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CITY TRIBUNE

Connacht’s disjointed show spells end of Euro Cup hopes

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Connacht scrum half Kieran Marmion scoring a first half try against Gloucester in Saturday's European Challenge Cup semi-final at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Connacht 28

Gloucester 33

THE message is muddled at the moment. On the face of it, Connacht lost a rugby game on Saturday and exited a European competition at the quarter final stage. They lost to a good side from England that had more power, guile and accuracy when the game was in the balance and they could have few quibbles with the idea that Gloucester are simply a better team. However that is only scratching the surface of this story.

Head coach Kieran Keane felt far from despondent after the game and listed character, effort, teamwork and their ability to problem solve as key reasons for his positive mood. He spoke of it having been a great occasion, he highlighted his team’s naivety at key moments but stressed that he looks at a performance like this and feels as though he has something to work with for the future. His message to the fans was for them to “hang in there, it is going to happen, stay the course”.

The striking post game media huddle only served to underline how confused the Connacht project is right now. The PRO14 campaign has seen a major regression, just six wins from 18 outings. Europe offered hope but a pool with three struggling opponents proved far too easy and created a false impression that Connacht were contenders. Shipping four tries to a slightly above average Premiership side at home would confirm that they are not.

The face of this team always seems to be the coach, from Warren Gatland to Michael Bradley and from Eric Elwood to Kieran Keane with one Pat Lam in between. No one can say for sure that the ship can’t be righted in the next 12 months and it is quite possible that the highly regarded New Zealander is, right now, half way through a rejuvenation project that will bring long-lasting consistency to the team.

He seems to believe he has what it takes. Yet when he arrived in the summer of last year having left his long standing and successful assistant position with the Chiefs (the Hamilton based Super Rugby franchise) to take up his first ever elite level head coaching slot in the West of Ireland, there was no message of rejuvenation or rebuilding from the top table at the media conference that include Keane and his new boss Willie Ruane.

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

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Drinks set to flow again in two landmark Galway premises

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Two popular Galway pubs that had been closed are to be given a new lease of life by an extended family.

The refurbishment of the former Central Bar in Woodquay has been almost completed and new owner Michael Gilmore will open the doors this weekend – just in time for the busy Christmas season.

The pub, in recent years known as The Lough Inn, had closed during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Mr Gilmore is a well-known publican in the city, running the Cellar Bar on Eglinton Street and Seven on Bridge Street. He also has a pub in the heart of Westport called An File.

Earlier this year his two nephews, Mark and Vinny Gilmore, bought Kelehan’s in Bushypark. They are overseeing a major overhaul on the large premises after many years behind closed doors.

Due to setbacks with building supplies, a planned opening by Christmas has now been pushed back until the spring.


This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 9 edition of the Galway City Tribune.  You can buy a digital edition HERE.


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CITY TRIBUNE

Warning to parents after Galway homes raided in child sexual abuse material investigation

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A senior Garda, who heads up Galway’s Protective Services unit, has advised parents to ‘tune into’ the daily dangers lurking on the internet in relation to child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

Detective Inspector Peter Conlon – who confirmed that four search warrants had been issued to search residences in the city over recent weeks for CSAM – urged all parents and guardians closely monitor their children’s access to the internet.

He told the Galway City Tribune it was critical that parents did not allow their children ‘unfettered access’ to the internet given the prevalence of sexual predators – often from other jurisdictions – who were trawling the net to make contact with children.

“Children may believe that they are making contact with other children but instead it may be adults seeking to establish a relationship with them and to get pictures of them.


This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 9 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.


“I would ask all parents to seriously and carefully consider the age at which they should give mobile phones to their children – any such decision needs to be age appropriate and where this happens it needs to be monitored closely by the parents,” said Det Insp Conlon.

He also said that parents and guardians should acquaint themselves, where practical, with the latest technologies which make it possible for them to be linked into their children’s phone or devices to monitor content and contacts at all times.

The searches in the city over the past two weeks resulted in the seizure of laptops and other electronic devices from three residences – they are currently being examined in detail by Garda technical experts at their regional HQ in Renmore. Det Insp Conlon said that while there had been no arrests in the city following the latest searches, the course of their investigations would be determined by the content and material found in the devices seized.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Just 85 affordable homes to be built in Galway City by 2025

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  A total of just 85 affordable homes will be built in Galway City during the remainder of the Government’s lifetime, it was revealed during a debate in the Seanad this week.

An animated Senator Ollie Crowe (FF) told Seanad Éireann that there would be “riots on the streets of Galway” at the disappointing news that was imparted to him by a junior minister.

In the Dáil, Junior Housing Minister, Malcolm Noonan, confirmed that it was planned to provide 85 affordable homes as part of a Merlin Woods development between now and 2025.

He understood that there were sites identified for affordable housing schemes in other parts of the city, but no applications had been received for funding.

“Housing delivery in Galway City Council is a matter for Galway City Council and it is down to the local authority to strike the balance in respect of social and affordable housing delivery.

“If the Senator feels that the local authority is not delivering enough in that regard, it is really a matter for them to drive a more ambitious agenda. The Department will not be found wanting in funding schemes,” Minister Noonan added.

But Senator Crowe yesterday told the Galway City Tribune that it was an incredibly disappointing and unacceptable answer that there would only be 85 new builds when it came to affordable homes.

(Image: Minister Malcolm Noonan said the new Merlin Woods development will include 85 affordable homes).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article,  see the December 9 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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