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Connacht Tribune

Battle begins for hurling tickets – as footballers aim to make it a double date

Dara Bradley

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How their tickers can survive another 70-plus minutes of nerve-jangling action is a mystery . . . but thousands of Galway GAA supporters are back on the ticket hunt as the county’s senior hurlers qualified for a second successive All-Ireland final.

And despite this being the Tribesmen’s third All-Ireland final appearance in four years, the local hurling fraternity’s appetite for success – and tickets – remains insatiable.

Their opponents, Limerick, are bidding to win the Liam McCarthy Cup for the first time in 45 years, and they haven’t featured in a senior decider since 2007, meaning demand for tickets from the Shannonsiders has soared.  Ticket allocations are the very same as last year but the allocation to Galway clubs will be reduced by about 2,500. Last year, there were only 400 or 500 season ticket holders but that jumped to around 3,000 this year, thanks to the 2017 success.

Season ticket-holders are guaranteed an All-Ireland final ticket but they tend to be members of clubs anyway so the ‘true’ fans who have followed captain David Burke and Co all year shouldn’t miss out.

Galway fans have little time to regrow their nails after watching the heart-stopping semi-final replay over Clare in Thurles last Sunday . . . the final is in ten days’ time, on August 19, earlier than previous years due to the revamped championship and the visit of Pope Francis to Croke Park the following week.

These are busy times for Galway GAA supporters – the only team to be out of the championship race this late in the season is the Galway U20 footballers.

All other teams – ladies’ footballers, camogie, senior and minor hurling, and senior and minor football – all remain in the hunt for silverware while the u21 hurlers were favourites to beat Tipperary last night in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Kevin Walsh’s senior footballers take on Dublin this Saturday at Croke Park, a first semi-final appearance in 17 years and Galway supporters have been urged to ‘park’ the hurling euphoria – for now – and to back the footballers.

“It’s a great time to be a Galway GAA supporter,” said Pat Kearney, Chairman of Galway County Board.

See full story – in news and sport – in 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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