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Connacht Tribune

A look back at the old house as we move into the new one

Francis Farragher

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START SPREADING THE NEWS . . . A scene from c. 1960, outside what were then the old offices of the Connacht Tribune on 15 Market Street, as paper boys pick up copies of the Tribune, hot off the presses, for local deliveries around the town. Pictured on the extreme right, with the paper under his arm is Seán Duignan, a young reporter with the Tribune and later of RTE. The man in the centre with the newspaper in his hand is Joe Fahy, also a Tribune reporter, and later to be the first political correspondent with RTE. The other gentleman on the left with the ‘trendy coat’, we do not know the identity of – probably just a passerby at the time. From next week, the Tribune’s new home is Unit 21, Liosbán Business Park, Tuam Road, Galway.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

A lot of the nostalgia buttons are being pressed these days from our look back to Galway’s hurling success of 1980s to a more localised one for those of us who have spent the biggest chunk of our working lives at 15 Market Street in the heart of the city. This week marks the last editions of the Connacht Tribune newspapers to be produced from our current location as we move out to a new and more compact premises in the Liosbán Business Park just off the Tuam Road.

Like the 1980 hurling final, it does seem just like yesterday since I worked my first day in Market Street – the Monday after Galway had lost the 1986 All-Ireland hurling final to Cork. Galway had destroyed Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final at Thurles when they employed the then revolutionary tactic of playing a two-man full-forward line clearing the way for Noel Lane to strike for a hat-trick of goals.

Cork though were a lot wilier for the final leaving Johnny Crowley back as a sweeper . . . and he did just that . . . cleaning up across the Munster champions’ full backline and landing the man-of-the-match accolade in the process, as Galway eventually went down on a 4-13 to 2-15 scoreline.

All week that old rhyme about Cork hurling and Christy Ring kept creeping through my head: ‘Now Cork is bet; the hay is saved; the thousands wildly sing. They speak too soon, my sweet garsun, for here comes Christy Ring’. That day in Croker, Tomás Mulcahy was Cork’s Christy Ring when he scored one of the great All-Ireland final goals after a 50-yard second-half run to swing the match their way.

Those days in the late 1980s, the printing presses of the Connacht Tribune, as well as rolling out their own three titles – The Sentinel, Connacht Tribune and City Tribune – also produced thousands of copies of other titles every week including the Tuam Herald, Clare Champion and Connaught Telegraph. Like a lot of other industries, with the passing of time, the physical production of papers moved to just a handful of locations around the country and the rumble of the printing presses in Market Street grew silent as we went through the noughties.

While 1986 was one of desperate disappointment for Galway hurlers, the next two years – ’87 and ’88 – represented the most glorious ever period for the game in the county with Cyril Farrell’s charges winning back-to-back All-Ireland titles. From a Tribune coverage point-of-view, they were also very special weekends for those of us involved, often booked into the same hotel as the team – invariably The Ashling – with Turloughmore’s, Phelim Murphy, in charge of proceedings. There was a lot more informality about the ‘mixing’ between the team, reporters and supporters in those days, and while Cyril Farrell, did like to create his own little bubble with the squad, access and contact never seemed to be a problem.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway Real Estate have attractive site for sale on the Aran Islands

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Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

Galway Real Estate have an attractive site/property for sale at Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

The site is approximately c.150 square metres. (c.1600 sq. ft.) on c.1 acre with planning permission to convert to a dwelling house and fit a new waste water treatment system. Planning Ref: 17/1284. There are two years  left on planning. The planning is for a proposed 4 bedrooms, kitchen, dining/room, laundry/room, bathroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a property ready to go. Offers in excess of €125,000 considered.

Full details from Paddy Flynn 0872557618 or Galway Real Estate on 091565488 or email: info@galwayrealestate.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Aran to welcome Ireland’s largest domestic passenger ferry

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Saoirse na Farraige

The largest domestic passenger ferry in the country is making its journey from the Far East to the Far West – ready to commence service from Galway to the three Aran Islands.

The 40-metre ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ represents a massive investment – and vote of confidence – in island tourism on the part of the owners, Aran Island Ferries.

Commissioned in January 2019, this sixth member of their fleet has a capacity of 400 – and it is expected to arrive in Galway Bay from Hong Kong in October.

The vessel departed Hong Kong last week, embarking on a 2,500 mile journey to Galway Bay – inside the hold of a heavy lift ship called Svenja’”.

Saoirse na Farraige has at least three more stops to make before arriving in Galway Bay at the end of October – and it won’t not enter service until next spring.

Aran Island Ferries Sales and Marketing Manager, Aine McLoughlin, said that they were looking forward to seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands, enjoying the increased capacity, accessibility, and safety features.

“We are really looking forward to officially launching ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ next year and seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands on board our new ferry,” she said.

Saoirse na Farraige will serve all three islands from Rossaveel – with a journey time of 40 minutes to Inis Mór, 50 minutes to Inis Meáin, and 55 minutes to Inis Oírr.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Emergency Department upgrade will happen at UHG – but it’s complicated

Denise McNamara

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The current ED at UHG.

Revamping the emergency department at UHG will involve three separate projects – leading to the hospital’s chief describing the process as ‘very complex’.

City Councillor John Connolly (FF) said the people of Galway were concerned that the new emergency department – like the ring road – would never happen, as it appeared to be so bound up in red tape.

Joe Hoare, assistant national director of estates in HSE West, told the Regional Health Forum West meeting that that outpatients department adjacent to the emergency department was being redeveloped to create more capacity for streaming Covid patients from non-Covid patients for the winter.

The outpatients department would be relocated to the Merlin Park campus. The design for this building would be completed within ten months with construction expected to begin in by last 2021 at the earliest.

An interim emergency department was the next priority so that the current building could be knocked to make way for the new state-of-the-art building, creating a new maternity department and paediatrics unit.

Since the budget for the new children’s hospital had blown out of all proportion, the rules over public projects over €100 million had changed and the Saolta hospital group had to ensure its business case for the massive project was ‘watertight’.

Mr Hoare said all three projects were moving in parallel, including the enabling works for the main build, which would take around 18 months to complete.

He described the project as Saolta’s ‘absolute top priority and was regarded as such by the national HSE organisation.

Head of Saolta, Tony Canavan, said the project was ‘big and very complex’ and required management to remain ‘very focused over a long time’.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

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