The Government has agreed a series of new Covid-19 restrictions, including a ban on spectators at all sporting events and indoor events and household gatherings being restricted to six people.
Legislation will also be introduced to give Gardaí the power to immediately shut down any pub or other premises not adhering to public health guidelines.
Taoiseach Micheal Martin said the decision had been made to introduce “significant restrictions” following an increase in Covid-19 cases, referring to “multiple significant outbreaks”. Today’s figures show 190 new cases.
All businesses have been told to allow staff to work remotely where possible, and people have been told to avoid public transport.
People over the age of 70 have been told to limit their interactions to a small number of people and do their shopping during designated hours.
The measures will remain in place until at least September 13.
“The evidence is a large number of people are acting as if the virus is no threat to them or that it’s okay to take a few more risks,” said the Taoiseach.
The main points of this evening’s announcement includes:
- All businesses should allow staff to work from home where possible.
- outdoor events and gatherings will be limited to 15 people (down from 200)
- Visits to homes will be limited to six people from outside that home and from no more than three households. This applies to both indoor and outdoor gatherings.
- Indoor events will be reduced from 50 people to just six people, except for businesses such as shops and restaurants.
- All sporting events will now take place behind closed doors. Training sessions must follow the rule of six people indoors and 15 outdoors.
- Indoor weddings and masses are exempt from the new restrictions and can hold up to 50 people.
- A mandatory closing time of 11.30pm has been introduced for pubs and restaurants.
- Public transport should be avoided where possible. (School transport arrangements will continue as planned).
- People over the age of 70 are advised to limit their interactions to a small network, avoid public transport, and shop during designated hours.
Motorcyclist killed in Galway crash
A motorcyclist has died following a crash in Renmore this morning.
Shortly after 10am, the motorcyclist – aged in his 40s – was seriously injured when his motorbike collided with a car on the R338 Old Dublin Road at Renmore Park. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.
The crash site was fully examined by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators and the road has now reopened to traffic.
The deceased was removed to the mortuary at University Hospital Galway and the Coroner has been notified.
Investigating Gardaí are appealing witnesses to come forward and have asked anyone who was travelling in the area at the time and has dashcam footage to contact them.
Wrecking ball for once-great social hub, the Corrib Great Southern Hotel
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It was the summer of ’69, and the landmark Great Southern Hotel in Eyre Square was booming.
Every evening, 180 guests – mostly American tourists – thronged its dining room for dinner. Similar numbers were served breakfast, with about 150 for lunch.
It was so busy, the semi-state company planned another 160-bedroom sister hotel, the Corrib Great Southern, on the Dublin Road.
Then the Troubles in Northern Ireland started, and “business fell off a cliff”, recalled Richard Lyons, who worked in both hotels, including 35 years as maître d in the newer one.
“They were building the Corrib when the Troubles started and they decided they had to cut back the rooms by 40. That’s how they finished with 120 bedrooms,” he said.
The hotel was opened on May 27, 1971, by Brian Lenihan Snr, the then Minister for Transport and Power, and Bishop of Galway, Michael Browne.
But the legacy of the Troubles lingered for years after, according to Renmore resident Richard – debt from State borrowing to build a new hotel up North, which was twice bombed by the IRA, threatened the very existence of the semi-state hotel group owned by CIÉ.
In the early 1980s, hotel group debt grew to nearly £8 million, and the Fine Gael and Labour Coalition Government headed by Garret Fitzgerald decided to liquidate it.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story of the hotel, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Galway City Council extends outdoor dining into October
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The summer of alfresco dining looks set to be extended into the late autumn, with Galway City Council confirming this week their plans to extend the outdoor arrangements to October 22.
Local councillors, hospitality representatives and the City Council have said this week that the extension of outdoor dining at five city locations from September 30 to October 22 next, reflects public satisfaction with the current set-up.
This week the City Council published statutory public notices to clear the way for a continuation of the existing road closures required to facilitate outdoor dining on William Street West, Raven Terrace, Dominick Street Upper, Woodquay and the Small Crane.
Johnny Duggan, Chairman of the city branch of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland and proprietor of Taylor’s Bar on Dominick Street, told the Galway City Tribune that the outdoor dining initiative during the summer had been a ‘huge success’ both from a viability and operational viewpoint.
“It has brought a life and vibrancy back into these areas in a very safe and controlled environment – the move makes sense in terms of the October 22 deadline set for the return of normal business,” he said.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story and for a proposal to bring an ice rink back to Leisureland, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.