Galway stories of interest: council, Gardaí and GAA

There are two very interesting pieces on the front of the Galway City Tribune this week. The lede (main headline item) is “Planning probe into ‘Garda’ signature on GAA document”, with the sub-headline ‘Validity of controversial Pearse Stadium application questioned’.

The second item (not online) is again on questionable planning practices, it’s headed “Council sold residents’ car park in error”. This story appears extremely complicated and is quite difficult to understand on first reading, but it is worth a read. For non-Galwegians: you can view an electronic version of the print edition by clicking the masthead below if you wish to inform yourself further.

The main story is slightly easier to get your head around. Enda Cunningham reports a senior garda has ordered the GAA and Galway City Council to establish who signed a document submitted as part of a contentious planning application for floodlights on Pearse Stadium. The signature, purported to be that of a member of An Garda Siochana, is attached to an official letter from An Garda and was submitted as part of a the traffic management part of the application.  The superintendent at Salthill station, Noel Kelly, does not know who signed this letter.

He is quoted a saying:

On the morning of January 6 2010 I went to the planning section of Galway City Council to view the alleged document. […] I have a concern with the document entitled Pearse Stadium/Transort Traffic Arrangements which is attached to Sergeant Moloney’s letter. The [document] purports to be signed by a member of An Garda Siochana. The signature is not mine. It is not my inspector’s or Sergeant Maloney’s signature. No other persons have permissions to sign documents on behalf of An Garda Siochana.”

The GC Tribune also reports that the Council has accused the GAA of misleading them as the the number of games which would be played under the proposed floodlights. Over 100 objections have been lodged against the application by local residents and resident’s associations.

My understanding of the second story is as followings: Galway City Council had granted planning permission for two “badly-needed” schools to the Vocational Education Committee (VEC) on a site near a large housing estate in Doughiska, on the outskirts of the city. It has now emerged that planning permission was then granted for a car park to be built for residents of the housing estate on the same site, this car park has since been built. The planning permission for the car parks was granted to and, it appears, the work carried out by, McInerneys, the company who built the estate. The result is the building of the two schools,which would cater for more than 1000 pupils, may be delayed by up to four years.

It’s an odd story, councillors are even pointing out the lack of transparency surrounding it. A report was submitted about the site to Galway City Council on Friday just after The GC Tribune went to print, I’m going to look for a copy of it tomorrow, if I do get my hands on one I’ll post it here.

Two stories worth keeping an eye on, we’d be interested in hearing about any further developments, of course.

Thanks to Allan for letting us know about them.

The Galway City Tribune is part of the Connacht Tribune Group, you can pick it up around Galway for something like €2.

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