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Legal action halts work on new rape crisis centre


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Legal action halts work on new rape crisis centre Legal action halts work on new rape crisis centre

WORK has been halted on the construction phase of the new Galway Rape Crisis Centre in the Claddagh following legal action taken by the Galway Judo club.

At the centre of the dispute is a 0.7 metre strip of property between the new Rape Crisis Centre and the adjacent Galway Judo Club premises.

Planning permission for the new Galway Rape Crisis Centre (GRCC) was originally granted by the City Council before being subsequently appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

The Planning Appeals Board in 2021 upheld the original decision of the City Council and construction work on the new building began earlier this year.

However, a number of weeks back, after concrete was poured for the foundations of the new centre by the builders, an issue arose over the ownership of the 0.7 metre strip between the two properties.

Galway Judo Club sought a court injunction halting the work claiming that it had encroached on their property, Creaven House, and could impact on that building, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

Legal discussions between both parties are scheduled to take place next week in an effort to resolve the issue but over recent weeks the site has closed down.

In 2020, Galway Judo Club made a planning submission to the City Council in which they ‘informed’ the planning authorities that they had not consented to any parts of their lands being included in the GRCC planning application. At the time, the Judo Club said that they raised this issue with GRCC and had asked them to submit a revised planning application.

GRCC, which is one of the biggest rape crisis centres in the country, currently operates from a premises in Forster Street but the lease on that property has been assigned by the owners (Sisters of Mercy) to COPE Galway.

The Rape Crisis Centre deals with victims of sexual abuse from Galway, South Roscommon and Clare and is now the second biggest of its type in the country having several thousand appointments each year.

Their proposed three-storey new centre is on the site of a now demolished property at 7, Claddagh Quay, and GRCC has launched a major fundraising campaign to meet the costs of the new centre.

Both the Galway Rape Crisis Centre and the Galway Judo Club declined to make any official comment on the issue, pending the outcome of forthcoming legal discussions and proceedings.

Pictured: A computer-generated image of the proposed Galway Rape Crisis Centre buidling.

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