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CITY TRIBUNE

Gardaí put brakes on speeding motorists

Dara Bradley

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A Garda crackdown on speeding along the Kingston Road resulted in 100 fines being issued to motorists.

Meanwhile, a massive percentage increase in the number of fines issued to cyclists who break the law – up by 186% – has been welcomed by some city councillors.

The total number of Fixed Charge Penalty Notices (FCPN) issued to motorists speeding in the city, from January to the end of November 2019, was 2,481.

This was an increase of 10% on the same period the previous year, or an additional 230 speeding fines.

The figures were contained in the local Garda crime report, presented to a Galway City Joint Policing Committee meeting by Chief Superintendent Tom Curley.

In a separate response to a written question submitted by JPC chairman, Councillor Niall McNelis – about Gardaí helping to police 30km/h zones in city estates – Chief Supt Curley said: “Gardaí continually monitor 30km/h zones in relation to speed and other offences. For example, the Kingston Road area, where a number of operations were conducted recently and 100 people were issued with FCPN.”

There were no fatal accidents on city roads in the first 11 months of 2019, and accidents causing serious injury were down by 33% from 12 to 18.

Meanwhile, Councillor Donal Lyons (Ind) has welcomed a 186% increase in the number of FCPN issued for pedal cyclists. Some 63 cyclists were issued with fines in the 11 months to the end of November, 41 more than the corresponding period the previous year.

Offences for no insurance were down 31% to 157 incidents, and there were 1,505 parking offences between January and November, a reduction of 18%.

Councillor Eddie Hoare (FG) welcomed an increase of 26% in the number of Mandatory Intoxication Tests (MIT) checkpoints but said that there were too many drink driving offences, which stood at 141 incidents (down 9%).

Elsewhere, begging offences were down by 66% to 14 detections. This reduction was a matter of concern to a number of JPC members, who said begging continues to be a problem. Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said a number of beggars were purporting to be homeless but were not homeless at all – it was giving off a bad image of the city, he said. Cllr Fahy said some beggars were operating at 3am or 4am after nightclubs close.

Chief Supt Curley said he had to prioritise resources. If there are 3,000 people congregating at Eyre Square after a night out, he would allocate Gardaí to policing that potential Public Order situation.

Begging was not being ignored, and it was being dealt with – including on the Headford Road – but he could not have a Garda on every street corner.

Public order offences were up by 12 incidents (2%) to 550; assaults causing harm were down 1% to 90; and minor assaults were up 14% to 296 incidents.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Hero’s welcome following rescue of two women on Galway Bay

Stephen Corrigan

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Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan, who rescued Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn off Inis Oirr island, on their arrival back at the Galway RNLI Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The miraculous rescue on Galway Bay yesterday of two young women from Knocknacarra brought 15 long hours of searching to a euphoric conclusion, as cousins Sara Feeney (23) and Ellen Glynn (17) were brought safely to shore.

A major search and rescue operation was launched after the pair went missing from Furbo Beach on Wednesday night, when they were swept away by a sudden wind while paddle boarding.

Claddagh fisherman and former Lifeboat shore crew member Patrick Oliver and his 18-year-old son Morgan joined the search early on Thursday morning and were the heroes of the hour after they discovered the two women on their boards, clinging to a lobster pot about two miles south-west of Inis Oírr, where despite their ordeal, they were described as “ok, but shaken”.

In the face of torrential rain and high winds overnight, both women had drifted almost 20 miles out to sea, but amazingly neither required serious medical attention.

Sara’s mother, Helen Feeney, raised the alarm shortly after 9pm on Wednesday evening when she noticed the pair missing as she walked their dog along the shore.

Sara, a daughter of Helen and Bernard Tonge, and Ellen, daughter Deirdre and well-known former captain of Galway United Johnny Glynn, were both said to be in good spirits at the hospital yesterday afternoon.

One relative told the Galway City Tribune that the family was “utterly humbled by the generosity of people” who had took part in the search and said, “unbelievable doesn’t even begin to describe it”.

“Thank you from all the family to everyone who helped, words will never express our gratitude.”
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Photo: Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan, who rescued Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn off Inis Oirr island, on their arrival back at the Galway RNLI Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway farm operators fall fowl of locals

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Neighbours of Mad Yolk Farm have asked Galway City Council to determine whether planning permission is required for a portable chicken coop earmarked for the land in Roscam.

This week, Mad Yolk Farm has indicated that it will be adding chickens to the site, which has already been the subject of planning enforcement by the local authority.

In a Facebook post, the operators said they are planning to rear organic chickens on site, with neighbours fearing as many as 450 birds in the chicken ‘caravan’.

“Our chicken caravan is now built and our beaked ladies will arrive in eight days. We’ll be moving the hens onto fresh grass each day and they’ll be free to forage for insects and take mud baths. They’ll be free to behave like a chicken should,” the business said on social media.

It has prompted a neighbour of the property to write the Council to formally ask for a declaration “whether the work/development described in the form is or is not development or is or is not exempted development under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act”.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cold water poured on Spanish Arch ‘bushing’ sprinkler plan

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway City Council has poured cold water on a suggestion that it should install water sprinklers to deter ‘bushing’ at city centre hotspots for outdoor drinking, such as Spanish Arch.

Councillor Eddie Hoare (FG) this week said the local authority should examine providing sprinklers, to deter bushing, after Spanish Arch and Middle Arch were packed with hundreds of revellers during the sunshine last weekend, and the areas were littered with alcohol bottles and cans.

Cllr Hoare said large crowds were prohibited from gathering outside due to Covid-19 social distancing guidelines, and if the partying continued “Galway will be the next county to be locked down”.

He said CCTV cameras should be installed at Spanish Arch and Middle Arch and added: “Galway City Council should consider installing sprinklers as a long-term solution.”

However, the City Council said it was not its intention to install sprinklers.

“It’s so hot at the moment, if you put out a sprinkler anywhere in Galway, people would just dance under it. We’re so unused to this muggy heat, that if you did that (installed sprinklers), on top of your 12-pack of Bacardi Breezers, or whatever it is young people drink these days, you’d have the biggest wet t-shirt competition this side of Ibiza – people would just dance under them. No, we have no plans for sprinklers,” remarked a City Council spokesperson.

He said the Council was unaware of a separate suggestion – announced by Mayor of Galway Mike Cubbard on social media – that certain city areas be exempted from the street drinking bylaws, to allow them to be monitored and controlled.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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