Date Published: 27-Apr-2011
THE general perception that Dublin’s hunger – never mind their current rude health – would be more than enough to carry the county to a tenth National Football League title proved well wide of the mark in Sunday’s showdown at Croke Park. Victory instead went to the more composed team, the men who knew how to win big matches better.
Dublin had entered the league final as favourites and that public standing was understandable. Pat Gilroy’s squad had cut a dash in coming through their Division One campaign undefeated with their zonal defence and high octane attack coming in for widespread praise. Regular 6am training session had set the tempo for the season and Dublin bore all the hallmarks of a team going places.
Though they didn’t capture last year’s Leinster title – who will ever forget the blatant miscarriage of justice inflicted on the Louth footballers in the 2010 provincial decider against Meath – for the first time in six years, Dublin regrouped excellently in the qualifiers and fought their way to the All-Ireland semi-final only to lose their nerve (and the match) by a point to eventual champions Cork.
They had looked in control only to blow it down the home stretch.
The Dubs indiscipline, especially in giving away needless frees, ultimately cost them victory, but it was a learning curve for Gilroy and his lieutenants who had hit the ground running in 2011.
Despite running the rule over 30 players during the league, Dublin established a high consistency of performance and only a draw against Galway – they lost Alan Brogan early on due to a red card – in their final group match prevented them from pulling off a seventh consecutive victory.
They had even beaten Cork along the way and were being openly talked about as potential All-Ireland champions this year.
And when they led by 2-12 to 0-10 five minutes into the sec
ond-half at Croke Park last Sunday, you would have been tempted to put your house on Dublin landing a first National League title since 1993. They had got off to a great start with a fifth minute goal from Mossy Quinn after Bernard Brogan had done the spadework and with centre forward Kevin McManamon kicking points for sport, they retired 1-10 to 0-10 ahead at the break.
Mind you, it was unrealistic to expect that Dublin were going to have it all their own way against the reigning league champions and with the likes of Paddy Kelly finding the range, the Rebels were still bang in the contest only to wobble badly in early minutes of the second-half. Brogan broke through for Dublin’s second goal and with McManamon tacking on his fifth point of the contest, they had put themselves in the driving seat.
Injury-hit Cork had already lost Paul Kerrigan, John Miskella and Fintan Gould in the opening-half and, frankly, it was difficult to envisage a way back for Conor Counihan’s squad. Sure, Brogan had to retire with an injured hamstring soon afterwards but the Dubs were still in pole position. Gradually, however, Cork eroded the deficit with a rousing point from wing back Noel O’Leary typifying their resilience on the day. Still, with the game in its final quarter, Dublin were five points ahead.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement
Date Published: 07-May-2013
Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.
It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.
Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores
This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.
However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.
Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.
That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.
The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.
Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.
Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.
He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.
Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.