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CITY TRIBUNE

Blazers Point-To-Point throws up future National Hunt stars

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Ryalex (red colours) on his way to winning the Costello Family Maiden Race at the County Galway Hunt Point to Point held at Dartfield, Kilrickle in 2015. Point-to-Point action returns to Dartfield this Sunday. Photo: Hany Marzouk

Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

POINT-to-Point may not be at the most glamorous end of the horse racing spectrum but its value to the sport and the industry was emphasised when the progressive One For Arthur, which began his racing career in the Point-to-Point ranks, won the Aintree Grand National recently.

In the wake of that victory, the importance of Point-to-Point racing was once again alluded to with the likes of journalist Eoghain Ward of The Irish Field newspaper highlighting that owners and trainers were increasingly paying more heed to the form of Point-to-Point horses at the sales.

Ward recently detailed that already over £10 million had been spent at public auctions this season – with several sales still left to go – and that this figure had significantly surpassed the £6.2 million and £4.7 million spent at the same juncture of the year in 2016 and 2015 respectively.

It is a reflection of the quality of horses now being blooded at Point-to-Points and, in this respect, the County Galway Hunt have not been found wanting as among the notable runners at their meets have been Brindisi Breeze (an Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle winner at Cheltenham) and Just A Par (Bet365 Gold Cup winner in Sandown).

“There have been lots of (high profile) horses who have featured in our Point to Point over the years,” notes County Galway Hunt Chairman (she does not buy in to the PC term of ‘Chairperson’!) Janet Coveney.

“Foxrock was another – ridden by Katie Walsh and trained by her father Ted. They won the four-year-old maiden race at Dartfield in October 2012 and went on to further success subsequently and also ran in the Irish Grand National recently.”

It is against such a background that County Galway Hunt – or ‘The Blazers’ as they are known locally – will hold their opening Point-to-Point meeting of the year at Dartfield, Kilrickle, this Sunday. The first race to come under starter’s orders is at 2pm.

Already postponed twice due to bad weather – the meet usually takes place the third week of March while they also run another in the second week of October – this Point-to-Point has always proved a popular event among trainers and owners in the past.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

No end in sight for work on junction near Galway Clinic

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From the Galway City Tribune – The City Council has declined to set a date for the completion of the Martin roundabout replacement near Galway Clinic – which was due to have opened more than a month ago.

In a statement, the Council would only confirm that the project was over 50 per cent completed.

“The project is now progressing to the surface type works including the installation of roadside kerbs, provision of footpaths and cycle lanes and road surfacing. These elements of the works will progress quite rapidly over the next month and there will be more of an appreciation for the progress on this project and the final layout will start to become apparent,” said a spokesperson.

“Ducting and preparatory works for the traffic signal installation is in progress and installation of the lights themselves will commence once the majority of surface works are complete. The final phase of the works will consist of significant landscaping of the junction.”

Work began on the junction in February, with an expected six-month schedule.

“There have been some delays to the programme as a result of industry-wide, supply-chain issues related to the war in Ukraine. There has also been further delays due to rock being encountered on site.

Rock was expected, however the hardness of the rock has been greater than anticipated and as such, has been slower to break and excavate on site,” according to the Council.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article and to support our journalism, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway Docklands Festival set to make a big splash in the city!

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The city’s link to the sea is to be celebrated later this month with the staging of the inaugural Galway Docklands Festival featuring a range of culinary treats, sea tours, demonstrations and talks.

Running from the weekend of Friday, October 21 to Sunday, October 23, the event has the aim of celebrating the city’s bond with the sea and the local waterways network.

Organised by the Galway Hooker Sailing Club, Galway Bay Boat Tours and Galway Bay Seafoods, the spectacle has a packed schedule of events – many of them free – through each of its three days.

The ‘pay events’ – ranging from €5 to €15 – include a coffee morning, beer and seafood sampling as well as an historical boat tour of the Claddagh and Galway Bay (€15).

Boatbuilder Cóilín Ó hIarnáin will be giving free demonstrations of his skills on each of the three days; Ciaran Oliver will give a walking tour of the seafront (€10); while there will also be a free Galway Hooker rigging demonstration.

For the more adventurous, there are supervised powerboard ‘taster spins’ (€10) while for ‘the foodies’ the Galway Bay Seafoods fish’n’chips, the Hooker beer and seafood sampling, as well as the family cooking demonstrations – all priced at €10 each – look set to be big attractions.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Mayor told to stay away from homecoming over funding snub

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From the Galway City Tribune – The Mayor of Galway was asked to stay away from homecoming celebrations for extreme adventurer Damian Browne, the Galway City Tribune understands.

Mayor Clodagh Higgins was told that she was not to attend the event at the Docks on Tuesday as there had been disappointment in the ‘Project Empower’ camp that funding had not been made available from Galway City Council.

The Galway City Tribune has learned that Project Empower, which is led by Voluntary Manager MacDara Hosty, applied for €30,000 in funding from the local authority’s Marketing Fund in September 2021, but was deemed ineligible.

A spokesperson for Galway City Council confirmed this week that Project Empower did not meet the criteria set down by the fund which seeks to support the holding of major events and festivals in the city.

In documents seen by this newspaper, Project Empower proposed that Galway City Council be the title partner at a cost of €30,000 plus VAT.

The Tribune understands that the Council’s refusal to provide this funding was at the root of the Mayor’s snub on Tuesday, which drew attention online as members of the public questioned her absence.

When contacted, the Mayor refused to be drawn on questions relating to the Marketing Fund, but said it was her intention to offer a Civic Reception to Damian Browne at the nearest opportunity.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story and extensive coverage of Damian Browne’s homecoming, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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