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CITY TRIBUNE

First up for Galway United are Athlone Town at home

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Galway native, Tommy Molloy (right), pictured with Galway United manager Alan Murphy after he joined his hometown club from UCD.

GALWAY United will open their 2020 First Division campaign with a home game against Athlone Town on Friday, February 21, at Eamonn Deacy Park (7.45pm).

The fixtures list was released on Friday evening and features the controversial inclusion of a Shamrock Rovers ‘B’ side. The Dublin team – listed in the fixtures as ‘Shamrock Rovers II’ – replace Limerick FC, which folded last season after running up debts of close to €500,000, and they will provide the opposition for United’s first away game in Tallaght Stadium on Saturday, February 29 (3pm).

The First Round of the EA Sports Cup will be played on Monday, March 9; while the First Round of the FAI Cup is scheduled for the weekend ending Sunday, August 9. There will be a midseason break from Saturday June 13 to Thursday June 25.

The regular season is scheduled to run from Friday, February 21 to Saturday, September 19 – when United conclude their campaign with an away game against UCD – before the promotion play-offs begin.

This season, the winners of the First Division will be automatically promoted, but the teams that finished from second to fifth will still have the chance of also making the jump to the Premier Division.

The 2020 format will see the team that finishes second play the team that finishes fifth in a two-leg play-off; and the teams that finish third and fourth will also meet in a two-leg play-off. The winners of those two ties will then meet in another two-leg play-off; with the winners of that tie playing the team that finished ninth in the Premier Division, also in a two-leg play-off.

United are generally listed as 11/2 fourth favourites for the title, behind Drogheda United, Longford Town, and Bray Wanderers, and they look to be an attractive price considering the work that has been put-in during the off-season in preparing for the new campaign.

United manager, Alan Murphy, has assembled a squad of 23 players for the season, including the majority of last year’s panel, plus the addition of some experienced players.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

GAA supporters advised to use Quincentenary Bridge

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Salthill Gardaí have asked GAA supporters travelling to the double-header Galway football championship games in Pearse Stadium today (Saturday) to use the Quincentenary Bridge route to and from the fixtures.

The matches are coinciding with the Streets of Galway 8k road race which starts at 7pm from Grattan Road near South Park via the Spanish Arch, Eyre Square, Galway Cathedral, NUI Galway, Salthill past Pearse Stadium and then back along the Prom before a Claddagh finish roughly between 7.30pm and 8.15pm.

A Salthill Garda spokesperson said that GAA supporters going to Salthill – possibly 1,000 plus – should stay away from the city centre route on Saturday to avoid traffic congestion and delays.

The two games in Pearse Stadium on Saturday are Corofin v. Oughterard at 5.45pm, followed by Salthill-Knocknacarra v. Barna at 7.30pm

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council abuzz with rumours of workers’ €5.5m Lottery win

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From the Galway City Tribune – City Hall was abuzz from early Thursday morning after rumours circulated that a Galway City Council syndicate had won €5.5 million in the midweek National Lottery draw.

Lotto chiefs arrive in Galway later today (Friday) for a publicity event at Newspoint in Galway Shopping Centre (pictured) which sold Wednesday’s jackpot winning ticket.

A National Lottery spokesperson said the city player or syndicate has not yet come forward to claim their prize of €5,541,001.

Hours prior to Lotto confirming the winning player was based in Galway, speculation was rife locally that a syndicate of workers at Galway City Council had hit the jackpot.

The suggestion was that the prize was scooped by a group of ten Council outdoor staff in the syndicate, including five retired staff.

Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, joked that he probably had not won it because he was not a regular player.

“A really lovely story and I very much hope it’s true. If it is true it’s well deserved. These guys give wonderful public service and their good fortune, if true, will be well deserved.

“There’s nothing but a feelgood factor about the rumour and everyone hoping it’s true and sending good wishes to those who may have had success.”

Asked about the rumours, the National Lottery spokesperson told Galway City Tribune: “The winner has not made contact yet.”

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the August 5 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

JD Wetherspoon unveils plan for ‘superpub’ in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – British pub chain JD Wetherspoon has drawn up plans for a €2.5 million overhaul of the former Carbon nightclub on Eglinton Street in Galway – creating up to 70 jobs,

Plans for the ‘The Three Red Sails’ – a bar and restaurant over two floors – were submitted to City Hall last week – and the company said NUI Galway will provide a market for it.

“It is a short 500 metres from NUIG. It’s significant to note that there are 18,605 students in the college as well, which provides a market for the proposed development,” the planning application reads.

Wetherspoon has moved to reassure local residents that its ‘no music’ policy will be in force and “large groups in fancy dress” will not be permitted if it is given the go ahead by Galway City Council.

The company operates more than 860 pubs – including eight in Dublin, Cork and Carlow – and said it will seek “to create long-term relationships with local suppliers” for its all-day food menu.

The plans for the former nightclub premises – which Wetherspoon purchased in 2019 – involve demolition and refurbishment works on the ground floor and an extension at first floor level to provide a roof terrace and beer garden. A ground floor terrace already exists and will be slightly extended.

Drawings indicate seating for around 220 people on the ground floor and 100 people on the first floor (including 50 in the roof garden).

The proposed trading hours are 8am-11.30pm Monday to Thursday; 8am-12.30am Friday and Saturday and 8am to 11pm Sunday and the company said these reduced hours would be a “far less intense use” than the previous nightclub.

(Image: how the new pub would look)

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the August 5 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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