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Council slammed for ignoring ‘damning’ beach safety report

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Galway City Council has been accused of sitting on a five year-old “damning” safety audit which warned that lives will be lost in the water along Salthill Promenade.

Among the recommendations of the 2010 report was that the lifeguard station at Blackrock be immediately moved – because lifeguards were unable to see the water properly.

At a meeting of the local authority this week, Cllr Pearce Flannery said he had previously been told by Director of Services for the Environment and Recreation, Tom Connell, that the raft near Blackrock had been removed because of health and safety concerns.

The raft was last in use off Blackrock during the summer of 2013.

Councillors were told there were a “number of incidents” relating to the raft, that some people had nearly drowned, and there were instances of hypothermia.

Cllr Flannery subsequently demanded incident logs and any safety audits which led to the decision to remove the raft forever.

At this week’s meeting, Cllr Flannery again asked for the information, but was told by Mr Connell: “Apologies, I didn’t realise you were expecting details.”

The Director added that two reports are now being prepared – one by the Council’s own Health & Safety Officer and one by Irish Water Safety, which will be circulated to councilors with incident logs.

“You said three times the last night you would give me the incident logs. We want an entirely unedited version of the report. Word for word,” said Cllr Flannery.

He said that despite being told by Mr Connell that a safety audit did not already exist for Salthill beaches and Blackrock, he had since gotten one from Mr Connell’s department.

Cllr Flannery told the Galway City Tribune: “What is the delay. Could it be perhaps that there are no logs? This report – commissioned by the City Council and produced by Irish Water Safety – is now five years old. The majority of the serious issues contained within the report remain unaddressed.

“This report is damning. Five years ago, a safety report stated that accident statistics and activity logs were not made available to IWS at that time. And still we wait for the information.

“It is mindboggling that the Council could commission a report and get advice on how to prevent major accident and death and to do nothing. The enormity of this report is frightening,” said Cllr Flannery.

For more details on this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

50 domestic abuse 999 calls to Galway Gardaí cancelled

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway’s Garda Chief has committed to a ‘root and branch investigation’ after an internal review unearthed over 50 domestic abuse calls that were cancelled by local Gardaí.

An internal Garda inquiry has revealed that nationally, members of the force cancelled between 3,000 and 4,000 domestic abuse-related ‘999’ calls between 2019 and 2020.

At a meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) on Monday, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley told members that the inquiry found 53 such calls in the Galway Division.

He said he had been tasked by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to sift through the calls and follow up on how they were handled by Gardaí.

“In relation to domestic incidents where calls were cancelled, I have 53 from my division. I am carrying out a root and branch investigation and perhaps at the next JPC meeting, I will be able to give an update of the findings.

“I have only listened to a number of the calls at the moment and I’d rather be in possession of the full facts before commenting any further,” said Chief Supt Curley.
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

Councillor claims dealers are using jet skis to bring drugs to Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Drugs are being delivered into the city by jet skis coming down the Corrib, a meeting of the city’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) heard on Monday.

Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said there had been reports of dealers using jet skis to come down the river from areas around Headford and Cong, dropping deliveries in the city without fear of detection.

“Do we have a Garda water unit in Galway City to deal with that,” asked Cllr Fahy.

The Chief Superintendent, Tom Curley, said he was not aware of the practice but if anyone had any information on these deliveries, they should bring it to Gardaí.

“We haven’t got a water unit in the city but there is one in Athlone that is available to us any day of the week,” he added.

This came as the JPC was informed that drugs seizures have soared in the city, with year-on-year figures for detection of dealing up 84% in the first five months of 2021.
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

Walk-in Covid test facility to open in city centre next week

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Galway City Tribune – A new walk-in Covid testing centre will open in the old tourist office off Forster Street next Tuesday.

The centre will replace the one at NUIG, where students were being encouraged to get tested without an appointment if they showed symptoms or were close contacts of somebody who tested positive.

It will be open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm.

The new location will be a more convenient base for people visiting the city to check for the virus over the coming weeks as the tourist season ramps up.

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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