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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway on their guard for visit of improving Carlow

Stephen Glennon

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Daithí Burke who will be returning to the Galway defence for Sunday's Leinster hurling championship clash against Carlow at Pearse Stadium.

GALWAY senior hurling boss Micheal Donoghue insists the Tribesmen will be taking nothing for granted as they commence the defence of their Leinster championship crown with a low-key opener against 2018 Joe McDonagh Cup winners Carlow at Pearse Stadium on Sunday (3pm).

When these sides met in the second round of the National League in early February, the contest ended all-square at 0-20 apiece. That said, league fare in February is a far cry from championship action in May and the expectancy is that 2017 All-Ireland champions Galway will not be as forgiving when Carlow arrive in Salthill.

Galway’s top scorer in the National League with 0-57 (0-50 placed balls), Joe Canning is set to miss the Leinster championship with a groin injury and this has left many pondering the strength of Galway’s All-Ireland credentials for 2019.

Not only was Canning the chief source of scores throughout the league, his general play was exceptional. His absence creates a major void and Galway must now absorb the loss of his creativity, power and scoring prowess for their provincial campaign.

On a positive note, Galway did boast of 17 scorers in the National League, including Jason Flynn (1-16, 0-14 frees), Cathal Mannion (1-15), Brian Concannon (2-6), Davy Glennon and Conor Whelan (1-7 each) and Niall Burke (1-6).

This scoring spread did not include Sarsfields Joseph Cooney, St. Thomas’ duo David Burke and Conor Cooney and the United States based Jonathan Glynn, all of whom are expected to return to action for the forthcoming campaign.

Another key player for Galway to miss the National League was Turloughmore’s Daithí Burke. After helping Corofin to back-to-back All-Ireland club senior football titles in March, the dual player is sure to be in great nick.

All-Star Burke will bolster a Galway defence that will have a familiar look about it. Padraic Mannion, Gearoid McInerney and Aidan Harte continue to be pivotal figures while one of the finds of the National League was Sarsfields and Galway underage graduate, Darren Morrissey.

Morrissey was not the only one to impress. Jack Grealish, Sean Loftus and Concannon also showed well in the spring and they should be rewarded with game time over the Leinster round robin series.

Consequently, even despite Canning’s loss, Galway should be a different proposition this summer. Add in the hurt of their All-Ireland defeat to Limerick last August and that should motivate them even further.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Patients moved from Merlin ‘to bolster private numbers’

Enda Cunningham

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Merlin Park: Patients were moved to private hospital.

Health Minister Simon Harris has said he will ask the HSE why patients requiring rehab services were moved from Merlin Park to a private hospital, leaving the state-of-the-art facility idle.

He was asked in the Dáil last week why waiting lists were not being tackled, when capacity at the Galway Clinic and Bon Secours private hospitals is at 15-20%.

Last month, the State entered a deal to ‘take over’ the country’s private hospitals – which has come under criticism in the Dáil with claims of under-utilisation of facilities.

Galway West Deputy Catherine Connolly asked for full details of the agreement with the private hospitals – worth €115m per month nationally – and said nothing about it made sense to her.

“We have major waiting lists and our two private hospitals in Galway City are at 15% to 20% capacity. The hospital itself [UHG] – I must be wrong about this figure but it is what I have been told – was at 30% to 40% capacity as of May 15,” she said.

Department of Health figures for last week show a 39% ‘utilisation’ rate for the Bon Secours and 16% for Galway Clinic.

“The Minister has stood in the Chamber and told us he had to make such arrangements, and certainly I welcomed the narrative at the time that we were taking over the private hospitals to deal with a pandemic. However, we are not utilising them.

“Merlin Park has a state-of-the-art rehab service. It has a gym and all types of therapists but it is now lying idle because, under this deal, the Government transferred the patients from that wonderful facility to a private hospital.

“It took the therapists and patients into the private hospital to allow them to get up to 15% or 20% capacity. It sent the nurses into the public system and left the system empty at Merlin Park, and that is to mention only one service.

“None of the way this has been done makes sense to me. Surely anybody with a bit of sense would know that when the terms and the heads of agreement were signed, it should have allowed for change.

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

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Barriers set to halt groups drinking at quayside

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Access to the green quayside areas off Wolfe Tone Bridge will be blocked from today to prevent large groups of people drinking over the Bank Holiday weekend.

And the message from Garda Chief Superintendent Tom Curley is – enjoy the glorious weekend of weather that’s in store, but diligently maintain the two-metre social distancing rule and don’t consume booze in public areas.

“We are not killjoys and the lovely weather is a boost to everyone’s spirits. People will enjoy the outdoors this weekend but it’s illegal to consume alcohol in public areas and we will be enforcing that bylaw.

“In this kind of weather, there will inevitably be groups of people congregating in outdoor areas – but the message is simple and crystal clear: at all times maintain the two-metre social distancing guideline,” Chief Supt Curley told the Galway City Tribune.

On Tuesday evening last, Gardaí did enforce a dispersal procedure in the Spanish Arch/Claddagh Quay area of the city, after about 200 young people had gathered there, many of them consuming alcohol. They continued to patrol the area yesterday.

A spokesperson for Galway City Council confirmed yesterday that a green area on the Claddagh Quay side of the river – where large groups of young people had gathered this week – would be closed off to the public, probably from today (Friday).
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CITY TRIBUNE

Westwood owners plan tourist accommodation usage

Enda Cunningham

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The Westwood student accommodation complex site this week.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The owners of the new Westwood student accommodation in Newcastle are planning to use part of the complex for tourist and business traveller accommodation “in light of the current health pandemic”.

NTM ROI Seed Capital is currently building the five apartment blocks off the N59 and has sought a determination from An Bord Pleanála on whether it would need to apply for planning permission to allow “partial occupation for tourist and visitor use in the academic year from September 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021”.

Under the existing planning permission, the development “shall only be occupied as student accommodation . . . and shall not be used for any other purpose without a prior grant of planning permission for a change of use”.

However, the company has drawn up a contingency plan in the event that construction may not be completed for the coming academic year.

The plan involves allowing tourists and other ‘non-student’ users to be accommodated in the complex – An Bord Pleanála has been asked to determine whether the change would be a ‘material alteration’ of the planning approval or not.

If it is ruled a material alteration, the Board can then invite submissions from members of the public before it decides on whether to approve or reject it.

Already, local residents – who strongly objected to the entire development during the planning process – have expressed concerns about parking issues which they believe would arise if the Westwood is used for tourist use.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. Please remember that without advertising revenue and people buying and subscribing to our newspapers, this website would not exist. You can read the full article by buying a digital edition of this week’s Galway City Tribune HERE.

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