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Unemployment figures continue to fall

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The number of people on the Live Register across Galway is continuing to fall, with 11% fewer on the ‘dole’ since a year ago.

And unemployment figures have dropped by almost 30% since their peak more than four years ago.

According to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office, there were 18,152 on the Live Register in the city and county in January of this year.

That’s down 11% from 20,390 exactly one year earlier. However, there was a month-on-month increase of 18 people (0.1%).

The figures also show Galway is performing better than the State averages, which saw a 10.2% drop over the year, and a 0.7% increase year-on-year.

The biggest drops recorded in unemployment were in Loughrea and Gort at 14% and 11.6% respectively. In Loughrea, there were 311 fewer on the live Register and in Gort, the drop was a drop of 165 people.

In the city, the CSO figures show there were 9,002 on the Register in January – down 10.7% from the 10,076 one year earlier. Like the county, there was a month-on-month increase recorded, of 1.1% (97 people).

In Ballinasloe last month, there were 2,126 on the Register, down 11.1% from 2,391 a year previously; in Tuam there were 2,730, down 10.6% from 3,055 one year earlier and Clifden saw a decrease of 8.1% from 1,214 to 1,116.

A break-down of the figures shows that the majority (59.5%) of those receiving unemployment benefits in Galway were male (10,909), while 7,343 were female.  Of those in receipt of benefits here, 87.2% (15,822) were over the age of 25, and the remainder (2,330) under 25.

For comparison, the number of people on the Register in Dublin was 85,232 (down 10.7%); Cork City was down 11.9% to 14,325; Limerick City was down 12.7% to 10,841 and Waterford City was down 13.8% to 9,695.

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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