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

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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

GAA club’s tournament honours stalwart who died at just 28

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Pictured at the launch of the Darragh Frain Memorial Tournament which takes place in Mervue this Saturday. Back: Kevin Curran, Kevin Barrett, Robert Fitzgerald, Aidan Brady, Alan O'Donnell, Donal Murphy, Eanna O'Connell, Eoghan Frain, David Henry. Front: Aodhain Ó Conghaile, Liam O'Donnell, Rory Murphy, Fionn Fitzgerald and Michael Barrett.

The untimely passing of a city GAA stalwart six years ago is still deeply felt by the club he represented but he remains an inspiration to young up-and-coming footballers who will be displaying their skills this weekend.

The Darragh Frain Memorial Tournament for under-age teams will take place in St James’ GAA grounds at Mervue tomorrow, Saturday, when many memories of a great young clubman will be exchanged.

Darragh, from Lurgan Park in Renmore, was just 28 years of age when he lost his battle with cancer in 2016. Since then his beloved club has been organising a tournament for young footballers that’s proving immensely popular.

For tomorrow’s event, the St James club will entertain local teams including St Michael’s, Salthill-Knocknacarra, Killanin and an Cheathrú Rua, as well as Kiltane (Bangor Erris) and Elphin-Ballinameen from North Roscommon.

It is a nine-a-side tournament, which takes place from 11am to 5pm, and will involve Under-11 teams who will compete against each other during the day.

The fact that Darragh’s late father, Tom Frain Senior, hailed from Roscommon means that GAA support for the event is coming from both counties – this makes it extra special, as well as adding to the profile of the tournament.

Best friend and one of the event’s main organisers, another St James stalwart David Henry explained that this was the sixth year of the tournament and that Darragh would be very pleased that his name was being associated with the development of under-age football.

Get the full story in this week’s Galway City Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Too many cafés’ as city retail continues to decline

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Barber Tom Nally outside his premises.

The changing face of Galway city centre is a source of concern to those who say it reflects a decline for people in terms of retail choices.

Those who regret the loss of several long-standing family-run operations in the city in recent years don’t believe that what has replaced them has enhanced the appearance of Shop Street, in particular.

“We are looking at a proliferation of coffee shops, bookies and mobile phone outlets in their place,” observed long-standing city centre businessman Tom Nally.

Cllr Niall McNelis agreed there were far too many coffee shops in the city centre and believed that anything that has been zoned retail by the Council should remain retail.

The Labour Councillor said a proper retail strategy needed to be adopted and some of the ‘big-name brands’ needed to be encouraged into the centre of Galway to lure shoppers into town.

Meanwhile, popular barber Tom Nally regretted the number of family operations that have ceased trading in the recent past.

“It is sad to see the long-established family businesses in the city centre going and it would be great to say that what is replacing them will enhance our streets . . . but unfortunately this is not the case,” he added.

Mr Nally who has been operating out of his High Street premises for almost 50 years, said the number of unoccupied premises in an around the city centre was a new phenomenon.

Get the full story in this week’s Galway City Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

State cracks down on quick-buck landlords

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New measures to clamp down on illegal short-term lets in the city will kick in next month, in an attempt to tackle mounting pressure on the rental market.

From September 1, sites such as Airbnb and Booking.com will no longer be allowed to advertise short-term rentals if the correct planning permission is not in place.

The measure seeks to strengthen laws introduced in 2019 which state that the use of a property for short-term letting for longer than 90 days in a rent-pressure zone requires permission from the local authority.

City Councillor Niall Murphy (Green) said the move follows on from an objection he lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI).

“The ASAI said it couldn’t be expected to police these ads so the websites like Airbnb were off the hook. But after September, they will have to ensure that those advertising on their sites have planning permission,” he said.

The proliferation of short-term lets in the city has been a contentious issue for a number of years, with scores of holiday leases available at the same time as city residents are battling it out for an extremely limited number of rental properties.

This week, almost 400 short-term lets were available on the leading website, Airbnb, while just 19 homes were up for rent on Daft.ie.

Get the full story in this week’s Galway City Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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