Date Published: 29-Jun-2011
THESE are trying times for followers of Galway GAA’s flagship teams. Just a week after the county’s hurlers hobbled out of the Leinster championship against Dublin in Tullamore, the footballers only succeeded in adding to the gloom when coming up well short in opposition to their arch provincial rivals Mayo in McHale Park, Castlebar last Sunday.
The jury had been out on Galway’s reshuffled deck ahead of their showdown with James Horan’s squad, but few supporters imagined that they would be so well beaten in the end after being disappointingly held to a solitary point in the second-half. Sure, that close range Eoin Concannon effort ought to have been a goal, but the bottom line was that the Tribesmen had few answers when the pressure was on.
Being outscored by 1-8 to 0-1 over the final 35 minutes leaves no room for argument. Mayo may have been no great shakes themselves, but they were physically stronger than Galway, secured more primary possession and had the capacity to lift the ante when they needed to. All of their six forwards scored and with the O’Shea brothers doing the business around midfield, the home team were hardly flattered by a six points win.
A big part of Galway’s reasonable finish to the league had been the shifting around of players to new positions, most notably Finian Hanley’s move to midfield and the posting of Paul Conroy to full forward. Understandably, they were kept in those roles for the trip to Castlebar with recognised midfielder Greg Higgins taking over at centre back and natural defender Gareth Bradshaw lining out in the half-forward line.
These were brave calls by the Tomas O Flatharta led team management but, unfortunately, none of these decisions were vindicated in a poor Connacht semi-final. Higgins had trouble keeping tabs on the lively if wayward Alan Dillon on the forty; the midfield action seem to bypass Hanley; while Bradshaw, for all his energy and Conroy, despite an opportunist goal, hardly justified their change of scenery either.
It was also strange that Diarmuid Blake, who is most effective in the number six jersey, was introduced to the attack at a time when the team’s half back line were coming under severe pressure. Like the Galway hurling management, the football mentors have now something to prove, a scenario which was hardly helped by drawing a revitalised Meath away in the next round of the All-Ireland qualifiers.
In the footballers’ defence, being the last team to enter the championship over ten weeks after their last competitive outing hardly did Galway any favours although the great All-Ireland title success of the county’s U-21s must have given the squad some momentum in the lead up to the match. Unfortunately, they didn’t look sharp in McHale Park where the substitutions of Cormac Bane, in particular, and Conroy caught some supporters by surprise.
In retrospect, the writing was on the wall for Galway in the opening-half. Mayo were dominating the possession stakes and despite facing the elements on a typically gloomy West of Ireland afternoon were creating far more scoring chances as evidenced by the 8-2 wide count over those 35 minutes. The wet conditions were also having a big impact on the quality of fare on offer with poor handling, a stack of turnovers on both sides, and the absence of scores only compounding the misery of drenched spectators.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement
Date Published: 07-May-2013
Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.
It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.
Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores
This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.
However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.
Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.
That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.
The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.
Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.
Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.
He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.
Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.