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Sick thugs put razor blades on kids’ slides

Denise McNamara

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A handful of “sick thugs” are melting razor blades into children’s slides, loosening screws on swings and rubbing dog excrement into play equipment in a concerted string of attacks on playgrounds across the city over the past few months.

City councillor Niall McNelis said he was aware of a number of play areas which had been vandalised in a particularly vicious manner recently.

He urged the public to be vigilant and report any damage to the Gardaí in a bid to curb the antisocial behaviour.

His call was echoed by Independent councillor Mike Cubbard, who voiced his anger over the significant vandalism caused to what was once a state-of-the art facility in the Westside.

A fire last Halloween has ruined the skate park and the popular swing and zip line has been left unusable.

Cllr McNelis said the Cappagh Park playground in Knocknacarra has been closed for nearly three months for a complete overhaul due to vandalism as well as wear and tear. It is now earmarked for reopening in a fortnight after Galway City Council ordered new equipment.

And Cappagh Park is not alone.

“There are a couple of cases of bad, sick individuals who have melted razor blades into slides to cut the kids as they go down. I’ve heard of a few cases where they’ve smeared dog dirt on the bars and slides and burned out a wheelie bin and threw it onto of the basket swing,” he fumed.

“They go and loosen the screws on the swings so they’re rocking back and over and breaking bottles at the bottom of the slides so the kids fall into glass. These are just sick thugs.”

While he declined to name the actual playgrounds to ensure they were not stigmatised, the representative from Knocknacarra said this is an issue on all sides of the city.

“I don’t think it’s the same people doing it. It’s large groups of youngsters egging each other on trying to impress the girls. We just don’t have facilities for kids aged between 15 and 18 – not that that’s an excuse for melting razor blades onto a slide,” he insisted.

For more on the issue of playground vandalism, see this week’s Galway City Tribune

Connacht Tribune

Gardaí seek help in locating missing man

Enda Cunningham

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Gardaí have sought help in locating a man missing in Galway since the end of December.
34-year-old Luke Davoren was last seen in the University Road area on December 30.

He is described as having fair hair, 6ft in height and having an athletic build. He was last seen wearing a grey hoody, brown leather jacket, blue jeans and brown leather boots. He also had a black back pack in his possession.

Gardaí and Luke’s family are very concerned for his welfare and have urged him to make contact.

Anyone with information, particularly any road users with dash cam footage of the Newcastle/University Road areas between 1am – 2am on December 30, is asked to contact Galway Garda Station on 091 538000.

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Daredevil’ swimmers are a fatality waiting to happen

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – ‘Daredevil’ winter sea swimmers who dive or jump into the water in places like Blackrock during adverse weather are putting their own lives at risk – and possibly those of rescuers – by their actions, it was warned this week.

Water Safety Ireland have cautioned that the biggest single contributor to drownings in Ireland is what is known as ‘cold water shock’ – a condition caused by the sudden entry into a cold body of water.

There is now growing concern that a copycat trend is emerging with young people – without wet suits – diving or jumping into the sea in stormy or icy-cold weather.

Several people have been filmed on social media in the sea at Salthill during storms – with a number of them taking ‘running jumps’ off the diving tower at Blackrock.

Roger Sweeney, Deputy CEO of Water Safety Ireland, told the Galway City Tribune that people jumping into the sea during storms showed at best a reckless disregard for their own safety and in a worst-case scenario represented ‘a fatality waiting to happen’ for the jumpers – or the persons trying to rescue them.

“Jumping into cold water puts you at risk of cold shock which can result in immediate incapacitation and doing so in storm conditions can make it difficult to get back out of the water safely and promptly before hypothermia sets in.

“Hypothermia leads to the cooling of the muscles needed in the arms and legs to stay afloat. Drownings typically happen when someone over-estimates their ability and under-estimates the risks,” said Mr Sweeney.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune, that the key thing for all people who enjoyed the water and the sea was to carefully plan their exercise or hobby.

“Cold water shock is a real danger at this time of year for all swimmers. Be prepared – have your cap, ear plugs, mats, woolly cap [after leaving the water] and towels all in place. Check the weather forecast and check the tides – and never, ever just jump straight into the water during the colder season.”

(Photo: Diving into the water at Blackrock during Storm Bella in December)
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

Developer banks on boom in rental property market

Enda Cunningham

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The backer of the Crown Square scheme in Mervue is planning an increase in the number of apartments in the development following a review of the economic viability of the project.

The 345 apartments will specifically target the rental market.

Crown Square Developments Ltd, which is operated by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has told Galway City Council that the amended plans will form part of a new planning application to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála under ‘Strategic Housing Development’ legislation.

According to the company, the property market has changed since it was granted permission in November 2019 for 288 apartments in three blocks ranging from five to eight storeys in height.

Mr Rhatigan has now sought planning permission for an 18% reduction in the overall size of basement levels and a reduction in car parking from 1,377 to 1,012 spaces. Cycle parking spaces will increase from 1,110 to 1,200.

The plan also involves the relocation of the vehicular and pedestrian access to the development on the Monivea Road, which will now be closer to McDonagh Avenue. The existing planned access is at the south-easternmost point of the site, but is now planned to move further west.
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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