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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Crashing waves just what the doctor ordered for Katie

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Date Published: 06-Apr-2011

There is a place in Hawaii – Maui to be exact – where raging waves of up to 120 foot in height charge mercilessly towards the rugged coastline, threatening to engulf the rolling sugar cane fields that teeter uneasily in the breeze on higher ground above.

Among surfers and windsurfers alike, this deep water reef break is legendary. The magnitude and intensity of the waves, which can gather speeds of up to nearly 50 kilometres per hour, is the ultimate dream-maker for adrenalin junkies. It is the nearest thing to their Utopia. The name of this place of danger and peril? It is simply – and fittingly – known as ‘Jaws’.

While the thought of courting the extremities of the ocean may leave many of us searching for a new pair of shorts, for 24-year-old Galway girl, Katie McAnena, she describes ‘Jaws’ and Maui as “the Mecca of windsurfing”. She adds: “It is like Augusta for golf.”

McAnena, who is currently ranked as Ireland’s No 1 ladies windsurfer (and sixth overall in the country), spent a year travelling between Hawaii, a place she has been to four times, and Western Australia in 2008 and 2009 – experiencing the thrills and spills of what she describes as a “lifestyle sport”.

Having grown up in Galway City, where she spent her Summers mastering the sport’s basic principles at Rusheen Bay Windsurfing on Barna Road, McAnena made the brave decision to take time out of her medical studies at NUI Galway to head to Maui, recognising if she was to improve, then she had to be able to mix it with the best.

“I got to meet a great crew over there and that is where it all kicked off,” explains the final year medical student. “I just saw the waves and saw what you could do. It took a long time to get to the level that I am at now, though. It was such a hard slog.

“I suppose it is a different sport to others because it is not a constant. If you play football or tennis or even golf, you go out and you train every evening and that is it. With windsurfing, you are depending on the conditions to be right; you can’t just go off on an afternoon and practice. You have to wait for the wind and the waves to come.”

In Hawaii, there were no such problems.

“Maui is just unbelievable,” she exclaims. “It is just perfect. The wind and the waves are so constant and in the Winter time the waves are huge. I don’t know if you have ever heard about ‘Jaws’, but those waves are massive. Just incredible!”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway Bay FM News Archives

Galway County VEC Chief takes High Court case

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

The High Court is hearing arguments from the state in an action brought by two VEC bosses who are challenging the loss of an annual allowance worth 12 and a half thousand euro.

Former president of the GAA Joe McDonagh who’s the CEO of County Galway VEC and Dr Katie Sweeney, CEO of Mayo VEC, say a special Transport Liaison Officers Allowance should not have been cut, even though that part of their role no longer operates.

Lawyers for the Department of Education deny the allowance is part of their pay.

The case is in the context of planned changes within the VEC system under the Croke Park agreement.

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Planning go ahead for community facility in Doughiska

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Date Published: 09-May-2013

A hotel in the city is to be changed into a community facility.

Planning permission has been granted to DRA Community Development Company Limited to redevelop the ‘Racing Lodge Hotel’ in Doughiska.

It’s planned to use the building for community, educational and pastoral use.

Planners have attached 4 conditions to the development, including the stipulation that all uses at the building be on a not-for-profit basis.

 

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Galway call for Transport Minister to intervene in bus strike

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Date Published: 13-May-2013

City Councillor Michael Crowe is calling on the Transport Minister Leo Vradkar to urgently intervene to end strike action by Bus Eireann in Galway.

Major travel disruption is expected in Galway and nationwide as the national strike enters its second day.

Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.

Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing their picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city.

It’s understood up to 80 Galway workers took part in the picket on rotational rosters yesterday.

Speaking on Galway Talks, City Cllr Michael Crowe said Minister Vradkar needs to take urgent action to intervene so that transport services can be restored.

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