FOR the 12th consecutive year, Galway prepare for an All-Ireland senior camogie semi-final this Saturday (Gaelic Grounds, 5pm) when they face Cork in a contest that will define their season.
Dublin produced a shock eliminating Wexford while Clare, Limerick and Tipperary had their moments, but there always seemed an inevitably that the Tribeswomen would find themselves in the final four and face the test that would dictate how their year would be viewed.
Galway’s pass/fail status is based on simply qualifying for Croke Park. Beat the Rebelettes and they’ll toast another All-Ireland final appearance. Suffer defeat and questions will be asked whether they’ve slipped from the elite.
The counties met in the 2015 All-Ireland final when Cork emerged triumphant 1-13 to 0-9. Galway prevailed in their previous two meetings, including the league final but they haven’t met since that September showdown.
“We didn’t play them (Cork) at all last year so you are going back to that 2015 All-Ireland,” stated Galway captain Heather Cooney when asked if that final will help motivation. “I mean there are certain things you think about but at the end of the day, it’s an All-Ireland semi-final.
“We’ll just come in and give it our best shot and hopefully whatever it takes to get girls going on the day – be it just being in an All-Ireland semi-final, be it thinking back to that 2015 All-Ireland. Whatever it is, I’ve no doubt we will go in on the day with the right attitude and the right mindset.”
There’s a feeling the county is drifting from the leading pack, but Galway have only been marginally the wrong side of recent results.
“We didn’t concentrate on Cork until now because we couldn’t,” said manager Mark Dunne. “But our aim is to be the best team in the country and to do that, we have to beat the best. All-Irelands don’t come easy or getting to All-Irelands don’t come easy.”
“That is being billed as the All-Ireland I suppose since they were last year’s finalists – Cork and Kilkenny. They were this year’s league finalists. Everyone has them ahead of the pack. I don’t think it has any effect on our camp. I doubt very much it does in Cork’s camp. Cork and Galway games have never much in it.”
Cork lost last year’s All-Ireland final and have looked a side with intent this year, booking their spot this weekend by topping Group B comfortably.
Captain Rena Buckley is focusing on camogie while Gemma O’Connor, Ashling Thompson, Aoife Murray, Katriona and Pamela Mackey remain key. And even though Briege Corkery hasn’t surfaced, Libby Coppinger, Amy O’Connor, Orla Cotter and Hannah Looney are dangerous attackers.
Full preview in this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer
On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.
Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.
While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.
“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.
“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”
Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!
Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.
But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.
The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.
She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.
The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.
“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.
“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”
Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery
Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.
But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.
The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.
To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.
“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.
But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.
Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie