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Connacht Tribune

Blissed out on beaches with ageing bladder

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Double Vision with Charlie Adley

After days of solitude in Ballycroy, I head to Achill Island, where I find the same stunning scenery. Yet instead of contemplating my navel, the universe and all points between on a silent empty beach, I sit at Keem strand listening to the diesel rumble of the tea van’s generator.

With its turquoise waters and golden sand tucked into a tiny cove between the mountains, Keem will always be a spectacular beach, but now, under the wiggly metal Wild Atlantic Way logo statue, you can buy plastic toys and flat whites.

“Bloody great!” I hear you say.

Indeed, but not for me.

People are everywhere, and I’d rather be alone.

Everyone else seems more than happy to be part of a crowd, so acknowledging yet again how weird I am, I hit the road.

My drive into Achill passed as a melancholy song of faded tourist glory. Broken down hotels and boarded up pubs, and everywhere places called ‘lifestyle shops’, to attract the surfing crowds.

Everywhere has two contrasting sides, so I take a left turn to Doogort, and yes, great choice!

Here is the west of Ireland in its natural old-fashioned glory, ready and willing to embrace any tourists who happen to pass by. Such an admirably laid-back ethic was always going to fail economically, and now, by merely changing ‘West Coast of Ireland’ to ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ the miracle of marketing is working wonders.

Sitting on a rock at Doogort Silver Strand, I sup my soul food to the rhythmic Ssscrusssshh of gentle waves pulling pebbles. Just me and way down the far end of the beach, a mother and child.

Above a huge gull spirals on the thermals, its vast wings flapping not an inch.

The only sound: the ocean.

Much as I could sit here for hours, the noise of the water has hastened my need for a pee. In effect there are two states of middle-aged male existence: needing a pee or not needing a pee. Fuss not, I’m all medically checked out, as we men must keep an eye on our prostate glands.

Yoga helps with that, I find. Otherwise there’d be no way I could get down there for a look! Mind you, prostate cancer is no laughing matter.

Men in their fifties discover a new sense of urgency, as I do now, but no chance. An old fella with his Scottie dog has been keeping a disapproving eye on me for a while.

There’s no natural cover, only a gap between two Portakabins, but no. That’d just confirm the old fella’s suspicions.

He would love that.

Read the full column in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Campaigners seek state support to challenge beach bylaws

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Campaigners against controversial beach bylaws proposed by the County Council have called on Government to intervene. This comes after the local authority was met with a tsunami of submissions from the public – over 1,000 submissions were received, many voicing concerns that the regulations would ban water sports on the county’s coastline.

Galway pharmacist and Galway Bay Sailing Club member, Barra Nevin, has been one of the most outspoken critic of the bylaws which seek to outlaw activities such as surfing and kayaking anywhere near bathers.

According to Mr Nevin, there has been a groundswell of support for water sports enthusiasts, with everyone from swimmers to those who walk the coastline backing their right to use the water.

“The central problem surrounds the paragraph which states other outdoor sports participants cannot be in close proximity to swimmers. This would effectively outlaw all outdoor water pursuits other than swimming on 24 beaches in County Galway, including the lake in Loughrea, the Shannon in Portumna and all along the Wild Atlantic Way to Connemara and the Aran Islands,” he said.

The bylaws, for which an extended public consultation closed last Friday, state: “No person shall wind surf on sail boards or kite-surf on kite boards or surf on a surf board or use a canoe, kayak, dinghy, stand-up paddle board or water bike in close proximity to bathers.”

In addition, it will also be an offence to “use a personal water craft, power craft and fast power craft within 300m of the low water mark at the time of use, except for the purpose of rescue”, in the interest of the safety of swimmers.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Bad weather a spoilsport as Salthill boys just do enough

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Salthill/Knocknacarra's Conor Gardiner comes under pressure from Mark Egan of Oranmore/Maree during Saturday's West Board U19 Final in Moycullen. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Salthill/Knocknacarra 0-8

Oranmore/ Maree 1-3

Mike Rafferty in Moycullen

SPORT in the depths of winter is not always an appealing sight and so it was in Moycullen on Saturday afternoon as the wind and rain reduced this West Board U19 Football Final to an endurance test. Salthill/Knocknacarra did enough to get over the line and, in the process, are the first winners of the David Cox Memorial Cup.

Favoured by the elements in the opening half, they laid the groundwork for their win with some smashing points from Ryan Kavanagh and Matthew Thompson and while a four point interval lead was not exactly commanding, Salthill’s defence played their part on the resumption as they kept Oranmore/Maree to just a point from play and three in total in a frustrating chase to close the gap.

Though the city side always appeared to have the edge, Oranmore/Maree can point to many factors that could have turned the game their way. They got the boost of an early goal, but seldom looked like scoring for the rest of the half. They had plenty of possession on the resumption, but with no one taking responsibility for an occasional shot, they just hand passed the ball all over the park and had little or no penetration.

Four missed frees in succession by four different players just added to Oranmore/Maree’s frustration and as the chase went right to the wire, they also had a late goal chance which was spurned.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Scores scarce on horrible day as Ballygar fall to final defeat

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Ballygar's Stephen Lohan who scored three of their four points against Easkey. Gordon. Ryan Duffy also threatened only for defender Shane Molloy to make the block.

Easkey 0-5

Ballygar 0-4

DARREN KELLY IN BEKAN

IN horrendous conditions, Ballygar’s hurlers ended their 2022 championship season with defeat last Saturday in the Connacht Junior Final as Sligo’s Easkey created history.

Andrew Kilcullen’s winner two minutes into injury time secured the ‘Blue Devils’ a first ever provincial crown as they survived the sweeping rain and swirling wind that questioned the wisdom of playing this contest at all.

That’s not to take away from Easkey’s success. The side coached by Ballygar’s Brian Healy earned their result even if the Galway champions can feel aggrieved about the decision to cancel Cillian Egan’s late effort.

But in the shadow of the finest indoor GAA facility in the country, one has to ask could plans not have been made to bring this game into the Connacht GAA Dome when weather reports indicated the challenging environment awaiting both teams.

Either way, the teams got on with tackling the elements as well as each other and it was Easkey off the mark in the opening minute. Kilcullen stood up just inside his own 65 metre line and sailed the sliotar over the bar.

Ballygar finally settled after their first point on 10 minutes. Eammon Trayers caused problems when allowed possession in the full forward line and he won the free that Stephen Lohan converted.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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