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CITY TRIBUNE

Clubs vote to declare the 2019/20 local soccer season void

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Salthill Devon players huddle under blankets for some warmth during the U-12 Girls' Division 1 cup final against Colemanstown at Eamonn Deacy Park in March, just weeks before sport - and the country - went into lockdown due to Covid-19. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

The plug has been officially pulled on the local soccer season after clubs affiliated to the Galway FA voted overwhelmingly to declare the 2019/20 season as void during an online EGM on Wednesday night.

The outcome was widely expected, and the final vote of 130 to 29 in favour of the motion ‘The Galway FA will void the 2019/2020 season’ did not surprise any of those who City Sport spoke to yesterday.

According to the Galway FA, the vote means that “all football divisions and competitions in Galway are now voided so there will be no winners, promotions or relegations” – the ruling applies to both the adult and juvenile seasons.

“The Galway FA will now notify the Connacht FA, SFAI, WFAI and FAI of the decision and a formal request will be made for permission to start the new season at the end of August/start of September.

“The FAI’s comprehensive Roadmap for a Safer Return to Football currently states that Winter Leagues, like Galway, must wait until mid-October.

“The Galway FA are confident that this request will be granted as the Road map allows for Summer leagues to start again in late August,” read a statement from the Galway FA that was issued following the vote.

There are 38 clubs affiliated to the Galway FA, with 36 of them taking part in Wednesday night’s vote, and the remaining two were unable to attend. The voting strength of each club varied depending on its set-up, with clubs having either two, four, or six votes.

Clubs were entitled to two votes if it had a juvenile section, two votes if it had a men’s section, and two votes if it had a women’s section. In addition, Galway FA committee members also had a vote.

“The Galway FA would like to thank their clubs and members for their participation and engagement in this process. It was an extremely difficult but courageous decision to make and clubs can now begin preparations for a return to football in line with impending guidelines from the Governing Body,” the Galway FA said.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Council rows back on ‘reduced delays’ projections for Kirwan junction

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Motorists have described it as ‘a disaster’ and a former mayor has said the project gave very poor value for money, but Galway City Council have this week asked the public to be patient with the revamped Kirwan junction, close to the Menlo Park Hotel.

Since the four-arm signalled junction opened early last week, motorists have complained of traffic queues stretching back to the Quincentenary Bridge and Corrib Park.

And now the Council has rowed back on its consultants’ claims that the junction would increase capacity by 15% and reduce waiting times by 25%.

Former mayor and local taxi driver, Cllr Frank Fahy, told the Galway City Tribune that given the negative impact of the junction on traffic, the €5 million spent on the project represented ‘very poor value’ as regards taxpayers’ money.

“I will admit that the junction is now safer for pedestrians in that they can hit a button to give them a safe crossing, but since it opened there have some very serious traffic tailbacks,” said Cllr Fahy.

However, City Council Acting Director of Services for Transport, Uinsinn Finn, told the Galway City Tribune that the new junction needed time to ‘bed in’ with a familiarisation process.

“The main objectives of this project were to make far safer for pedestrians and cyclists to negotiate, as well as making it safer for motorists too, without impacting [negatively] on the traffic flow,” said Mr Finn.

He added that since it opened – and over the coming few weeks – data on all aspects of how the junction was functioning would be compiled which could involve changes to light sequencing, lanes and peak traffic flows.

One motorist who contacted this newspaper said that the daily “nightmare” journey from the Barna Road to the Headford Road during the morning peak traffic time had added up to 40 minutes to his journey time.

“The two lanes are regularly gridlocked from the junction, back the N6, over the Quincentenary Bridge and back to Corrib Park.

“In the mornings, it’s now easier to go down Taylor’s Hill and into town, past Eyre Square and up Bohermore to get down to the Headford Road.

Councillors were told by consultants in 2017 and again in 2018 – when they voted to proceed with the changeover to a junction – that average delays would be reduced by 25% and junction capacity would increase by 15%.
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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Man hospitalised following Eyre Square assault

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Gardaí have appealed to the public for information into an assault in Eyre Square last weekend which led to a young man being hospitalised.

The victim of the assault – a man in his early 20s from the city area – suffered a cut to his knee and may have had a substance sprayed towards his eyes.

Following the incident – that occurred close to the Eyre Square taxi rank shortly after midnight on Saturday night last – the victim was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Galway.

It is understood that the victim was released later that morning and has made a full recovery. This week, Gardaí are poring over CCTV footage in an effort to try and identify the perpetrators of the assault.

The assailants are understood to have fled on foot after the incident towards St Patrick’s Avenue on the east side of Eyre Square.

A Garda spokesperson has appealed for anyone who was in the vicinity of the taxi rank on Eyre Square between 12 midnight and 12.30am on the Sunday morning (Saturday night) of July 25 last, and who may have witnessed the incident to contact them.

(Photo: the assailants fled on foot towards St Patrick’s Avenue off Eyre Square)
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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Council turns down controversial phone mast plan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Galway City Council has refused an application by Eircom to erect a 12-metre telecoms mast in a housing estate in Knocknacarra.

The local authority turned down the company’s application for planning permission to install the structure in the heart of Drom Óir over concerns that it would create a visual obstruction in a residential area – and would have a detrimental impact on property prices.

Eircom had also sought retention to keep a concrete foundation for the mast in situ after it was forced to abandon works earlier this year, amid protests from residents in Drom Óir and Leitir Burca. This was also rejected.

City planners issued the company with a warning letter in April to cease works after contractors on site drew the ire of nearby residents, who accused Eircom of seeking to install the mast ‘by stealth’.

A total of 26 letters of objection were submitted to the Council from residents of the two estate.
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.

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