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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Galway family’s light show adds magic to Christmas
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The Carrick Family Light Show returns tonight (Friday) as 70,000 lights are illuminated in aid of a worthy local charity.
The man behind the lights spectacular, James Carrick, says test runs this week have proven successful and the family is ready to mark another Christmas in style.
“This is our fourth Christmas doing it. We started in 2019, but Covid was around for the last two years so it will be great this year not having to worry about that so much,” says James, who has spent the last few weeks carefully rebuilding the show at his home in Lurgan Park, Renmore.
He’s added “a few bits and pieces this year” – his brother buying the house next door has provided him a ‘blank canvas’ to extend.
Over the past three years, the show has raised almost €30,000 for local charities and James hopes to build on that this year – offering the light show for free, as always, and giving the opportunity to donate if people wish to do so.
The show runs nightly from 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday, with an extra kids show on Sundays at 5pm at 167 Lurgan Park (H91 Y17D). Donations can be made at the shows or by searching ‘idonate Carrick Family Light Show’ online.
‘Chaos’ for Christmas as Martin junction works delayed again
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Motorists attempting to get into Galway are facing a nightmare before Christmas as continued delays to the works at the Martin roundabout create traffic chaos on the east side of the city.
Anger over the controversial project to remove the roundabout at Galway Clinic intensified this week as the completion date was pushed out to February – nearly a year after works began and six months later than the supposed deadline.
Local councillor Alan Cheevers (FF) told the Galway City Tribune that he had lost all confidence in the Transport Department in the City Council and hit out at their “outsourcing the problem” to private contractors.
He said despite repeated representations from him, the local authority was refusing to take responsibility for the bedlam caused by the works, which he said had resulted in “three minor collisions in the last five weeks”.
“The bottom line is that this has been an absolute shambles and I’ve lost all faith in senior officials in City Hall. When I raised the issue again this week, I was accused of looking for newspaper headlines – they will not take responsibility,” said the City East councillor.
“It’s like an obstacle course up there, and now they’re saying February for completion. I’ve no confidence it will even be done by then – they’re out of their depth. If you look at what they’re saying, they say they’ll be doing the surfacing until February,” continued Cllr Cheevers, anticipating that works could still be ongoing next March or April.
In a statement issued by contractors Fox Building Engineers Ltd and Galway City Council, it was claimed that “supply chain issues” had impacted severely on the project.
Motorists this week reported delays of up to an hour just to travel the short distance from Briarhill Shopping Centre as far as the Doughiska Road-Dublin Road junction, a distance of less than 2km.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 2 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Councillors rubber stamp ‘temporary’ helipad after nine years in place
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The Health Service Executive (HSE) came under fire over the ‘temporary’ helipad serving University Hospital Galway at a meeting to finalise the Galway City Development Plan for 2023-29.
Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, made a point of publicly highlighting his dissatisfaction with the HSE, calling on them to urgently “regularise” the planning permission for the helipad.
BY ANDREW HAMILTON
Speaking on the issue, Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said that he mistrusted the HSE’s proposal concerning the helipad, saying that previous promises about the site had not been kept.
Currently, University Hospital Galway operates the helipad to transport medical emergencies on Council-owned land in Shantalla – it has been used for past nine years, despite the HSE saying it would be used for six months.
The temporary structure, the busiest helipad in Ireland, transports patients from as far north as Donegal to the hospital.
Councillors voted to change the Galway City Development Plan to provide for a helipad at this location but urged the HSE to normalise the planning permission at the site and to provide compensation to the local community for the loss of a section of the park.
Mr McGrath said that he wouldn’t “wait forever” for the HSE to bring the site in line with the planning laws.
Last month marked the ninth anniversary of when the Saolta University Hospital Group gave a commitment to the people of Shantalla about the public land it borrowed.
Tony Canavan, the then Chief Operating Officer, and now CEO of Saolta, said that the land would be used to accommodate a helipad at the rear of UHG for six months only.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the December 2 edition of the Galway City Tribune where there is extensive coverage of rezoning decisions under the City Development Plan. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.