CRAUGHWELL AC underlined its status as one of the top juvenile athletics clubs in the country after it was confirmed last week that the club’s U20 female team has been selected to represent Ireland at the 2019 European Champion Clubs Cup.
The club was selected on the back of a plethora of superb performances by its athletes at the recent National Junior Championships in Tullamore and its selection is, no doubt, a major achievement for the competitors, their coaches and, indeed, for the club, which was founded in 1968.
“If we won a Connacht medal 10, 12 or 15 years ago, we would have been very happy. Now though, we are winning maybe 20 medals in the national outdoors and another 20 medals in the national indoors. So, it is good,” says Craughwell AC coach Michael Tobin.
“As it stands, we are consistently in the top 10 in the country in terms of medal success and it is pretty good coming from a rural area. A lot of the other clubs would be big city clubs with lots of kids to pick from. So, we are definitely punching above our weight in those competitions.”
Tobin is joined by athletes Laura Cunningham (18), Ciana Reidy (18), Lorraine Delaney (18) and his daughter Shauna (17) and they all hope to be on the airplane in September of next year to the European Championships which, in recent times, have been held in Leiria in Portugal.
Although the club has 26 athletes eligible to compete in the U17 to U20 age bracket, only a squad of 20, along with six officials, can travel in the official party. Unfortunately, the age restriction does mean some of this year’s athletes, most notably Aisling Keady and Caron Ryan, cannot compete.
“We had originally thought we were qualified for this September and then discovered later that it was a year in advance. They (Keady and Ryan) were just unlucky. They are unfortunately overage (for 2019) but they will come along as managers,” he outlines.
In all, there are 19 events at the championships, namely the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, 2000m steeplechase, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay, high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, shot putt, discus, hammer and javelin.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.
The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.
A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.
Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.
Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.
The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.
“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.
“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”
Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.
“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.
The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools
Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.
“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.
“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.
A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.