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High Court threat over vote to have ‘greenway’ through estate

Enda Cunningham

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Residents of a Knocknacarra estate have threatened High Court action against Galway City Council over the legality of a right of way which they claim is the source of difficulties with antisocial behaviour.

The White Oaks Residents’ Association have been campaigning for years to have a ‘greenway’ through the estate closed – this was voted down by a narrow margin of 10-8 by councillors last week during a meeting on the Draft City Development Plan.

Local area councillors – including Niall McNelis who lives in the estate – claimed last week that some residents are “petrified” at night.

The residents have since held discussions with a barrister and told the Council that they plan to mount a High Court challenge to the legality of whether a right of way actually exists at the greenway.

They have long argued that significant levels of antisocial behaviour are caused by the access. The throughway has a Council-installed gate which was locked last November.

Since that date, residents say that all antisocial behaviour problems in the area have ceased.

The matter was hotly debated at City Council during the City Development plan last week with the council hearing an impassioned plea from Cllr Pearce Flannery to listen to the people involved and grant them a right to live in peace.

At the Council meeting last week, Councillor Pearce Flannery proposed a motion to close the access and produced documentation that he claimed proved that no legal right of way was in existence and therefore no greenway could possibly exist.

Cllr Flannery claims the Council did not follow protocol in creating a right of way under the Planning and Development Act 2000.

“Because of this we now have a situation whereby residents are living in fear at night,” he said.

Residents’ association chair Brendan Wallace said they will not accept the decision of the Council.

“Our quality of life has been destroyed simply because certain councillors were blindly willing to support an executive that are unwilling to admit that they got it wrong. Why I do not know.

“These councillors seem to forget that they were elected by us, to represent our interests. It would appear to me that they prefer to curry favour with the executive rather than do their jobs as public representatives.

“This will go the distance through the courts and potentially cost hundreds of thousands of euro which is a shame because at the end of the day it is the taxpayers’ money the City Council are happily spending in seeking to defend an indefensible legal position.

“The legal advice given to City Council from their own advisors stated: ‘As you are aware the fact that the land over which the said greenway is primarily and predominantly located is owned by Galway City council does not in itself in our view amount to the automatic establishment of a right of way’.

“Yet still they persist in trying to force through this abomination against our wishes and in spite of a local plebiscite given to Council where over 99% of the residents demanded closure of the access due to the negative spillovers and antisocial behavior caused by this unnecessary access.

“All we are asking for is fair play and the basic right to live in peace in our homes. Our barrister is now taking the matter through the courts which to me is ludicrous in the extreme, but the Council have left us with no other option,” said Mr Wallace.

Connacht Tribune

Two arrested following taxi hijacking in Galway

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Gardaí have arrested two men following the hijacking of a taxi in Co Galway last night.

Shortly before midnight, Gardaí received a report that two men who were passengers in a taxi had attacked the driver and stole his vehicle.

The driver was ejected from the car on the M18 motorway.

Gardaí were alerted and observed the car in Claregalway.

A managed containment operation to ‘block in’ the taxi was put in place with assistance from the armed Regional Support Unit.

The car was brought to a stop on Bothar na dTreabh and two men fled on foot. The two men, one in his mid-20s and the other in his early-30s, were subsequently arrested.

They are currently detained at Garda HQ in Renmore under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Small shops fight back in store wars

Dara Bradley

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Caroline McCarthy

A popular city boutique has threatened to re-open in breach of Covid-19 restrictions – to highlight the unfairness of supermarkets selling so-called ‘non-essential’ goods.

The proprietor of Lanidor on Eyre Street said she is ‘taking a stand’, and has urged all retailers to follow suit, unless the authorities crack-down on those bending the rules.

“This stuff about ‘oh we’re all in it together’ is a load of rubbish,” fumed Caroline McCarthy, who said the multiples were ignoring restrictions while independent retailers remain shuttered.

She said all non-essential retail should be open, or none, but the current situation was “discriminatory”.

“I’ve had it at this stage. I’ve lost it. I can’t put up with this anymore. On a point of principle and on a practical level, someone has to do something about it. It’s not that we want to open.

“We have adhered to every single one of the regulations. But we are making a stand now. We will go ahead and open, at a date to be announced, if they are not shut down. And we would call on retailers across the country to do the same,” she said.

Under public health guidelines only ‘essential’ retail outlets are permitted to open. They are not permitted to sell ‘non-essential’ goods during Level 5. This is to stop people congregating and browsing in order to limit the spread of the virus.

But large retailers such as Dunnes Stores and Marks and Spencer stand accused of selling ‘non-essential’ clothing during the pandemic, even though clothes shops should be closed.

Galway Gardaí visited stores last weekend on foot of a complaint.

A spokesperson for M&S said it was following the guidelines but the tills in its Galway store’s clothing section was staffed on Saturday.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Vaccine roll-out stalls after advice

Dara Bradley

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Staff from the Paediatric Department at UHG (from left) Mary Scally, Clinical Nurse Manager 1; Cecily Cassidy, Clinical Nurse Manager 2; and Lisa Porter, Play Specialist with shadowbox theatres and accompanying tote bags which are being shared with children in hospital during April as part of an Arts and Health project for Galway 2020 called A Bird at My Window and Other Stories.

The roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine programme in Galway has stalled due to updated advice on the AstraZeneca jab.

Operations at the mass vaccination centre at Galway Racecourse in Ballybrit were  suspended Tuesday, for the remainder of this week at least, to allow the HSE to ‘reconfigure’ its roll-out plan following the new guidance.

The European Medical Agency safety committee concluded that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects of AstraZeneca.

National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) then issued revised recommendations for its use, including not administering it to people under 60.

For people who have already received their first dose, NIAC said people aged 60 and older should continue to receive their second dose, as should those under 60 with underlying conditions.

Those under 60 without underlying health conditions – mostly healthcare staff – should have an extended period between the first and second dose, “to allow for further assessment of the benefits and risks as more evidence becomes available”.

Anyone who develops unusual blood clots with low platelets after the first dose should not take the second.

HSE West said vaccination clinics for the over-60s proceeded as planned; it would not say how many people had their vaccination jabs cancelled at Ballybrit.

“Everyone scheduled to get their vaccine at Ballybrit vaccination centre this week has been contacted,” a spokesperson said.

“The HSE is actively looking at the implications of the updated NIAC recommendations for the vaccine roll-out and the implementation of the programme. On receipt of national guidance we will recommence scheduling of vaccines at the Ballybrit vaccination centre.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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