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CITY TRIBUNE

City councillors put brakes on Galway 2020 funding increase

Dara Bradley

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Preparations continue this week at South Park for the Galway 2020 opening ceremony.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Efforts to pump an additional €2.5 million of public funds into Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture met a stumbling block this week – after city councillors voted to defer a decision amid claims of a lack of clarity around the purpose of the money.

Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, asked councillors to release €2.5 million in funding immediately to Galway 2020, and it would be paid for with €1.25m coming out of the Council’s budget in 2021 and 2022.

To improve Galway 2020’s cashflow situation, he also wanted them to vote to change the Service Level Agreement between the Council and Galway 2020, to front-load money the Council had already pledged to the organisation.

But the special meeting of the local authority – which was a single item agenda – ended on Monday without agreement on the funding, as confusion reigned over what it would be used for.

It only emerged midway through the meeting that €600,000 of the €2.5 million was for wages and salaries of staff who had been seconded from the City Council to Galway 2020 – and the suggestion from Mr McGrath was that some of that €600,000, which hadn’t yet been sanctioned by elected members, had already been spent on staff costs in Galway 2020.

Although a number of councillors indicated they would support the grant aid, most elected members expressed reservations about the plan and the lack of detail they were presented.

Before confirming some of it was for staff costs, Mr McGrath initially said the money would be used for “additionality” and “additional” projects above and beyond what is already committed in the programme of events published by Galway 2020.

However, councillors were not satisfied with the level of detail provided about the projects that are to be added – and many of them questioned whether the projects were new at all.

Mr McGrath said the new money would be for new programming and events that would greatly enhance the overall offering of Galway 2020. And he insisted that the existing programme – costing €39.1 million – was “fully funded” and would proceed as planned whether or not councillors approved the extra €2.5m.

This assertion was disputed by a number of elected members, however – and it was undermined by figures relayed to the meeting by Patricia Philbin, CEO of Galway 2020, the company tasked to deliver the year-long cultural celebration.
This is a preview only. For extensive coverage, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here.

CITY TRIBUNE

Titans return to the national league for coming season

Keith Kelly

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The Titans team which was defeated by Moycullen in the National Cup semi-final in 2009. Back row, from left: Joe Bree (manager), John Finn (assistant coach), David O'Keefe, Conall MacMichael, Darren Callanan, Patrick O'Neill, Colin Turke, Paul Freeman, and Mike Lynch (coach). Front: Cian McKeown, Danny Finn, Rimyvdas Visockas, Derek Mulveen, Paulius Peldzius, and Jack Considine.

TITANS BC is returning to the national league for the upcoming 2020/21 season, one of four new teams that will compete in the Men’s Division 1 this year.

The city side will play in the Northern Conference of the league alongside fellow new sides, Drogheda Wolves and Malahide, along with Ulster University from Belfast; LYIT from Donegal; Sligo All-Stars; and Dublin Lions and Tolka Rovers from Dublin.

That looks to be the easier of the two conferences: Dublin Lions were relegated from the Super League at the end of last season, LYIT finished 5th in Division 1, Sligo finished 8th, Ulster University finished 9th, and Tolka Rovers finished 10th in a 12-team league competition that ran as a single league, rather than split into two conferences.

With four new teams for the coming season – Team Kerry are the 4th new side – Division 1 is returning to a split conference format, and all the heavy-hitters would appear to be in the Southern Conference.

Team Kerry will be joined by fellow Killarney side, St Paul’s, which finished second in the league last season, as well as Cork’s Fr Mathews and IT Carlow, who finished 3rd and 4th respectively.

Limerick Celtics and Limerick Eagles, who finished 6th and 7th, are also in the Southern Conference, as well as last season’s bottom two, WIT Waterford and Portlaoise Panthers.

Titans took a one-year hiatus from the league last season, having endured a torrid 2018/19 campaign when it finished with the worst record in the league, winning just two of its 23 league games to finish bottom of the Northern Conference.

Maree and Moycullen will once again represent Galway in the Men’s Super League, which is also being split into a two-conference format, with six teams in each conference. However, while Titans will be looking north for their main opposition, Maree and Moycullen will be looking in the opposite direction as both have been placed in the South Conference.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Group hurling ties to be restricted to supporters of participating teams

John McIntyre

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Ronan Elwood of Liam Mellows, and Castlegar's Donal McGreal in action during the group stages of last year's senior county championship.

NO neutrals will be allowed to attend the opening round of the revamped Galway senior hurling championship which is scheduled to start in little more than a fortnight’s time.

A gathering of 500 – likely to also include the rival players and mentors – will be restricted to each group game, with the participating clubs set to be allocated around 200 tickets each for sale/distribution ahead of the fixture.

A mechanism has still to be sorted for this process, but matches will be restricted to Galway’s three county grounds: Pearse Stadium, Kenny Park, Athenry and Duggan Park, Ballinasloe, along with Loughrea. Killimor was the fifth venue in consideration for hosting senior games, but redevelopment work at the ground has ruled out that prospect.

The full round of 12 group ties will go ahead on the weekend ending July 26, but there will be no double headers. Instead, games at the same venues will be staged four hours apart to allow sanitisation of the various grounds.

Only people with tickets will gain entry to the games and there will be no cash taken at the turnstiles.

 

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Street fight thugs from viral video outside Garda HQ avoid jail

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A still from the video of the brawl close to the Garda HQ in Renmore.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Two men and a woman who were involved in a ‘staged’ fistfight outside the new Garda HQ in Renmore were warned they will serve prison sentences if they don’t stay off social media for two years.

Suspended sentences were imposed on all three over the incident which was recorded on mobile phone and footage went viral on social media.

The altercation between John Maughan (27), formerly of Rinville Park, Oranmore, who now lives in Dublin, and Patrick Maughan (31), of 122 Laurel Park, Newcastle, was filmed on Patrick Maughan’s phone by his wife, Ellen Maughan (31), who is John Maughan’s sister.

The footage was uploaded that evening to YouTube, where it gained a lot of traction.

Galway District Court heard this week the trio were sitting in their cars when Gardaí arrived at the scene within a matter of minutes.

They were subsequently charged with affray at Dublin Road, Murrough, Renmore, on November 2, 2018, in that all three used or threatened to use violence towards each other, thereby putting other people present in fear for their own safety and the safety of others.

Both men were also charged with breaching the peace.

Garda Pat Casey told the sentence hearing the incident occurred at 2.30pm on the main road between GMIT and the Garda HQ.

He said the men’s cars met, whether by accident or design, at that location where they got out and had a fist fight in the middle of the road.

Judge Mary Fahy asked if the location chosen for the fight, right outside the new Garda HQ, was deliberate.

Garda Casey said the men claimed they met by accident, “but that was where they met”, he added.

“The inference is they did it deliberately outside the Station to make it even better on social media. They are an absolute disgrace to do that in public and to do it in front of their children,” Judge Fahy said.
This is a shortened preview version of this court report. To read the article in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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