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Connacht Tribune

Corofin ready for Cork rivals who have big score to settle

Stephen Glennon



Corofin defender Dylan McHugh, in action against Padraig Pearses Shane Carty, will be key to the Galway champions' hopes of overcoming Nemo Rangers in Saturday's All-Ireland Club football semi-final in Ennis.

REIGNING champions Corofin will look to keep alive their dream of completing a three-in-a-row of All-Ireland senior club titles when they face Cork’s Nemo Rangers in the penultimate stage of the competition at Cusack Park, Ennis, on Saturday (1:30pm).

With Corofin having dismantled Nemo Rangers in the 2018 St. Patrick’s Day final, winning on the impressive scoreline of 2-19 to 0-10, the Galway holders are 2/5 on favourites to defeat the same opposition again. However, Corofin boss Kevin O’Brien is expecting a far greater “edge” to Nemo Rangers this time round.

“The overall thing about Nemo this year is that they are conceding very little and they are getting the scores on the board. They have a good defence and they have very good forwards, especially in the likes of Luke Connolly, probably one of the best forwards in the country. So, that is a big challenge for us, particularly this time of the year when it is hard to rack up a decent score.

“So, when you’re playing against a mean defence, it is tough, as Clonmel Commercials found out. That was a very good win for Nemo. They probably had a bit of revenge on the mind given what happened in 2015 when losing out to Clonmel in the Munster final. So, that was their main focus and they will probably bring the same edge into our game the next day,” believes O’Brien.

That said, having won their seventh consecutive county title and fourth Connacht crown in a row — they accounted for Ballintubber of Mayo and Padraig Pearses of Roscommon in the provincial series — Corofin seem to be well primed to make their assault on yet another All-Ireland series.

For Corofin have not only proved to be head and shoulders above teams in Galway and Connacht, but right across the country, as underlined by their All-Ireland final victories over Slaughtneil of Derry (2015), Nemo Rangers of Cork (2018) and Dr Crokes of Kerry (2019) in recent years.

At the heart of these victories is a core group of players who have continually driven on the Corofin juggernaut, the likes of Kieran Fitzgerald, Ciaran McGrath, Ronan Steede, Gary Sice and captain Micheál Lundy, among others.

Consequently, despite using well over two dozen players in the Galway championship, it would be a surprise if the team alters much from that which defeated Dr Crokes 2-16 to 0-10 last March. Bernard Power will once again man the posts while Liam Silke, Fitzgerald, Cathal Silke, Dylan McHugh, Dylan Wall and Kieran Molloy look a likely defensive sextet.

Daithí Burke and Ronan Steede have formed a formidable midfield partnership in the past — and should do so again — while, up front, Sice, Jason Leonard, Lundy, Ian Burke and the two Farraghers, Michael and Martin, should form the attack.

There are others, though, who have been pushing hard for starting berths, no more so than Conor Cunningham, Colin Brady and Ciaran McGrath and 2019 Galway U20 players Gavin Burke, Ross Mahon and Darragh Silke.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Covid lockdown returns for Kildare, Laois and Offaly

Enda Cunningham



The Government has announced localised lockdowns for people living in Kildare, Laois and Offaly, following a surge in Covid-19 cases over the past week.

People from outside of those counties have been asked not to travel their unless for work or essential travel.

The restrictions affect travel, pubs, restaurants, swimming pools and cinemas.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said the clusters of new cases were of serious concern and described the restrictions as “limited”.

“Over the past 14 days 292 cases of Covid-19 have arisen in Kildare, Laois and Offaly. These represent almost half of all cases detected in Ireland during that time.

“These measures are being put in place to protect the vulnerable in these counties as well as to stop the spread of the virus.

They are in place for two weeks from midnight tonight (Friday) until midnight on Friday, August 20. The situation will then be reviewed,” the Taoiseach said.

Travel and transport

You can only travel within your county, other than for the following reasons:

  • to travel to and from work where that work cannot be done from home
  • to attend medical appointments, collect medicines and other health products
  • for vital family reasons, like providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, but excluding social family visits
  • for farming purposes, food production or care of animals

You should not travel into any of these counties, other than for the reasons above, and you need to travel through these counties to get somewhere else. You should not stop in Kildare, Laois or Offaly unless for essential purposes.

Public and private transport

You should not use public transport unless it is absolutely necessary to do so, and where possible you should not share private vehicles with others from outside your household.

Education and childcare

The following services remain open with appropriate protective measures in place:

  • education and childcare
  • outdoor playgrounds, play areas and parks
  • Economic activity and work
  • Anyone in these counties who can work from home should work from home.


Cafes and restaurants

  • All cafes and restaurants, including bars operating as restaurants, should only offer takeaway or delivery, or outdoor dining (maximum 15 people with strict physical distancing).
  • Hotels can remain open but must limit occupancy to essential non-social and non-tourist reasons. Existing guests can remain for the duration of their booking.

Indoor gatherings

  • All indoor gatherings should be restricted to a maximum of 6 people from no more than 3 households in total, while maintaining physical distancing.

Outdoor gatherings

  • Outdoor gatherings should be limited to a maximum of 15 people, while maintaining physical distancing.

Cultural and religious

  • All cinemas, theatres, casinos, betting shops, bingo halls, gyms, leisure centres, swimming pools, exercise and dance studios are required to close.
  • Attendance at a funeral service and burial or cremation ceremony should be limited to 25 outdoors. Indoor events connected to the funeral are limited to a maximum of 6 people.
  • Places of worship remain open for private prayer, while services are to be held online.


No sporting events or matches should take place, with the following exemptions:

  • non-contact training outdoors in a maximum group of 15 people may continue
  • professional and elite sports and horse-racing may continue behind closed doors
  • inter-county training (max 15 people) and fixtures may continue behind closed doors

Residential and healthcare facilities

*Visiting in long-term residential care facilities, acute settings and prisons will generally be suspended in the first instance with the exception of the most critical and compassionate circumstances (for example end of life).

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Connacht Tribune

Relocation homebuyers head to the west

Dara Bradley



Clifden....popular destination.

The Coronavirus pandemic has encouraged a new exodus of homebuyers to relocate to the west, with remote working now a viable option for many employees.

Galway’s busiest auctioneer has noticed increased interest in properties in the city and county from workers relocating from Dublin, its commuter belt and the Midlands.

The availability of high-speed broadband, which can facilitate working from home, is a determining factor in many homebuyers’ decisions to move to the West.

But the high cost of renting remains the single biggest incentive for people to get on the property ladder, according to Niall Browne, senior sales negotiator at O’Donnellan and Joyce Auctioneers.

“People are paying such high rent that it’s the equivalent to a mortgage repayment and that’s when you buy. That’s the biggest incentive to buy – you’re not giving away dead money,” Mr Browne said.

The property market locally had quietened in the initial months of the Covid-19 lockdown – but it has been buoyant in the past two months in particular, he said.

Mr Browne suggested there was an element of pent-up demand for housing that was now being realised as the Covid lockdown restrictions focused people’s minds on their desire to purchase a home.

“We typically try to get eight to ten sales per month by private treaty, and we had 28 or 29 last month. The previous month was six and the previous month was eight. This month (July) we’re up to 26, and that’s outside of our auction,” he said.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also purchase a digital edition here.

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Connacht Tribune

Nursing Homes shun student nurses over Covid fears

Stephen Corrigan



Student nurses in Galway are facing financial doom as part-time employers shun those currently on work placement in hospitals over fears they are at high-risk of contracting Covid-19.

First year nursing student at NUI Galway Ciarán Mac an tSaoir told the Connacht Tribune that this had become a particular issue for first and second year students who would traditionally take on healthcare assistant roles in nursing homes, where the fear of spreading the virus is at fever pitch.

“After semester one in first year, you are essentially qualified as a healthcare assistant and a lot of students would take that up as an option. Since Covid-19 came in, a lot of work places are fearful of cross-contamination and that’s not unjustified.

“It’s very understandable that a nursing home wouldn’t want a student who might be going between five or six clinical areas in an acute hospital to be then coming into work in the nursing home,” said Mr Mac an tSaoir.

Nursing students, for whom a large proportion of their university experience is spent on unpaid work placement, spend up to 35-hours a week in a clinical setting and so that could mean them travelling between a Covid-19-free setting of a nursing home to a respiratory word in a hospital such as UHG, he explained.

However, this wasn’t a HSE policy but rather the decision of individual care facilities who were doing their best to ensure coronavirus was kept out.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also purchase a digital edition here.

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