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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

Council officials branded ‘ignorant’ after reneging on circus agreement

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A circus branded City Hall in Galway ‘ignorant and arrogant’ after a spat over access to public space.

Circus Gerbola criticised Galway City Council for limiting the days its big top was permitted in Claude Toft carpark in Salthill and for reneging on an agreement.

The touring troupe said that last January, it provisionally booked the carpark from August 4-21. In early July, the Council emailed the circus and said it would be limited to seven days only.

Event Producer Jane Murray said she then secured a verbal compromise to rent the carpark for 10 days, including two weekends. But then the Council contacted the circus again and insisted that the site could be used for seven days only.

“I wouldn’t call them clowns because I think it would be an insult to clowns and generations of clowning. They were just extremely ignorant and arrogant. They were so unempathetic,” fumed Ms Murray.

They then scrambled to find alternative accommodation, in Kinvara, for performances today, Saturday and Sunday.

The third planned week has been moved to Conamara. From next Monday, the big top moves to Fíbín theatre company grounds in An Tulach, Cois Fharraige, for a series of events.

A Council statement said the matter was discussed at length internally.

“The carpark in question is relied upon by locals and tourists alike for parking, particularly during the busy tourist season. The best compromise in this situation was to permit the circus to take over full use of the car park for seven days. We do envisage complaints/representations from locals at being prevented from using this car park for a full week,” it said.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the August 12 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Residents call on Galway City Council to tackle burning of rubbish

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Local residents have called on the authorities to tackle the problem of an ongoing illegal dump in the Castlegar area with the rubbish being burnt off on a regular basis.

A particularly intense fire was set off in the Bruckey area on Tuesday afternoon last with black smoke billowing from the blaze – forcing local people to close their windows and doors.

According to one local resident, even the Fire Brigade couldn’t access the blaze which eventually burnt itself out over the following days.

“This has been going on for the past four years and we have made several overtures to the City Council on the issue as well as contacting the Gardaí, but nothing is being done about this.”

He said that the land being used as dump and fire site was rented and added that those burning waste were ‘a complete law onto themselves who did whatever they liked’.

(Photo: the fire burning on Tuesday)

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the August 12 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Councillors ignore Transport Authority recommendation on estate access

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A submission by the National Transport Authority (NTA) – seeking to restrict new access points along the Western Distributor Road to ‘cyclists and pedestrians’ only – has been defeated at a City Council meeting.

Councillors voted 12-4 to reject the NTA submission presented in the draft Galway City Development Plan (2023-29) which sought to prevent new access points being provided for vehicular traffic.

The NTA in their submission said that their proposal was aimed at ‘protecting investment in public transport’ and in ‘facilitating sustainable travel’.

In his response to the submission, City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, said that the Council did not want any further restrictions to be put in place.

Councillors Niall Murphy (Green Party) and Colette Connolly (Ind) had proposed the acceptance of the NTA submission in order to improve access for cyclists and pedestrians.

Senior Planner with the Council, Caroline Phelan, said that there was a substantial bank of land in this area (off the Western Distributor Road) and the objective was to be able to access zoned land.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) said that if land in such areas was prevented from being developed by a lack of access, it would have major implications for industry, jobs, housing and schools. “We have to allow access,” he said.

(Photo: The ‘Kingston Cross’ lands on the Western Distributor Road which were earmarked for a commercial and residential development anchored by Tesco and Decathlon: An Bord Pleanála previously ruled access points would be a traffic hazard, particularly when it came to cycling infrastructure and a bus corridor on the road).

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the August 12 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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