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Galway out in force in final tribute to hurling legend

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One of the greatest hurlers Galway ever produced – and one of the greatest hurlers from any county never to win an All-Ireland medal – was laid to rest on Monday when former inter-county goalkeeper Seanie Duggan (90) was buried at Forthill Cemetery in the city.

Former team-mates and rival players from all over the country attended the Requiem Mass for the Liam Mellows clubman, who grew up at College Road in the city and played between the posts for the Tribesmen for a decade between 1943 and 1953.

Duggan, who died peacefully last Thursday, was not named on the GAA Team of the Century in 1984. But the man who was named in goals, Tony Reddin, moved from Mullagh to Tipperary because he could not dislodge the Mellows man from the Galway team.

Reddin went on to win three All-Irelands in a row for Tipp, while Duggan was named on the consolation Team of the Century, featuring players who had never won an All-Ireland medal.

There were emotional scenes outside St Patrick’s Church in the city after the Funeral Mass when Reddin, who became a life-long friend despite their sporting rivalry, stepped forward to embrace Seanie’s brother Jimmy – another Galway hurling great, who played with distinction for the men in maroon for 18 years and played in three All-Ireland finals.

Mourners recalled that Seanie won a Railway Cup medal with Connacht in 1947 and a National Hurling League title, in New York, four years later. Sean used to recall with fondness the rousing reception the Galway team received in Eyre Square when they returned with the League trophy in 1951.

They were barren years for Galway hurling, before the county entered the Munster championship, but he was a key member of the side who shocked Kilkenny in the 1953 All-Ireland semi-final – before losing to Cork in the final.

Sean was selected on the Galway Team of the Millennium by a panel of local sports journalists in 2000 and was inducted in the GAA Hall of Fame in 2002. He used to recall epic battles against such acclaimed hurlers as Christy Ring (Cork), Nicky Rackard (Wexford), Mick Mackey (Limerick), and Jimmy Doyle (Tipperary).

Sean turned 90 last year and was delighted to see the Galway team win last year’s Leinster final. He swam every day at Blackrock in Salthill for over 40 years until the end of last year, and many of Galway’s regular group of year-round swimmers attended the Requiem Mass on Monday.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Galway historian’s 14 new books bring running total to 70!

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Steve Dolan.

There may be a book in everyone – but producing 18 of them for publication in one week is taking it to a different level. And yet that’s what Galway historian Steve Dolan has done for Heritage Week. . . adding 18 books this year to bring him up to 70 over the last seven years – and he’s firmly committed to hitting one hundred.

By day – and given the workload, increasingly by night – he is the chief executive of Galway Rural Development (GRD), but the Carrabane resident has had a lifelong passion for history. And that’s what he turns to as a form of relaxation which peaks at this time every year.

Not alone that; he already has the first five of next year’s publications completed – and he’s only starting!

This year’s booklets are all on the theme of Gaelic Games and every one of them is in aid of a different community group or charity. Theoretically, they are limited editions, but – given his own love of the subject matter – he won’t see anyone who shares that passion miss out.

While all eighteen new publications share that GAA theme, the diversity of subject matter within that is breath-taking – and an incredible achievement in terms of the workload and production.

From the story of the county title that Liam Mellows were robbed of in 1942 to the contribution of An Cath Gaedhealach to Galway GAA in 1947/48 or Galway’s 1923 and 1925 All-Ireland victories to sport in County Galway during the revolutionary years; the books are as much about social history as about sport.

See the full list of publications in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

And if they are of interest to you, you can contact Steve at sdolan@grd.ie to buy them.

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Connacht Tribune

Why did Galway suffer just half as many Covid deaths as Mayo?

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Galway and Mayo, two neighbouring counties, have had hugely contrasting experiences with Covid-19-related deaths.

Analysis of the latest figures reveals that Mayo’s Covid mortality rate is more than double that of Galway’s.

The disparity has prompted a Galway West TD to call for an investigation to see what caused the disparity.

Fresh data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) shows that Covid deaths in Galway have topped the 250 milestone.

Up to the end of July, HSPC has been notified of some 251 Covid deaths in Galway since the Pandemic was declared in 2020.

This gives a mortality rate of 97.3 per 100,000 population, which is the second lowest of any county in the Republic after Sligo.

During the same timeframe, neighbouring Mayo notified 296 Covid deaths, which gives a mortality rate of 226.8 per 100,000.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Hurling legend’s distillery plans for heart of Conamara

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Joe Connolly....Conamara vision.

Plans have been lodged to build a multi-million euro whiskey distillery on the Conamara coastline – the brainchild of Galway hurling legend Joe Connolly and his family.

And if it gets the green light, it will square a circle that has its roots firmly in the same Conamara soil – where both of the All-Ireland-winning Galway captain’s grandfathers were renowned distillers too . . . only of the illegal variety.

The plans for the Cnoc Buí Whiskey Distillery & Heritage Centre outside Carna – lodged by Údarás na Gaeltachta on behalf of Drioglann Iarthar na Gaillimhe Teoranta – describe a facility that will provide a first-class visitor experience and greatly enhance the local area’s tourism offering.

Once complete, Cnoc Buí will comprise the distillery itself, bonded warehousing, a bottling hall and tasting bar – as well as the heritage centre, shop and café.

That will create over 30 jobs in the first five years, with the heritage centre alone aiming to attract 16,000 visitors in the first year of operation – rising to at least 52,000 by year five in Iorras Aithneach, an area blighted by unemployment and emigration.

On top of that, their own economic analysis envisages the creation of another 130 jobs in the Carna/Cill Chiarain area – in leisure, hospitality and accommodation on foot of that significant increase in visitor numbers.

The Connollys see Cnoc Buí as ‘an asset which will enrich the entire community’.

“It will enhance the local tourism product and serve as a focal point for both the local community and visitors,” said Cnoc Buí director Barry Connolly.

“The building has been carefully designed to reflect the beauty of its surroundings, because we want our distillery to be an attractive hub, with its Visitors’ Centre and Tasting Bar. It will provide employment, draw in tourists and add value to other business in the area,” he added.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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