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CITY TRIBUNE

Plan to create public space in Woodquay and ban cars

Stephen Corrigan

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A local councillor has called for the introduction of a month-long pilot scheme to free Woodquay of parked cars and open it up as a public space with seating and parking for people with disabilities – creating a space where people can spend leisure time.

Green Party councillor Pauline O’Reilly said she believed this was aligned with what the residents and business-owners in the area wanted for Woodquay.

“I suppose my feeling would be to take it from where the community have proposals – go with what they’ve done.

“At the moment, people aren’t walking around that area like they should be. It doesn’t feel safe for children and vulnerable road users,” said Cllr O’Reilly.

In their annual budget this year, Galway City Council set aside €15,000 for the development of a ‘people’s park’ in Woodquay, something Cllr O’Reilly welcomed.

“In many ways, Woodquay is ahead of the curve with a locally-backed project to transform the park into a space that can be used by those with limited abilities, have interesting mounds for children to play, mature trees well-maintained, a semi-circular area to facilitate chatting with neighbours and friends and a walkway to the water,” she said.

By doing this, the area would not only be improved from an economic point of view, but also opened up to the community, she said.

“The business community could use it because it would boost economic activity, but also having a park there would open the area up so people don’t feel like it’s an intimidating place to go.

“The people’s park project is a relatively cheap way to bring people into the area which will bring business into the area, but it’s also important that people don’t have to be spending money, if they don’t want to – and that it’s just there for the community,” said Cllr O’Reilly.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City shoppers ‘intimidated’ by scourge of street drinkers

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Street drinking and associated anti-social behaviour in Galway is dissuading customers from entering popular city centre stores.

The proprietor of a well-known business has raised concerns over “ongoing intimidating behaviour” outside shops on the city’s main thoroughfare.

“We have had customers turn away because they sometimes feel threatened by the atmosphere they encounter outside,” the store manager said.

Meanwhile, businesses ‘back the West’ are also concerned about drug dealing and drug taking in the area. Simon Heaslip, Chair of Galway’s Westend, said the area’s biggest problem is “open [drug] dealing in Pump Lane that takes place on a regular basis”.

“There is also a large amount of anti-social behaviour in Fr Burke Park with either underage drinking or drug dealing and drug taking,” Mr Heaslip said.

The concerns were communicated to Galway Business Watch, which held a meeting yesterday (Thursday) at Galway Chamber’s office to discuss retailers’ concerns about crime and anti-social behaviour. Galway Gardaí and Galway City Council representatives addressed the meeting.

Former mayor, Councillor Niall McNelis (Labour) said the experiences of both businesspeople was “startling”.

“I think it is startling that in the city centre you have examples of where policing is falling down,” said Cllr McNelis, a member of Galway City Joint Policing Committee (JPC).
This is a preview only. For full coverage and to read the Council statement in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Kids training next to heroin users ‘shooting up’

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Young people are training for a city rowing club while addicts are ‘shooting up’ heroin at all times of the day and night on a lane beside them without any fear from the authorities.

That was the claim made by Gerard Nally of Galway Rowing Club, who said his pleas for something to be done about the huge amounts of drugs paraphernalia left beside their boat shed at Waterside have been ignored.

There are very regularly between two and ten people using needles in an area located behind the ‘Plots’ in Woodquay between the old railway line, the rowing club boat shed and the Special Olympics Kayak Club and fronting onto Steamer’s Quay.

The ground is covered with drug paraphernalia such as syringes, empty vials of sterile water, disposable spoons (for ‘cooking up’ the drugs) and dozens of pocked-sized ‘sharps bins’, which are for the disposal of used syringes. The area is also littered with blackened squares of tin foil, which are used for smoking heroin.

“Kids are training in one room and guys shooting up next door,” Mr Nally exclaimed.

“We’ve been on and on to the [City Council] to clean this up and close it off and we’ve been onto councillors, but we don’t seem to be getting anyone to do anything about this. It’s been going on for years.”
This is a preview only. For full coverage and to read the Council statement in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Lidl plans new supermarket in the Westside

Enda Cunningham

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An aerial view of the entire Arch Motors site, adjacent to Aldi. Under the plan, the former showroom would be demolished and a new Lidl built, while Monaghan's filling station would not be affected.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – German discount supermarket chain Lidl has drawn up plans for a €3 million store on the site of the former Arch Motors in the Westside.

The company has applied to Galway City Council for permission to demolish part of the empty Arch Motors premises and construct a new foodstore and off licence.

The Monaghan’s filling station and shop will remain in situ and are not affected by the plans.

According to Lidl, the new supermarket would create between 40 and 50 jobs in construction and up to 25 full-time jobs when operational.

The supermarket chain said the new premises will be in addition to its existing stores at Headford Road and Doughiska, and the planned store in Knocknacarra, which is currently a separate application before the City Council.

“The subject site is currently significantly underutilised despite its strategic location adjoining and functioning as part of the existing Westside District Centre. The applicant is seeking to secure the beneficial use of the site and its redevelopment will considerably enhance the appearance of the site and its contribution to the established commercial area at Westside,” the application reads.
This is a preview only. For full coverage and to read the Council statement in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

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