Discarded syringes and hypodermic needles is a problem around certain areas of Galway and City Hall must “immediately tackle” any reports of such discarded items.
This is the view of Labour city councillor Niall McNelis after he was contacted recently by a constituent who had reported discarded syringes and needles in a public space in the west of the city. She told Cllr McNelis that two weeks after she had reported the incident to City Hall, “the area is in the same sorry state - the needles lying in the exact same place and more waste is being accumulated.”
Cllr McNelis raised the issue with council officials and was given assurances that the syringes, etc, would be cleared away, and this week, an assurance that the area was now cleared of the debris. However the councillor told the Galway Advertiser that he would be going to the affected site “to inspect it for myself and to make sure”.
At a Joint Policing Committee meeting in City Hall four months ago, councillors were given an assurance by the officials that any reports of syringes or needles found discarded in parks, playing pitches, or any other public space, is dealt with immediately and removed by the council’s parks department, which has special training and equipment to dispose of such material safely.
Cllr McNelis is calling on City Hall to “always deal with such reports immediately”. He is also calling on the public to report any instances of syringes or needles discarded in public places, but “under no circumstances should the public touch them or attempt to clear them away. Leave that to the council as it has the material to deal with this”.
At Monday’s Joint Policing Committee meeting in City Hall, councillors were presented with figures on drug use in the city. It is understood that there are some 300 users of methadone in Galway, and 180 to 200 heroin users.