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.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.