Derry City 2
Galway United 1
A third successive defeat in the league for Galway United leaves Shane Keegan’s side bottom of the pile as the league enters its mini mid-season break.
While many fans have lauded the side for aspects of their play this season; and Keegan often says after games that apart from the concession of goals, he was happy with his side’s performance, the reality is United are heading for relegation unless they turn things around in a big way when the season resumes next week with a trip to the Showgrounds.
Friday night’s game was a snapshot of the season as a whole: they conceded first for the 15th time in 17 games; fell further behind with the concession of a second; they got themselves back into the game with a goal of their own; were denied an equaliser when hitting the woodwork; but they were only spared a heavier defeat as Derry also hit the post, while also had a shot taken off the line.
The stark facts are that United have won just twice in the league this season; they have kept just one clean sheet in 17 games; and Friday’s failure was yet another catalogue of woe on the road for United, who have not won away from home in more than a year, May 2016 to be exact.
They were the first side to have the ball in the net on Friday night, only to have Gary Shanahan’s strike ruled out for offside: within five minutes, Derry had scored twice, and it was enough to extend the Candystripes’ unbeaten run to 10 games.
United thought they had got off to the perfect start in the fourth minute from a set-piece. Kevin Devaney floated in a free-kick from the left, which was only half-cleared by the City defence as far as Shanahan.
He hit it first-time, a clean strike that flew goalwards before taking a wicked deflection off Marc Ludden to whizz past Ger Doherty. Shanahan peeled away to celebrate, but Ludden was in an offside position when the ball hit him, and the assistant official correctly raised his flag.
Within 60 seconds, the home side had hit the front from a set-piece of their own. Josh Daniels went down under the minimal of contact from Ludden 20 yards out as he raced onto a through-ball from Ronan Curtis, and Curtis side-footed the ball over the wall and inside the post, with Conor Winn left rooted to the spot.
The goal rocked United, and they fell further behind in the 9th minute with a goal that United’s defence should have prevented. Jarvis played a nothing-ball out of defence towards Barry McNamee, but he somehow managed to roll Stephen Folan and clip a ball into the box.
Lee Grace was back on his heels, allowing Nathan Boyle to nip in front of him and send a glancing header across Winn and inside the far post for a two-goal cushion.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Galway family’s light show adds magic to Christmas
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The Carrick Family Light Show returns tonight (Friday) as 70,000 lights are illuminated in aid of a worthy local charity.
The man behind the lights spectacular, James Carrick, says test runs this week have proven successful and the family is ready to mark another Christmas in style.
“This is our fourth Christmas doing it. We started in 2019, but Covid was around for the last two years so it will be great this year not having to worry about that so much,” says James, who has spent the last few weeks carefully rebuilding the show at his home in Lurgan Park, Renmore.
He’s added “a few bits and pieces this year” – his brother buying the house next door has provided him a ‘blank canvas’ to extend.
Over the past three years, the show has raised almost €30,000 for local charities and James hopes to build on that this year – offering the light show for free, as always, and giving the opportunity to donate if people wish to do so.
The show runs nightly from 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday, with an extra kids show on Sundays at 5pm at 167 Lurgan Park (H91 Y17D). Donations can be made at the shows or by searching ‘idonate Carrick Family Light Show’ online.
‘Chaos’ for Christmas as Martin junction works delayed again
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Motorists attempting to get into Galway are facing a nightmare before Christmas as continued delays to the works at the Martin roundabout create traffic chaos on the east side of the city.
Anger over the controversial project to remove the roundabout at Galway Clinic intensified this week as the completion date was pushed out to February – nearly a year after works began and six months later than the supposed deadline.
Local councillor Alan Cheevers (FF) told the Galway City Tribune that he had lost all confidence in the Transport Department in the City Council and hit out at their “outsourcing the problem” to private contractors.
He said despite repeated representations from him, the local authority was refusing to take responsibility for the bedlam caused by the works, which he said had resulted in “three minor collisions in the last five weeks”.
“The bottom line is that this has been an absolute shambles and I’ve lost all faith in senior officials in City Hall. When I raised the issue again this week, I was accused of looking for newspaper headlines – they will not take responsibility,” said the City East councillor.
“It’s like an obstacle course up there, and now they’re saying February for completion. I’ve no confidence it will even be done by then – they’re out of their depth. If you look at what they’re saying, they say they’ll be doing the surfacing until February,” continued Cllr Cheevers, anticipating that works could still be ongoing next March or April.
In a statement issued by contractors Fox Building Engineers Ltd and Galway City Council, it was claimed that “supply chain issues” had impacted severely on the project.
Motorists this week reported delays of up to an hour just to travel the short distance from Briarhill Shopping Centre as far as the Doughiska Road-Dublin Road junction, a distance of less than 2km.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 2 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Councillors rubber stamp ‘temporary’ helipad after nine years in place
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The Health Service Executive (HSE) came under fire over the ‘temporary’ helipad serving University Hospital Galway at a meeting to finalise the Galway City Development Plan for 2023-29.
Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, made a point of publicly highlighting his dissatisfaction with the HSE, calling on them to urgently “regularise” the planning permission for the helipad.
BY ANDREW HAMILTON
Speaking on the issue, Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said that he mistrusted the HSE’s proposal concerning the helipad, saying that previous promises about the site had not been kept.
Currently, University Hospital Galway operates the helipad to transport medical emergencies on Council-owned land in Shantalla – it has been used for past nine years, despite the HSE saying it would be used for six months.
The temporary structure, the busiest helipad in Ireland, transports patients from as far north as Donegal to the hospital.
Councillors voted to change the Galway City Development Plan to provide for a helipad at this location but urged the HSE to normalise the planning permission at the site and to provide compensation to the local community for the loss of a section of the park.
Mr McGrath said that he wouldn’t “wait forever” for the HSE to bring the site in line with the planning laws.
Last month marked the ninth anniversary of when the Saolta University Hospital Group gave a commitment to the people of Shantalla about the public land it borrowed.
Tony Canavan, the then Chief Operating Officer, and now CEO of Saolta, said that the land would be used to accommodate a helipad at the rear of UHG for six months only.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 2 edition of the Galway City Tribune where there is extensive coverage of rezoning decisions under the City Development Plan. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.