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CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht easily quench the Dragons’ fire in mis-match

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Connacht out half Conor Fitzgerald who was in excellent form in their big PRO14 win over the Dragons at Rodney Parade on Friday night.

Dragons 14

Connacht 38

Rob Murphy at Rodney Parade

AS the Connacht bus departed Rodney Parade on Friday night through the narrow streets of Newport, the mood must have been upbeat and cautiously optimistic. A first win in Wales for two full seasons, a second successive bonus point victory in this competition and a real sense that a new shape is emerging around the edges of a squad that is in need of some depth and development this season.

The need for progress on last year is self explanatory. Connacht are in the Champions Cup this winter, six games where your front line players are getting battered every week. There won’t be any squad rotation opportunities like the Challenge Cup provides, so while Bundee Aki and Jack Carty are away in Japan, others can and need to step up and on Friday in the rain in Wales, Conor Fitzgerald at out half answered. The 22-year-old was superb.

This five-try demolition of the Dragons will have eased some early season concerns and boosted confidence. Ten points from their opening three rounds was probably the minimal target for an ambitious group largely unaffected by the world cup. This weekend’s break should be savoured too because once they return to action against the Cheetahs at the Sportsground in a week’s time, it’s 13 weeks of full on rugby including six Champions Cup games and four inter-provincials.

The Dragons aren’t a very good rugby team, they have always struggled in this competition to be honest but under new coach Dean Ryan, there had been some hope this year that improvements might be around the corner. The big win in Parma against Zebre two weeks ago underlined as much, but here in front of a paltry and disillusioned home crowd, the hosts served up a dreadful effort from the 20-minute mark onwards.

They’ll only look to themselves for answers and probably won’t realise that a large reason for their frailties was nothing to do with them, it was all down to Connacht’s power and prowess. At the midway point of the first half, the hosts led 7-0 thanks to a try from centre Tyler Morgan who cut through the cover to score under the posts after a lineout and maul. It was a fourth visit to the Connacht 22, so they had to score.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Footfall down by 80% in Galway city centre

Stephen Corrigan

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Shop Street on Ladies Day of the Galway Races

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Footfall in the city centre was down by about 80% during what would normally be a bumper three weeks in the city, with this year’s Arts Festival and Summer Racing Festival both falling foul of Covid-19 restrictions.

Data compiled by the Galway City Business Association (GCBA) – which is a measure of mobile phone users at various points in the city centre – shows that there were over half a million fewer movements recorded during Race Week this year, representing around a 77% decline on the same week in 2019.

While the figures are by no means a conclusive count of individuals in the city, they do provide a good guide as to how many people are traversing the main thoroughfares over an extended period.

During the second week of the Arts Festival in 2019, just short of 900,000 movements were recorded in what was the city’s single busiest seven days of the year.

However, with the absence of the Big Top and various other Arts Festival venues this year, just over 150,000 movements were recorded in the same week this year.

Well-known city businessman and GCBA member Anthony Ryan said that the situation was gradually improving, but it was obviously a very different Race Week this year.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council orders removal of new footbridge

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The installation of a footbridge over the Middle River at Newtownsmyth has led Galway City Council to warn the adjacent property owner to remove the structure, or face legal proceedings.

Property developer John Curley, who owns the commercial unit involved at Abhainn na mBradán, has received instruction from City Hall to have the bridge removed by today (Friday) in what the Galway City Tribune understands is being treated as a ‘extremely serious breach’ of planning regulations.

Mr Curley told this newspaper that the €25,000 bridge could not be removed this week as his architect was on holidays, and he was still considering what to do about the Council’s order.

Mr Curley said businessman Eric Furey had opened a new café in the building two weeks ago – the building also houses Born Clothing and Papa Rich restaurant.

The bridge had been installed to coincide with the opening of Roots Café and both Mr Curley and Mr Furey argued that it was crucial to the business’ survival that there was access from the busy canal walkway.

“We are going to fight this,” said Mr Curley, adding that it had been their intention to seek retention for the bridge, but that had been ruled out by city planners who refused to give permission to utilise public land on the far side of the canal.

A spokesperson for Galway City Council said: “Immediately on becoming aware of the installation of this structure across the canal, Galway City Council Planning Department requested the immediate removal of the structure.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Anger over illegal parking of camper vans in Salthill

Enda Cunningham

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Camper vans illegally parked on Rockbarton Road this week.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway City Council has admitted that it is difficult to enforce bylaws banning the parking of caravans and camper vans on roads in Salthill.

It follows complaints from elected representatives and local residents again this Summer in relation to illegal dumping and ‘unsightly’ parking on the Promenade and alongside Leisureland.

Under the Council’s own Parking Control Bylaws 2009, parking of ‘temporary dwellings’ (which includes caravans, mobile homes, tents and any structure whether on wheels or not) is prohibited on the Prom; Quincentennial Drive (behind Toft Carpark); Rockbarton Road (adjacent to Leisureland) and on the Western Distributor Road. Council carparks are also off limits.

Local area councillor Donal Lyons said the problem seemed to be worse this year, which he believed is due to holidaying staycationers.

Councillor Peter Keane said that it is a ‘small few’ people that are giving caravaners a bad name.

“We welcome holidaymakers, but let them go into the caravan parks where proper services are provided, such as electricity and water.”

A spokesperson for Galway City Council said that the local authority’s experience was that it has proved difficult to enforce the parking ban over the years.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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