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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway badminton stars aiming for new heights

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FOUR badminton players in the Galway Lawn Tennis Club (GLTC) are aiming to play regularly amongst the best in Europe.

Declan Bennett, Callum Thomas, Jack O’Brien and Tony Crowley compete on the Irish badminton scene. O’Brien has twice reached the Irish National Championships singles semi-finals and he won the Irish Grade A title last season where he beat Thomas in the final. The 22-yeas-old is ranked number 6 in singles in Ireland, with Thomas one place below in seventh.

They competed in three European tournaments in Germany, Lithuania and Latvia in the 2018/2019 season. Bennett believes that in order for them to reach the next level, they need to travel and play in more European tournaments.

The Kilkenny native admits that this will be near impossible to do this without some form of sponsorship. They held a fundraiser recently but still covered most of their own costs when competing in Europe, while they also have the expenses that come with competing in Irish tournaments.

“We need help to be able to fund these tournaments. It’s very expensive. We are looking for sponsorship, as for your world ranking, you need to play ten tournaments a year. If you play ten a year and its costing €500 each time, then that’s a lot of money.

“We also have training costs alongside travelling to and paying the entry fees for Irish tournaments. We have put thousands of our own money into our careers and any help would be fantastic.

“There are only five or six full time badminton players in Ireland that are not working, so we know how difficult it is for us. We need funding or some kind of help.

“It’s not like tennis where in Wimbledon you get over €2 million prize money for winning while the equivalent in badminton is the All England Open where you get €50,000 if you come first. That is a huge divide.

“The badminton players put in the same amount of work that tennis players do,” he said.

See full story in this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
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

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
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

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
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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