Council told to respect ratepayers and stop Eyre Square commercialisation

Commercial activity in Eyre Square is to be severely curtailed following representations made by Fianna Fail city councillor Ollie Crowe who pressed the Galway City Council to respect ratepayers and revoke any commitments already made.

The Fianna Fáil councillor highlighted the issue while discussing the Regional Cities Bike Rental Scheme at Monday night’s Galway City Council meeting. Cllr Crowe criticised the practice of commercial entities such as fizzy drink companies and national tabloids handing out their products free, as well as banks operating out of mobile structures in Eyre Square.

“There is no respect for the ratepayers,” said Cllr Crowe, adding that the “commercialisation of Eyre Square” is undermining businesses in the area.

Director of services for housing and social inclusion, environment, recreation and amenity, Thomas Connell, said the commercial activity in Eyre Square was being examined and in the future it would be restricted to use for community groups as of the end of this summer.

“Any activities that are commercial will not be allowed in Eyre Square,” said Mr Connell.

However, this failed to fully satisfy Cllr Crowe who noted that a previous director of services had made a commitment that this would not happen in 2014. Cllr Crowe requested that no further ad hoc commercial activity take place in Eyre Square and that any commitments already given for 2014 would be revoked.

“Councillors have been contacted by businesses in Eyre Square about this. It’s no way to treat the ratepayers who give millions to run this city. I’m asking the director of services to revoke the permits. We’re sick, sore, and tired of this. Commerical entities have no care for this city,” said Cllr Crowe. Mr Connell then agreed to revoke the commitments. It is understood that the ban will not apply to community groups or companies who have sought licence from the council.

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