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20,000 are expected at Pearse Stadium for homecoming

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Up to 20,000 supporters are expected to gather in Pearse Stadium on Monday for the homecoming of the Galway minor and senior hurling teams.

GAA officials expect the teams – win or lose – to arrive by bus in Salthill at 6pm for a “family atmosphere” evening of entertainment.

The city is already in ‘carnival mode’ – awash with maroon and white flags, bunting and painted buildings.

And Galway City Council is backing the initiative shown by many business owners, but with the reminder that flags and banners should be taken down within a week of Sunday’s finals.

Video: ‘To Win Just Once’. Wishing the Galway hurlers the best of luck from the Connacht Tribune Group.

“Galway City Council are delighted that the Galway hurlers have gotten as far as they have, and we fully back the teams in Croke Park and look forward to a triumphant return on Monday.

“We are delighted the city of Galway has joined in celebrating the achievements so far. There are regulations in relation to what you can put up [flags etc] and what can be done.

“We’re not spoilsports, but no matter what the result, within about a week, everything should be taken down again.

“Three years ago, there wasn’t the same atmosphere around. The city is showing great community spirit and civic pride – we’re the friendliest city in the world, and we embrace all aspects of culture, including the great tradition of hurling, ahead of the European Capital of Culture 2020 bid,” a Council spokesperson said.

For the homecoming on Monday, Michael Larkin, Galway Hurling Board Chairman said the teams will come to Galway by bus, leaving Dublin at 1pm.

At 3.15pm or 3.30pm, there will be a stop-off in Ballinasloe, before the teams leave for Pearse Stadium with an expected arrival time of 6pm.

The matches on Sunday are set to be screened on a three-metre wide screen in Eyre Square.

The Galway City Business Association has been given permission to park EZ Living Furniture’s mobile big screen on the green at the bottom (Meyrick side) of the Square.

The event’s licence application to the Council is for a gathering of up to 1,000 people.

For lots more on the All-Ireland Finals, as well as a 32-page supplement, see this week’s Galway City Tribune

Connacht Tribune

Confusion reigns – but publicans continue serving pints outdoors

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Galway City publicans continued this week to serve alcohol in newly created on-street outdoor dining sections – despite warnings from Gardaí that it was against licensing laws.

The local branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) said it is hoping Government will, if necessary, introduce legislation that facilitates pubs serving alcohol in public spaces reclaimed for outdoor hospitality.

On Friday last, our sister newspaper, Galway City Tribune revealed that Gardaí had visited a number of city pubs warning they were not legally permitted to serve alcohol outdoors in temporary on-street seating areas created by Galway City Council.

Publicans were told that if they continued to flout the rules, files would be sent to the DPP.

When the crux subsequently hit the national headlines, Justice Minister Heather Humphreys urged Gardaí to ‘use their discretion’.

“The overwhelming majority of licensed premises are operating safely, and we in Government are determined to continue to support them. If local issues arise, I would urge local authorities, Gardaí and businesses to engage.

“However, I will also examine whether further measures are required from Government. Licensing law is a complex area but I have spoken to the Attorney General this morning and we will take further action if necessary,” Minister Humphreys said.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Apple plans second bite at Athenry data centre

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An artist's impression of the proposed Apple Data Centre.

Apple intends to have another bite at plans to build a data centre in Athenry.  Apple Operations Europe has applied to Galway County Council for more time to construct a controversial data centre on a greenfield site at Derrydonnell.

The company said it will identify “interested parties to develop the project” between now and 2026 to meet global growth in demand for data storage facilities.

It will spark hope in the County Galway town of a revival of the €850 million project that was dogged for years by planning delays and court appeals and was subsequently shelved. It may also attract fresh objections.

The world’s largest technology company was granted planning permission to build a €850 million data centre near Athenry in 2015.

An appeal to An Bórd Pleanála by a handful of local residents was not successful, and the planning appeals board confirmed the local authority’s decision in 2016.

But the company ultimately aborted its plans for County Galway in 2018 after three objectors sought a review of the decision through the courts.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Mum’s dream holiday turns to nightmare after cancer diagnosis

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Julia McAndrew, in hospital in Mexico.

A mother who went to Mexico on a dream holiday to spend Christmas with family is too weak to return home after being diagnosed with advanced cancer.

From the minute Julia McAndrew landed in the South American country, her health took a major downward spiral.

Her son and daughter were shocked when she asked for a wheelchair to make it through the airport.

She and daughter Eliska had flown out to see her son Patrick, who had relocated to Mexico to run an online learning business.

They initially thought she had fallen ill due to the rigours of a 22-hour, multi-stop flight.

But when her stomach problems did not improve and she began to lose a lot of weight and suffered from very low energy, they sought medical help.

This had to be done privately and without the financial help of an insurance company, Patrick reveals.

She was initially diagnosed with anaemia and kidney failure and underwent various treatments, including blood transfusions that appeared to be working.

But three weeks ago, medics discovered that what she had was Stage 4 breast cancer. Julia had cancer a decade ago but was given the all-clear after receiving treatment and a major change in lifestyle.

“It’s returned with a vengeance this time around. It’s spread to her pelvis, ribs and lungs,” reflects Patrick.

The cost of the treatment is $40,000 (€33,000) a month. Her family are hoping to build up her strength enough to endure the long flight home to Oranmore.

They have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise €280,000 to pay for her treatment and in less than a week a phenomenal €36,000 has been donated.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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