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Council investigates warden’s ‘illegal’ parking in disabled space

Dara Bradley

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An investigation is underway following a complaint by a disabled driver who missed an important doctor’s appointment because a traffic warden’s van was parked in a disabled space.

The claims were made by the Galway pensioner in a letter of complaint to the City Council’s Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.

The vulnerable 75-years-old with a disability, who has a disabled parking permit, complains that he couldn’t avail of two disabled parking spaces at Prospect Hill one day in July because of illegal parking.

One space was taken by an authorised vehicle with a permit, but the other was occupied by a traffic warden’s van, which caused him “upset and anger”.

However, the Council has said it is satisfied that the space in question has been “extinguised” as a disabled bay and is now used for the tourist train. A spokespersonsaid two new disabled spaces have been put in place “25 yards up the road”.

Photographs to support the pensioner’s claim were submitted to the Council.

A spokesperson said the complaint was only received by the Chief Executive on Thursday, and the Roads Department hadn’t yet assessed it.

He said it is “quite possible” that the disabled parking space has been extinguished and moved to another part of Prospect Hill.

But he said the complaint will be “fully investigated” and the Council would revert back to the complainant. The Council subsequently said the space had been extinguished and was no longer for disabled; but conceded blue paint markings were still on the road.

The disabled pensioner wrote: “I sought to park my vehicle on one of two disabled parking spaces at Prospect House, Prospect Hill, in order to attend an important doctor’s appointment. I found myself unable to do so, however, as both spaces were occupied – one by an authorised vehicle and one by the traffic warden’s van. I double-parked temporarily and circled the one-way system a number of times, waiting for one of the parking spaces to be vacated, but neither of them were. I missed the doctor’s appointment as a result.

“I dropped my passenger off to investigate whether the parking space could be vacated to make room for my vehicle but he was unable to locate the driver.”

The letter adds: “I rely on two things to ensure their availability when they are required: the common decency of fellow motorists, and the vigilance of traffic wardens to ensure that relevant laws are upheld. If those who are charged with enforcing parking laws don’t even obey them, what authority have they to impose them on others? Why should an ordinary motorist take instruction from such an official?

“And, who suffers at the end of the day? The vulnerable motorist who relies on traffic wardens to uphold parking laws in order to ensure the availability of accessible parking spaces.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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