A City councillor has appealed to students not to destroy the ring buoys which have helped save the lives of many people in and around Galway, and nationally.
“More than 150 people die each year in Ireland by drowning and many have been saved by having ring buoys along river banks, lakes and the sea,” said Cllr Niall McNelis, who explained how he recently witnessed a number of schoolboys interfering with ring buoys along the Rivier Corrib, from Wolfe Tone Bridge to the Salmon Weir, by tying and wrapping the ropes around the barriers and poles they were attached to, thereby making them useless to operate.
“When I came across this and confronted them they just laughed and ran off, with no care to the possible damage they could cause. As I was unwrapping the ropes a passer-by said they were in that condition all the way up and assisted in fixing them.
“The River Corrib is flowing very fast at the moment, if you were to fall or to go into the water at the moment, for whatever reasons, five minutes is all that you would last given how cold it is right now. A lifebuoy is a chance to save someone. Those school boys I met were not drunk, not high on drugs, they were doing this as a joke or a prank, they were pure brats.
“I have written to all the city school principals and have asked them to please highlight how wrong this is and I am also appealing to everyone who passes a ring buoy that has been knotted, to stop and take five minutes to fix it. If they notice a ring buoy missing do not presume someone else has reported it, call city council parks and give the location,” said Cllr McNelis.