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Mayor hopes Outer Bypass will be open by 2019

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The construction of the Galway City Outer Bypass and the redevelopment of the Docks will be key areas in the economic growth of the city over the coming years, the Mayor of Galway Donal Lyons has told An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Deputy Lyons, in a keynote address to the Galway Chamber of Commerce this week attended by the Taoiseach, said that the completion of the City Outer Bypass by late 2019, would be a critical infrastructural development.

“The NRA and the Department of Transport attach great priority and significance for this vital piece of infrastructure. If the project completes its planning process by the end of 2016, it is reasonable to presume that the new bypass will be in place by late 2019,” said Mayor Lyons.

The Mayor said that he also warmly welcomed the upcoming publication of the draft legislation to transfer the ministerial shareholding in Galway Port to Galway City Council.

“I also welcome the upcoming Oral Hearing that An Bórd Pleanala will hold in early 2015 in relation to the proposed major expansion of Galway Port. Development at the harbour can transform the city from an economic, tourism, land use and a recreation and amenity perspective,” said Cllr Lyons.

He added that on another infrastructural level, the recent signing of contract documents for the expansion of the Mutton Island Waste Water Treatment Plant would ensure that Galway city would have adequate waste water capacity for years to come.

Mayor Lyons also called for a major push to try and secure the 2020 European Capital of Culture title, something that could provide a major economic boost for the city.

“European designation will be transformational for the city and the region. Recent European Capitals of Culture have recorded growth rates, year on year, in tourist numbers of between 12% and 25%, not only in the designated year but years afterwards,” he said.

The Mayor also called for a rebranding of the city to include all of its many different facets such as arts and culture, as a seat of learning with its third level institutions, and as a cluster city for the medi-care and information communications technology sectors.

He also said that Galway city and county must not operate in isolation from each other with both areas intrinsically linked and very much interdependent.

“Upwards of 30,000 people every day commute from Galway County into Galway City for employment and study.

“It is, therefore, very important that the city continues to grow economically to underpin its role as the regional capital of the West of Ireland,” said Cllr Lyons.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Tourists duped in Galway City rental accommodation scam

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have issued another ‘beware’ warning in relation to scammers offering fictitious properties to rent in the city area.

The advice comes after a report of a several separate tourists from overseas calling to a house in Shantalla over recent weeks, thinking that they had booked rental accommodation.

It is understood that the fake rental offer had been made through a booking website, but it turned out to be a scam with the tourists having ‘parted’ weeks earlier with a deposit of several hundred euro.

Galway Garda Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Michael Walsh, said that such rental scams were an ongoing reality in relation to the accommodation sector, especially in cities like Galway with huge rental markets for long-term and short-term lets.

He said that the first pieces of advice for anyone seeking to rent a property was to only do business with an established bona-fide rental agency and to always meet the prospective landlord in the accommodation to be rented.

Sgt Walsh said that the scammers also tended to be more active at times of the year when accommodation was in major demand as in the late-Summer/early-Autumn period as students returned to third level colleges.

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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