A strategy to tackle the growing problem of anti-social behaviour has been adopted by Galway County Council – despite the fact that a number of councillors felt it didn’t go far enough enough.
They told a Council meeting that it didn’t have sufficient power to combat the few neighbours from hell who were making life miserable for others.
They said that they felt the Council didn’t have the will – or the staff – to monitor and carry out measures aimed at punishing those involved in this behaviour.
Nonetheless the policy, which has been put together to reduce incidences of anti-social behaviour and bullying on council estates, will now be rolled out among all social housing tenants.
Michael Owens, Director of Services for Housing, told the meeting that the number of tenants involved in anti-social behaviour was small but that it affected many.
He said the Council was adopting a multi-agency approach to work together to minimise the problem.
Councillor Jimmy McClearn said the matter was quite simple — that the tenancy agreement had to be enforced by ensuring every tenant signed up to it and afterwards that the Council had to have the strength to take appropriate measures to deal with problems as they arose.
“We are refusing to listen to those making the complaints about their neighbours from hell and we are not dealing with those causing the problems. If it’s only a small number of people, let’s deal with the problem instead of shuffling papers around a table,” he said.
He added that the behaviour shouldn’t be tolerated at any level and that tenants should know they would be out the door if they continued behaving in such a manner as to make life miserable for their neighbours.
Cllr Tom McHugh recalled the situation in Tuam and Ahascragh were dozens of council houses were wreaked by tenants.
He said the few involved in anti-social behaviour were bullies who played music loudly well into the early hours of the morning, brought their fights out onto the green and caused disruptions safe in the knowledge that they could get away with it.
“We should have strong deterrents to stop this. No point in bringing them to Court if the judiciary can’t do anything about it. Their benefits should be reduced. It’s not fair to others who are paying their rents,” he said.
Cllr Shaun Cunniffe said he wouldn’t be supporting the strategy as it lacked any teeth and that those who lived a ‘life of benefits and didn’t engage with education or employment’ should face ejection if they didn’t comply with their tenancy agreements.
Many people were afraid to lodge a complaint against an unruly neighbour, said Cllr Dermot Connolly, and even when they did, they were very reluctant to sign a complaint or give evidence if the matter went to Court.
It was often the case, he added, that it was vulnerable people whose lives were ruined by the anti-social behaviour of others.
Another councillor, Pete Roche, reminded the meeting that it wasn’t as if they hadn’t a similar strategy before now and wondered if the Local Authority had the will or the staff to police unruly tenants.
He said that a local court heard the case recently of a tenant physically and verbally assaulting Council staff, something he described as torture and wondered what assurances could be given that this would not be repeated.
Cllr Roche said the Council had to be prepared to be unpopular and tackle these unruly tenants.
Councillors around the chamber had their own stories about unruly tenants and most voiced their concerns that no strategy could tackle the problem.
It was also noted that as well as being a landlord, the Council was also the housing agency with the responsibility of housing the very people that might be evicted under the anti-social behaviour strategy.
But despite the many concerns raised, it was adopted.
Galway passengers are all smiles at Shannon!
The smiles on the faces at Shannon Airport very much told its own story this week – with passengers taking to skies as the easing of restrictions and the first day of the European Digital COVID Certificates took effect.
And it wasn’t just the joy of travel starting to resume that lifted spirits at the airport but also the announcement by Ryanair of a new once-weekly service to Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) to commence on August 7 – the third new service announcement for Shannon Airport over recent weeks.
There was a real sense of excitement as passengers of all ages became very much at ease with the heightened public safety measures in a ‘back-to-the-future’ day for the West of Ireland gateway airport.
There were reunions as inbound flights arrived but also a palpable degree of anticipation as others got set to depart on the earliest flight out of the airport today, the 7:10am flight to Gatwick.
Among those boarding was Clarenbridge native Claire Tomlin and her husband Jake, together with their three children, including their twins who turn a year old next week.
“It’s been amazing to get back. The kids saw their grandparents for the first time and their cousins and aunties and uncles, so it was fantastic,” said Claire.
“Shannon is just so convenient for us because it’s only about 40 minutes’ drive. So, it just makes everything a lot easier in terms of getting to and from places with little ones. So, yeah, Shannon is a great resource for us. Really, really good. We hope to be able to go back more and more.”
It was smiles all around for Shannon Airport staff as they got back to doing what they do best. “Well, today is a great day because you can see the atmosphere around the place, people are at ease here and they’re glad to be back, they’re glad to get up in the sky again,” said Shannon Duty Free Sales Associate Helen Quinlivan.
“It’s great to see the excitement. People are really looking forward to going back and seeing their loved ones and they’re very at ease.”
Galway In Days Gone By
Silence is golden
Leaders on both sides have stated that the best assistance the country can give in the making of peace is to keep silence.
During the past week there has been a great deal of speculation, most of it harmless enough, as, for instance, the enterprising American journalist’s “exclusive” on the first meeting of the British Premier and the President of the Irish Republic; much of it positively mischievous, as the case of the efforts of a certain journal, which has grown hoary in the reputation for throwing in the apple of discord, to anticipate failure in advance.
Our American colleague was on surer and on safer ground when he told of how de Valera and Lloyd George met.
“Mr. Lloyd George,” he cabled, “was sitting at his desk when the Irish President entered. For just a minute these two gazed fixedly at one another. Then the British Premier walked across the intervening space and shook de Valera by the hand. He led him to a seat where they sat side by side. The atmosphere was tense. They faced one another. Then Lloyd George reached down for a box of cigars. But the Irish President is of Spartan mould. He neither permits himself to drink nor smoke. He politely but firmly waved the box away. Mr. Lloyd George, however, selected and lighted a Havana, and as the smoke curled upwards the atmosphere became decidedly easier!”
The wise and practical man always lays by a store against the time when supplies will be scarce. One of the most serious effects of the prolonged drought is the scarcity of supplies of fodder for cattle-feeding during the coming winter and spring.
The hay crop is not more than half the average yield. The corn crop is far below normal. Turnips in many districts are a partial failure. We have frequently emphasised the importance of growing catch-crops to supplement other feeding stuffs raised on the farm, but it is only under circumstances such as the present that their utility is brought home to farmers. Owing to the early harvest, a larger area than is usual can and should be put down this season. This would make good, to some extent, at least, the shortage of hay and other feeding-stuffs.
The demonstration plots laid down by the County Committee of Agriculture have shown that catch-crops, such as vetches and rye as well as other mixtures, can be successfully grown in all parts of County Galway.
We would urge on farmers the desirability – nay, the necessity – of procuring seed and making early preparation for the sowing of an increased area of catch-crops this season.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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A home that can generate rent!
New to the market is this lovely, extremely deceptive and impressive home situated only 450 metres from Clarinbridge village.
Stonebridge House is located on a fine site with a tarmacadam driveway, mature shrubs and trees, water feature, decked area and stables to the rear all adding to the many delightful features of this well-built home.
It was built in 1982 and extended in 1993, creating a bright, spacious home which is perfect for today’s busy, modern family lifestyle.
The main house is a six-bed residence with a two-bedroomed basement apartment offering 3,000 sq ft of family living accommodation.
This makes this property perfect for multi-generational living or should you wish to rent out the basement apartment, can provide you with extra income.
The welcoming half front door takes you into the hallway where there is a ground floor bedroom to your left and to your right. Further down the hallway to your right leads you into the spacious kitchen/dining area perfect for family life and entertaining, with plenty of storage space, a Stanley range cooker set into a gorgeous cream brick inglenook with an added feature of a back boiler that heats the water and radiators.
There is an office/media room off the kitchen which every house needs nowadays, as today’s family spends more and more time on the web.
Double doors open to the large tastefully decorated sitting room with a feature fireplace and a solid fuel stove. The den area is filled with natural light with plenty of windows and patio doors opening onto the garden and patio area. Also on this floor is a guest toilet.
Upstairs on the first floor is the spacious landing with built-in storage cupboards and leading to four fine bedrooms and the main bathroom. Another bonus to this beautiful home is the installation of a convenient central vacuum system which is known for its removal of allergens and dust when cleaning and not having to drag a vacuum from room to room!
The asking price is €495,000. For further information or to arrange a viewing, contact DNG Brian MacMahon on 091 638638.