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CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht hold on to end a 58-year wait for a win in Ravenhill

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Tiernan O'Halloran opened Connacht's account in Belfast, but was then forced off injured.

Ulster 15

Connacht 22

It wasn’t meant to happen like this. The last 20 minutes were anti-climatic in the extreme, Connacht might have been making history with this victory but they fell over the line in the end, overcoming their own nerves and inaccuracies to carve out a one score victory that was anything but secure until the very last ruck when possession was turned over and Caolin Blade booted the ball into touch.

After 58 years and a whole lot of losing in Belfast, it’s safe to say that no one involved with Connacht will be even slightly bothered by the lack of drama. There’ll be no Youtube moment from this win but this was a record that needed to be ended and that’s all that mattered

The team and their supporters who had made the eight hour round trip celebrated appropriately in the main stand. This was the first moment for quite some time that Connacht could mark down a major triumph on their travels.

Ulster were below power, missing a host of frontline players and in run of form that had seen them capitulate in Limerick the previous week, shipping 64 points. The home support was in restless mood when they arrived so it didn’t help that their team found themselves behind as early as the fifth minute to a blistering try finished off by Tiernan O’Halloran.

The try was a brilliantly crafted move from a lineout on half way that included a scintillating break in midfield from the ever-lively Matt Healy. Tom Farrell’s distracting line beside him caused consternation in the home ranks as they felt it had impeded a defender, but the argument that it obstructed a potential tackle was waved away.

It was a fine start for Connacht but their rip-roaring early surges came at a price. Kieran Marmion pulled up after just 90 seconds with leg injury; and after O’Halloran scored, he too was forced off.

Ulster responded with some immediate pressure on the Connacht line but the uneasy feeling around the ground merely grew as twice they were repelled and turned over by Connacht having set up camp in the visitors 22.

Connacht doubled their lead off the back of a scrum that was dominant to the point of being a health and safety issue. Ulster’s front row couldn’t cope, shipping four penalties and, mid-way through the half, a penalty try after a series of four scrums on their own line. Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney and Finlay Bealham made a statement there.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.

The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.

A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.

Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.

The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.

“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.

“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”

Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.

“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.

The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools

Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.

“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.

“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.

A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
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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