Councillor calls for action to tackle horses roaming in Ballybane

The lives of people living in a Galway City Council estate on the east side of the city are being turned to misery as a result of problems caused by horses freely roaming the area, posing a danger to children who cannot be let out to play according to a Galway city councillor.

Local Independent councillor Terry O’Flaherty said that despite several complaints being made to the council, nothing has been done to solve the problems at Sliabh Rua in Ballybane.

Cllr O’Flaherty said; “Sulky carts are being ridden up and down the green area in the middle of the estate and horses are being left to roam everywhere, causing damage to residents’ gardens and making people nervous.

“Parents are afraid to let their children out to play in case they get hurt by one of these animals, pick up ticks, or something from manure left all over the place by the horses.

“People are also afraid driving to and from their homes — it is not safe even to do that, they do not know when they might encounter a loose horse and the risk of injury or damage to their cars that could pose.”

She said that the problem had been going on since the estate was built many years ago and it was unfair that residents should have to put up with anti-social behaviour for so long.

Cllr O’Flaherty has written to city council officials several times, twice in the past month, expressing her frustration at a lack of action by the council, which has responsibility for the estate.

Cllr O’Flaherty added; “CCTV was installed in the area some time ago but it has not made any difference to the residents in relation to the horses problem.

“They find it hard to understand how people are allowed to keep horses as pets in a built-up residential area like this.

“As one woman said to me, they would be penalised for not having a dog licence, parking on a yellow line, or having no tax or insurance, so why should those who let horses run free in a housing estate go without repercussions?

“I am calling now again on the Galway City Council to face up to their responsibilities to the residents of Sliabh Rua and other estates on the eastside to take action to put an end to this problem once and for all.”

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