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Plan to make safe GMIT student attack laneway

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A plan is to be put in place to make safe a short-cut near Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) where students have been attacked and robbed walking at night to their accommodation.

Galway City Council is planning to provide street lighting at the laneway beside the Merlin Bar along the old Dublin Road.

The laneway is a shortcut used to get to students accommodation at Gleann na Rí, as well as the apartments beside Bodkin’s Bar and the residential estate, Lios an Uisce.

GMIT Students Union claimed in the Connacht Sentinel that some of its members had been attacked at night while it was pitch black walking home from college.

They also complained that the laneway was liable to flood, which forced people to climb side walls to get by.

Senior officials at the City Council have confirmed they plan to put in lighting, and sort out the flooding crux.

“We are awaiting prices for improved public lighting at this location and will provide the public lighting in due course. We wish to inspect the site again when it is subject to ponding to determine a low cost solution to the issue,” a senior engineer has confirmed.

The attacks at the laneway were highlighted by City Councillor Terry O’Flaherty and GMIT Students Union President, Sam O’Neill, in the Connacht Sentinel.

Independent Councillor O’Flaherty this week welcomed progress on the matter and thanked officials at City Hall for progressing the plans to improve the safety of residents and students using the short-cut.

“This is a matter of safety. Safety of students and the people who live in the area has to be of primary importance. I brought this to the attention of the relevant director of services and I am very pleased that Galway City Council will respond positively to my request. It is very important that lighting is put in place, especially now that the dark evenings are approaching,” said Cllr O’Flaherty.

CITY TRIBUNE

Water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna due to burst watermain

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – There are water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna this morning due to a burst watermain

The burst is in a rising main from Clifton Hill in Galway City to Tonabrucky Reservoir

The city council and Irish Water says while every effort is being made to maintain supply to as many customers as possible, the burst has caused water levels in Tonabrucky Reservoir to deplete

Houses and businesses in Knocknacarra, Barna and surrounding areas will experience low pressure and outages.

Dedicated water service crews have mobilised and repairs are underway and are expected to be completed by mid-afternoon.

Traffic management will be in place and Letteragh Road will be closed between Sliabh Rua and Tonabrucky Cross until 6pm.

Householders and businessses are being asked to conserve water where possible to reduce the pressure on local supplies and allow reservoir levels to restore.

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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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