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Connacht Tribune

Galway’s Pocket Rocket seeks a helping hand!

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She’s known as the ‘Pocket Rocket’, and 21-years-old Sinead Keon from Moyglass, Kylebrack near Woodford has many more medals in her trophy cabinet than years she’s spent competing . . . but the one thing she hasn’t yet been able to source is a sponsor.

The sporting achievements of Sinead, who has a form of dwarfism, this year, were recognised at the Irish Grand Prix Awards ceremony held in Kilkenny last Saturday night.

It was another busy season for the Galway athlete who competed in eight home games, and two International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games in Portugal and Athlone.

The highlight of the year came in Athlone in July when Sinead recorded a new Irish and European javelin record – with a 16.85 metres throw.

For this, she was lauded with the Jimmy Byrne Award at the ceremony in Kilkenny, as well as coming first overall in javelin in Ireland for the year, and third overall in shot putt.

However, Sinead Keon is still on the lookout for sponsorship, as she sets her sights on competing at the IWAS World Games in Sharjah, UAE next year.

In February, she will join a team of nine athletes who will represent Ireland at the games. It will cost at least €1,700 to compete at UAE.

Her ultimate goal is to qualify and compete at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo – all of her exploits next season will be focused on qualifying for Japan.

Sinead’s list of achievements over the past five years since she began competing include being the current holder of the Irish and European record in javelin in her class (F41)

She has represented Ireland at seven World Games and won gold medals at discus and shot putt, three silver medals in javelin and two bronze in shot putt. She is a two-times World table tennis champion and has won countless medals at Irish and UK National competitions.

A past pupil of Mercy College Woodford, Sinead has a restricted growth condition known as Achondroplasia, which is a form of dwarfism.

She is one of just three young people in Galway who has the condition. Sinead is just over four feet tall, and is unlikely to grow more than a half a foot further even in adulthood. The top of her legs and the top of her arms are short, and so her reach is very restricted. She became involved in sport in 2012 and has excelled in her chosen fields.

Connacht Tribune

Hospitality group raises €90k

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Lorraine Gallagher (left) and Charlene Hurley of Galway Hospice presented with a cheque for €27,537 by Brian Lynch and Eveanna Ryan of Connacht Hospitality.

The Connacht Hospitality Group this week announced that they raised more than €90,000 for a range of good Irish causes throughout 2022.

The group, which owns well-known Galway establishments including The Connacht Hotel, An Púcán, HYDE Hotel, Residence Hotel and 1520 Bar, as well as the Galway Bay Golf Resort, held a range of events at various stages of 2022 to fundraise for Claddagh Watch Patrol, the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI), Galway Hospice and Make-A-Wish Ireland.

The announcement of over €90,000 worth of funds raised by the Connacht Hospitality Group for national and local charities comes off the back of the past 12 months which saw the group aim to make Corporate Social Responsibility a core part of their identity. This focus allowed them to become more aware of the causes that need assistance while also raising the profile of many of the charities.

The group arranged a diverse array of events to raise funds, and had lots of imaginative ways of grabbing the public’s attention. One event saw people attend HYDE Bar to savour a menu made by a mystery celebrity. In the end, it was revealed that TV personality Gráinne Seoige was the Executive Chef on a night that generated over €8,000 for the NBCRI.

Another event saw staff take part in a ‘Sunrise Swim’ in Salthill – and the public donated in their droves. All money raised went towards Claddagh Watch Patrol, an organisation that works to make Galway’s waterways safer by preventing accidental death and suicide.

One of the most successful fundraisers was the Galway Bay Golf Resort’s Golf Classic, which raised over €22,000 for Galway Hospice.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Residents in fear of gangs travelling to rural Galway to burgle homes

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Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins.

Residents in rural County Galway are living in fear of being burgled after one small area suffered at least 10 raids in the month of January.

Councillor Mary Hoade told a meeting of the County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) this week that those figures were for around Headford alone, as she called for additional resources to target travelling crime gangs visiting the county.

“Some of these burglaries are taking place in the morning when people go to work; some are in the evening; and others at night. It’s very frightening.  We recognise that these criminals are coming into the county, but we need more support to fight crime,” said Cllr Hoade.

“Rural garda stations have less resources . . . we’re relying on the resources in the nearest town,” she continued.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said gardaí couldn’t be everywhere at once, but communities needed to act as their eyes and ears and report suspicious activity when they see it. Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins (pictured) told the JPC that Galway was being targeted from time to time by travelling gangs.

“Three different gangs visited the county on one day recently,” said Det Supt Cummins.

Cllr Shelly Herterich Quinn (FF) said she believed increased CCTV and automatic number plate recognition cameras – to capture known gangs on tour – should be rolled out.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

IDA Ireland’s €10m land purchase backs Oranmore for industry base

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Former Mayor of County Galway, Liam Carroll.

IDA Ireland has trebled its footprint on the outskirts of Oranmore by purchasing more than 100 acres of land to support industry.

It’s understood the semi-state body purchased some 42.9 hectares on the outskirts of Oranmore, for a price in excess of €10 million.

The strategic purchase of land adjacent to some 21 hectares zoned ‘business and technology’ and already owned by the IDA, was a “major vote of confidence” in Oranmore and Galway, according Cathaoirleach of the Athenry/Oranmore Municipal District, County Councillor Liam Carroll (FG).

It brings the total amount of land owned by the IDA in the area to over 150 acres.

This latest parcel, purchased at the end of 2022, is located off the N67 Claregalway Road, to the north and east of the Galway to Dublin Rail line.

“It would be ideally suited and attractive to a major multinational company or companies for the establishment of a high tech, pharmaceutical or medical device type facility,” Cllr Carroll said.

The entire site of 150-plus acres is close to the M6 motorway, and an hour away from international links, Shannon Airport and Ireland West Airport in Knock.  It is also close to a number of potential Park & Ride sites, identified by the National Transport Authority as being suitable for commuters.

It’s understood the land is zoned agricultural and would require a material alteration to the County Development Plan to be voted on by county councillors, in order for it to be rezoned before 2028.

(Photo: Cllr Liam Carroll, who believes the land could be developed for a tech or pharmaceutical hub).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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