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Cllrs demand free TV access to all championship matches

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Galway County Council will send a unanimous motion to the central council of the GAA urging it to return championship matches to free to air channels next season.

Tabled by Tuam Independent Councillor Shaune Cunniffe, he said the decision to sell the rights to Sky was having a devastating affect across rural Ireland where many pensioners on a fixed income were unable to afford the high fees and were missing out on crucial matches.

The GAA was an organisation run by volunteers who gave of their time freely for the good of sport and their community. The sale of television rights to the British media giant excluded a large swathe of the population who were unable to travel to watch the matches.

When TV3 had the rights, 448,000 people watched a quarter final, since Sky took over just 48,000 watch it, Cllr Cunniffe stated.

Kinvara Fine Gael Councillor Joe Byrne said this was a decision for the GAA and any members should make their feelings known through their own branches.

The last time a motion on this issue came up for a vote at the national congress, just 15% voted in favour of returning the rights to free to air channels, he stated.

Since the rights were sold, the diaspora abroad were now able to watch matches easily rather than forking out large fees to watch it in pubs.

However, everybody else in the chamber was in favour of the motion, with Cllr Aidan Donohue (FG) pointing out that he now had to bring his kids to a pub to watch the matches.

Cllr James Charity (Ind) insisted that the RTE digital player service was a better way for the diaspora to watch GAA matches. He referred to the reference on Sky Sports by a broadcaster to last Sunday’s final between Mayo and Dublin as the “All-England Final”.

Cllr Seosamnh Ó Cualáin said none of the clubs were getting funding from the deal – indeed they all got a levy recently instead of a cheque for up to €4,000.

Cllr Tim Broderick (Ind) pointed out that Sky Sports costs pubs €5,000 a year and it was scandalous and disgraceful they should have rights over Ireland’s national game.

Connacht Tribune

Galway husband and Roscommon wife cheer on different sides of Connacht Final fence!

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Galway supporter Michael Bradley and his wife Roscommon supporter Siveen Bradley in Ballinasloe this week. Pic Gerry Stronge

The Bradley family in Ballinasloe have divided loyalties ahead of this Sunday’s Connacht senior football final between neighbouring counties Galway and Roscommon.

Mike Bradley, from Ballinasloe town, is a ‘stone mad’ Galway GAA fan – but his wife Siveen is from Newtown, a village three miles over the border and will be very much shouting for the Rossies.

Her nephew is Paul Carey, a rising star of Roscommon GAA, and already a legend in the Pádraig Pearses club, who could torment the home team’s defence at Pearse Stadium if he’s recovered from injury and if he’s fit and picked to play.

Though he may not feature this weekend, the 21-year-old Carey made his senior inter-county debut this season during Anthony Cunningham’s march to Division Two League success; and landed eight points for Pearses in the South Roscommon club’s first ever provincial title win in January.

Siveen, a sacristan in St Michael’s Church, and Mike, a caretaker in Canal House, live on Bridge Street and they’ll watch the provincial decider at home on television – because she could not handle the nerves of watching it live in Salthill.

“I watch the matches on telly or listen on the radio. The only reason I don’t go to the matches is I’d get too excited! I wouldn’t be able to deal with it. Even when it’s on the telly I’d be turning it off and on and texting my sister have they won because I couldn’t watch! I’m fierce bad,” laughed Siveen.

Her daughter, Siobhán, a Galway supporter, is married to a Mayo man, Seán Vahey, who live in Castlebar.

“As bad and all as I am I have a daughter married to a Mayo man! I’m up against it,” joked the proud Roscommon woman.

Read full coverage ahead of the Connacht Football Final in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway not getting its fair slice of Government cake

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Galway County Buildings.

Galway County Council needs a bailout – because it is continually underfunded by central government…and not because of rapidly rising inflation.

Chief Executive Jim Cullen warned County Councillors this week that Galway County Council is the lowest funded local authority in the country per capita.

This underfunding, ongoing for years, was impacting on its capacity to deliver services in the county.

Mr Cullen said he was also concerned that cost inflation and rising cost of inputs, materials, fuel and energy were going to have an impact.

But he said that ‘the only bailout we need’ is a correction in the per capita funding it receives from central government.

He said “I don’t expect to get a bailout” to cover the cost of inflation, because it was impacting on all local authorities.

“If we do, that’s good,” he said.

But Mr Cullen urged County Councillors to ‘stay focused’ on the real financial problem facing the local authority historically and now, which was underfunding.

He said he has taken every opportunity to raise this issue with junior and senior ministers who visit Galway, including most recently Environment Minister Eamon Ryan.

He signalled it involved a fairer distribution and retention of the money raised in the county through Local Property Tax.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Drugs feud boils over with pipe bomb attack

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TWO arson attacks on houses in Ballinasloe over the past week – one of them involving a pipe bomb – are believed to be part of a feud related to drugs.

Both incidents occurred in the Hymany Park area of the town with a pipe-bomb used in the first one which took place shortly after 2am on the Friday morning of May 20 last.

The pipe bomb was set off at the front door of the house which had one occupant when the attack occurred – the man did not suffer any injury in the incident.

However, extensive damage was caused to the front of the house with a door and window destroyed – Gardaí have described the use of a pipe bomb as ‘very worrying’.

In what could be a related incident, another house in the Hymany Park was the target for an arson attack in the early hours of Tuesday morning last.

A fire accelerant – possibly petrol – was splashed onto the front door of the house at around 4am which was then set alight. The damage is understood to have been confined to the front door area.

A Garda spokesperson issued an appeal for anyone with information in relation to either incident – or who may have relevant dash cam or camera footage – to make contact with them.

“Both incidents were highly reckless, but we are particularly concerned at the use of an explosive pipe-bomb device in the first one.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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