Reigning champions Corofin face their biggest challenge since they won a second consecutive All-Ireland club title on St Patrick’s Day when they renew rivalry against a Mountbellew/Moylough outfit that took them to a county final replay last year.
Usually, Corofin look to shift up through the gears around the semi-final or final stages of the county championship, but this quarter-final tie against Mountbellew/Moylough has upped the ante in their bid to secure seven county titles in a row sooner rather than later.
It is an intriguing tie at Tuam Stadium on Sunday and forms part of a double header in which Salthill/Knocknacarra – the only other unbeaten side in the championship along with Corofin – take on an ever-improving Claregalway team.
On Saturday, two other contenders, Tuam Stars and Moycullen face An Spidéal and St. Michael’s respectively in another attractive double-header at Pearse Stadium.
Tuam Stars v An Spidéal
(Pearse Stadium, 3pm)
The An Spidéal management team is sweating over the fitness of their goalkeeper, Maghnus Breathnach, who sustained a hamstring injury lining out with the club’s hurlers in their IHC defeat to Killimor last Sunday. With Antaine Ó Laoi (shoulder) a long-term injury, the loss of Breathnach would severely damage their hopes of advancing, particularly given his accuracy from long range frees.
That said, mentor Micheál Ó Duinn admits the 2018 county and Connacht intermediate champions are now in bonus territory following their promotion to senior last season. “We are delighted to be in the quarter-finals, given this is our first year back up senior and it is always hard to adapt when you move up a level. This is a free shot for us and we are really looking forward to it,” he says.
Tuam Stars have a clean bill of health for this one, following the return of Cormac McWalter from a hamstring injury. Having already qualified for the County League Final, where they will face Mountbellew/Moylough, manager Tommy Carton acknowledges it has been a good year to date.
“We lost four players this year—okay, Daragh O’ Rourke came back to us this year—but it has been pretty much the same bunch of lads from the last few years and they have reacted very well to us. We are facing An Spidéal now and they are a good football side, well able to play. They are very similar to Claregalway, in that they are very comfortable on the ball,” notes the Tuam Stars boss.
Verdict: Tuam Stars.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.
Galway family’s light show adds magic to Christmas
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The Carrick Family Light Show returns tonight (Friday) as 70,000 lights are illuminated in aid of a worthy local charity.
The man behind the lights spectacular, James Carrick, says test runs this week have proven successful and the family is ready to mark another Christmas in style.
“This is our fourth Christmas doing it. We started in 2019, but Covid was around for the last two years so it will be great this year not having to worry about that so much,” says James, who has spent the last few weeks carefully rebuilding the show at his home in Lurgan Park, Renmore.
He’s added “a few bits and pieces this year” – his brother buying the house next door has provided him a ‘blank canvas’ to extend.
Over the past three years, the show has raised almost €30,000 for local charities and James hopes to build on that this year – offering the light show for free, as always, and giving the opportunity to donate if people wish to do so.
The show runs nightly from 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday, with an extra kids show on Sundays at 5pm at 167 Lurgan Park (H91 Y17D). Donations can be made at the shows or by searching ‘idonate Carrick Family Light Show’ online.
‘Chaos’ for Christmas as Martin junction works delayed again
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Motorists attempting to get into Galway are facing a nightmare before Christmas as continued delays to the works at the Martin roundabout create traffic chaos on the east side of the city.
Anger over the controversial project to remove the roundabout at Galway Clinic intensified this week as the completion date was pushed out to February – nearly a year after works began and six months later than the supposed deadline.
Local councillor Alan Cheevers (FF) told the Galway City Tribune that he had lost all confidence in the Transport Department in the City Council and hit out at their “outsourcing the problem” to private contractors.
He said despite repeated representations from him, the local authority was refusing to take responsibility for the bedlam caused by the works, which he said had resulted in “three minor collisions in the last five weeks”.
“The bottom line is that this has been an absolute shambles and I’ve lost all faith in senior officials in City Hall. When I raised the issue again this week, I was accused of looking for newspaper headlines – they will not take responsibility,” said the City East councillor.
“It’s like an obstacle course up there, and now they’re saying February for completion. I’ve no confidence it will even be done by then – they’re out of their depth. If you look at what they’re saying, they say they’ll be doing the surfacing until February,” continued Cllr Cheevers, anticipating that works could still be ongoing next March or April.
In a statement issued by contractors Fox Building Engineers Ltd and Galway City Council, it was claimed that “supply chain issues” had impacted severely on the project.
Motorists this week reported delays of up to an hour just to travel the short distance from Briarhill Shopping Centre as far as the Doughiska Road-Dublin Road junction, a distance of less than 2km.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 2 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Councillors rubber stamp ‘temporary’ helipad after nine years in place
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The Health Service Executive (HSE) came under fire over the ‘temporary’ helipad serving University Hospital Galway at a meeting to finalise the Galway City Development Plan for 2023-29.
Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, made a point of publicly highlighting his dissatisfaction with the HSE, calling on them to urgently “regularise” the planning permission for the helipad.
BY ANDREW HAMILTON
Speaking on the issue, Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said that he mistrusted the HSE’s proposal concerning the helipad, saying that previous promises about the site had not been kept.
Currently, University Hospital Galway operates the helipad to transport medical emergencies on Council-owned land in Shantalla – it has been used for past nine years, despite the HSE saying it would be used for six months.
The temporary structure, the busiest helipad in Ireland, transports patients from as far north as Donegal to the hospital.
Councillors voted to change the Galway City Development Plan to provide for a helipad at this location but urged the HSE to normalise the planning permission at the site and to provide compensation to the local community for the loss of a section of the park.
Mr McGrath said that he wouldn’t “wait forever” for the HSE to bring the site in line with the planning laws.
Last month marked the ninth anniversary of when the Saolta University Hospital Group gave a commitment to the people of Shantalla about the public land it borrowed.
Tony Canavan, the then Chief Operating Officer, and now CEO of Saolta, said that the land would be used to accommodate a helipad at the rear of UHG for six months only.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 2 edition of the Galway City Tribune where there is extensive coverage of rezoning decisions under the City Development Plan. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.