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Galway escape act maintains their recent mastery of Mayo




Galway's Cillian McDaid tries to break free from Mayo's Conor Loftus during the Connacht FBD League semi-final at Tuam Stadium on Sunday. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.


MAYO 1-9

Galway won 4-2 on penalties

GALWAY senior footballers extended their unbeaten run against Mayo in all competitions to six games when they pulled off an escape act to salvage a draw against James Horan’s side on Sunday afternoon. Barry McHugh’s late goal in an absorbing, if error-ridden encounter, ensured penalties were required to decide who would progress to this weekend’s FBD final.

On a day when a unique set of experimental rules were centre stage, it was fitting that an estimated attendance in excess of 7,000 supporters in Tuam Stadium were treated to a unique finale. Mayo had experienced the joys of winning a penalty shoot-out a week earlier, but on this occasion they were to suffer as Galway goalkeeper Maghnus Breathnach’s penalty-saving capabilities came to the fore.

The An Spidéal shot stopper got down low to his right to parry Diarmuid O’Connor’s tame first effort for Mayo, before Liam Silke gave Galway the advantage by tucking away his spot kick into the bottom left corner. Brian Reape and James Kelly both found the net with Mayo’s next two, but Galway remained error-free as Johnny Heaney and Barry McHugh got the better of Rob Hennelly.

Andy Moran, introduced as a second half substitute, was next up but again Breathnach guessed correctly to block Moran’s shot, and Tom Flynn booked a date with Anthony Cunningham’s Roscommon side by stroking a shot into the bottom left corner. The result was perhaps harsh on a Mayo team with a blend of household names and fresh faces who started brightly, but Galway could have had a hatful of second half goals had they taken their chances.

Mayo had shown how desperate they were for a win by also throwing on Lee Keegan, Conor O’Shea and Stephen Coen, but having weathered a ten-minute spell when Donie Vaughan was needlessly sin-binned for a black card, they were still on course with a score of 1-8 amassed by the 51st minute. That they only added a solitary point in the remaining 24 minutes of action, albeit playing into the wind, will have vexed Horan ahead of their league opener against Roscommon.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Covid could leave Galway City Council with €25m budget hole

Stephen Corrigan



Shop STreet this week.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway City Council is facing into a “potential crisis scenario” with a forecasted €25 million black hole in its budget, unless the Government comes good on a promise to plug the gap left by Covid-19.

That’s according to City Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath who told councillors this week that the commercial rates waiver introduced by Government and a drop in income from goods and services provided by the local authority could slash their forecast annual revenue by 25%.

Mr McGrath said the last Government, when it introduced the rates waiver for cash-strapped businesses in March, had committed to €260 million to be put aside to bolster local authority finances, but no detail of how that will be rolled out had been provided.

“We are hoping as part of the July stimulus package, the new Government will give us the detail we so desperately need,” he said.

“Our rates standing orders have been wiped out to the tune of 90%.”

Tourism was crucial to the economic success of Galway, he continued, with approximately 80% of city businesses reliant on tourists to stay afloat.

“We have the highest percentage dependency of any local authority on rates from the tourism and hospitality sector,” said Mr McGrath.

It was for that reason that the Executive was seeking councillors’ approval to free up €485,000 of the so-called ‘Marketing Sinking Fund’ to finance a raft of tourism initiatives aimed at boosting the local economy by attracting domestic tourists as Covid-related restrictions are eased, in what Mr McGrath referred to as “temporary internal borrowing”.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, and more on the tourism promotion plans, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Seafront prom and new train station planned for Murrough

Dara Bradley



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A vision of a new urban district on GMIT lands at Murrough – including a seafront promenade and new train station – has been submitted to Government for funding approval.

Galway City Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath has outlined a plan to ‘leverage’ land and resources of the third level institute to create a new East City Urban District.

Mr McGrath has included the plans in an application for funding under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF).

The total value of the project would be €61 million, he said, which values the land at Murrough at about €14 million.

“We are seeking URDF investment to activate these sites as catalysts to boost population and economic output for the city and region,” Mr McGrath told city councillors.

He said that by leveraging the lands at GMIT, the Council was delivering on a target in the National Planning Framework 2040, which states there should be “special focus on capitalising on the potential of underutilised and publicly owned and centrally located sites”.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Plans to double size of Galway City student complex

Enda Cunningham



A computer-generated image of how the new Cúirt na Coiribe would look.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The investment fund which owns the Cúirt na Coiribe student accommodation complex on the Headford Road is planning to more than double the number of bed spaces there to 920.

Exeter Property Group, one of the biggest property investment groups in the world, has applied to An Bord Pleanála for permission to demolish a two-storey building to the front of the development and to remove the existing fifth floor attic level from the next block.

The proposal involves extending upwards and outwards to create a total of 920 bed spaces in 868 bedrooms in a single building with nine linked blocks ranging from two to six storeys.

The project includes a gym/fitness studio in the basement, a games room, library/study spaces, café/restaurant and lounge spaces.

There will be 59 carparking spaces and 656 cycle spaces included. A total of 398 of the 405 existing bed spaces will be retained.

It is proposed that the existing bed spaces will retain their original planning permission which allows for short-stay lets throughout the year, and the additional 515 spaces would only be permitted to be used as short-stay lets during the summer months.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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