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Galway Tribesmen triumph in All-Ireland final

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Tribesmen 36

Ballynahinch 34

THE Galway Tribesmen Rugby League Club made history for the second week running when they were crowned All-Ireland champions after a ferocious nail-biting final against the title holders of Northern Ireland in a balmy Carlisle Sportsgounds in Bray last Saturday.

The Tribesmen began in determined fashion against the Ballynahinch Rabbitohs. Kenny Calladine, the opposition’s player-coach, was injured in first tackle he made and had to be helped from the pitch with a shoulder injury.

Despite this loss, the Rabbitohs drew first blood as Karl Yellop burst through after four minutes to score but Hugh Van Asbeck missed the conversion. From the restart, Galway caught the Rabbitohs napping and good attacking play led to a penalty. They refused the two points on offer, running the ball and Paddy Finn crashed over the line in the seventh minute only for his try to be chalked off for a double movement.

Galway began to look fluid in attack though they spurned chances and a high tackle on Kenny James offered some relief for the Rabbitohs, who were struggling to come to terms with the loss of Calladine. The Tribesmen came back and Andrew ‘Mika’ Atonio, the club captain, made huge yards and offloaded brilliantly but James Simpson pounced and stole the ball for the Rabbitohs.

A huge hit by Galway to retrieve possession meant they were back on the ball and a fine cross chip kick by Peter O’Neill gave Josh Nugent a chance and that was all he needed to collect the ball and score in the corner in the 20th minute. O’Neill then edged the Tribesmen in front with a fantastic touchline conversion.

By midway through the first half, three players had now left the pitch due to injury, such was the intensity which the game was being played at. Great play from Jacob Spargo saw a superb steal and the ball turned over but it was soon back in Rabbitohs hands as a loose pass was pounced upon and a great run saw Chris Orr score a superb try which wasn’t converted.

On 30 minutes, McMahon blasted through from about 20m out and scored under the sticks for the Tribesmen. O’Neill then put the extra two over and there was now a try between the two sides. From the restart, a wonderful run by Conor Mackey ended when he offloaded to Ethon Maloney, who duly returned the ball to Mackey to send the Tribesmen further ahead, the first time in the game there had been more than one score between the teams. This was converted by O’Neill.

The first half finished with the Tribesmen leading 18-8 The second half started with a low kick from the Tribesmen at kick off. The Rabbitohs quickly returned it and were met with a fired-up defence. However, a great break by Nathan Gibson paved the way for Yellop to get his second of the day from close range. The resulting conversion was missed.

Full report in this week’s Galway City Tribune

Connacht Tribune

A Moycullen win would add badly needed spice to football’s big day

John McIntyre

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Conor Reddington of Annaghdown and Tuam Stars' Adam Carton in action during the North Board Minor B football final at Tuam Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

BEFORE a ball was kicked in this year’s Galway senior championship, the smart money would have been on champions Corofin, Tuam Stars, Salthill/Knocknacarra and Mountbellew/Moylough making it to the semi-finals if they managed to keep out of each other’s way on the road to the penultimate stage off the title race.

Unfortunately, for a Salthill team which, in any event, didn’t scale their expected heights this year, they came up against the champions in the quarter-finals where the Seasiders’ challenge was dismissed in convincing fashion. It was business as usual for Corofin who remain odds on to claim a record-breaking eighth consecutive title.

With Tuam Stars edging out Bearna after extra-time, a Paul Kelly goal helping Moycullen get the better of St James’, and Mountbellew/Moylough powering home against 14-man Killannin, it means that three of last year’s semi-finalists are back seeking a place in the Galway decider this weekend. Mountbellew/Moylough are the odd ones out having fallen to Corofin in the 2019 quarter-finals.

Val Daly’s troops will need the performance of the lives to overturn club’s football’s dominant power, especially as they continue to field without county player John Daly – a son of their manager. Of course, they are not without a chance and if the likes of Michael Daly, Matthew Barrett, Eoin Finnerty, Eoin Ryan and Barry McHugh hit the ground running, they could give Corofin a searching time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Greens see red on gold rush

Dara Bradley

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Opposition is intensifying to the prospect of a licence being awarded to Canadian gold prospectors planning to explore the heart of Connemara.

Environmental campaigners have warned of the dangers of awarding a prospecting licence to Toronto-based MOAG to mine for gold and silver in land around Roundstone, Ballyconneely and Ballynahinch.

They claim the exploration could devastate water supplies, tourism, wildlife – and also led to tensions in the local community.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton has indicated he intends to grant a prospecting licence to the company to explore for the valuable minerals in townlands in Ballynahinch Barony.

The licence allows the holder to explore for mineral deposits, and does not authorise mining of any materials that are found – that requires further licensing.

And Minister Bruton’s Department insists that the activities permitted under this licence are “non-invasive” and “of minimal environmental impact”.

However, campaigners have warned of the dangers mining can have on Connemara, and have urged the public to object before July 6.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Controversial Ballinasloe landfill prepares for closure

Declan Tierney

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The Galway dump that forced householders to close their windows during the hottest of summers will take in waste for the last time during the middle of this year.

The pong the emanated from the landfill site in Kilconnell will be no more as it will cease accepting waste by the end of June next year.

Ballinasloe area councillors were told how Galway County Council took over the running of the landfill site following the liquidation of the former operators Greenstar.

The Council agreed to accept 300,000 tons of municipal waste over a three-year period and this will come to an end by the middle of next year, after which the dump will be capped and closed the following year.

Director of Services Jim Cullen informed a meeting of Ballinasloe Municipal Council that following the closure of the dump, there would be long term care of the site to ensure that there would be no adverse environmental issues.

When Galway County Council took over the running of the landfill site, an allocation of €300,000 was provided by the Department of the Environment for local projects.

Of this, €120,000 has been given to the area engineer to spend at his discretion and the remaining €180,000 has been dispersed equally among the six Ballinasloe councillors – resulting in each getting €30,000 to spend on projects in their area.

It is expected that a further €300,000 will be allocated to organisations within a certain radius of the landfill site and a committee made up of Cllr Aidan Donohue (FG), Cllr Dermot Connolly (SF) and Cllr Timmy Broderick (Ind) to decide how this fund will be dispersed.

For years, the dump in Kilconnell caused annoyance for local residents because of the smells emanating from the site and many householders say that it is still a major problem.

Cllr Michael Finnerty warned about the possibility of a run-off of leachate – a liquid that drains from landfill sites that can cause pollution – from the site into the future.

He said that he attended a meeting in Ballinasloe in which residents expressed concern about a leachate run-off from the old dump in Poolboy which has been closed down for years.

He was assured by Mr Cullen that the situation in Poolboy was being continually monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency but he would investigate these claims.

With regard to the closure of the dump in Kilconnell, Cllr Aidan Donohue said that he was not convinced about the ongoing maintenance of the site into the future.

He said when the landfill site in New Inn was closed many years ago, the Council just walked away and left the site in an unacceptable state.

The Fine Gael councillor was referring to suggestions that the Kilconnell site might have future potential and may be an asset but he cited what happened in New Inn when he said that it was just abandoned.

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