The Mayor of Galway City, Councillor Eddie Hoare, has insisted the city is safe despite a spate of violent public order incidents in September, which he said were “not good for Galway’s reputation.”
Cllr. Hoare also confirmed that city officials remain on high alert following last month’s violent clashes between two rival factions at Galway Shopping Centre when a car was driven into a crowd at speed.
Gardaí have reportedly arrested 19 people for alleged breaches of public order at Galway Shopping Centre car park. As a result of the incident a man and a woman were taken to hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Bystander footage of the car park clashes and a connected street fight, also in September, near Eyre Square has been widely shared on social media.
“Galway has a really good reputation locally, nationally and internationally as a safe tourism destination,” said Cllr. Hoare. “Incidents like this are not good for Galway’s reputation.”
Cllr. Hoare said that he appreciated the Gardaí’s confirmation that arrests had been made and that he fully trusted the Courts and an Garda Síochána.
“This was an isolated incident… It’s important that they don’t re-escalate,” he said. “It has been addressed, and it’s important that message goes out that this won’t be accepted.
“Hopefully, we can move on from it,” added Cllr. Hoare.
Last month, Galway City Council and an Garda Síochána issued a joint statement on cooperation in response to the incidents following a meeting between the Mayor, Acting City Council Chief Executive Patricia Philbin and senior Gardaí.
In the joint statement, City Council representatives said that they were committed to supporting the Gardaí in their role of keeping people safe in the community in the areas of crime prevention, detection, and enforcement, in accordance with the law.
Meanwhile, with Galway’s annual Baboró International Children’s Festival starting later this month, Cllr. Hoare said “it’s important as a city that we continue to protect Galway’s great reputation.”
Galway is known as the ‘city of festivals’ and is regarded as one of the safest and most relaxed cities to visit. Add in the 30,000 students who arrive each autumn at both of its universities, and you have a small city with an international feel.
The annual July International Arts Festival attracts thousands of people and involves hundreds of artists. The Galway Races also attract horseracing enthusiasts from around the globe to Ballybrit Racecourse every August and October.
Galway City has Purple Flag accreditation for promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and residents.
It was first awarded the purple flag in 2015 and has retained it ever since for its world renowned vibrant and safe evening and nighttime economies.