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Connacht Tribune

Dunne unhappy with seven week gap in home games

Keith Kelly



Galway United manager Tommy Dunne wonders if the club will be compensated for loss of earnings due to the postponement of this Friday's league game with Shamrock Rovers. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

The CEO of the FAI, John Delaney, infamously referred to the League of Ireland in October 2014 as a “difficult child” in the Irish football family. Whatever about the accuracy of such a statement, the simple fact of the matter is the FAI has not done enough to address the problems in the domestic league, the latest example of which is the fixtures farce this week.

With the sides having just returned from a two-week midseason break, Galway United, Sligo Rovers, and Finn Harps all find themselves kicking their heels this coming weekend due to the Europa League involvement of Shamrock Rovers, Cork City, and St Patrick’s Athletic.

The postponement of United’s home game with Shamrock Rovers this coming Friday night means the club will have gone seven weeks without a home game by the time Wexford Youths visit Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday July 22, and manager Tommy Dunne says the scheduling is something that needs to be looked at.

“We don’t have a home game for seven weeks – how is a club supposed to survive with that? I had Dave Robertson on to us from Sligo [Rovers] asking would we play them in their ground this weekend as they won’t have a game for six weeks themselves due to game being postponed, its ridiculous stuff.

“That’s okay if you’re not relying on gates, but for most clubs, a big part of their budget is gate receipts. Shamrock Rovers would bring a big crowd down to Galway on a Friday, but that game now will be a Monday or a Tuesday – are we going to get the same crowd? Will we be compensated?” Dunne asked.

He was speaking after watching his side come from behind to share the spoils with Bohemians last Friday night, and admitted that while his side were on top in the first-half, their composure let them down somewhat in the second-half, so he felt a point apiece was a reasonable outcome.

“In the first half I thought we were the better side, we had some great chances and some good play. Their keeper did quite well, and we had a chance with Ryan, he was in front of goal and passed it – it was a great strike by John, but if Ryan hits it he has the whole goal to aim,” Dunne said.

He was referring to an incident in the 14th minute when Ryan Connolly broke into the Bohs penalty area, but with only Dean Delany to beat, he opted to square the ball to John Sullivan on his right, which narrowed the angle and gave Sullivan less of a target, giving Delany a routine save to make.

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

Connacht Tribune

Loughrea school’s new arrival is already top dog!

Francis Farragher



St Raphael’s College, Loughrea, student Tierney Burke welcomes the school community dog “Teal”. Photo: Hany Marzouk

SHE’S only two-years-old but already Teal is both the star pupil and teacher at St. Raphael’s Secondary School in Loughrea.

School Principal, Paul Cafferky, is delighted with the role that the Labrador and Golden Retriever cross, Teal, has made right across the school – but particularly so with a special class of six pupils.

“We had heard about an initiative where Guide Dogs are provided for at schools, hospitals or hospices and we decided to check it out a bit more.

“At the time, we were told we had a chance of getting a dog but there were no promises. We were absolutely thrilled when the Guide Dogs confirmed that Teal would be coming to the school,” said Paul Cafferkey.

Sometimes Guide Dogs ‘mightn’t just make it’ in terms of meeting the needs of visually impaired people and these canines are then offered to places like schools.

Teal is a much-loved addition for all pupils and staff at the school but particularly with Rang Breandan, a special class of six students – four in senior-cycle and two in first-year – who enjoy the presence of Teal in their classroom for a few hours every day.

Principal Paul Cafferky – along with Special Needs Co-ordinator, Mairead McKenna and teacher Mairead Taylor – all went through a 20-hour training course with Teal, while all students at the school were given a Zoom presentation on their new arrival.

You can read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition on

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Connacht Tribune

TG4 journalists angry at weekend staff cuts

Dara Bradley




RTÉ’s Irish language news workforce fears being downgraded to a ‘translation service’ at weekends because of cutbacks at the national broadcaster.

Journalists and other workers at RTÉ’s Nuacht on TG4 are concerned about cuts to the availability of camera crew on Saturdays and Sundays, and also on Tuesdays.

They argue it will limit the editorial independence of the Irish news service because the decisions on what to film on those days will be made by RTÉ’s English language news teams.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has called on RTÉ to look at alternative ways of saving money.

RTÉ told the Connacht Tribune that the change was ‘modest’ and it was aimed at ‘reducing duplication across RTÉ journalism’.

The issue was highlighted by Conradh na Gaeilge, which accused RTÉ of “targeting” TG4’s news service. Galway West TD and former Gaeltacht Minister Éamon Ó Cuív (FF) said Nuacht TG4 needed an independent budget. Deputy Ó Cuív told the cuts showed that RTÉ had a ‘lack of interest’ in developing Irish language news service.

RTÉ provide TG4 with Nuacht and 7Lá as part of its public service remit.

A number of sources working in RTÉ’s Irish language news service told the Connacht Tribune they are angry and frustrated with the proposed cuts to Nuacht’s camera crew, which are due to come into effect in mid-May.

“This will be a very serious downgrading of our service,” said one worker.

“On the face of it, it’s not a big problem – we won’t have a camera at weekends in Dublin. But it has implications on our news service at weekends and we’d more or less just become a translation service of what the English RTÉ news has.”

You can read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition on

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Country Living

The perils and pitfalls of asking for that first dance

Francis Farragher



Country Living with Francis Farragher

I’m told by those of a different generation that there are many innovative ways in today’s technological world to meet ‘the one’ whether it be on Facebook, Twitter or dating sites like Tinder, but some of the more old-fashioned contact methods are still surviving.

Here and there – and I hope it’s not out of any serious sense of voyeurism – I’m inclined to glance at the Getting in Touch page of the Irish Farmers Journal, where for the princely sum of €25, you can state your case to the world in terms of locating that perfect partner.

The fact that someone is willing to fork out €25 – the rates go up substantially if you want to be included in the response category – must mean that the contributors are essentially genuine, and it probably goes to show that there are quite a lot of lonely people out there. And this, despite all our gadgets that keep us in touch with all corners of the globe.

I just love the little abbreviations used in the ‘come and get me’ ads like N/S, S/D, GSOH and WLTM which I think that I have figured out. N/S is non-smoker, S/D is social drinker (I think), GSOH is good sense of humour and WLTM is would like to meet.

Last week, there was a lady (41) from Laois who ‘stated her case’ on the basis that she was re-evaluating her life’s priorities due to the impact of the Covid-19 situation.

She was a bit worried about her height (5 foot) but had no dependents – apart from her dog – and she wanted a man with a good work ethic who ‘is self-sufficient, good at conversations and knows his way around the house’.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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