Date Published: 23-Jun-2011
TALK of a footballing crisis in both counties looks set to be forgotten for at least 70 minutes on Sunday when Galway travel to take on Mayo in a Connacht senior semi-final showdown which looks set to define an entire year’s work for both sides (McHale Park, 2pm).
The ‘derby’ is always a huge event for both sets of players and supporters, even more so in a year in which there is so little expectation about two teams who contested five All-Ireland finals between them in the six year period between 1996 and 2001.
Realistically, going on their form over the past two years, neither side will feature in the business end of the All-Ireland championship come August and September. But the winners of what promises to be an intense tussle will still fancy their chances of flooring a youthful Roscommon side in the provincial decider on July 17.
A Connacht title would be a decent achievement for both camps following weeks and months of discontent and neither side would relish being dumped into the qualifiers at this early stage after their humbling experiences last year.
The similarities between the sides, both rebuilding under new management teams, have been uncanny over the past year or two. Neither side managed to muster a single championship win between them in 2010, both losing to Sligo before humiliation in the qualifiers against Westmeath and Longford.
Those troubling defeats brought an end to the managerial reigns of both Joe Kernan and John O’Mahony. Confidence was as low as it’s been in decade and a half in either camp when Tomas O Flatharta took charge of the Tribesmen and James Horan was appointed manager of Mayo.
Neither side has basked in glory since those lows. Galway were relegated from Division One of the Allianz League, despite showing a significant improvement in the last three games against Cork, Armagh, and Dublin; while Horan’s men suffered an almighty scare before having to go to extra time to see off London in Ruislip.
Rarely in the modern era have expectations in both counties been at such a low ebb at the same time, even if the Galway U-21s gave the entire county a lift with their All-Ireland final victory over Cavan last month. It was just the tonic the county needed, ensuring that the likes of Mark Hehir, Colin Forde, and Johnny Duane have brought a real sense of enthusiasm to the training sessions in recent weeks.
Enthusiasm was in short supply when the sides last met at Tuam Stadium in the League back in February, when Jason Doherty (2-1) and Alan Dillon (0-5) inspired the neighbours to a facile 2-14 to 0-12 win. But Galway were rebuilding at that stage and they have had 11 weeks to prepare for this one since the conclusion of the League.
“I think at this stage now we have done a lot of training and we are in good shape. We have a few games behind us now in the League and we have had a few challenge games as well, so things are moving fairly well at the moment,” said O Flatharta this week.
“I suppose the success of the U-21s was very important for the whole county. We have brought a good few of those lads into our panel and certainly they have livened up our panel.”
O Flatharta took inspiration from the attitude of the players through the League, despite the succession of defeats to Monaghan, Down, Mayo, and Kerry, as they were learning a new system and gradually began to improve.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.