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Gardaí probe emergence of neo-Nazi group in Galway




The rise of an apparent neo-Nazi group, called ‘Galway 44’, is being investigated by Gardaí after local equality activists raised it as a cause for concern.

The group, which has a Facebook page under the pseudonym ‘Tír Na nÓg’ is spreading a Neo-Nazi message around Galway City; in particular, the West End and Salthill.

“The group use neo-Nazi symbols to spread their message. They often use numbers such as 44 which represents the letters DD, this is code for ‘descend decency’. The number 88 is another common Nazi symbol; it stands for the letters HH – code for ‘Heil Hitler’ said Social Democrats representative Niall Ó Tuathail.

The Gardaí confirmed to the Galway City Tribune that they are investigating “Galway 44″.

Mr Ó Tuathail, who stood in the General Elections in 2016, said: “We’re working with the Gardaí. There is an ongoing investigation into the group’s activities such as: spreading stickers with the logo ‘Galway 44’, graffiti and the setting up of a Facebook page.

“The Facebook page used to be ‘Galway 44’, but they have since changed to ‘Tír Na nÓg’.

“We have been aware of the group’s activities for roughly four or five months now. I have been contacted by both individuals and [activists] groups about ‘Galway 44’.

Gardaí in Mill Street have told the Galway City Tribune, that they are following up all possibilities into the attack on the Ahmadiyya Mosque. However, there is not clear link that the attack was carried out by a group such as Galway 44.

The Gardaí confirmed that they are investigating Galway 44, but at this stage, the group’s activities have been limited to stickering, graffiti and posting messages on Facebook.

Joe Loughnane, campaign chairman for the Galway Anti-Racism Network (GARN) explained how GARN identified and addressed the Graffiti and stickering of the West End. “We were informed of the anti-refugee and racist graffiti and stickering that was going on around the west end of the city.

“Galway 44 seems to have an association with other groups such as PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamitisation of the West), but they are more a Dublin-based movement,” he said.

“We did a community clean-up to get rid of all the stickers and graffiti. In the past month, we haven’t seen any more of this activity.

“We think the problem has been quelled because we identified it early and we nipped it in the bud,” said Mr Loughnane.
For the rest of this story, 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.


Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors will be asked next month to consider a sweeping overhaul of traffic flow in the city centre as the local authority seeks to create a more pedestrian-friendly core in the wake of Covid-19.

Currently under proposal in City Hall are major alterations to traffic flow which will allow for restricted car access to Middle Street – creating additional outdoor seating space for businesses in the area struggling to cope amid social distancing requirements.

Senior Engineer at City Hall, Uinsinn Finn, said they are currently considering three different proposals to alter traffic flow on Merchants Road, Augustine Street and Flood Street to reduce the need for car access to Middle Street, while still maintaining access for residents.

“We already pedestrianised Cross Street and we will be maintaining that, and there will be a proposal for Middle Street and Augustine Street.

“Businesses in the area are very much in favour of pedestrianisation – one business has objections but the others are supportive. Another consideration is that there are residents there with parking spaces and we are trying to encourage people to live in the city centre,” said Mr Finn.

The Latin Quarter business group submitted proposals for the temporary pedestrianisation of Middle Street and Abbeygate Street Lower but Mr Finn said the proposals the Council were considering were more in the line of creating adequate space for pedestrians while still allowing residents vehicular access.

This would involve creating a circuit for car traffic moving through Merchants Road around onto Augustine Street and exiting at Flood Street.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in part of Knocknacarra are calling for the closure of a laneway and for more Community Gardaí to be put on the beat following the discovery of a ‘viable’ pipe-bomb type device in the area last weekend.

Up to 13 homes in the Cimín Mór and Manor Court estates had to be evacuated on Friday evening last when the incendiary device was discovered by Gardaí concealed in an unlit laneway, leading to the emergency services being notified.

An Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called to the scene and removed the device – according to local residents and councillors, the Gardaí have confirmed that the device was viable.

Gardaí have declined to comment on the detail of the case but have confirmed that the matter is being ‘actively and vigorously investigated’.

Chairman of the Cimín Mór Residents’ Association, Pat McCarthy, told the Galway City Tribune that the discovery of the viable device on the narrow laneway that links their estate to Manor Court was extremely frightening for all concerned.

“For the best part of the past 20 years, we have been seeking action to be taken on this laneway which has been used for dumping and unsociable behaviour on a repeated basis.

“But what happened last Friday evening was really the last straw for us. This could have resulted in serious injury to innocent people and what is also of concern to us is how close this was to the two schools in the area,” said Mr McCarthy.

He said that over the coming days, the residents’ association would be petitioning all residents in the three estates concerned – the other two being Manor Court and Garraí Dhónaill – for action to be taken on the laneway.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara



Kate Middleton wearing the necklace designed by Aisling O'Brien

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A Galway jewellery designer is the latest to experience the ‘Kate effect’ after fans tracked down the woman who created a necklace for the Duchess of Cambridge which she has worn several times since it was gifted to her during her trip to the city last March.

Aisling O’Brien’s website crashed on Wednesday night when orders poured in for the piece from around the world. The necklace costs €109 with initials, while the earrings retail for €49.

“I’d never sold more than two things outside of Ireland before. I only had three of Kate’s necklaces in stock – and now I have orders for at least 50. I’ll have to start recruiting some elves,” laughs Aisling, who only set up her website during lockdown.

The 14-carat gold necklace and earrings set was designed by Aisling specially for Kate after examining her style – “understated, elegant, simplicity” is how the Tuam native describes it.

She was contacted about the commission by physiotherapist Thérèse Tully, who wanted to give the future queen a gift as she was using her room to change at Árus Bóthar na Trá beside Pearse Stadium when the royal couple were meeting with GAA teams.

(Photo: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wearing the necklace)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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