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CITY TRIBUNE

Gibbes linked to Connacht job

John McIntyre

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New Zealander Jono Gibbes who has been linked with the vacant Connacht Head Coach role.

A coach no stranger to Ireland has emerged as the frontrunner to take over from Pat Lam as Connacht supremo next season.

New Zealander Jono Gibbes is currently working as assistant coach at Top 14 club Clermont and last year extended his contract in France until the summer of 2018.

However, Gibbes may be available due to a clause in his deal relating to a head coaching position and it is understood that Connacht have sounded out the eight-times capped former All Black about replacing Lam at the Sportsground

The 39-year-old Kiwi originally moved to Ireland to join Leinster in the summer of 2008, as he took control of the province’s forwards in what was his maiden permanent coaching appointment.

He was influential in Leinster’s first-ever Heineken Cup triumph under Michael Chieka in 2009, before being an important part of Joe Schmidt’s coaching team for the 2011 and 2012 European successes.

Leinster also won two Pro12 titles – the second of them under Matt O’Connor – and a Challenge Cup during Gibbes’ stint as forwards coach, before Clermont lured him to France in the summer of 2014.

Gibbes was thought to be a contender to replace Schmidt as Leinster head coach before O’Connor’s appointment, but felt he still had more learning to do as an assistant.

A back row or lock in his playing days with the Chiefs and Waikato, Gibbes was linked with a return to Leinster as head coach in the summer of 2015 after O’Connor’s departure. However, Gibbes subsequently signed a contract extension with Clermont until 2018.

Earlier this year, Gibbes was heavily linked with the head coaching role at the Queensland Reds, a position that ex-Leinster coach O’Connor was close to securing before the Australian Super Rugby franchise appointed Nick Stiles.

He is highly-regarded by Schmidt and the IRFU, meaning Connacht would likely have the union’s backing if they were to make a formal offer to Gibbes.

Gibbes has previously spoken of how he learned key attacking lessons from Schmidt, picked up important cultural aspects of coaching from Chieka, and also garnered defensive knowledge from O’Connor.

Connacht rugby had been thrown into disarray by Lam’s shock revelation that he was leaving the province at the end of the season to take up the head coaching role with Bristol in the English Premiership.

This week, Connacht forwards coach Jimmy Duffy ruled himself out as a contender to take over as Head Coach, while among the percieved original strong contenders for the post was former provincial hooker, Bernard Jackman, who is currently with Grenoble in the Top 14.

Connacht declined to comment yesterday (Thursday) on any speculation linking Gibbes with the head coaching post, but the indications are that the appointment of Lam’s succesor is not imminent.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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