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Galway meeting to launch new drive against water charges

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A fresh drive against the water charges is being launched at a public meeting in Galway tonight (Tuesday) amid a backlash against Irish Water who are seeking highly personal information from householders.

The ‘We Won’t Pay’ campaign comes to Knocknacarra with an information session planned to give householders facts about what can drive up the charges and why they should resist sending back the forms signing up for water charges and applying for any free water allowances.

The campaign will highlight some statistics they believe bolsters their case against the charges, which are to begin next month

According to a Unilever study, an eight-minute shower per day will cost each person €180 per year. A Department of Environment study has found that a home with four adults will run up a bill of €908. Ten flushes of the toilet per day will cost €150 per year and a Global Water Intelligence Annual Tariff Survey September 2011 stated the Western European average per 1,000 litres of water was less than €2, we will pay €4.88.

Conor Burke, Galway spokesman for We Won’t Pay, said the threat of reducing people’s pressure if they did not pay was an empty one.

“They can’t switch your water off and if they wanted to reduce the pressure that would have to be done at the stopcock, house by house. They’re talking about bringing in a pressure reducing device but how would that be feasible when they don’t have enough manpower to even install all the meters,” he queried.

“They are saying you won’t get your free water allowance if you don’t send back the forms. But if people take a chance and don’t pay initially to see how the movement develops, they could always pay retrospectively – and apply for the allowances retrospectively – if it falls flat. Yet if thousands do it, the water charges will never work.”

The campaigners insist the charge is nothing more than a new charge to pay off bank debt.

Tonight’s meeting takes place in the Knocknacarra community rooms attached to Joyce’s Supermarket at 7pm. Further meetings are planned throughout the month.

Read more in this week’s Connacht Sentinel

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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