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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council was in slow lane with incorrect speed signage

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Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

At long last, sense has prevailed at City Hall. It was a slow process, but finally – after over a decade – incorrect speed limit signs displayed on some city roads will be corrected.

That it took a campaign by concerned citizens, and in particular bike enthusiast Kevin Jennings, for Galway City Council to rectify its own mistakes, is disgraceful but hardly surprising.

That Jennings had to highlight the issue in this newspaper and other media and had to badger local and national politicians before management at City Hall agreed to take action on a serious matter of road safety, is also a disgrace but not surprising either.

Jennings regularly cycles with his children on one of the roads in Knocknacarra where an incorrect speed limit sign had been displayed for up to 12 years. He discovered that several roads within the city boundary which have designated speed limits of 50km/h, had speed signs on them suggesting they were in 80km/h zones.

Among the roads with incorrect 80km/h signs were: Upper Cappagh Road, Upper Ballymoneen Road, Rahoon Road, Letteragh Road, Rosshill Road, Dublin Road and Oranmore Coast Road.

The signs were dangerous and gave false assurances to motorists that they could legally drive at 80km/h in 50km/h zones.

As well as endangering all road users, who would have been responsible in the event of a collision on one of those roads, if the motorist was driving above 50 but below 80? Would it have been the driver or the local authority? The legal profession would have had a field day.

What we think happened is this. Rather than change the signs to reflect the actual speed limit, the City Council attempted to change the speed limit to reflect the signage that was in place. Councillors rejected the 80km/h in proposed new bylaws in a vote last November and then the executive blamed elected members for the incorrect signs. It would be funny were it not so serious.

Jennings was a dogged campaigner – a trait of Galway Cycling Campaign members – and kept the pressure up for the signs to be corrected.

A victory of sorts arrived this month when Chief Executive Brendan McGrath confirmed “an audit of the existing signage has now been completed and a number of anomalies have been identified”.

The Council, he said, “commenced the process, in September, of modifying the speed limit signage at a number of locations in the city to bring the signage in line with the current Special Speed Limit Bylaws, 2009”.

That they did so kicking and screaming is the great mystery surrounding this sorry affair.

This is a shortened preview version of Bradley Bytes. To read more, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

CITY TRIBUNE

Water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna due to burst watermain

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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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Woman sustains serious injuries after being struck by firework in Eyre Square

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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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Garda chief suggests closing Eyre Square to curb anti-social behaviour

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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.

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