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CITY TRIBUNE

Five-star Hibs on the rise as new faces make impression

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Jonathan Hannifin (left) scored Mervue United's second goal in their 5-1 win over Corrib Rangers.

Local Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

Last season it took Hibernians five games before they picked up their first point of the campaign in the Western Hygiene Supplies Premier Division with a 1-1 draw with Athenry.

As we are all aware the season ended prematurely due to Covid-19 and maybe it did the city side a favour as they struggled in the bottom two of the table. Alongside them in the basement were Maree/Oranmore and indeed both of them can be grateful for the early conclusion of the season.

Maree/Oranmore traditionally make a good start to the campaign and maybe struggle a bit thereafter, but this season, matters look somewhat different as they lost by 5-1 to Hibernians when the sides met at the weekend on the new all-weather 4g pitch in Maree.

Boosted by a number of new signings such as Nathan Ward (defender) and his cousin Nathan Ward (striker); the return from injury of Caimin Rooney; and the ‘homecoming’ of former Galway United defender Stephen Walsh, who arrived midway through last season; added with the likes of long-serving Shane Hulgraine, who is a regular contributor in the finishing stakes, and it is clear that matters might have improved for Martin Devlin’s side.

In an interesting family grouping, eight of the 11 players who started for Hibernians on Saturday are related. Three Rooney brothers – Caimin, Niall and Liam were joined by two Walshs – Stephen and Shane – while the two Nathan Wards and goalkeeper PJ Ward are also all related.

Matters do not look to be running as smoothly for new Maree/Oranmore manager, Brendan O’Connor, and if Saturday’s result is anything to go by, his young side could be in for a difficult campaign.

It took Hibs just three minutes to make the initial breakthrough when former West United striker Nathan Ward fired home the opener and from there on, they were generally in command.

Shane Hulgraine (two), Niall Rooney and Shane Walsh all went on to add further goals, while it was a Dean Cullinane own goal just before the break that gave the home side their only reward.

The victory gives Hibernians four points from their opening two games and is a big step up from where they were last season. However, they will have to up their game even more this Sunday (11am) when they travel to Drom to take on a Salthill Devon side who must be licking their wounds after going down to an opening round defeat against Mervue United.

Maree/Oranmore will be at home again on Sunday morning when they host Loughrea.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City businesses determined to weather lockdown storm

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Despite devastation for city businesses this week amid a return to lockdown, many remain determined to weather the storm – and with the Council’s approval this week of additional measures to entice people to the city centre when restrictions ease, there is a hope that a good Christmas could save them.

Level 5 restrictions which came into force on yesterday (Thursday) have forced ‘unessential’ retailers to close their doors once again in an attempt by Government to get a handle on spiralling numbers of Covid-19.

And while those affected, mainly in the retail and hospitality sectors, are facing huge challenges to keep their heads above water, they had to remain positive that all was not lost if coronavirus could be got under control over the next six weeks.

Anthony Ryan, of the Galway City Business Association, said that while closing their clothes shops had been hugely disappointing, he had to remain optimistic.

“We just have to stay going and remain positive. Our clothes division is non-essential so that is temporarily closed, in line with the Government guidelines. Items necessary for households are essential so that means our home store remains open.

“Business had recovered quite well by September, but once Level 3 was introduced, there was a big fall off for everybody,” he told the Galway City Tribune.

Many businesses, including his own, had made huge strives to improve their online offering in recent months and it was his hope that people would continue to support local when they shopped online, even if they couldn’t get in to the physical stores.

“Online sales continue to be very strong. We hope to have our fashion website up in a couple of weeks, so there has been a lot of work going into that in the background,” said Mr Ryan.

Meanwhile, councillors this week backed a plan that will result in an overhaul of traffic flow in the city core – transforming Middle Street into a shared-surface and eliminating all cars not owned by residents on the street – ruling out full pedestrianisation due to residents’ requirements.
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Plan for new cross-city public transport corridor go on display

Enda Cunningham

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway City Council is hopeful that a proposed new public transport corridor – linking the western and eastern suburbs through the city centre – could be ready to go for planning permission next year.

This week, a six-week public consultation process began on the ‘Cross-City Link’.

The Council is hopeful that a planning application could be submitted to An Bord Pleanála next year, and if approved, it would take 12-18 months to construct.

The Cross-City Link begins at the junction of University Road and Newcastle Road and continues across the Salmon Weir Bridge, through St Vincent’s Avenue, St Francis Street, Eglinton Street, Eyre Square, Forster Street, College Road and on to the Dublin Road.

“Through traffic, with no specific destination in the city centre, will be diverted,” the City Council said.

Uinsinn Finn, Senior Engineer with the Council said: “This corridor will connect homes with places of work, study, retail and recreation, with improved public transport journey times and reliability.

“High-quality public spaces, new and upgraded pedestrian and cyclist facilities and public transport priority will be provided, making it easier to move through the city, and to access destinations by sustainable means.

“This will create a safer place for pedestrians, cyclists and the mobility-impaired, and public transport services will move more freely. Deliveries and access to carparks will be facilitated, as will access to homes or businesses.

“The Council invites the public, landowners and other stakeholders to review the proposals, and to share their feedback,” said Mr Finn.

He said that schemes such as the new corridor are key projects and are “essential” to keeping the city moving.

“They are key to supporting sustainable travel modes and to support the ambitious targets for Galway as set out in the National Development Plan,” Mr Finn added.

He said it is anticipated the proposal can be submitted for planning consent next year, and subject to permission being granted, it would take 12-18 months to complete.
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Pilot initiative will restrict car traffic around Galway City school

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have backed a proposal to restrict car traffic around Scoil Iognáid on Raleigh Row as part of a ‘School Streets’ pilot project.

The initiative, which involves a time-specific curtailment on cars at school drop-off and pick-up times, will result in the pedestrianisation of Raleigh Row, Palmyra Park and Palmyra Avenue – closed to traffic from 8.15am to 9.15am; and 1.15pm to 2.45pm.

Due to start on November 2, residents in the area will still be allowed access, but have been asked to “avoid using their car during the periods of pedestrianisation”, while those with blue badges will also be permitted to drive in the area.

Signage indicating the restrictions will be erected, while Gardaí and community wardens will enforce the pedestrianisation and parking respectively.

‘Park and Stride’ will be encouraged for getting children to school when no alternative is available, whereby parents park a short distance from the school and finish the remainder of the journey by foot – with registration enabling city school-goers’ parents to park for free in over 20 car parks.

Arlene Finn of the City Council’s Transport Department told councillors that 145 parents at Scoil Iognáid had already registered for this initiative, and by introducing the School Streets programme, the area would become infinitively safer and more appealing to parents and children wishing to walk or cycle to school.
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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