Galway City Council’s hotel meetings continue despite lifting of Covid restrictions 


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway City Council’s hotel meetings continue despite lifting of Covid restrictions 

Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley

The Department of Health removed the requirement to wear facemasks in hospital settings from last week.

If you have respiratory symptoms, it remains advisable to wear a mask. And health professionals treating patients with Covid-19 are also advised to mask-up.

But the removal of the mandate for patients, staff and visitors to wear a face covering in health settings signalled the end of the last remaining restrictions introduced to curb Covid.

It came into effect from April 19, and is the last restriction to be removed after three years of Covid-19.

Except here in Galway. Galway City Council, in its wisdom, continues to impose restrictions by holding its meetings outside of the Chamber at City Hall.

Galway county councillors have long since returned to County Hall; elected representatives on the HSE West Regional Health Forum have long since returned to their meeting room at Merlin Park Hospital.

But city councillors have not returned to City Hall. Instead, they continue to hold their ordinary monthly meetings in hotels, at a cost to taxpayers and ratepayers. The Council chamber was fine pre-Covid, and accommodated 18 councillors, media, members of the public, invited guests and Council management without any issue.

Now that Covid restrictions have ended, and local authorities have returned to their meeting rooms across the country, why is it that the City Council is holding out and meeting in hotels?

And even if there is a good reason not to use City Hall – we’ve yet to hear it – the City Council owns several public buildings including Leisureland, and various community centres, that would be more than capable of hosting its monthly meetings.

The policy of hybrid meetings, allowing remote attendance, was one of the positive developments that came out of Covid and should be retained.

But surely now is the time the Council got back to holding all of its meetings at City Hall in the purpose built chamber, which underwent an expensive revamp some years ago.
This is a shortened preview version of this column. For more Bradley Bytes, see the April 28 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

More like this:

Sign Up To get Weekly Sports UPDATES

Go Up