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Galway Utd flatter to deceive in losing two-goal advantage



Galway United striker Eoin McCormack who scored twice in Friday night's First Division draw against Drogheda United.

Drogheda United 2

Galway United 2

TWO points dropped, or a valuable point gained? It certainly felt like the former after the final whistle on Friday night as Galway United let a two-goal lead slip with a wretched second-half performance, having been in total control of the game at half-time.

On the flip side, Drogheda had started the season in blistering form, hitting 14 goals in two games, and following Friday’s draw, they defeated Finn Harps in a rearranged fixture on Monday night, so maybe it was a good point for Shane Keegan’s side after all.

It certainly didn’t feel like that at around 9.35pm on Friday, when the small but vocal contingent of travelling supporters were left agape at the second-half collapse of their team. Maybe the visitors thought the job was done when leading 2-0 at half-time, but for whatever reason, they were completely overrun by their hosts in the second-half.

Still, having let Drogheda back into the game with a soft goal on the hour mark, the Tribesmen looked to be safe for the win when the home side were reduced to ten men with 15 minutes remaining, but rather than choke the life out of the game, United continued to sit deep and allow Drogheda to attack them, and the home side grabbed a deserved equaliser in the 83rd minute.

United started without Danny Furlong, who was ruled out through injury, but by half-time his absence was forgotten as Ballinasloe native, Eoin McCormack, opened his account for the season with two first-half goals.

The first was of the fortunate variety, his 37th minute strike taking a wicked deflection off Ciaran Kelly to wrongfoot Paul Skinner and end up in the back of the net.

His second three minutes later was a real finisher’s goal. Ryan Connolly whipped in a ball from the left into the space between the goalkeeper and the centre-backs. Skinner came off his line to gather, but McCormack beat him to the ball and beautifully dinked the ball over Skinner’s head to leave the visitors in control.

Drogheda reacted by making two second-half substitutions and switching to a more attack-minded 3-5-2 formation for the second-half as opposed to the 4-4-1-1 shape they employed in the opening 45 minutes.

Crucially, the visitors didn’t counteract, and it allowed the home side to completely dominate the second 45 minutes.

“They literally did the opposite to everything we talked about at half-time. Half of you wants to kill them, half of you wants to kill yourself as you wonder was it something you said at half-time.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.


Swimmer James clocks up one million metres in year



From the Galway City Tribune – A keen swimmer in Galway has clocked up an astonishing one million metres in a year as part of his gruelling exercise schedule.

James Brennan reached the impressive milestone over 400 swims last years,  which were split between the sea in Salthill and across the road early-morning sessions at Leisureland pool.

He would count the lengths in his head or on his watch, regularly swimming up to 240 lengths over 90 minutes in the pool and up to 2km off the beach for a half-hour. On a regular week he would swim the equivalent of 20km.

When James realised he was at 800,000 metres last November, he decided to go all-out to pass the one-million mark by the end of 2022.

So he concentrated on swimming for at least ten hours a week leading up to Christmas and celebrated passing his goal before breaking up for the festivities.

“I’ve always done a lot of swimming. I’ve competed for my local swimming club in Claremorris, County Mayo, and was involved in the Corrib Polo Water Club races. I won the Heskin League, which is a combination of the 14 different open water races in Salthill. I also won the league in Claremorris,” he reveals.

The software engineer has been living in Galway for  13 years and has been a member of Leisureland for four years.

“It’s a really great pool, it has nice facilities, the staff are all very nice,” he reflects.

Facilities Manager of the Council-owned premises, Ian Brennan, said the phenomenal distance was the equivalent of swimming from Galway to Amsterdam.

He heard about James’s achievement from Green Party Councillor and Leisureland board member Niall Murphy, who happened to be swimming in the lane beside James when the Mayo man reached the goal.

“I felt that this is a hugely worthy event and fills me with amazement that we have a superhero in our midst. The future is bright.”

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Ó Tuathail not interested in Galway City Council co-option



From the Galway City Tribune – A two-time general election candidate for the Social Democrats in Galway West has ruled out filling the party’s vacant seat on Galway City Council.

Niall Ó Tuathail, a health reform advisor, has confirmed to the Galway City Tribune that he will not be co-opted to the City Council seat vacated by the shock resignation of Councillor Owen Hanley in January.

“I’m not going to be put forward for co-option,” said Mr Ó Tuathail.

The father-of-two has lived abroad for a time since taking a step back from electoral politics in the wake of his 2020 General Election defeat.

He confirmed this week he has not reconsidered his decision to take a long break from frontline politics.

“I’m still a Soc Dem member and we’re in a process looking for someone strong to represent the values of the people who voted for us in 2019,” Mr Ó Tuathail said.

He polled 3,653 first preference votes in 2020 in Galway West and was only eliminated after the 12th count in the five-seat constituency.

That was an increase on the 3,455 number ones he received in his first Dáil election in 2016, when he also bowed out on the 12th count.

Mr Ó Tuathail was synonymous with the Social Democrats’ brand in Galway, and was heavily involved with the local referenda campaigns for marriage equality and to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

It surprised many political observers when he opted not to fight a local election for the party in 2019.

That was a breakthrough election for the Soc Dems, when Owen Hanley became the party’s first ever Galway City councillor by winning a seat in Galway City East. Sharon Nolan narrowly missed out on a seat in City Central during the same election.

Mr Hanley cited allegations made against him when he announced in January that he was resigning his position.

He said that the matters were “very serious” and would take a considerable amount of time for the authorities to investigate.

The resignation of Mr Hanley left a vacancy on the City Council.

It is the prerogative of the Social Democrats to nominate a person who will be co-opted to replace him as a councillor at City Hall.

A spokesperson for the party told the Tribune last week that it has not yet chosen a successor.

“We don’t have any update in relation to the co-option. I will let you know when we have a candidate,” the spokesperson said.

One problem faced by the party is that a number of possible replacements for Mr Hanley have left the Soc Dems over policy and other issues.

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Cigarettes, drugs and cash seized in Galway



Officers from the Divisional Drugs Unit seized more than €73,000 worth of cigarettes, cash and drugs after a car and residence were searched in Galway today.
As part of Operation Tara – which is targeting the sale and supply of drugs and related criminal activity in the Galway area – Gardaí  searched a car in the Knocknacarra area. Cash and cannabis were seized.

A follow up search was carried out at a residence in Salthill, where cigarettes worth €70,000, along with €3,100 in cash and a small quantity of suspected amphetamine were recovered.

No arrests were made, but Gardaí say they are following a definite line of inquiry.

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