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Local anger over bushing in Salthill Park

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Residents have complained about a return to ‘bushing’ and antisocial behaviour by teenagers in Salthill during the recent fine spell over Easter.

However, Gardaí are adamant that youths were on the whole well-behaved during the school holidays.

One man – whose elderly parents live in the area and asked for his name not to be published – said the family dreaded when school was out.

“On any sunny day there could be 300 to 400 people under the age of 18 drinking away, it starts at 11am and goes on all night – it’s like Beirut. We’ve a private driveway into our house and have to regularly move them off and would get verbal abuse from them,” he insisted.

“We’d call the guards and are told there’s only three stationed in Salthill, two of them are out on patrol so there’s nothing they can do. The park is a disgrace, if you had kids you wouldn’t dream of bringing them down there. They urinate at the back of houses, leave rubbish. It’s getting worse all the time.”

A spokesperson for Gardaí in Salthill said they had no reports of antisocial behaviour, even when large crowds of sun-worshippers descended on the area last week.

“There was no issue at all in relation to antisocial behaviour in the park. We’d be very, very aware of it as we’re across the road from it,” she said.

“Yes there are groups of people who congregate there, aged 13, 14, 15, 16, all of a sudden you could have 20 there, the next thing there could be 40 and that sometimes causes trouble, but there was nothing of that nature recently.

“People have a right to use the park, some people see young people with cans but they may not be alcoholic at all. We’ve told them to be smart, avoid large groups as this can be intimidating. I was over in the park myself and saw groups sitting down, others playing football, but we have no incidents recorded in the station.”

For more on this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway is seventh-worst city in Europe for car traffic congestion

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Car traffic congestion in Galway is quickly rebounding to pre-pandemic levels, with commuters spending up to 94 hours caught on the city’s gridlocked arteries last year.

According to data compiled by INRIX, a world-leader in mobility data, Galway is the seventh-worst city in Europe for congestion, an 84% increase on its position in 2021.

The data shows that Galway places in the worst 50 cities in the world for congestion – taking 39th place, with Dublin the only other Irish city placing higher at Number 12.

While the figures show that car traffic has not fully returned to pre-Covid levels, the 2022 figures came within 13% of 2019 congestion rates.

This was despite vast numbers continuing to work from home last year, a worrying trend according to the local People Before Profit representative Adrian Curran.

In Cork, Limerick and Dublin, there had been a more lasting effect, showing decreases of 20%, 26% and 29% respectively, he said.


This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the January 27 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway 2020 paid €110,000 for PR while cutting spends on arts events

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From this week’s City Tribune – Galway 2020’s bank account statements for five months of 2020 reveal thousands of euro were spent on public relations firms and media advertising when its cultural programme was being cut and ‘revised’ during the upheaval at the onset of Covid-19.

The AIB statements date from April to September of 2020, when Covid-19 had seriously curtailed cultural activities of Galway 2020, the company behind the city and county’s European Capital of Culture. They show more than €110,000 was paid to Dublin-based public relations firm Q4 PR, in three separate payments in April, May and June of 2020.

Thousands more were paid to other public relations firms, radio stations and, to a lesser extent, newspapers.

In March of that year, Galway 2020 announced it was reviewing its programme of events due to Covid-19 restrictions imposed by Government after a global pandemic was declared, curtailing all events.

On April 7, it confirmed it was laying off staff and had ended its agreement with Helen Marriage and Artichoke which was providing creative direction.

Later that month, it issued statements to say it was exploring a ‘re-imagined’ programme of events to take place at the end of 2020 and 2021.

Although the amounts paid to media and PR companies other than Q4 PR are relatively small, compared with expenditure on other headings, the payments suggest the importance Galway 2020 placed on image and public perception around that time.

The bank statements were released to the Galway City Tribune following a protracted Freedom of Information request and after an appeal to the Office of Information Commissioner.

Many of the payees in the bank statements were redacted but the names of several PR and media organisations are listed as having been paid by Galway 2020.


This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article with details of the spending, see the January 27 edition of the Galway City Tribune. There is also coverage of this week’s rebranding and new vision of Galway 2020. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Plans for major upgrade of community centre to benefit Mervue

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Plans for a major overhaul of the community centre in the basement of Mervue Church – including activity rooms, a meeting room, training space and a hairdressing salon – have been lodged at City Hall.

It will employ more than 20 people on a full and part-time basis – including Community Employment Scheme workers.

COPE Galway has sought planning permission for a series of changes to the Holy Family Church including alterations to the basement layout; a new main entrance; concrete stairs from the carpark and the reopening of windows at basement level.

“The proposed refurbished and upgraded community centre will provide a vibrant and dynamic space for the community of Mervue. The space will act as a central hub and meeting place which can be used for a variety of community activities, meetings and events,” the application reads.

It notes a series of “typical occupants” including: reception;  an information hub; general activity room (arts and crafts, games and light exercise); sensory/meditation room; clinic room for health checks and physiotherapy; space for people with dementia; toilets and shower room; pet therapy area; space for teens/young adults; laundry; hairdressing salon; computer training room; meeting room (with possibility of rental to local groups); small café and kitchen, space for a men’s shed and an outside garden with seating area.

“The centre will also provide employment and will be staffed with a diversity of employees, including Community Employment Scheme workers and volunteers of differing age and other social demographics,” the application reads.

Image: An artist’s impression of the cafe in the proposed centre.


This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the January 27 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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