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Shortage of 3,000 homes in Galway by 2021

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The Government’s economic think tank has predicted there will be a shortage of more than 3,000 homes in Galway by 2021.

A study by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) on projected population change and housing demand has found that the number of households in Galway will increase by around 1,200 each year in the coming year.

According to Dr Edgar Morgenroth, who penned the report, there will be a shortage of homes, unless construction gets underway. He has predicted a requirement for more than 3,000 homes across Galway by 2021.

“The analysis I’ve carried out looks at population projections up to 2021 and the degree of housing need.

“Without additional completions, we’re going to be in a position where there isn’t enough housing to meet demand,” said Dr Morgenroth.

The predicted shortage comes despite previous reports showing almost 7,000 empty houses and apartments in Galway – the legacy of the Celtic Tiger property boom.

In 2010, a report from the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Awareness (NIRSA) entitled ‘A Haunted Landscape: Housing and Ghost Estates in Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland’ – found that many local authorities allowed an oversupply of housing to be created, including County Galway, with an estimated excess of 6,975 homes.

“The level of excess housing stock is such that they’re not going to run out of housing as quickly as the Dublin area. I would expect there to be a requirement for additional housing units over and above what is currently being completed by 2021,” he said.

Read more in this week’s Connacht Tribune

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Tourists duped in Galway City rental accommodation scam

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have issued another ‘beware’ warning in relation to scammers offering fictitious properties to rent in the city area.

The advice comes after a report of a several separate tourists from overseas calling to a house in Shantalla over recent weeks, thinking that they had booked rental accommodation.

It is understood that the fake rental offer had been made through a booking website, but it turned out to be a scam with the tourists having ‘parted’ weeks earlier with a deposit of several hundred euro.

Galway Garda Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Michael Walsh, said that such rental scams were an ongoing reality in relation to the accommodation sector, especially in cities like Galway with huge rental markets for long-term and short-term lets.

He said that the first pieces of advice for anyone seeking to rent a property was to only do business with an established bona-fide rental agency and to always meet the prospective landlord in the accommodation to be rented.

Sgt Walsh said that the scammers also tended to be more active at times of the year when accommodation was in major demand as in the late-Summer/early-Autumn period as students returned to third level colleges.

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

‘Unquantified amounts’ of raw sewage flowing to Galway Bay

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Unquantified amounts of raw sewage will continue to flow into the sea at Long Walk until next year at least, the authorities have conceded.

Irish Water (IW) and Galway City Council confirmed they plan to install a sensor at the outfall, which takes all of the foul sewage from the east side of the city and Oranmore.

This will measure the amount of sewage flowing into the bay, and the frequency of ‘overflow events’.

They also plan to repair a leak in the overflow pipe “early next year”.

“It is envisaged that these works will reduce the frequency of the overflows in the future and the event monitor will enable us to quantify the activation of this chamber,” the City Council said.

Remedial works were carried out by contractors for the local authority and IW in June of this year when a new tide-flex valve was fitted, which prevents tidal water entering while allowing flows from the chamber.

This followed surveys and inspections in June and November last year. But the problem of raw sewage flowing into the city’s most picturesque area persists.

The issue – highlighted in the Galway City Tribune on a number of occasions – came to the fore again this week after drone footage was shared online showing sewage flowing out into the Corrib.

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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