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Wave of protest over proposed ‘ridiculous’ city bylaws



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

Connacht Tribune

West has lower cancer survival rates than rest



Significant state investment is required to address ‘shocking’ inequalities that leave cancer patients in the West at greater risk of succumbing to the disease.

A meeting of Regional Health Forum West heard that survival rates for breast, lung and colorectal cancers than the national average, and with the most deprived quintile of the population, the West’s residents faced poorer outcomes from a cancer diagnosis.

For breast cancer patients, the five-year survival rate was 80% in the West versus 85% nationally; for lung cancer patients it was 16.7% in the west against a 19.5% national survival rate; and in the West’s colorectal cancer patients, there was a 62.6% survival rate where the national average was 63.1%.

These startling statistics were provided in answer to a question from Ballinasloe-based Cllr Evelyn Parsons (Ind) who said it was yet another reminder that cancer treatment infrastructure in the West was in dire need of improvement.

“The situation is pretty stark. In the Western Regional Health Forum area, we have the highest incidence of deprivation and the highest health inequalities because of that – we have the highest incidences of cancer nationally because of that,” said Cllr Parsons, who is also a general practitioner.

In details provided by CEO of Saolta Health Care Group, which operates Galway’s hospitals, it was stated that a number of factors were impacting on patient outcomes.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Marathon Man plans to call a halt – but not before he hits 160 races



Loughrea’s Marathon Man Jarlath Fitzgerald.

On the eve of completing his 150th marathon, an odyssey that has taken him across 53 countries, Loughrea’s Marathon Man has announced that he is planning to hang up his running shoes.

But not before Jarlath Fitzgerald completes another ten races, making it 160 marathons on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

“I want to draw the line in 2026. I turn 57 in October and when I reach 60 it’s the finishing line. The longer races are taking it out of me. I did 20 miles there two weeks ago and didn’t feel good. It’s getting harder,” he reveals.

“I’ve arthritis in both hips and there’s wear and tear in the knees.”

We speak as he is about to head out for a run before his shift in Supervalu Loughrea. Despite his physical complaints, he still clocks up 30 miles every second week and generally runs four days a week.

Jarlath receives injections to his left hip to keep the pain at bay while running on the road.

To give his joints a break, during the winter he runs cross country and often does a five-mile trek around Kylebrack Wood.

He is planning on running his 150th marathon in Cork on June 4, where a group of 20 made up of work colleagues, friends and running mates from Loughrea Athletics Club will join him.

Some are doing the 10k, others are doing the half marathon, but all will be there on the finishing line to cheer him on in the phenomenal achievement.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Galway ‘masterplan’ needed to tackle housing and transport crises



From the Galway City Tribune – An impassioned plea for a ‘masterplan’ that would guide Galway City into the future has been made in the Dáil. Galway West TD Catherine Connolly stated this week that there needed to be an all-inclusive approach with “vision and leadership” in order to build a sustainable city.

Deputy Connolly spoke at length at the crisis surrounding traffic and housing in Galway city and said that not all of the blame could be laid at the door of the local authority.

She said that her preference would be the provision of light rail as the main form of public transport, but that this would have to be driven by the government.

“I sat on the local council for 17 years and despaired at all of the solutions going down one road, metaphorically and literally. In 2005 we put Park & Ride into the development plan, but that has not been rolled out. A 2016 transport strategy was outdated at the time and still has not been updated.

“Due to the housing crisis in the city, a task force was set up in 2019. Not a single report or analysis has been published on the cause of the crisis,” added Deputy Connolly.

She then referred to a report from the Land Development Agency (LDA) that identified lands suitable for the provision of housing. But she said that two-thirds of these had significant problems and a large portion was in Merlin Park University Hospital which, she said, would never have housing built on it.

In response, Minister Simon Harris spoke of the continuing job investment in the city and also in higher education, which is his portfolio.

But turning his attention to traffic congestion, he accepted that there were “real issues” when it came to transport, mobility and accessibility around Galway.

“We share the view that we need a Park & Ride facility and I understand there are also Bus Connects plans.

“I also suggest that the City Council reflect on her comments. I am proud to be in a Government that is providing unparalleled levels of investment to local authorities and unparalleled opportunities for local authorities to draw down,” he said.

Then Minister Harris referred to the controversial Galway City Outer Ring Road which he said was “struck down by An Bord Pleanála”, despite a lot of energy having been put into that project.

However, Deputy Connolly picked up on this and pointed out that An Bord Pleanála did not say ‘No’ to the ring road.

“The High Court said ‘No’ to the ring road because An Bord Pleanála acknowledged it failed utterly to consider climate change and our climate change obligations.

“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.

“I suggest it is for the local authority to come up with a vision and then work with the Government to try to fund and implement that.”

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