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Public meeting on communities facing crime

Enda Cunningham

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A public meeting will be held in Salthill tonight to discuss the “crime wave” sweeping across communities throughout the country.

The meeting – organised by Fianna Fáil’s General Election candidates for Galway West – will offer a “unique insight into problems faced by communities”.

Galway Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Pat Flanagan will be in attendance, along with Bernard Kearney from community group Muintir na Tíre.

Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív said the organisers are anxious to hear from members of the public about their experiences.

“We are determined to make the fight against crime a top priority and we are anxious to hear from members of the public about their experiences.  The party is holding a series of meetings across the country to listen to the concerns of people who are worried about crime.

“We want to see more initiatives to strengthen the Gardai while making it tougher for criminal gangs to target communities.

“There needs to a radical rethink about how we tackle crime.  Fianna Fáil has put forward a 7-point plan aimed at clamping down on this crime spree – it will be one of the issues up for discussion at the meeting.

“I’m delighted that we will be joined by Sergeant Pat Flanagan and Bernard Kearney who will be giving a unique insight into the problems being faced by communities in Galway, as well as measures which can be taken to deter criminals,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

John Connolly, a former city councillor, said crime cannot be effectively tackled when garda numbers are dwindling.

“Every community across Galway has felt the effects of this crime wave that is sweeping across the country. Garda numbers have decreased significantly over the past five years under this Government, and despite commitments on Garda recruitment, it will take years before we see more boots on the ground.

“The fact of the matter is that the Gardaí need more resources now, not in a few years’ time. Not a week goes by without media reports about the latest burglary or robbery and people are becoming increasingly fearful in their own homes, especially those who are elderly or living on their own,” said Mr Connolly.

Meanwhile, county councillor Mary Hoade – also a candidate for Galway West – said: “People are really worried about their security, in both rural and urban communities.  There is real concern about burglaries and many feel a greater sense of isolation than they did a number of years ago.

“Since 2013, ten Garda stations in Galway have closed leaving communities across the county more exposed and vulnerable.  Garda numbers have also been slashed, from 601 in 2010 to 564 in February this year.

“Criminals are taking advantage of these depleted resources and we have had a number of high profile robberies, being carried out by organised gangs,” said Cllr Hoade.

The meeting will take place in the Galway Bay Hotel tonight (November 30) at 8pm.

CITY TRIBUNE

Hero’s welcome following rescue of two women on Galway Bay

Stephen Corrigan

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Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan, who rescued Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn off Inis Oirr island, on their arrival back at the Galway RNLI Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The miraculous rescue on Galway Bay yesterday of two young women from Knocknacarra brought 15 long hours of searching to a euphoric conclusion, as cousins Sara Feeney (23) and Ellen Glynn (17) were brought safely to shore.

A major search and rescue operation was launched after the pair went missing from Furbo Beach on Wednesday night, when they were swept away by a sudden wind while paddle boarding.

Claddagh fisherman and former Lifeboat shore crew member Patrick Oliver and his 18-year-old son Morgan joined the search early on Thursday morning and were the heroes of the hour after they discovered the two women on their boards, clinging to a lobster pot about two miles south-west of Inis Oírr, where despite their ordeal, they were described as “ok, but shaken”.

In the face of torrential rain and high winds overnight, both women had drifted almost 20 miles out to sea, but amazingly neither required serious medical attention.

Sara’s mother, Helen Feeney, raised the alarm shortly after 9pm on Wednesday evening when she noticed the pair missing as she walked their dog along the shore.

Sara, a daughter of Helen and Bernard Tonge, and Ellen, daughter Deirdre and well-known former captain of Galway United Johnny Glynn, were both said to be in good spirits at the hospital yesterday afternoon.

One relative told the Galway City Tribune that the family was “utterly humbled by the generosity of people” who had took part in the search and said, “unbelievable doesn’t even begin to describe it”.

“Thank you from all the family to everyone who helped, words will never express our gratitude.”
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Photo: Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan, who rescued Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn off Inis Oirr island, on their arrival back at the Galway RNLI Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway farm operators fall fowl of locals

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Neighbours of Mad Yolk Farm have asked Galway City Council to determine whether planning permission is required for a portable chicken coop earmarked for the land in Roscam.

This week, Mad Yolk Farm has indicated that it will be adding chickens to the site, which has already been the subject of planning enforcement by the local authority.

In a Facebook post, the operators said they are planning to rear organic chickens on site, with neighbours fearing as many as 450 birds in the chicken ‘caravan’.

“Our chicken caravan is now built and our beaked ladies will arrive in eight days. We’ll be moving the hens onto fresh grass each day and they’ll be free to forage for insects and take mud baths. They’ll be free to behave like a chicken should,” the business said on social media.

It has prompted a neighbour of the property to write the Council to formally ask for a declaration “whether the work/development described in the form is or is not development or is or is not exempted development under Section 5 of the Planning and Development Act”.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cold water poured on Spanish Arch ‘bushing’ sprinkler plan

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway City Council has poured cold water on a suggestion that it should install water sprinklers to deter ‘bushing’ at city centre hotspots for outdoor drinking, such as Spanish Arch.

Councillor Eddie Hoare (FG) this week said the local authority should examine providing sprinklers, to deter bushing, after Spanish Arch and Middle Arch were packed with hundreds of revellers during the sunshine last weekend, and the areas were littered with alcohol bottles and cans.

Cllr Hoare said large crowds were prohibited from gathering outside due to Covid-19 social distancing guidelines, and if the partying continued “Galway will be the next county to be locked down”.

He said CCTV cameras should be installed at Spanish Arch and Middle Arch and added: “Galway City Council should consider installing sprinklers as a long-term solution.”

However, the City Council said it was not its intention to install sprinklers.

“It’s so hot at the moment, if you put out a sprinkler anywhere in Galway, people would just dance under it. We’re so unused to this muggy heat, that if you did that (installed sprinklers), on top of your 12-pack of Bacardi Breezers, or whatever it is young people drink these days, you’d have the biggest wet t-shirt competition this side of Ibiza – people would just dance under them. No, we have no plans for sprinklers,” remarked a City Council spokesperson.

He said the Council was unaware of a separate suggestion – announced by Mayor of Galway Mike Cubbard on social media – that certain city areas be exempted from the street drinking bylaws, to allow them to be monitored and controlled.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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