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CITY TRIBUNE

Carty is eager to put best foot forward against Glasgow Warriors

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Connacht out half Jack Carty who will be a key figure for the province in their upcoming PRO 14 and European Challenge Cup campaigns.

AFTER a pre-season that has generated no small measure of expectation, Connacht duo Jack Carty and Tom Farrell said they are both looking forward to their Guinness Pro14 opener against Glasgow Warriors at the Sportsground on Saturday (3pm).

The contest pits 2016 champions Connacht against 2015 victors Glasgow and, as games go, it has the capacity to kick off the season in spectacular fashion, especially if Connacht can translate the flair of their pre-season wins over Brive, Wasps and Bristol to this weekend’s fixture.

For homegrown out-half Jack Carty, he said he can’t believe how much the club has grown since he first arrived in the Academy. “It has just been a really enjoyable time. I have seen the place grow from what it has been to where it is now today and it is just really exciting to see where the club is going to.

“Obviously, Andy (Friend, new Head Coach) has come in and he has really put everything together. We talk about the small details in our game and hopefully we can see that coming on the pitch at the weekend.”

Given Connacht won the then Pro12 under Pat Lam in 2016, people will always look to draw comparisons with every head coach that follows but Carty highlights the new man in is very much his own person, particularly when it comes to backing the players to make the right call and do the right thing.

Of course, Friend is not the only new face at the Sportsground this season with a number of players also joining the set-up. These have included David Horwitz, an out-half that will no doubt be challenging Carty for the No. 10 shirt. Carty, though, was taking it all in his stride.

“He (Horwitz) is actually living with me at the moment so it is pretty good to get to know Dave. I think it is really important. Obviously, when you see a new signing coming in the same position as you, initially it can be quite daunting but for you to grow as a player I think it is very important to have fellows around like Craig (Ronaldson) and Kieran Joyce in the Academy who has signed there as well.

“So, I think, for a player to grow, it is very important to have quality players around you and that is what we have. So, we will all be striving to be getting better and better every day,” affirmed the Roscommon native.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Swimmer James clocks up one million metres in year

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From the Galway City Tribune – A keen swimmer in Galway has clocked up an astonishing one million metres in a year as part of his gruelling exercise schedule.

James Brennan reached the impressive milestone over 400 swims last years,  which were split between the sea in Salthill and across the road early-morning sessions at Leisureland pool.

He would count the lengths in his head or on his watch, regularly swimming up to 240 lengths over 90 minutes in the pool and up to 2km off the beach for a half-hour. On a regular week he would swim the equivalent of 20km.

When James realised he was at 800,000 metres last November, he decided to go all-out to pass the one-million mark by the end of 2022.

So he concentrated on swimming for at least ten hours a week leading up to Christmas and celebrated passing his goal before breaking up for the festivities.

“I’ve always done a lot of swimming. I’ve competed for my local swimming club in Claremorris, County Mayo, and was involved in the Corrib Polo Water Club races. I won the Heskin League, which is a combination of the 14 different open water races in Salthill. I also won the league in Claremorris,” he reveals.

The software engineer has been living in Galway for  13 years and has been a member of Leisureland for four years.

“It’s a really great pool, it has nice facilities, the staff are all very nice,” he reflects.

Facilities Manager of the Council-owned premises, Ian Brennan, said the phenomenal distance was the equivalent of swimming from Galway to Amsterdam.

He heard about James’s achievement from Green Party Councillor and Leisureland board member Niall Murphy, who happened to be swimming in the lane beside James when the Mayo man reached the goal.

“I felt that this is a hugely worthy event and fills me with amazement that we have a superhero in our midst. The future is bright.”

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CITY TRIBUNE

Ó Tuathail not interested in Galway City Council co-option

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From the Galway City Tribune – A two-time general election candidate for the Social Democrats in Galway West has ruled out filling the party’s vacant seat on Galway City Council.

Niall Ó Tuathail, a health reform advisor, has confirmed to the Galway City Tribune that he will not be co-opted to the City Council seat vacated by the shock resignation of Councillor Owen Hanley in January.

“I’m not going to be put forward for co-option,” said Mr Ó Tuathail.

The father-of-two has lived abroad for a time since taking a step back from electoral politics in the wake of his 2020 General Election defeat.

He confirmed this week he has not reconsidered his decision to take a long break from frontline politics.

“I’m still a Soc Dem member and we’re in a process looking for someone strong to represent the values of the people who voted for us in 2019,” Mr Ó Tuathail said.

He polled 3,653 first preference votes in 2020 in Galway West and was only eliminated after the 12th count in the five-seat constituency.

That was an increase on the 3,455 number ones he received in his first Dáil election in 2016, when he also bowed out on the 12th count.

Mr Ó Tuathail was synonymous with the Social Democrats’ brand in Galway, and was heavily involved with the local referenda campaigns for marriage equality and to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

It surprised many political observers when he opted not to fight a local election for the party in 2019.

That was a breakthrough election for the Soc Dems, when Owen Hanley became the party’s first ever Galway City councillor by winning a seat in Galway City East. Sharon Nolan narrowly missed out on a seat in City Central during the same election.

Mr Hanley cited allegations made against him when he announced in January that he was resigning his position.

He said that the matters were “very serious” and would take a considerable amount of time for the authorities to investigate.

The resignation of Mr Hanley left a vacancy on the City Council.

It is the prerogative of the Social Democrats to nominate a person who will be co-opted to replace him as a councillor at City Hall.

A spokesperson for the party told the Tribune last week that it has not yet chosen a successor.

“We don’t have any update in relation to the co-option. I will let you know when we have a candidate,” the spokesperson said.

One problem faced by the party is that a number of possible replacements for Mr Hanley have left the Soc Dems over policy and other issues.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cigarettes, drugs and cash seized in Galway

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Officers from the Divisional Drugs Unit seized more than €73,000 worth of cigarettes, cash and drugs after a car and residence were searched in Galway today.
As part of Operation Tara – which is targeting the sale and supply of drugs and related criminal activity in the Galway area – Gardaí  searched a car in the Knocknacarra area. Cash and cannabis were seized.

A follow up search was carried out at a residence in Salthill, where cigarettes worth €70,000, along with €3,100 in cash and a small quantity of suspected amphetamine were recovered.

No arrests were made, but Gardaí say they are following a definite line of inquiry.

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