Galway 2020 insists it is engaging with Gardaí about the policing plans required next year, when the city becomes European Capital of Culture.
And the company set up to deliver Galway 2020 said a ‘special advisory group’ is being established to plan the logistics of next year’s events, including health and safety and traffic management.
It is understood from Garda sources that senior Gardaí are concerned with the lack of engagement so far in relation to the police staffing requirements that will be needed next year.
But a spokesperson for Galway 2020 said it has been engaging with Gardaí, and will continue to do so.
“Galway 2020 has been engaging with the Gardaí for some time, keeping them informed of plans and requirements for events next year. Meetings have taken place with both local and regional Gardaí to discuss important items including planning, traffic management and safety for outdoor events. Further meetings are scheduled with senior Garda management to keep them abreast of all plans,” a spokesperson said.
She said Galway 2020 was “committed to working closely with the Gardaí to ensure the necessary management of and safety for the many exciting, large-scale events that will take place throughout next year”.
“A special advisory group is being established which include health and safety, major emergency management, roads and traffic and all local Garda input. Further planning meetings will take place on an ongoing basis, as required throughout this year and in 2020 in preparation for individual events.
“We appreciate the support and engagement that we’ve had with the Gardaí thus far and will continue to work closely with them for the safe and successful delivery of events,” added the spokesperson.
Meanwhile, an operational liaison group, involving senior management at Galway City Council and logistics staff at Galway 2020, has been meeting every six to eight weeks, as the city prepares to host the European Capital of Culture.
A Council spokesperson explained that the liaison group was established last November and is headed by Brian Barrett, Senior Executive Officer with responsibility for Culture and Economic Development at City Hall.
Its primary function is to identify areas, outside of direct funding, where Council resources will be needed to be directed during 2020.
Around a dozen people attend the meetings, which will probably become monthly or more frequent as of this September, when the full Galway 2020 programme is known and will be unveiled.
“Every year in the city, we probably have four large-scale events, of crowds of greater than 5,000, that require event licences such as the St Patrick’s Day Parade, Macnas Parade at Halloween and the Christmas Market,” he said.
“Sporting events such as the Races, aren’t included in that. During 2020, there will be those four or five events that happen every year, plus about another four large-scale events associated with Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture. The liaison group is identifying the key resource requirements.
Good luck England ! – as the poster and I screamed ….
Mark Gardiner, our man in Japan for the Rugby World Cup
Excitement has been building all week and even though Hiroshima isn’t a host city we are still getting a fair share of rugby fans passing through. Since last Saturday I’ve noticed some Irish fans coming into the pub, people who have arrived to take in some of the sights of Japan and then head off to take in the some of the pool matches.
There’s been some from Wexford, Mayo, Roscommon, Kerry, Laois, Dublin and Donegal but none from Cork yet! All of those fans will now be making their way to Yokohama which is situated right next to Tokyo and around 4 hours on the bullet train from Hiroshima. I’m giving the first two games a miss and will wait for Ireland to move closer to my adopted home city.
The Russia game will be held in Kobe, just one hour away, so I’ll be going to that with my son Tom on the eve of his 10th birthday. More accustomed to going to baseball games together hopefully he’ll see a try fest and enjoy a very different sporting atmosphere.
Earlier in the week, my Guinness rep walked in looking proud as punch to present me with five big Guinness posters for the rugby. As I unrolled one I couldn’t believe my eyes! [See poster below.] He couldn’t understand so I told him it was like having a Kirin beer poster with “good luck Korea” on it. He got the message pretty lively!
For some reason, the big story here is how much beer rugby fans drink. They’re very wary about bars, restaurants and stadiums running out so there have been numerous articles in papers telling landlords to order twice the norm. I had the local newspaper calling me yesterday almost begging me to tell them that I’d ordered way more beer than I normally would.
Tonight we have the opening game at 19:45 local time so hoping to get a good crowd into the pub for that. I will try and post some photos in the next few days. A big win for Japan is probably vital in order to catapult the tournament into the mainstream consciousness so hopefully, they won’t disappoint.
If anyone reading this plans to come out, there is a great forum on Facebook “Irish Rugby World Cup Japan Forum” or you can contact me on the Molly Malone’s Hiroshima Facebook page. Fingers crossed for Sunday.
Follow Mark Gardiners World Cup Diary here and on the Galway App.
Mark Gardiner is a former Galway resident now resident in Hiroshima, Japan where he owns and operates Molly Malones Bar.
Read his weekly unique insight into the 2019 Rugby World Cup here and on the Galway App.
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More than 70 kids under 12 in Direct Provision in Salthill
Galway City Tribune – More than 70 children under the age of 12 are living in a Direct Provision Centre in Salthill, figures from the Department of Justice show.
The Eglinton can house up to 210 people who are either seeking asylum or have been granted refugee status but have been unable to secure alternative accommodation.
The statistics show that the Salthill centre – which is for families and single females – has 77 residents under the age of 18.
Of these, 35 are aged four or under; 37 are aged between 5 and 12; and five are between 13 and 17 years of age.
Direct Provision is big business for service providers – figures show the companies behind Galway City’s two centres earned more than €77m since 2000. Last year alone, the Eglinton made a profit of €520,000.
The Great Western House centre off Eyre Square is for single males only, and there are currently no people under the age of 17 resident there. That centre has a maximum occupancy of 162 people.
Between both centres in Galway, there were a total of 359 occupants at the end of July.
This is a preview only. For extensive coverage on Direct Provision in Galway, 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.
Drop in water quality ‘not related to cruise ships’
Galway City Council – Local authorities have rejected a suggestion that visiting cruise ships are dumping sewage into Galway Bay causing a deterioration in water quality.
At a City Council meeting, concerns were raised about the frequency with which warnings were issued this Summer, advising people not to swim in Salthill and Ballyloughane beaches.
Councillor John Connolly highlighted the issue, and was particularly concerned about the number of no swim notices and advisory notices warning about water quality, which were issued this year in the city.
Cllr Donal Lyons suggested that there was a view out there that one particular advisory notice regarding water quality in Salthill was issued soon after a cruise ship had left the bay.
He alluded to the link between cruise ships in the bay, and a subsequent deterioration in water quality, which has been the subject of social media commentary.
The Council’s Senior Executive Engineer in the Climate Action, Environment, Recreation and Amenity Department, Carmel Kilcoyne, acknowledged that that was the “rumour” out there but “it’s not true”, she said.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article, 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.