Condemnation for protest on N84 which blocked ambulance and hindered frontline healthcare workers

Cllr Charity calls protest 'ridiculous' and said it had the 'potential to put peoples lives in serious jeopardy'

Photograph by Mike Shaughnessy of one of the Garda checkpoints around the city.

Photograph by Mike Shaughnessy of one of the Garda checkpoints around the city.

A protest on the N84 Headford Road, against Garda checkpoints in the area, which disrupted traffic and delayed frontline medical workers from travelling into the city, has been condemned by a local councillor.

Independent Galway county councillor, James Charity, has condemned the protest as "ill thought, ill advised and, put plainly, reckless and dangerous".

The protest took place on Monday when a group of between 20 and 30 men, at c10.15pm, congregated one and blocked the road at the point adjacent to the halting site in Carrowbrowne. Gardaí were called to the scene and a standoff ensued during which an ambulance was prevented from passing along the road for a period of time.

"Blocking a main artery in this fashion has the potential to put peoples lives in serious jeopardy," said Cllr Charity [pictured above], "as was demonstrated by the ambulance being unable to get through the blockade until the gardaí got the situation under control. That ambulance could have gone to the assistance of any one of our families.

"I'm beyond appalled by what occurred, and I understand a number of frontline medical workers travelling from the county into the city for work, as well as at least one returning home after a long shift, were prevented from proceeding along the road with some having to turn around and detour to the N83 Tuam Road to access or leave the city."

'It is imperative An Garda Síochana are not intimidated by actions like this, and continue whatever operations they deem necessary throughout this crisis absent of any pressure'

Gardaí have been operating checkpoints in the Carrowbrowne and Clonboo areas of County Galway over the last week in accordance with the national Covid-19 laws and response. A video of the protest has been circulating on social media.

"The wider community condemn the actions of those involved," said Cllr Charity. "Garda checkpoints are there to assist in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and are supported in this area. It is imperative An Garda Síochana are not intimidated by actions like this, and continue whatever operations they deem necessary throughout this crisis absent of any pressure."

Cllr Charity has called on the representative organisations for "those involved in this ridiculous protest" to condemn it in the strongest possible manner and to "intervene to ensure there is no repeat".

 

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