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Wave of protest over proposed ‘ridiculous’ city bylaws

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An online petition calling on Galway City Council not to introduce “new ridiculous bylaws” has so far received the support of over 1,800 people who joined a wave of protest sparked by the proposed regulations banning ordinary pursuits enjoyed by generations of Galwegians.

There has been widespread condemnation of the proposed bylaws for parks, beaches and public spaces outlawing picking flowers, climbing trees, playing ballgames in parks and beaches, and rollerblading on the Prom which were revealed in last week’s Galway City Tribune.

Outraged Tribune reader Nathan Wynne, a local photographer, wrote in his petition: “STOP Galway City Council from introducing new ridiculous bylaws.”

In his introduction, he exclaims that the Council is considering banning “being a child”.

“As well as our workers emigrating, they’ll soon have our toddlers emigrating, too, as they soon won’t have permission to be a child in Ireland.

“They really need to sit down and work on more pressing matters for the love of God, like the drugs problem in the city, the lack of social housing, lack of disabled parking spaces. Councillors are getting paid far too much for sitting down to come up with this kind of tripe.

“One of Galway’s biggest problem is the lack of public amenities and now they have banned playing ball on a bloody beach. I just don’t know. Somebody with power in that building needs to wake up and cop on.”

Chair of the Environment, Recreation and Amenity Strategic Policy Committee Terry O’Flaherty said the draft bylaws were presented to the committee after officials were requested to prepare them.

She said they were based on ones which other councils around the country had implemented.

The proposals state that Council staff would have the power to issue an immediate fine of €75 to those they suspect of breaking the bylaws. If they refuse to pay, they could face a fine on conviction of up to €1,900 in court.

The draft bylaws stipulate that people are not allowed to “climb any tree or shrub in a park or open space or climb any fence, railing or wall in a park or open space . . . operate in a park or open space any model aircraft, model sailing vessel or any model mechanically propelled vehicle save with the permission in writing of the Council”.

“No person shall cycle or use any skateboard, roller skate, roller blades or other such apparatus in a park or open space in such manner as to cause nuisance or annoyance to other users of the park or open space or cause damage to any public property.”

“No cycling, skateboarding or similar activity is permitted in a children’s playground in a park or open space.

“No person, club or organisation shall organise or take part in the game of football or any other games or athletics save in such place in a park or open space as the Council set apart for that purpose and then only subject to and in accordance with such conditions as may be set out by the Council.

To “pluck, cut or remove any flower or blossom or any fruit on any tree, shrub or plant growing therein, other than an employee of the Council” is also banned.

No pet owners “shall take into or allow to remain in a park or open space any dog unless it is on a leash”.

The public have until October 6 to make submissions.

For more on this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

‘Horrific’ conditions at ‘temporary’ halting site

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Mould and damp around the shower, toilet and sink area in one of the units at the Carrowbrowne temporary halting site beside the Headford Road.
Mould and damp around the shower, toilet and sink area in one of the units at the Carrowbrowne temporary halting site beside the Headford Road. [File pic]

Living conditions at Carrowbrowne ‘temporary’ halting site on the Headford Road are “truly dreadful” and “distressing”, according to four University of Galway academics.

The quartet, who visited the halting site earlier this month, called on the authorities to provide “decent and culturally appropriate accommodation” for the 13 families living at the ‘temporary’ site, “as a matter of urgency”.

The call comes in the same week a former city mayor was sharply criticised for promoting ‘anti-Traveller rhetoric’.

Galway Traveller Movement urged Fianna Fáil to suspend City Councillor Michael John Crowe, pending a full investigation into comments he made in a press statement issued on Monday and repeated on local radio, about Galway City Council buying a house in Renmore for Traveller accommodation.

As that controversy raged on social media this week, Dr John Cunningham, Director of MA History, University of Galway, said he was shocked by the “scandalous” conditions he saw at Carrowbrowne ‘temporary’ halting site.

“I was at an event on campus earlier this year where President Michael D (Higgins) gave a speech and specifically denounced conditions in Carrowbrowne and he would know some of the families, who lived in the Westside area.

“So, I was aware of the circumstances but faced with the actual reality of it was just utterly shocking,” Dr Cunningham told the Galway City Tribune.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Kissing goodbye to hated gates under pilot project

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It was agreed to start the project with the gates in the Claddagh and Terryland Forest Park.

Kissing gates at South Park and Terryland Forest Park will be removed in a pilot project to assess their impact on public spaces.

Galway City Council has agreed to trial the removal or replacement of kissing gates in the city on a case-by-case basis while waiting for the completion of an audit that will be used to develop a policy on the controversial barriers at Wednesday’s Recreation and Amenity Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) meeting.

The follows anger among the cycling community that the one in South Park had been removed to facilitate a private company fun run only to be returned days later as reported in last week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway City East Councillor Owen Hanley, who attended the meeting, said it is still to be decided what barriers would be erected in their place and it would depend on the needs of the location.

“Previously I worked with Council staff on the Terryland Forest Park kissing gate along the cyclebus route and we agreed to use chicanes to slow but not stop users,” he revealed.

“Whatever goes in will allow cyclists and wheelchair users to pass. We have been given no timelines but it will be in the short-term and I will be following up on this.”

He said the Council has been discussing how to handle kissing gates since he was elected as a Social Democrat over three years ago.

“The rare instances where mopeds or motorbikes damage our green spaces does not justify the widespread use of kissing gates, in fact many times, kissing gates don’t even stop this behaviour. Kissing gates present a very real barrier to people who use wheelchairs or buggies, or cycle, preventing them for accessing public parks as well as routes to work and school.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Abuse and violence towards LGBT+ people is ‘massively under-reported’

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Fiona McDonagh-Delaney, Project Co-ordinator and Tiernan Arnup, Administration and Communications, Amach LGBT+, Westside Recource Centre. PHOTO: BRIAN HARDING.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) people in Galway continue to suffer verbal abuse, violence, and threats of violence while socialising in the city, according to advocates.

Amach, which supports the local LGBT+ community, said that homophobia and hate crimes persist despite recent legislative gains and societal change in Ireland in recent years.

A new report by An Garda Síochána highlighted that just 17 ‘hate-related incidents’ were recorded in the Galway Garda Division in 2021.

That includes hate crimes and hate-related, non-crime incidents recorded across nine discriminatory motives including age, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and gender.

But Fiona McDonagh-Delaney, project co-coordinator at Amach in the Westside Community Centre, said it was an “incredibly low figure”, that showed “massive under-reporting”.

LGBT+ Ireland reported a four-fold increase in calls to its helpline last year of people experiencing hate crime, based on their LGBT+ status, she said.

Ms McDonagh-Delaney said that was the reality on Galway’s streets too, even if the official Garda figures did not reflect that.

She said there was a “sense of normalisation” of threats of violence and violence itself, based on LGBT+ status. This had become “commonplace” in Galway and LGBT+ people avoided certain areas at weekends because of it.

“We’d know ourselves that on a Friday and Saturday night, you don’t go up around Eyre Square on a night out. You know what areas to avoid because you know you are at high risk of experiencing some form of abuse. Whether it’s verbal abuse, the threat of violence or actual violence,” she said.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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