FEW thought it at the time, but when St Thomas’ dismantled title holders Liam Mellows in a group encounter two months ago, they probably did themselves no favours for the rest of the campaign.
Of course, the Peterswell/ Kilchreest men were already on the shortlist as potential county champions, but that emphatic nine-point win led to a sudden upward shift in their status – St Thomas’ had pulled clear of the pack and were now undoubtedly the team to beat.
That burden hasn’t rested easily on their shoulders. Only for Kenneth Burke’s rousing point, they would have fallen to Clarinbridge in a dramatic quarter-final which went to extra time, while it took a late Brendan Farrell goal to make their subsequent semi-final against Sarsfields safe.
In mitigation, St Thomas’ were missing one of their defensive anchors in Fintan Burke due to concussion, but the Galway U21 captain will be back in their ranks for Sunday’s showdown against Liam Mellows at Pearse Stadium (2pm).
They need him too, for there were times in the semi-final when the St Thomas’ full-back-line showed some signs of stress. Further out the field, however, the former All-Ireland winners have potentially the best set of players in the county.
Galway captain David Burke, though his form has been hit and miss in recent outings, Conor Cooney, Darragh Burke, Shane Cooney, James Regan, Eanna Burke, who took the semi-final by storm in the second half, and Farrell tend to be their main sources of inspiration.
On paper alone, St Thomas’ look a team of stars but their progress through the knock-out stages has been hard work. There were few typical scoring blitzes and even the likes of Conor Cooney has been inconsistent – 1-5 from play in a man of the match display against the ‘Bridge, but on the margins in the semi-final when only managing a late point.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.
The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.
A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.
Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.
Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.
The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.
“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.
“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”
Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.
“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.
The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools
Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.
“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.
“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.
A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.