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CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht Junior Cup and Shield takes centre stage

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Salthill Devon's Rahim Latidoye looks to getr ont he end of a corner as the Knocknacarra FC defence of Eoin Mullery, Charlie Gannon, Fionn Tracey and goalkeeper Ronan Henihan look to clear their lines in the SFAI U-12 Cup game between the sides in Cappagh Park last weekend. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

Only time will tell if the extended Christmas and Covid-19 break will hamper teams’ preparations for a return to action in this weekend’s Connacht Junior Cup fourth round. Salthill Devon won the competition for the first time in their history when recording a 2-1 success over Westport United in the last season’s final played at Milebush, and they return to Mayo once more on Sunday to take on Straide & Foxford United.

The home team were crowned as the second tier Mayo Premier League champions last season and they went through their campaign undefeated. However, Devon are playing at a far higher standard than that level, and aided by the firepower of Rory Brennan, Timmy Molloy and Mikie Fox, they should have the ability to advance to the last 16 of the competition.

Corrib Rangers have not enjoyed the best of campaigns in the Premier Division, and on Sunday they travel to face a Westport United side that are not a patch on some the previous quality sides that represented the club.

In fact, they played second fiddle to Renmore in the previous round and after scoring a late equaliser won on penalties, but Rangers will have to try and improve on their dreadful defensive record of conceding an average of almost three goals per game if they want to advance.

There will be an all-Premier Division clash in Bohermore at 2pm, where Hibernians – who last won the trophy 20 seasons ago – welcome Colemanstown United. The sides last met in league action in October, when aided a Shane Hulgraine hat-trick helped the city side to a 4-2 win.

Mervue United have two sides in action in the 4th round, starting tonight when their B team – who play in Division 1 – take on Division 2 side Moyne Villa in Headford (7.45pm).

The club’s A will host Division 3 leaders Cregmore/Claregalway in Fahy’s Field tomorrow at 4pm, and despite the loss of leading scorer Enda Curran who has returned to League of Ireland action with Treaty United, it is a contest from which Noel McDonnell’s charges should advance with a bit to spare.

Maree/Oranmore should have the quality to see off Sligo visitors St John’s in Maree, as they are have recovered from a slow start to the Premier Division where they picked up just one point from their opening three games to now sit comfortably mid-table, and with games in hand over all bar one of the five sides above them.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cost of new Emergency Dept in Galway jumps to half a billion euro

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The projected cost for the new Emergency Department and maternity unit at University Hospital Galway (UHG) has now reached half a billion euro.

And the bureaucracy involved in getting it off the ground means its expected completion has been pushed back until 2027 at the earliest.

The project – described by the head of the Saolta University Healthcare Group, Tony Canavan, as the single largest infrastructural health project ever to be built in the West – still has some major hurdles to overcome before a shovel is put into the ground.

In an update at this week’s HSE Regional Health Forum West meeting, Councillor Declan McDonnell (IND) remarked that 2026 was the predicted opening for the new facility, yet the planning application had not even been submitted.

“Could it be ten more years?” he asked.

Councillors heard that a new Public Spending Code was brought in for projects predicted to cost over €100 million after the Saolta group had submitted a cost benefit analysis review which they were required to do under the old rules.

As a result of the change, management had to belatedly prepare a Strategic Assessment Report and a ‘Preliminary Business Case’ report. The first had been submitted to the national HSE last month and the latter was almost ready to send to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

Assistant National Director of Estates in the HSE, Joe Hoare, said the final figure for the project would be “four to five times the €100m figure”.

(Photo: The temporary Emergency Dept under construction at the moment at UHG)

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the May 27 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Street closures for outdoor dining in Galway challenged to An Bord Pleanála

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – An appeal has been lodged with An Bórd Pleanála challenging the legitimacy of road closures to facilitate hospitality businesses in Galway City this summer.

Galway City Council, following on from last year’s trial of on-street hospitality, introduced street closures again this year.

It is part of the Council’s ‘outdoor living’ strategy to encourage more footfall and to boost businesses – in particular pubs and restaurants – in the city centre.

The local authority has closed Small Crane, Raven Terrace, Dominick Street Upper, William Street West, Forster Street and Woodquay during certain hours in the evenings from May to October.

But a resident of Munster Avenue has referred the closures to An Bórd Pleanála and asked that it determine whether the closures constitute development and whether or not it is ‘exempted development’.

Exempted development does not require planning permission. If the Board finds that the closures are development and that the development was not ‘exempted’, then the street closures and the process they were introduced under, could be undermined and deemed to be contrary to planning laws.

An Bórd Pleanála confirmed the case had been referred to it for adjudication but it said it does not comment on ‘live’ cases. It is due to make a decision by September. The appellant who referred the case could not be contacted for comment.

Johnny Duggan, owner of Taylor’s Bar, member of West End Traders’, and chair of the Galway City Vintners’ Association, insisted the street closures were exempted development did not require planning permission and it was all above board.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the May 27 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Two tonnes of waste in canal – ‘the cost of outdoor living’ in Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Two tonnes of waste removed from the Claddagh Basin and Eglinton Canal during a clean-up last weekend is the cost of the pandemic transition to outdoor lifestyles, according to a Galway City Council official.

“Unfortunately, there has been an environmental cost to the outdoor lifestyles adopted during the pandemic. From the recent clean-up, we took out a huge amount of pint glasses, beer and wine bottles, bikes and even shopping trolleys. We all need to do our bit and use the bins provided in the city and not throw anything into the watercourses,” said Tiarnan McCusker, Environmental Awareness Officer for the Council.

Mr McCusker said that during the pandemic there was a “huge increase” in litter across the country, including in Galway City.

In response to this, the Council installed more bins in locations across the city and increased the size of the bins.

Mr McCusker attributed the amount of waste to the groups gathering outdoors during the pandemic.

“A lot of people were out drinking and congregating in the canals and generating a huge amount of waste by throwing things into them,” he said.

Councillor Niall McNelis – who is also chair of the Galway Tidy Towns Committee – said: “We want to make sure that these areas are well cleaned, and it’s not just a matter of the magicians that come in every morning and clean up the city when were all asleep in bed and clean up the mess from the night before. It takes a speciality to go into the water to clean up what they’ve done, and they’ve done an amazing job.”

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the May 27 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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