Dog owners who do not abide by the rules and by laws continue to make this an issue that keeps being brought up and using resources that could be put to better use in the community,” he complained.
“I hope those that have a dog, like myself, will play their part and take the lead.”
Fines of €150 face those who fail to pick up after their dog. But enforcing dog fouling fines have proven near impossible for local authorities across the country, due to the failure of witnesses to attend court and in identifying the owners.
Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones
These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.
But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.
If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.
All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.
You can email that with a photograph to us, to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.
We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.
This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances. You can contact our team for further details at email@example.com
Gardaí seek help in locating missing man
Gardaí have sought help in locating a man missing in Galway since the end of December.
34-year-old Luke Davoren was last seen in the University Road area on December 30.
He is described as having fair hair, 6ft in height and having an athletic build. He was last seen wearing a grey hoody, brown leather jacket, blue jeans and brown leather boots. He also had a black back pack in his possession.
Gardaí and Luke’s family are very concerned for his welfare and have urged him to make contact.
Anyone with information, particularly any road users with dash cam footage of the Newcastle/University Road areas between 1am – 2am on December 30, is asked to contact Galway Garda Station on 091 538000.
‘Daredevil’ swimmers are a fatality waiting to happen
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – ‘Daredevil’ winter sea swimmers who dive or jump into the water in places like Blackrock during adverse weather are putting their own lives at risk – and possibly those of rescuers – by their actions, it was warned this week.
Water Safety Ireland have cautioned that the biggest single contributor to drownings in Ireland is what is known as ‘cold water shock’ – a condition caused by the sudden entry into a cold body of water.
There is now growing concern that a copycat trend is emerging with young people – without wet suits – diving or jumping into the sea in stormy or icy-cold weather.
Several people have been filmed on social media in the sea at Salthill during storms – with a number of them taking ‘running jumps’ off the diving tower at Blackrock.
Roger Sweeney, Deputy CEO of Water Safety Ireland, told the Galway City Tribune that people jumping into the sea during storms showed at best a reckless disregard for their own safety and in a worst-case scenario represented ‘a fatality waiting to happen’ for the jumpers – or the persons trying to rescue them.
“Jumping into cold water puts you at risk of cold shock which can result in immediate incapacitation and doing so in storm conditions can make it difficult to get back out of the water safely and promptly before hypothermia sets in.
“Hypothermia leads to the cooling of the muscles needed in the arms and legs to stay afloat. Drownings typically happen when someone over-estimates their ability and under-estimates the risks,” said Mr Sweeney.
Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune, that the key thing for all people who enjoyed the water and the sea was to carefully plan their exercise or hobby.
“Cold water shock is a real danger at this time of year for all swimmers. Be prepared – have your cap, ear plugs, mats, woolly cap [after leaving the water] and towels all in place. Check the weather forecast and check the tides – and never, ever just jump straight into the water during the colder season.”
(Photo: Diving into the water at Blackrock during Storm Bella in December)
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.