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Salmon traps on Corrib ‘unsafe’


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Salmon traps on Corrib ‘unsafe’ Salmon traps on Corrib ‘unsafe’

Health and safety concerns over decommissioned salmon and eel traps in the Corrib have led to calls for their removal.

Councillor Níall McNelis (Lab) said this week that there was an opportunity, while the new Salmon Weir Pedestrian Bridge was being constructed, to rectify a long-standing concern of local emergency services.

The traps and their concrete pillars, located between the Salmon Weir and O’Brien’s Bridge, have been the source of much criticism as they pose a risk to safety for emergency responders carrying out lifesaving and recovery operations in the river.

“We’re building a new bridge at the moment and there is an obvious opportunity here to improve water safety,” said the Labour councillor.

The structure, located in an area historically known as Queen’s Gap, has been out of use for years, and poses a risk to emergency services, said Cllr McNelis, and it had been flagged as an issue by the Gardaí, the RNLI, the Fire Service, Claddagh Watch and others.

“It’s too dangerous for them to go into the water. I have deep concerns that with the location of the new pedestrian bridge that this will become more of an issue if anyone is to end up in the water.

“This structure is a hindrance to lifesaving and recovery efforts and it serves no purpose at all – it needs to go,” said Cllr McNelis.

Questions of heritage should not surpass the importance of life on Galway’s waterways, he said.

There had been difficulty in identifying who was responsible for its removal, continued Cllr McNelis, but the Council as local authority had a duty to ensure whoever was responsible dealt with it.

“Nobody wants to take ownership. I don’t care if it’s the City Council, the Lough Corrib Navigation Trust, Inland Waterways or whoever – it needs to be addressed and somebody just needs to make a decision and get on with it.

“Its continued presence means that crucial time is lost as emergency services try to do their job,” he said.

Private individuals with the machinery to carry out the work had approached Cllr McNelis offering to do the work, but those in authority needed to make a call sooner rather than later, added Cllr McNelis.


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