Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

CITY TRIBUNE

City Hall statement helps spread Coronavirus panic

Published

on

Cllr Owen Hanley’s photograph of the City Council meeting in The Galmont on Monday shows how elected members were separated by at least two metres

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column with Dara Bradley 

You’ve got to wonder about the wisdom of the statement issued by Galway City Council last Monday.

Galway, like the rest of the country, and the world, was and is on edge about coronavirus Covid-19. And rightly so – it is deadly.

But far from putting the public at ease, City Hall’s email about switching venues for its meeting fuelled fears.

The statement read: “Following a risk assessment of the Council Chamber in relation to the current guidance regarding Covid-19, this afternoon’s ordinary meeting of Galway City Council will now take place in the veranda lounge of The Galmont Hotel, Fairgreen Road, Galway from 3pm.”

That was it; a one-liner that posed more questions than it actually answered.

The public, if the reaction on social media is an accurate gauge, was panicked.

Why the hell are they moving from the Council Chamber; is it infected, everyone wondered?

We hear that the statement even caused confusion among staff working for the local authority – was there a case of coronavirus in their midst that they hadn’t been told about?

Alas, the explanation was simpler and less dramatic. The reason for the change of venue was this. The Council Chamber is small. It is so small that councillors and Council staff sit close together, shoulder to shoulder. The HSE had issued advice to all employers that workers sitting next to each other for periods of 15 minutes or more should be separated by two metres, as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus. In order to comply with this advice, the Council decided to move to The Galmont, which could seat 18 councillors, several staff members and media the required two metres or more apart.

The problem wasn’t necessarily that the Council was engaging in social distancing – although it did spark fears in other workplaces that are tight for space and don’t have the luxury of moving to a hotel. The problem was that the statement was so sparse on detail, it inevitably aroused suspicion and caused unnecessary panic.

Meanwhile, once the hullaballoo online died down, and the real reason for the change of venue became apparent, the meeting proceeded at The Galmont. There was one problem, though. They only had one microphone, unlike in City Hall where each councillor has their own mic. And so, the mic was passed around to each speaker, who made their contribution, inevitably slobbering and spluttering into the device before passing it on. Coronavirus risk assessment how do.

 

Will and Kate bring out the Shoneens!

‘The most Shoneen town in Ireland’ was the wonderful description of Galway City in 1916 by an Irish Volunteer who was fighting to overthrow English rule in this country . . . *For more Bradley Bytes see this week’s Galway City Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

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

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Man hospitalised following Eyre Square assault

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Council turns down controversial phone mast plan

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending