Connolly demands council and Let’s Do It Galway repair damaged South Park
The Global Village at South Park. Photo: Martin Kirrane
By Kernan Andrews
Despite the positive afterglow left by the Volvo Ocean Race, South Park’s use as the Global Village site has seen its surface “left in a condition that will preclude its use for some time”.
This is the view of Independent councillor Catherine Connolly who said “serious questions” must be asked about the state of South Park after its recent use as the site of the Global Village during the Volvo Ocean Race.
According to Cllr Connolly, Let’s Do It Galway had given assurances to Claddagh residents as to the specific area of South Park to be used - primarily the hard surface area with the one entrance for vehicles from the French Ville site entrance, together with the full reinstatement of the park to its original condition and a full traffic management plan.
However Cllr Connolly has alleged that “none of the conditions were complied with”, and if it were not for the Defence Forces, who laid a special surface path, “the ground which was a quagmire would have had to be abandoned”.
She also said the cycle/walk way path “was used most inappropriately as a roadway with resulting damage” while “the surface of the park has been left in a condition that will preclude it’s use for quite some time”.
Cllr Connolly is now demanding that Let’s Do It Galway and the Galway City Council “repair the damage done”.
She is also calling on City Hall to confirm the status of the master plan for South Park. In 2007 a report was issued confirming the soil in the park was contaminated. Assurances were given that immediate and urgent steps would be taken to rectify the situation.
“It is now five years later and no progress whatsoever has been made despite repeated questions,” said Cllr Connolly.
More successful has been the move to have South Park designated as an area of special amenity. This call has been supported by all city councillors and the next step is to have the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan make such a designation.
Cllr Connolly said South Park is an “entirely unsuitable” location as an events centre.
“Galway would benefit from having a convention/conference centre,” she said, “but a suitable site must be sourced as for example the site of the Corrib Great Southern and/or lands owned by the city council and other institutions in the city.”