City Hall is looking to remove all canopies from outside premises on Quay Street. That’s according to local councillor Billy Cameron who added that such a move is an attack on Galway’s most popular social space.
Speaking to Galway First Cllr Cameron said, “The atmosphere, ambiance, and general ‘Latin Quarter’ feel of Quay Street is under threat, not from anti-social behaviour or binge drinking but from a source that should know better - the Planning Department of Galway City Council.
“Letters emanating from the Planning Department to restaurateurs, hotel and bar owners seem to be bent on the notion of removing all semblances of what makes this area unique, bohemian and more European than any other area of the city.
“The Planning Department have issued letters en masse regarding ‘unauthorised attachment of awnings’ to all proprietors on the most photographed street in the city.”
Cllr Cameron added that he has been told by a number of the proprietors that these canopies have been in place for more than 20 years.
He added, “This is real ‘ivory tower stuff’. These officials should come and live amongst the people and get a feel for the city. Can anyone of them remember Quay Street in the ‘70s when you would not bother to walk the street, it was a desolate place devoid of atmosphere and business.”
Responding to the issue over the weekend a spokesperson for Galway City Council said that some specific restaurants on Quay Street have been written to by planning officials.
However the names of the restaurants or the reasons why they were written to were not disclosed.
The spokesperson added, “We are willing to sit down and have a discussion with any restaurant that may have complaints or issues with the situation.”