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Connacht Tribune

Big double is on but some tough hurdles ahead of Galway teams

John McIntyre

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Galway's substitute Patrick Sweeney takes on Kildare's Peter Kelly during Sunday's Super 8s encounnter in Newbridge. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

WHISPER it . . . the odds on an historic Galway All-Ireland hurling and football double continue to tumble. With both the county’s flagship GAA teams through to the semi-finals of their respective championships, you’d now be lucky to get a double figure price on the Tribesmen emulating the feat of Cork in 1990.

With the hurlers strong favourites to retain the Liam McCarthy Cup and the footballers – who have lost just a solitary match between the league and championship in 2018 – answering every call asked of them this summer, no wonder the bookmakers are running scared of Galway achieving a magnificent milestone.

Obviously, there are still some big hurdles to cross – starting when the hurlers take on Clare at Croke Park on Saturday evening – but the fact that an unprecedented All-Ireland double is still on the cards is both tantalising and hugely exciting as the inter-county championship season heads down the home stretch.

Few will have been surprised by the progress of Micheál Donoghue’s squad, but the Galway footballers have really leapt out of the pack over the past few months, going through their Division One campaign unbeaten, putting it up to Dublin in the league final, regaining the Connacht title and now in an All-Ireland semi-final for the first time since 2001. And we all know when Galway go on a charge, they can take some stopping.

Having stunned Kerry in the opening round of the Super 8s, Kevin Walsh’s charges backed up that performance against Kildare in a far more open contest in Newbridge last Sunday. It was a dangerous fixture for Galway and while they had to work hard for victory and Daniel Flynn’s second-half dismissal was a real body blow to the home team, the men in maroon were that little more convincing over the 70-plus minutes.

It was one of Gaelic football’s games of the year, notably in the first half despite both teams flooding numbers behind the ball. The hard running of rival players was breaking through the defensive screens and it made for an exciting spectacle. There were some terrific points scored and plenty of goalmouth thrills as well as Galway notably reach the semi-finals with a game to spare

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Student nurses face all the risk – for no reward

Dara Bradley

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Working on the children’s ward of a busy hospital during a global pandemic is no joke; less funny still when you’re not getting paid for your toil.

All the risk and none of the rewards of qualified staff – that’s the lot of Edel Moore, a student nurse who is currently on placement at University Hospital Galway.

Edel, and hundreds of student nurses like her on placement in UHG and Portiuncula in Ballinasloe, want more than a round of applause and platitudes from Government.

“None of us want a pat on the back for struggling. We’d just like to be recognised,” she said.

“The Government are full-time talking about front-line workers, and they want to give them a ‘clap hands’. Then you see Junior Ministers getting massive raises. For what? What have they done for us, the student nurses, that they’re getting a €16,000 wage increase?

“We’ve put ourselves through a four year degree but all I’m worth is a clap? Thanks! It’s ridiculous. They say that front-line workers deserve all the help they can get but it just seems that the ones who are able to give us the help we need are not going to give us the help that we deserve.”

Edel Moore is a mature student originally from Westmeath but living in Leitir Mealláin in Connemara with her husband and three children.

A third year student nurse of NUIG, she is currently on placement at the paediatric ward at UHG.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Island museum gets the green light

Declan Tierney

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An artist's impression of the proposed Inishbofin museum.

Work is expected to begin shortly on the construction of a museum on Inishbofin after planners gave the green light to the project.

The museum at Middlequarter is being developed by local historian and photographer Marie Coyne – and when completed, it will be home to items of historical significance from both Inishbofin and Inishark.

There is an existing museum on the island but it is too small to house the amount of artefacts, photographs and family histories that have been assembled over the years.

The new building will also include a photographic exhibition room, restoration workshop along with a gift shop and coffee dock. It is proposed that the new 3,400 square feet museum will be built on a site at the rear of Ms Coyne’s home.

Eamon Gavin of Eamon Gavin Architects based in Cornamona told the Connacht Tribune that this was an important project for the island and it was a welcome decision.

And he said that the green light would kickstart the process of conserving the vast and unique artefacts and archives built up over the years.

“As a practice, we have a long history of dealing with planning consultancy on unique rural sites in Connemara and the islands, therefore we fully understood how sensitive the proposed location of the project would be – the site is located in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and National Heritage Area,” he said.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Tuam woman a picture of health a year after Covid crisis

Declan Tierney

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Tuam's Kitty Farrell with her dog Lulu a year after her Covid diagnosis.

Last year was a Mother’s Day like no other for Kitty Farrell who spent it in the back of an ambulance being rushed to hospital with Covid – but the 80 year old Tuam woman can look forward to a more sedate celebration this time out….thankfully restored back to full health.

Kitty, from Ballygaddy Road, had developed a debilitating cough the previous week – and when she was admitted to UHG on Mother’s Day, she tested positive for the coronavirus despite a lack of symptoms.

The retired businesswoman spent the next nine days seriously ill in isolation – and all alone as her four children could not visit her.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to come through it but I was so sick that at times, it didn’t really matter. But the thought of passing away in isolation made a bad situation even worse,” Kitty said at the time.

A year on, she is back to full health, and while she restricts her movements, Kitty told The Connacht Tribune that she is just happy to be alive and she spends her days ‘pottering about’ and looking forward to the arrival of family members.

“Even though I don’t particularly agree with the current lockdown because everyone should be responsible for their own behaviour, I am living a life of relative isolation at the moment,” she said.

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

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