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Connacht Tribune

Button-Gate offers light relief from the darkness of Brexit

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Button-Gate...voting time in the Dáil Chamber.

World of Politics with Harry McGee  – harrymcgee@gmail.com

When we were doing Macbeth for the Leaving Cert, a big thing was the Night Porter scene. Essentially, he comes into the action, sandwiched between two bouts of gruesome murders and throws out a couple of allegedly funny lines.

The point was he provided ‘comic relief’, a moment to ease all the darkness and the tension, or else to remind us off it – which brings to mind Button-Gate, the comic relief for the gruesome Brexit tragedy.

It came to light over the weekend when it emerged that the Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins had voted six times for his friend and colleague, Clare TD Timmy Dooley, while the latter was out of the chamber. By Tuesday it had become farcical.

The Dáil has an electronic voting system. Each seat has three buttons on it, Tá, Níl and Staon (Abstain). When a vote is called, the bells ring out all over the Dáil. TDs have ten minutes to get into the chamber. The doors are then locked.

Each TD has a designated seat. When they press the button it shows up as a green light (Tá), red light (Níl) or blue light (Staon) on a giant screen above the chamber. There is literally a graphic of how the votes went.

Any TD who has been there for a while will have a fair idea who sits where. It’s not hard to spot that a light has lit up for an empty chair – and that’s how Timmy Dooley and Niall Collins were found out.

That incident has spawned a cascade of allegations since then. By Sunday Lisa Chambers had to explain why she voted for Dara Calleary on the same day. Her excuse was that it was a genuine mistake.

Her designated seat is next to Calleary’s and she sat in his seat by mistake. After realising she had voted for him, she went back into her own seat and voted for herself. However, she failed to alert the Clerk of the Dáil of her mistake.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

St Thomas’ join exclusive club by completing terrific four-in-a-row

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St Thomas’ Damian McGlynn is pursued by Sean Kilduff and Shane Bannon of Clarinbridge during Sunday's Galway senior hurling final at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

St Thomas’ 0-20

Clarinbridge 0-17

MAYBE now a great club team will get the universal acclaim it deserves. In emulating a feat only twice previously achieved in the history of the Galway hurling championship, St Thomas’ joined an exclusive club at Pearse Stadium on Sunday.

Only Castlegar in the late thirties and Turloughmore in the early sixties managed to complete the four-in-a-row, but St Thomas’ bridged that 57-year gap by maintaining their stranglehold on the Tom Callanan Cup in a high-quality decider.

In pulling off an achievement which eluded such powerful hurling dynasties as Sarsfields, Athenry and Portumna, the men from Kilchreest, Castledaly and Peterswell have extended a momentous period in the club’s history which has seen them claim six county titles in a decade.

St Thomas’ were made to work hard for their latest triumph by a gallant Clarinbridge outfit, but their big-day experience, together with an impressive defensive security – they now haven’t conceded a goal in their last five final appearances – were critical in keeping the challengers at bay.

A crowd estimated at more than 5,000 people were treated to a compelling battle for supremacy. The hits were hard and while Jarlath Niland’s charges backed away from nothing, the champions were, if anything, even more revved up – their hunger for more success particularly admirable given all they have already won.

Despite only three points separating the teams at the finish, St Thomas’ probably ought to have won by more. Clarinbridge had only kept in        touch for much of the second-half through Evan Niland’s      exceptional free-taking as their attack, which had sniped some terrific points in the opening 30 minutes, had become increasingly restrained.

They only managed two second-half points from play – and one of those came from Niland deep into injury-time – and failed to create a solitary goal chance over the near 68 minutes of action.

Clarinbridge were hanging in there but struggling to generate any momentum on the scoreboard. In contrast, St Thomas’ heads-up hurling, accurate distribution, and ability to free up their shooters was creating sufficient openings in the opposition’s half. They forced much of the pace on the resumption, with team captain Conor Cooney completing a great campaign with a Man of the Match display on the forty.

Cooney, who has been unfairly maligned at times at inter-county level, finished the final with 11 points to his credit, five of which came from play. He was the game’s most influential player, but there was sterling support up front from Eanna Burke, Oisín Flannery, James Regan and Darragh Burke who each split the posts twice. Regan was particularly prominent and also won a couple of vital second-half frees.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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.

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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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Connacht Tribune

Kilkerrin/Clonberne given an early fright by rank outsiders

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The Kilkerrin/Clonberne ladies football squad which retained the Connacht Cub senior title by overcoming Glencar/Manorhamiliton in the final in Swinford on Sunday. Back row, left to right: Shauna Mee, Aisling Costello, Aisling Madden, Ailish Morrissey, Maeve Flanagan, Nicola Ward, Lisa Murphy, Siobhán Divilly, Katelyn Mee, Niamh Divilly, Sinéad Fallon, Shannon Daly, Annette Clarke, Sarah Ward, Michelle Dunleavy, Evelyn Flanagan, Lisa Gannon. Front row: Siobhán Fahy, Samantha Fahy, Chloe Miskell, Lynsey Noone, Sarah Gormally, Eva Noone, Louise Ward (c), Claire Dunleavy, Hannah Noone, Olivia Divilly, Caitlin Boyle, Chloe Costello, Leah Pettit, Niamh Feeney, Áine Shaughnessy.

Kilkerrin/Clonberne 4-22

Glencar/Manorhamilton 1-6

Darren Kelly in Swinford

THE final scoreline doesn’t come anywhere near reflecting the challenge Kilkerrin/Clonberne received on Sunday, but a second half masterclass delivered a fourth consecutive Connacht senior title.

Willie Ward’s charges led by just three points at half-time in an erratic display  But after the break, they proceeded to punish the underdogs, hitting 3-15 to book an All-Ireland semi-final with Monaghan’s Donaghmoyne.

Kilkerrin/Clonberne were red hot favourites and a 25-point victory was along expected lines. At the first water break, however, the final was not going to the expected script.

Leitrim have never delivered Connacht senior champions and Glencar/Manorhamilton were intermediate winners last season. But they are a growing club with six successive underage crowns and they started like they planned staying around in the top tier.

Their main target players Leah Fox, Muireann Devaney and Ailbhe Clancy made their presence felt, rotating regularly, and asking serious questions of the five-time provincial winners.

Fox split the posts after just 50 seconds and from their next attack, Clancy ignored three defenders to add a second and it was 0-2 to 0-0 in Glencar/ Manorhamilton’s favour.

Kilkerrin/Clonberne had already made more mistakes than during the entire 60 minutes of last week’s semi-final against Roscommon’s Clann na nGael, but the north Galway outfit don’t do panic and kept the scoreboard ticking.

Chloe Miskell won a free which Olivia Divilly converted but Glencar/Manorhamilton responded immediately. Clancy drew the foul and Devaney provided the white flag.

Divilly was alert against any slips in the Leitrim defence and she took off on five minutes leaving two players behind before picking out Miskell who got Kilkerrin/Clonberne’s first from play.

However, Glencar/ Manorhamilton were up for the fight and found another response as Clancy kicked her second point. What was hard to believe was that they didn’t score a point again for 34 minutes.

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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Connacht Tribune

Athlone to Galway greenway route draws mixed response

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The preferred greenway route.

The emerging preferred route corridor for the Athlone to Galway greenway has been finalised by the Ballinasloe-based project team – and it’s the Red Route 5, with a link to Ballinasloe town

The route will pass through Shannonbridge, Ballinasloe, Clonfert, Meelick, Portumna, Woodford, Gort, Coole Park, Kinvara, Kilcolgan, Clarinbridge, Rinville, Oranmore and Ballyloughane Beach, before reaching Galway city.

“The preferred route corridor is very well defined where routing appears straightforward, through state owned lands,” said Galway East TD Ciaran Cannon.

“Elsewhere the corridor has been left much wider, so that ongoing engagement with landowners can continue, to form the basis of a defined route within the corridor.”

The decision will cause considerable disappointment for those whose towns will miss out; the five routes being considered varied from a straight line between Athlone and Galway city, to looping routes which take in large parts of the north-east or south-east of the county.

One local councillor expressed her disappointment that the preferred route does not include the town of Athenry. Councillor Shelley Herterich Quinn says the decision to choose a route which leaves out Athenry is a huge blow for the area.

But Deputy Cannon, who is a major advocate for the development of greenways nationally, welcomed the announcement which he said would transform South and East Galway.

“This is a very important milestone in the development of our national greenway network and I’m delighted to see that so many communities across South and East Galway are going to benefit,” he said.

“To think that tourists will be able to cycle on a completely segregated greenway from Dublin to Galway within the next five years, and will be passing through our local towns and villages is really exciting.”

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

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