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Garda appeal Woman seriously injured after being struck in face by firework as garda chief says Eyre Square is 'no-go' area

It is understood that the firework had been launched from close to the Tourist Information Kiosk on Eyre Square

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Fireworks (stock)

Fireworks (stock)

Fireworks (stock)

Gardai are appealing for witnesses after a young woman was struck in the face by a firework in Eyre Square Galway City overnight.

The incident occurred shortly afer midnight at a bus stop near the taxi rank at the top of Eyre Square.

It is understood that the firework had been launched from close to the Tourist Information Kiosk on Eyre Square which is situated across the street from where the injured party was sitting.

Gardai said the woman suffered serious injury as a result of this incident and was removed from the scene by ambulance.

"Gardaí understand there was a large group of people in Eyre Square at the time and are now asking that any person who may have witnessed the incident make contact with the investigating team, they said in a statement.

"In particular Gardaí in Galway are appealing to anyone who may have video footage of the incident, either on mobile phone, CCTV or dash-cam to make contact with them.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact investigating Gardaí on 091-538000/ 091-538036 or the confidential line 1800 666 111.

"An Garda Síochána reminds the public that the possession of fireworks without a licence is illegal and we continue to warn the public of the dangers of their unauthorised use."

It comes as a top Garda chief has admitted that it may be necessary to close Eyre Square in Galway after claims that it has become a “no-go” area at night.

Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said he would need “another five officers in there” to curb anti-social behaviour, adding, “and I haven’t got them”.

Former mayor of Galway, Councillor Frank Fahy, said Eyre Square had become dangerous at night.

He told a City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting this week that pre-Covid the popular meeting spot was safe.

But now Cllr Fahy said the illegal activity and anti-social behaviour, which was a product of the Covid-19 pandemic and people socialising outdoors, meant people were afraid to visit parts of the city centre at night.

Cllr Owen Hanley told this week’s meeting that there’s an increasingly “unsafe atmosphere” in the city at night.

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Cllr Niall McNelis accepted gardaí are doing their best but agreed that he commonly hears complaints that “there isn’t a guard to be seen”.

Chief Superintendent Curley replied that he’d love to have a Garda on every corner of the city Monday to Sunday, but the resources are just not there.

He noted there were a number of serious assaults in the Square over the summer and said a lack of public lighting and CCTV in the area was a significant problem.

In a written reply to the JPC, Chief Supt Curley said that anti-social behaviour issues had been “de-escalated” along the city’s canals, Woodquay and Spanish Arch as a result of extra Garda patrols.

“The resulting consequences have led to crowd movement from these areas (and they) are now congregating at Eyre Square,” he said.

“Garda attention is concentrated on Eyre Square, however the return of students and the continued restrictions has led to increased numbers."

The Chief Superintendent suggested that closing Eyre Square to the public at certain hours might have to be given serious consideration in the future.

Gardaí also confirmed that since January they issued almost 500 fines for breaches of the city’s alcohol bylaws, which prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public spaces.

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