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Galway City Councils' Quaystone Cops versus Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon
Thursday August 13, 2009 21:10 by TD - Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon
A pantomine the wrong side of Christmas?
Yesterday morning, in a pantomine the wrong side of Christmas that elicited mirth, bemusement, alarm and some head scratching from passersby but which outraged an IFPAL activist watching over his charge, two Galway City Council workmen, shovel in hand, boarded a stage prop in the shape of an old pontoon in Claddagh Quay and as if the water were a potato drill, dug and shovelled their way out to the raft; MV IFPAL 2 - proudly displaying two large placards urging voters of conscience to Vote No in the Lisbon referendum. Resisting advice, shouted from the quayside, to give up their 'aul sins, behave in decent fashion and leave our raft be, a stickler for duty, one of Galway City Councils' Quaystone Cops, instead ...
fished out a knife, cut the anchor rope, dug his way back to the water front as if he were a contender in the ploughing championships and then doing a Laurel and Hardy on it skedaddled with his work mate down the road when an irate member of the public berated them. See video http://www.politube.org/show/1929
Following last summer's predation of our signs by Limerick City Council on spurious and risible grounds and the loss a few days ago of the IFPAL 1 raft anchored at Dublin's Ha'penny bridge, there's a clear policy of intolerance and ethical cleansing out there but it will and is being confronted, the justification for yesterday's attempted disappearing was that permission was necessary, presumably on the grounds of husbandry and keeping the city in pristine condition, from the Corrib Navigation Trust, then, if that's the case, it's most illuminating that the blind eye was turned to the considerable stinking carpet of rubbish and debris some 40 ft away from the raft and the cleansing and disappearing of it with frantic haste and criminal damage was prioritised instead.?
Below is a letter from Sean Clinton, cofounder of IFPAL to Joe McGrath, City Manager, Galway City Council
Dear Mr. Grath,
This morning Wednesday 12th August officials from Galway City moved with haste bordering on urgency to remove a small raft which had been anchored in the Claddagh Basin late on Tuesday evening.
In order to remove the raft the officials boarded an old, unstable pontoon moored in the basin. Using shovels as oars they paddled out to the centre of the basin. In doing so they placed themselves, and others who might have been called to rescue them in the event of an accident, at considerable risk. This action in itself must surely constitute a serious breach of the health and safety standards of Galway City Council and certainly falls far short of the standards and example expected from a body such as Galway City Council.
In their haste to remove the raft the officials paddled past a carpet of unsightly litter and rubbish which the City Council appears to be in no hurry at all to remove. On reaching the raft they were unable to raise the anchor as the pontoon was far too unstable a platform from which to lift a heavy anchor. Although the raft carried a sign with the owners' contact details the officials chose to sever the anchor rope and tow the raft to the shore.
The raft is the property of the Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon (IFPAL) and a member of that organisation was on the scene and filmed the entire operation. We have since learned that the Canal is managed in trust by the Corrib Navigation Trustees. Had we known this was the situation we would have sought their permission before mooring the raft in the basin.
We believe that the actions of Galway City Council were unsafe and unreasonable. IFPAL should have been afforded the courtesy of being informed that there was a problem with the raft and given the opportunity to remove it. Instead, the City Council at taxpayer expense dispatched two employees who unnecessarily placed themselves and others at risk, damaged our property and lost our anchor.
Can you please inform me exactly why Galway City Council considered the removal of this raft necessitated such extraordinary and urgent action and what action the City Council will now take to repair the damage and replace the missing anchor?
Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon
Knife in hand, workman about to sever the anchor rope
Carpet of detritus on Claddagh Quay waters