Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley
City councillors, local authority employees, media and the public cannot attend in-person meetings of Galway City Council unless they are vaccinated.
The City Council is not allowed to ask staff if they are vaccinated. But in order to attend monthly Council meetings, which for Covid reasons are now taking place in the Galmont Hotel instead of City Hall, councillors and the Council executive must produce Covid certs.
No vaccine, no in, and as comedian Pat Shortt might add, ‘Ye may as well go back to town’ – or, in this case, back to attending meetings online on Zoom if you can’t prove you are immune (fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid within six months).
The situation means that the highly unsatisfactory hybrid meetings – with attendees online and in person – will continue for the foreseeable.
It also raises issues of fairness and of the rights of those who are unvaccinated – for whatever reason – to attend their place of work. City councillors and the management team of Galway City Council are employees. Do they not have the same rights as the rest of us to attend their place of employment?
Well, it turns out no; not when their place of employment is outsourcing its meetings to a private hotel.
The practice of attendees having to fill out self-health declaration forms, stating they have no symptoms remains in place, the same as it was for Council meetings in the publicly owned Leisureland.
Attendees of the November Council meeting were told that the Galmont Hotel, “will be checking for vaccination certification as per their guidelines below, as it is required for indoor hospitality.”
The Fáilte Ireland guidelines, included in the email, said: “Government regulations in relation to evidence of Covid-19 vaccination or immunity following recovery should be implemented. Organised indoor events and mass gatherings are permitted where all patrons are immune (fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 within previous six months) or accompanied minors (under 18). It is important that businesses should check photo ID when checking proof of immunity. There are some limited circumstances when this may not be necessary e.g. where a person is well-known to the business. Unaccompanied minors are required to present proof of immunity.”
Most people will accept the guidelines, given the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic and for the greater good. But being asked to produce vaccine certs in order to go to work does stray into a grey area . . . and it’s one the anti-vaxxers will have a field day with.
This is a shortened preview version of Bradley Bytes. To read more, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
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“That tells us something about An Bord Pleanála and the management that submitted such a plan.”
In the end, Minister Harris agreed that there needed to be a masterplan for Galway City.
Official opening of Galway’s new pedestrian and cycle bridge
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He directed that a further 11 land parcels in the city should become “unzoned”.
Cllr Declan McDonnell said, “What he [Minister O’Donnell] has done is an absolute disgrace”.
And he asked: “Do we have to have another development plan meeting to deal with it?”
The Save Roscam Peninsula campaign welcomed the Minister’s decision.