Galway preparations for the official commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising will be ratcheted-up in the coming months.
Galway’s two local authorities are planning a series of events to commemorate 1916.
The plans, which are in the embryonic stage, include a year-long series of events, which will culminate in a weekend of activities around the Easter weekend of 2016.
Plans to restore a Connemara retreat used by the leader of the 1916 Rising, Pádraig Pearse, will form a central part of the centenary celebrations in the county.
Another leader of the Rising, Eamonn Ceannt, was born in Galway and his connections with the city and county are likely to feature strongly in the programme of events.
Galway City Council and Galway County Council were both represented at a recent official gathering hosted by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, to co-ordinate the country’s 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath and Acting County Council Chief Executive, Kevin Kelly, will both be hoping for a slice of the €4 million budget in 2015 that has been allocated by central Government for the commemorations.
Mr McGrath has vowed to convene an in-house committee to devise an action plan for the City Council’s commemorations.
It is due to meet early in 2015, and will involve staff from various different departments within the Council. A similar committee is planned in the County Council.
A City Council spokesperson said elected members of the Council, as well as the public and various bodies who have an interest in the centenary of 1916, will be consulted on what events are appropriate for eth series of celebrations.
“Our series of events are likely to involve people like the arts officer, our heritage officer and of course, the City Museum. We are planning events – not just one single event. We will have a series of events leading up to the main event around Easter 2016.”
Galway County Council’s commemorations are likely to centre round Pearse’s Cottage in Rosmuc, which is being revamped in time for the centenary. Restoration work on the National Monument, which was used as a retreat by Pádraig Pearse, one of the leaders of 1916, will continue this year.
Plans will be advanced this year to enhance the experience offered to visitors through two new buildings housing exhibition space, an interpretative centre, education rooms, a library and archive and cafe.
The Government has committed to providing €2 million in funding for the completion of the project by 2016.
Meanwhile, the Government Minister responsible for 1916 commemorations, Áodhán Ó Ríordáin, has been briefed on the role Galway can play in the centenary year.
Galway West TD Derek Nolan has warned his Labour colleague that the celebrations must not be Dublin-centric.
“I was delighted to bring Minister Áodhán Ó Ríordáin, who is directly responsible for the 1916 commemorations, to Dún Uí Mhaolíosa in Galway recently,” said Deputy Nolan.
“We met with local historian Willie Henry, Mick Crehan from the Stirling Sessions and Bríd Uí Chonghaile of Gaillimh na Gaeilge and it was clear that Galway has so much to offer in celebrating this historic and cultural event.
“The Minister also heard about Eamonn Ceannt, one of the 1916 leaders who was born in Galway and maintained a strong connection with the city. During the meeting, some really strong ideas were put forward about the cultural, musical and historical significance of this iconic figure, particularly as he was a renowned piper.”
Water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna due to burst watermain
Galway Bay fm newsroom – There are water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna this morning due to a burst watermain
The burst is in a rising main from Clifton Hill in Galway City to Tonabrucky Reservoir
The city council and Irish Water says while every effort is being made to maintain supply to as many customers as possible, the burst has caused water levels in Tonabrucky Reservoir to deplete
Houses and businesses in Knocknacarra, Barna and surrounding areas will experience low pressure and outages.
Dedicated water service crews have mobilised and repairs are underway and are expected to be completed by mid-afternoon.
Traffic management will be in place and Letteragh Road will be closed between Sliabh Rua and Tonabrucky Cross until 6pm.
Householders and businessses are being asked to conserve water where possible to reduce the pressure on local supplies and allow reservoir levels to restore.
Woman sustains serious injuries after being struck by firework in Eyre Square
Gardaí are appealing for witnesses after a young woman was struck in the face by a firework in Eyre Square in the city overnight.
It happened shortly after midnight and gardai say it’s understood the firework had been launched from close to the Tourist Information Kiosk.
The young woman suffered serious injuries and was hospitalised as a result.
Gardaí understand there was a large group of people in Eyre Square at the time and are now asking that any person who may have witnessed the incident make contact with the investigating team.
In particular Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have video footage of the incident, either on mobile phone, CCTV or dash-cam to make contact with them.
This incident comes just days after a policing committee meeting was told of increasing concern about anti social behaviour around Eyre Square.
Garda chief suggests closing Eyre Square to curb anti-social behaviour
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Closing Eyre Square at night-time was among the radical suggestions put forward by Galway’s top Garda this week – in response to claims that the city centre’s famous landmark had become a ‘no-go area’ after dark.
It comes as Gardaí confirmed that since January they issued almost 500 fines for breaches of the city’s alcohol bylaws, which prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public spaces.
Responding to claims that people were afraid to visit parts of the city centre at night due to anti-social behaviour, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said that the authorities might have to look at closing Eyre Square at certain times.
Chief Supt Curley also said that improved lighting and better CCTV were other tools that could be used to deter anti-social behaviour and to detect crime in the city centre.
“I’d need another five officers in there – and I haven’t got them,” said Chief Supt Curley of the requirement for more Gardaí on patrol in Eyre Square.
He was responding to a charge by former mayor of Galway, Councillor Frank Fahy, who said Eyre Square was dangerous at night. “It’s a no-go area,” he said at a City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting this week.
Cllr Fahy said that the illegal activity and anti-social behaviour in the city centre was a product of the Covid-19 pandemic and people socialising outdoors. Eyre Square was safe pre-Covid, he said.
In a written reply to the JPC, Chief Supt Curley said that anti-social behaviour issues had been ‘de-escalated’ along the city’s canals, Woodquay and Spanish Arch ‘as a result of extra Garda patrols’.
“The resulting consequences have led to crowd movement from these areas (and they) are now congregating at Eyre Square. Garda attention is concentrated on Eyre Square, however the return of students and the continued restrictions has led to increased numbers,” he said.
(Photo: a scene from Eyre Square at night this week taken from a video circulated on social media)
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.