Galway City Council has been urged to “stop pandering” to the Comer Group and take legal action over the derelict Corrib Great Southern Hotel where 14 fire officers recently responded to a fire.
Councillor Ollie Crowe said he believed there were four people actually living in the dilapidated building opposite the GMIT.
He told Galway City Council this week that it was overrun with vermin and was the source of constant fires, which threatened the safety of fire officers who arrived to extinguish them and often had to enter the once four-star hotel.
“It’s a major issue. It’s at the entrance to the city. I believe 14 fire officers to be there on Thursday and 14 fire officers to be there on Saturday. There is an onus on the city to make it safe,” the Fianna Fáil councillor from Bohermore fumed.
His anger was echoed for Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), who said the recent blazes were sucking up resources from the rest of the city – three fire engines, ambulances and Gardaí had to respond to the last fire.
“It’s a complete and utter disgrace what’s going on. It’s a terrible waste of resources.”
Fellow Independent Cllr Collette Connolly said the city was very reluctant to add anything to the list of derelict buildings in the city. This was one which should be added.
The Director of Services for Transportation, Recreation, Amenity and Corporate Services, Tom Connell, said the owners of the Corrib Great Southern Hotel fully accepted the property was not in a good state and the site had been placed on the derelict sites register.
A pre-planning meeting had taken place over plans for the site, he told councillors.
City Chief Executive Brendan McGrath agreed that the site was unsightly and unkempt and it was being vandalised by “gurriers”.
He added that it was on the derelict sites register and talks were currently underway between the owners and the planning department.
Cllr Crowe said the CEO should send out a message to the owners, the Comer Property Group.
“Stop pandering to them [the Comers]. It’s not rocket science. It’s about security and people’s lives,” Cllr Crowe exclaimed.
Mr McGrath said he refuted any suggestion he was “pandering”.
“I am not pandering to anyone in relation to the Corrib Great Southern. The property is going through a process. We’re going to establish the value of it and from January 2018 we will start levying a levy, which is up to 3% on the property value.”
For the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.
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.