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CITY TRIBUNE

No dog owner ever fined since beach ban introduced in 2008

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The summer-long ban for dogs on Galway’s beaches is being ignored and is going unenforced putting public safety at risk.

That’s according to Cllr Colette Connolly, who fought for the introduction of the law in 2008.

Nobody has ever been fined for breaking the bylaw in its nine years in place.

The law states that from May through to September, dogs are not permitted on Ballyloughane, Salthill, Grattan Road and Silverstrand beaches between the hours of 9am and 8pm.

Dogs must be controlled and on a leash at all times outside these hours and owners found to be in breach of the law could incur a fine of €1,904 and a custodial sentence.

However, Cllr Connolly says the law is a futile exercise as both City Hall and the public are “abdicating their responsibilities”.

“It’s disgusting,” exclaimed Cllr Connolly. “I saw over the weekend that this law is not being enforced – it’s not compatible to have dogs and people swimming in the same water.”

Cllr Connolly said that she believed both her and her colleagues had shown leadership in the interest of public safety when they voted for the byelaw nine years ago.

“I am not anti-dog or anything like that but now the problem is like the drink bylaws – they are not enforced,” she said.

A spokesperson for Galway City Council confirmed to the Galway City Tribune that in the nine years since this law was introduced, not one fine has been issued in relation to the offence.

“There haven’t been any fines issued,” he said. “This is a control issue as much as an enforcement issue and because of the existence of these bylaws, dog owners know that they must keep their dogs under control for a number of reasons – primarily hygiene.”

Cllr Connolly believed that the failure to impose the byelaw was a direct result of the moratorium on recruitment in the public sector.

She called on Chief Executive of the City Council, Brendan McGrath, to be forthcoming about the problem and inform councillors of the issue so they can lobby TDs for a change to the situation.

“We don’t have the wardens and the problem is twofold – there is the primary problem of the moratorium on staffing and there are not enough wardens to do the job.

“There needs to be collective responsibility for behaviour,” said Cllr Connolly.

She argued that an option would be to make provision for dog parks around the city – giving dog owners a place to go where public health would not be at risk.

CITY TRIBUNE

Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

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

Planners approve homes for ‘cuckoo fund’ investor

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The green light has been given for the construction of 345 apartments at the Crown Square site in Mervue – the majority of which will be put on the rental market and operated by a ‘cuckoo fund’ for a minimum of fifteen years.

Crown Square Developments, which is owned by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has secured permission from An Bord Pleanála for the ‘Build to Rent’ development, with four blocks ranging ranging from four to nine storeys in height.

There will also be a neighbourhood facility with a gym, a primary care medical centre with pharmacy, a ‘working from home’ lounge, six shops, a games room and a creche.

There will be 240 two-bed apartments, 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds, all of which will be specifically for the rental market and not available to purchase.

A breakdown of the apartments shows there will be 240 two-beds; 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds.

To meet social housing requirements, the developer plans to transfer 35 of the apartments (20 two-bed, 10 one-bed and 5 three-bed) to Galway City Council.

A total of 138 car-parking spaces have been allocated on the lower basement levels of Crown Square for residents, along with shared access to another 109 spaces and another 13 for use by a ‘car club’. There will be 796 secure bicycle parking spaces to serve the apartments.

The Board has ordered that the apartments can only be used as long-term rentals, and none can be used for short-term lettings.

Under ‘Build to Rent’ guidelines, the development must be owned and operated by an institutional entity for a minimum period of 15 years and “where no individual residential units shall be sold separately for that period”. The 15-year period starts from the date of occupation of the first residential unit.

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

Councillors divided over vote on Salthill Prom cycleway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to install a temporary two-way cycle lane along Salthill Promenade hangs in the balance, with city councillors split ahead of a vote next week.

On Monday night, the 18 city councillors will discuss Mayor Colette Connolly’s motion that the lane be installed on the coastal side of the road from Blackrock to a point opposite Galway Business School.

A poll of the councillors carried out by the Galway City Tribune yesterday found nine in favour of the proposal, with one indicating they will abstain. A simple majority is required and if there is a 9-9 split, the Mayor holds a ‘casting’ vote, effectively a second vote.

There has been a flurry of lobbying by cycling campaigners urging councillors to vote in favour, as well as some complaints from residents worried it will again impinge on their parking as visitors to Salthill seek somewhere to park up while they swim or walk along the most utilised resource the city has.

During lockdown, Gardaí removed parking on the Prom to deter people from gathering in a public space. This resulted in motorists blocking driveways and entering private estates, leading one estate off Threadneedle Road to hire a private clamping company.

Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) believes there are a maximum of 250 spaces that would be lost to the project on one side of the road as currently proposed, including seven disabled spaces, which could be reassigned close by.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read extensive coverage of the issue and to see how each councillor intends to vote, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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