A dirty day in Salthill but a most satisfying one for the home team, who maintained their unbeaten start to the National Football League and climbed to the summit of the Division Two table.
Pearse Stadium survived a Sunday morning pitch inspection thanks to the best efforts of the local groundsmen and despite the best efforts of storm Ewan, which brought strong winds and buckets of rain overnight.
The wintery elements didn’t spoil this third-round clash, however, as both sets of players defied the challenging conditions and provided decent enough entertainment for the 2,639 hardy souls in attendance.
You can’t argue with an eight-points victory but still, there was enough in this display to keep the Galway set-up and supporters grounded ahead of a tricky away journey to Navan against Meath this weekend.
Firstly, Clare wasn’t perhaps as strong as they might be. The Banner arrived over the border with a reputation as an improving force to be reckoned with but Colm Collins’ men only showed glimpses of the form that brought them to the last eight in the 2016 championship.
Galway did have the measure of them but let’s play devil’s advocate: at times the Tribesmen’s defence looked porous, and exposed, and at the other end, Galway spurned several goal-scoring chances that might have proved crucial on other days. Nit picking? Maybe.
And in both teams’ defence, it is only Spring, and conditions were horrendous, but Galway manager Kevin Walsh won’t allow the comprehensive nature and margin of victory to mask the areas that need improvement.
There was plenty to please in this performance by Galway, too. Any day you raise three green flags is a good day, regardless of the wasted opportunities, and all the more so given that goal-merchants Damien Comer and Danny Cummins didn’t feature due to injury.
The likes of Barry McHugh and Michael Daly, appearing in their first senior campaigns, were lively again and justified their selection. The return from injury of Shane Walsh, was welcome, and he brought a real spark to the attack – despite firing a few wides, the Kilkerrin/Clonberne man scored 1-1, set-up his team’s first goal, and was agonisingly close to scoring another when he rattled the woodwork.
The integration of the Corofin contingent back into an extended panel is another positive, as Walsh continues to assemble a strong squad. The high work rate – epitomised by forward Eamon Brannigan’s brave second-half block-down deep in his own defence – couldn’t be questioned, nor could Galway’s attitude.
Half-back was the most impressive line for Galway where Gareth Bradshaw, put in a man-of-the-match shift in the central position alongside the impressive Gary O’Donnell, who looks rejuvenated on the wing, and the busy Johnny Heaney. They scored 1-4 between them, including 1-2 for the number six.
Full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune
Exploring the merits of moving into the west
Broadcaster Mary Kennedy has an abiding image of those early mornings when she’d set out from Dublin at the crack of dawn to begin work on another day’s filming down the country with Nationwide.
“I always liked to go in the morning rather than stay there the night before – so I’d be on the road early. And from the moment I’d hit Newland’s Cross, all I’d see was a line of traffic of people trying to make it from home to their workplace in Dublin,” she says.
These were people whose day began before dawn to get their bleary-eyed kids ready to drop at a childminder along the way, so they could be on time for work – and then race home to hopefully see those same kids before they went to sleep.
But if the pandemic had a positive, it was the realisation that work was something you did, not a place you went to. As a result, many people finally grasped the nettle, moving out of the city and sometimes even taking their work with them.
Which is why Mary – busier than ever since her supposed retirement from RTÉ – is presenting a new television series called Moving West, focusing on those individuals and families who have, as the title, suggests, relocated to the West.
One of the programmes comes from Galway, where Mary met with Stewart Forrest, who relocated with his family from South Africa to Oughterard, and Carol Ho, a Hong Kong native who has also settled in Galway.
The TG4 series also stops off in Sligo, Mayo, Kerry, Clare, Roscommon and Leitrim.
Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Community’s tribute to one of their own – saving final cut of turf after his passing
A local community responded in force to the death of one of their own – a man who had given so much of his life for the good of the parish – by paying one last practical tribute to him last week.
They lifted and footed his turf.
John Geraghty – or Gero as he was known – lived for Gaelic football and he’d filled every role imaginable with the St Brendan’s GAA Club since he came to live in Newbridge in 1983.
He’d cut the turf before he died last Tuesday week, but there it lay, until his old GAA friends organised a bunch of guys – made up of the football team, friends and neighbours – to meet in the bog last Wednesday evening to lift and foot/clamp John’s turf.
“Upwards of 50 fellas from the community showed up,” said St Brendan’s chairman Gerry Kilcommins.
Which was just as well, because, as Gerry acknowledged, John – himself a two-time chairman of the club in the past – had a lot of turf cut!
“It took up an area around three-quarters of the size of a standard football pitch,” he said.
Not that this proved a problem, given the enthusiasm with which they rolled up their sleeves for their old friend.
They started at 7.30pm and had it done at 7.55pm – that’s just 25 minutes from start to finish.
Read the full, heartwarming story – and the St Brendan’s GAA Club appreciation for John Geraghty – in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Liver donor dad would do it all again in a heartbeat
It is nearly two years since Paddy Browne gave his daughter Sadhbh part of his liver to save her life. And just ahead of Father’s Day, he reflects on how he would do it all over again in a heartbeat, without a single moment’s hesitation.
After an initial testing time in the first six weeks when they beat a path to the intensive care unit after the operation in St King’s Hospital in London, Sadhbh has never looked back.
“She’s thrived and thrived and thrived. She skips out to school every day. She loves the normal fun and devilment in the yard. She’s now six and started football with Mountbellew Moylough GAA, she loves baking, she’s a voracious reader – she’ll read the whole time out loud while we drive up to Crumlin [Children’s Hospital].”
But it could have all been so different.
Sadhbh from Mountbellew was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia shortly after she was born. She quickly underwent major surgery to drain bile from her liver. It worked well until she reached three years old when an infection caused severe liver damage and she was placed on the liver transplant list.
She was on a long list of medication to manage the consequences of advanced liver disease. While she lived a full life, she would tire very easily.
Paddy was undergoing the rigorous process to be accepted as a living donor when one of the tests ruled him unsuitable. His brother Michael stepped forward and was deemed a good match.
Then, further tests revealed that Paddy was in fact eligible for the operation and the previous result disregarded as a false positive.
Read the full, uplifting story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. You can also visit the website www.ika.ie/get-a-donor-card or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.