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Enthusiastic Annand aims to spike interest in Galway Volleyball Club



Galway Volleyball Club’s men’s team which was formed this year. Back row: Woner Souza, Breno Castro, Anil Yadav, Marcin Tarnopolski, Antoine Tonsuso and Vincent Tiong. Front row: Lee Annand, Jan Hazincak, Sid Raizada and Josef Lumelay. Missing from the picture: Daniel Brzyszcz, Luke Uniacke, Padraig Flanagan, Mark Holohan and Mart Centino.

Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

GALWAY Volleyball Club is growing. That is the message from Club Secretary and South African native Lee Annand, who is looking to further promote the sport and, hopefully, acquisition facilities where by they can set down permanent roots in the city and county.

At present, Galway VC is a transient affair, flitting between a plethora of venues including Our Lady’s College on Presentation Road in the city and Calasanctius College in Oranmore, where their women’s and men’s adult teams play their home games in the Premier League and Division 1 respectively. The men’s team is a new addition this season.

It reflects though the growing demand locally for the sport, which particularly resonates with the Continental Europeans who have made Galway their home, be it temporarily as a student at NUI Galway or GMIT or be it through permanent residence.

“Definitely, there is a big demand for it,” says Annand in his dulcet Southern Hemisphere accent over a cup of green tea in Food for Thought in Galway City. “The thing is, there are so many international people in Galway now and all these people have played volleyball at some stage of their lives.

“A lot of these would have played in Europe but, unfortunately, when they come to Galway, if they are not in the university, they won’t play the sport again. So, there are people in their mid-20s, mid-30s and mid-40s who have played the game who want to get back into it.”

To this end, Annand, who coaches the men’s and women’s teams on Tuesdays and Thursdays, decided to set up a social volleyball club in Our Lady’s College on a Wednesday evening. “My aim was to develop and organise a social club which is currently happening in Our Lady’s College on a Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm and the cost is €5.

“The training is basic. It is all skill-based with a little bit of fitness but the main aim is to enjoy the game. So, to bring back all the people who used to play this game and to have fun! Depending on the development of the players in the social volleyball club on the Wednesday, they could eventually move up to the Premier team with the women or the senior men’s team in Division 1.”

Galway Volleyball Club has also a junior team based in Loughrea, under the tuition of Conor Flood, and Annand remarks, between the three teams, the club has almost 40 members playing at a competitive level. “So, it is good,” he enthuses.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway City Council to ‘review’ Kirwan junction



Councillors are demanding proof that the €5 million spent to transform Kirwan Roundabout into a signalised junction was money well spent – blasting the new junction as having created long delays and worsening rat-running.

A meeting of the local authority last week heard that while there was a general acceptance there would be ‘teething problems’ with the traffic-light junction after it became operational in July, ongoing issues were continuing to draw the ire of road users and local residents.

Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind) said he was one of five councillors on the previous Council to initially vote against the removal of the roundabout, based on fears that it would increase traffic through local residential areas – a fear that had been realised.

“What changes have been needed to be done since it went live,” asked the former Mayor, indicating that there had been little improvement.

Cllr Alan Cheevers (FF) said he understood that enhancement works were being done, but more were required.

“A lot of drivers are avoiding it and its driving traffic through the likes of Terryland Business Park. The Tuam Road is now gridlocked,” he said, calling on the Council to do a “PR exercise” to encourage drivers back to Kirwan.

Cllr Clodagh Higgins (FG) said the junction continued to confuse people and suggested that “overhead hanging signs” would be of assistance.

Green Party Councillor Niall Murphy said when the roundabout was slated for removal, it was promised that delays would be reduced by 25% and rat-running by 90% – but as yet, no evidence had been provided to show this.

“We need to put some science on this.

“The rat-running has moved to Dyke Road and there are some sections of that road where there are no footpaths, so it is quite dangerous for pedestrians,” said Cllr Murphy.

Acting Director of Services for Transport, Uinsinn Finn, told the meeting he believed there was a silent majority that were satisfied with the new junction.

He said that the junction’s ‘go live’ date was July 19, which coincided with the reopening of many parts of society that had been in lockdown due to Covid, and that had contributed to additional traffic.

“The first two objectives were to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, and those objectives have been achieved.

“There will be a post project review – that is something that we always do and I would be happy to bring that back to Council for its consideration,” said Mr Finn.

Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath confirmed that review was set to get underway.

“It will go through the various elements and if issues arise following the review, they will be addressed,” he said.

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Thieves target cars as owners unload shopping bags



Galway shoppers have been advised by Gardaí not to leave their vehicles unlocked or unattended as they bring their shopping into their homes.

This follows reports in the Newcastle area of opportunist thieves ‘striking’ as the shopping bags were being moved into houses.

One resident told the Galway City Tribune that the thieves waited until the person had taken a bag of shopping from their cars to bring into their home.

“This gives the thieves a minute or two to have a quick look in the car – what they seem to be looking for are purses, bags or wallets that are left behind in the car,” the resident stated.

He added that some of local residents had notices two ‘youngish lads’ – possibly in their late teens or early 20s – hanging around the Newcastle Park Road area over the past week or two.

“I just think that people need to be on their guard for this kind of opportunist theft. They just wait until the driver goes inside the house with the shopping and before they come back out, they do a quick search of the car,” he said.

Galway Garda Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Michael Walsh, said that opportunist thieves would always be ‘on the look out for a handy theft’.

“What I would advise is that either have someone to keep an eye on the car when the shopping is being removed – or else lock the car each time, and don’t leave any cash or valuables in the vehicle.

“It might be an inconvenience to lock the car each time you go back into the house, but it is still far better than having something stolen from your vehicle,” said Sgt Walsh.

He also urged, that as a matter of routine, no one should leave any valuables in their cars when they parked them up.

“Even the coins that some people keep in car pockets for parking or other small payments can attract thieves. Never leave anything of value in your vehicles,” he said.

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Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

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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