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CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht flanker in the zone for visit of Munster

Stephen Glennon

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Connacht back row Eoin McKeon who is relishing another crack against Munster at the Sportsground on Friday.

CONNACHT blindside flanker Eoin McKeon believes his side will require little “geeing up” when they host Munster in this Friday’s inter-provincial PRO14 League clash in front of what is sure to be a packed house at the Sportsground (kick-off 7:35pm).

Then again, McKeon says that is the way it is for all the inter-provincial fixtures – not just Munster – and you get a sense these are the days the Galway native, a try scorer against Munster in the past, lives for.

“I suppose, at home anyway, they (inter-provincials) draw the biggest crowds and they tend to have the biggest bite in them as well,” he smiles. “So, they are enjoyable. You would be sore after them but they are what you kind of play rugby for. Playing against lads you know who are also your rivals.”

Connacht’s recent record bears testament to that. Of their last six meetings against Munster, the Westerners have won three, which included a 35-14 victory at the Sportsground on route to claiming the PRO12 title in 2016.

Former Colaiste Iognáid student McKeon grew up dreaming of days like those although he says he never thought the day would come he would be a professional rugby player sporting the green of Connacht Rugby.

“I was a ball boy here when I was younger. I was actually talking to one of the ball boys at the post match meal the last day and I said I was in the exact same position he was in going back 15 years ago or whenever it was. And it was the same at ‘Wegians (Galwegians).

“I never really thought when I was that young though that I would be playing in these sorts of games but it is nice to look back now and see (where I’ve come from). It is a bit nostalgic almost to be thinking that I have come from being the ball boy to actually playing,” remarks the 26-year-old.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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