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CITY TRIBUNE

Amenity plans to give ‘mini’ rugby club a foothold in the community

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At the launch of the Galway Bay Rugby Club’s Thousandaire fundraiser in O’Reilly’s Bar, Salthill, were: Anthony O’Reilly, sponsor; Brian Harte, club chairperson; Peter McCabe, Connacht Rugby Club prop; Richard Hartmann, of Hartmann’s Jewellers; John Ryan, sponsor from the Ardilaun Hotel; Aengus Burns, sponsor from Grant Thornton; Steve Crosbie of Connacht rugby; Conor Carey, Connacht Rugby; and Jimmy Duffy, forwards coach with Connacht Rugby.

Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

Galway Bay Rugby Club – formerly Barna Knocknacarra Rugby Club – may be one     of the youngest sporting entities in the region but it is also one of the most progressive with plans already afoot to expand with the aid of proposals before Galway City Council.

Chairman of Galway Bay RC, Brian Harte is in high spirits when he sits down with Talking Sport and he has every reason to be. Earlier in the week, he received the second draft of Galway City Council’s proposals on the ‘Kingston Recreation & Amenity Zoned Lands’.

In the updated and redrawn plan, it is proposed an array of new facilities would be installed and made available to a myriad of social and sports clubs, including Galway Bay RC, at Kingston and at Miller’s Lane.

“The new document was emailed to me last night by the City Council and we are absolutely delighted (with the proposals),” says Harte, who has two sons himself playing ‘mini’ rugby for Galway Bay.

“The first draft came out last April recommending facilities in a new park in Kingston, right beside Knocknacarra school. They are also recommending a major upgrade in Miller’s Lane to give better facilities to Galway Bohemians soccer and also to move Galway Hockey Club from Dangan to the upper pitch up there.

“So, the first draft of that went out in April of last year and there were numerous consultations and inputs from new clubs. This week, the City Council has issued the revised recommendations based on input from sports clubs and community groups and residents.”

The new draft has made provision for a 100m sized pitch, three cages of all-weather surfaces, a car-park with 68 berths and a community centre incorporating dressing-rooms and a clubhouse.

“That is going to be voted on over the next few City Council meetings and that would give us a great foothold in the community. The facilities are to be shared with other clubs and groups like Galway Scouts and Salthill/Knocknacarra GAA football for summer training and things like that. It would not just be for our club but we would be major stakeholders. So, this is our future.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Bikers do their bit to mark anniversary of blood service

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The Blood Bike team and supporters with the charity’ s newest motorbike, Cara, during the fundraising day at the Galway Plaza. Pictured are (from left) John Moylan, Bridie Lyons (Fundraising Manager), Sean Griffin, Fergus Turner, James Treacy, Pat McDonagh, Dave O'Leary (Chairperson), Ronan Kane (Fleet Manager), and Sergio Massidda.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Blood Bike West, and the big birthday was marked in style with a sun-drenched afternoon at Galway Plaza’s Bike Fest West.

Galway stuntman Mattie Griffin was the headline attraction; there was face painting, games, plenty of ice-cream – and hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts and families.

The birthday celebrations kicked off with a 160-strong motorcycle spin around the Galway countryside, raising well-needed funds for the volunteering efforts of Blood Bike West.

As a 100% volunteer-run and funded organisation, donations are vitally important for Blood Bike West to continue operating their medical transport in the West of Ireland.

Since its inception in 2012, demand for their volunteers’ services continues to grow:  collecting and delivering all manner of urgent medical items regionally and nationally, such as bloods, breast milk, medicines, scans, and equipment.

In 2021 alone, Blood Bike West delivered 983 urgent medical deliveries throughout the country.

As part of Galway City Councils Community, Blood Bike West undertook to operate a 24/7 service, including 165 medication deliveries from pharmacies to the self-isolating and vulnerable during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Since Blood Bike West’s inception in 2012, this increase sees the ongoing need to replace and renew their fleet of motorcycles.

Their motorbikes, Madison, Heather, Margaret, and newly inaugurated bike Cara, are regularly seen on Galway roads, delivering consignments to and from local and regional hospitals.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Park fun to mark Africa Day

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Pam Mncube-Zoki of Africa United Galway, speaking at the National Integration Conference at NUI Galway last week. The group are co-organisers of Africa Day which takes place in Salthill Park on May 28. Photo:xposure

On Saturday next (May 28) in Salthill Park, Galway’s African community invites people to join them in a celebration of culture as part of the national Africa Day celebrations.

Africa United Galway, emerging from lockdown and having hosted online festivals for the past two years, will be delivering a family fun day event.

Africa Day 2022 will reinforce a collaboration between Africa United Galway and Galway Africa Diaspora, Shining Light Galway and GoCom Radio (broadcasting live), who have worked to create a festival that will showcase Galway as a city of culture.

Among the performances on the day will be Afrobeat dancer Lapree Lala of Southside Moves, who will show how to dance in African style; Elikya Band will be bringing indigenous African Congolese music; The Youth Performances will be displaying their talent in rap, singing, speaking, and dancing and for the young at heart.

Galway Afrobeat performer Dave Kody will get the crowd moving and there will be poetry through spoken word and cultural displays. There will be a photo booth and face painting and everyone will get to have a taste of African cuisines.

In the spirit of inclusion and integration, The St Nicholas Collegiate Church Parish Choir will be presenting a special African performance as well as a feature presentation by the Hession School of Irish Dance, who will be presenting the famous Riverdance.

Also organised is a football friendly between the African community and An Garda Siochana.

The Mayor, Colette Connolly, will officially be opening the event with a keynote speech and several African Ambassadors are expected to be present on the day to reinforce the culture, beauty and strength of Africa and support for its people.

Africa Day is sponsored by Irish Aid and supported by Galway City Council.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Domestic Violence Response recorded highest number of clients in 24 years under Covid ‘shadow’

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At the launch of the Domestic Violence Response (DVR) Annual Report were Rachel Doyle and Elizabeth Power of DVR, Deputy Catherine Connolly and Anne Reynolds. Photos Sean Lydon

BY TIFFANY GREENWALDT-SIMON

A domestic violence support charity in Galway has recorded its highest number of clients in 24 years – “under the shadow” of Covid-19.

Domestic Violence Response (DVR), which is based in Moycullen, also reported its highest level of counselling support sessions in its 2021 annual report published last week.

The charity saw 136 new clients in 2021, and a total of 266 people utilised its services. It also saw a significant increase of return service users.

The support service also provided 51 nights of emergency accommodation through a partnership between Airbnb, Safe Ireland, and Women’s Aid.

Elizabeth Power, Coordinator of DVR Galway, said: “Our 2021 annual report highlights the stark reality of the level of domestic violence in Galway. Under the shadow of Covid-19, DVR recorded the highest number of clients in our 24-year history and delivered the highest number of support services.

“Our staff noted increases in the level of worrying and harrowing experiences of control and abuse. The trauma of these experiences will live with our service users long after Covid-19 fades into memory.

“While Covid-19 restrictions are behind us, domestic violence continues to be present in hundreds of homes throughout Galway.

“As we move through 2022, we will continue to provide our much-needed services to women and men throughout Galway, with an extensive counselling support and advocacy service and a number of new initiatives including a partnership with the HSE which will be launched in the coming months.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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