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Rogue rickshaws an ‘accident waiting to happen’

Dara Bradley

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Rickshaws – three-wheeled pedal vehicles – continue to flout the law and operate on the city’s streets, it has been claimed.

City Councillor Frank Fahy (FG), a taxi driver, said the local authority will end up liable for a massive insurance bill if illegal rickshaws knock down a tourist on Shop Street.

He said City Council signs indicate that Shop Street is a pedestrian zone but rickshaw operators keep plying their trade there.

“If there is an accident, the City Council will be liable. Shoppers and revellers use pedestrian zones on the premise that they are for pedestrians only – not for rickshaws, which have been outlawed but they’re still there late at night,” he said.

Rickshaws are banned on the city’s pedestrian areas since bye-lwas were introduced in the past couple of years.

Cllr Terry O’Flaherty complained at the Joint Policing Committee about pedestrians dressed all in black. She said they were endangering their lives but not wearing high-vis jackets or lights.

Garda Chief Superintendent Tom Curley agreed that high-visibility jackets are essential for health and safety of pedestrians and other roads users.

He said Gardaí hand out thousands of luminous jackets free every year, as does the local authority. He said it was up to individuals to wear them – Gardaí cannot make people wear them.

Chief Supt Curley said he’d love to be able to issue “penalty points” to people who don’t wear high-vis jackets but some people might not be happy with that scenario.

In response to questioning from Cllr O’Flaherty in relation to cyclists running red lights and going straight through traffic lights endangering theirs and other people’s lives, Chief Supt Curley said his Gardaí on the beat were monitoring cyclists who flout the law.

City Councillor Pádraig Conneely (FG), slammed cyclists for illegal manoeuvres on city streets and claimed that they were prone to cycling the wrong way down one-way streets.

“They’re a law unto themselves,” he said.

City Councillor Catherine Connolly, later in the meeting defended cyclists. She said that cyclists were getting a bad name, and she didn’t want the message to go out there that cyclists were a problem.

She said that many issues with cyclists stem from motorists who are not willing to share road space with other users. She challenged members of the JPC to cycle the city with her to see how difficult it is.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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