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CITY TRIBUNE

Creative Connacht rock ‘red army’ with a rousing display

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Connacht's Tom Farrell tries to fend off Munster's Rory Scannell and Peter O'Mahony during Friday night's Guinness Pro14 encounter at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Connacht 20

Munster 16

THIS was clash of styles and a triumph of creativity and ingenuity over brute force and ignorance. Connacht offered more in almost every facet of the game making more yards with ball in hands, beating more defenders and scoring the extra try for good measure. Munster’s only positive was in their kicking game, but that one dimensional game plan was never going to be enough.

It is quite likely that Munster will still end the season well ahead of Connacht in the standings, they will continue to have more internationals (11 in the Irish squad as opposed to three from Connacht) and they remain a more likely challenger for the PRO14 title too, yet on the evidence of this Friday night tussle in perfect Galway weather, you’d have to wonder why.

The answers are hard to find, it’s not that Munster were completely outclassed here. The men in red edged the battle of the half backs and the back row, broke even in lineout play and certainly didn’t yield much in the tackle area. Connacht had their areas of advantage though, the front row out-powered their opponents and, by the end of the game, the backline play eclipsed anything Munster had to offer.

Yet when Joe Schmidt assembles his Ireland training camp next week, players like Chris Farrell, Darren Sweetnam, Andrew Conway, David Kilcoyne and John Ryan will be in the room. On the basis of this night alone each could be directly and justifiably replaced by the likes of Darragh Leader, Tiernan O’Halloran, Tom Farrell, Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham.

One win isn’t enough though, yet that won’t stop Connacht supporters enjoying this. In fact as the crowd watched Bealham send David Kilcoyne backwards at a rate of knots to win a penalty at scrum time midway through the second half, those with green scarfs must have had a wry smile at the thought of the man they call ‘killer’ down in the south, earning caps while the Connacht tight head isn’t even in the squad.

The wider point is this, Connacht need consistency, there is no hiding from the fact that this group of players failed to deliver in September and are suffering the consequences as a result. With the benefit of hindsight all involved are pointing to the fact that the bedding in period took longer than expected and that explains a lot of the struggles.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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