Date Published: 12-May-2011
GALWAY senior hurlers – who are due to begin their Leinster championship campaign in just over three weeks’ time – have suffered a setback following the withdrawals of Craughwell sharpshooter Niall Healy and Kiltormer’s Keith Kilkenny from the inter-county panel during the week.
While Kilkenny, who was called up to the squad last winter, had yet to establish himself in the starting fifteen, 26-year-old Healy had been a near-constant for Galway since making his debut against Laois in 2005.
Indeed, Healy enjoyed his greatest hour during that heady championship of ‘05 when he tallied a magnificent hat-trick of goals against Kilkenny in the Tribesmen’s pulsating 5-18 to 4-18 victory over Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Although Galway subsequently lost the All-Ireland final to Cork on a scoreline of 1-21 to 1-16, with the Craughwell man substituted midway through the second half, Healy finished the 2005 championship campaign with a total of 4-4, a creditable tally in his debut season.
To ease the pain of that All-Ireland defeat, however, Healy – a younger brother of former Galway midfielder Fergal – was very much to the fore when Galway defeated Cork and Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final and final respectively in the All-Ireland U-21 championship.
Interestingly, of that All-Ireland winning side, just five are now involved in the inter-county senior set-up, namely David Collins, Aonghus Callanan, Eanna Ryan, Joe Gantley and the recently recalled Kerril Wade. In contrast, no less than 10 of that U-21 Kilkenny have gone on to claim All-Ireland senior titles. Those include John Tennyson, PJ Delaney, James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick, Richie Power and Eoin Larkin
In any event, Healy’s withdrawal from the Galway senior set-up is a significant blow to manager John McIntyre and his backroom team. “Niall Healy contacted me as we were returning to training on Monday night and expressed his desire to pull out of the panel,” explained the Galway boss.
“Niall felt he had no longer the passion or the hunger to play inter-county hurling and he was enjoying his time back playing with Craughwell. I asked him to reconsider – that I would give him the time to do so – because it was such a big call, but Niall was firm in his decision.
“Keith Kilkenny pulled out during Tuesday night’s training session. He had just got frustrated with the way things were going for him. He felt there was a gap (to inter-county) that he was struggling to bridge. He had given it everything and he just felt he lacked the pace for inter-county hurling. I admired his honesty and, like Niall, we are sorry to see him go.”
The withdrawal of Healy and Kilkenny comes in the aftermath of five players being released from the Galway squad – namely David Hayes (Kiltormer), John Grealish (Athenry), Brian Murphy (Turloughmore), Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields) and Niall Cahalan (Mullagh) – although the management have since done a U-turn and recalled Cahalan.
“Obviously, we had to make some tough calls when reviewing the squad, but the door is not closed on any player as the Niall Cahalan situation showed,” said McIntyre. “It was a marginal call to initially release Niall, but he responded in eye catching manner by scoring six points from play for Mullagh in the senior hurling championship last weekend.”
There have also been recalls for Sarsfields Kerril Wade, Cappataggle goalkeeper James Skehill and 34-year-old Alan Kerins, who was in sparkling form for Clarinbridge during their successful All-Ireland club campaign, while St. Thomas’ James Regan – impressive against Dublin in last year’s U-21 All-Ireland semi-final win – has also been promoted.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Appeal for information following Portumna crash
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Gardai are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle crash at the Portumna bridge this morning.
The road from Nenagh to Loughrea reopened shortly after 11 this morning following the completion of a technical exam.
Four men were travelling in a van when they hit the Portumna bridge around 6:30 this morning.
Gardaí, ambulance and two units of Portumna fire services rushed to the scene, and one of the men was taken to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe.
He is being treated for head injuries, which have been described by Gardaí as serious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 09-097-42060
President Higgins among GMIT’s first ever honorary fellowships
Date Published: 10-May-2013
GMIT is to honour seven outstanding individuals including President Michael D Higgins with Honorary Fellowships at a special ceremony later this month.
It’s the first time in the 40 year history of the Institute the Governing Body of GMIT has decided to award honorary fellowships.
The GMIT Honorary Fellowships will be conferred at the g Hotel in the city this day two weeks Friday 24 May at 2.30pm in front of 200 invited guests.
Galway commuters hold their breath as LRC intervenes in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway commuters are holding their breath as there has been a potential breakthrough in the Bus Eireann dispute, as both sides have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission.
The LRC intervened this afternoon, on day two of strike action that has seen 95 per cent of bus services disrupted across the country.
The LRC’s Director of Conciliation Services, Kevin Foley, says the National Bus and Rail Union and the company have agreed to meet for mediated talks at 8 this evening.