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CITY TRIBUNE

Gibbes linked to Connacht job

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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

24/7 Garda surveillance on feuding Galway families

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Specialist Garda units have been maintaining round-the-clock surveillance over the past week in different parts of the city in an effort to keep the lid on a vicious ongoing feud between two families.

The feud, which resulted in a number of houses being firebombed and a gunshot being fired into a doorway earlier this month, is still simmering but Gardaí have put in place a ‘watch and follow’ strategy in relation to gang members.

Gardaí have also confirmed that they are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry into what they regard as the most serious of the incidents which occurred in the latest outbreak of the feud.

That involved a shooting incident on the Wednesday night of June 15, when a gunman fired a shot into the door of a house in the Bohermore area at around 10.30pm – he is believed to have initially making his getaway on foot before being picked up in a waiting car in the Forster Court area.

Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins, who is heading up the investigation into the series of incidents, said that . . . .
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Highwire performers to stage Claddagh spectacular

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s a skill known as funambulism – highwire or tightrope walking – and later this month it seems set to draw huge outdoor crowds to the Claddagh Basin.

Staged on seven highwires spanning the River Corrib, south of Wolfe Tone Bridge, the performances on July 16/17 (Saturday/Sunday), will feature a cast of 150 people from all ages and backgrounds.

Entitled ‘LifeLine’, this spectacular event is being produced and presented by the Galway Community Circus group and will be one of the highlights of the upcoming Arts Festival.

Originally, ‘LifeLine’ had been pencilled in as part of the Galway European Capital of Culture 2020 events, before being scuppered by the Covid pandemic.

The highwire event also has a more serious undertone, in its promotion of the importance of mental health wellbeing at a location renowned for its beauty – but also for many personal human tragedies.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Knives, live ammunition and drugs seized in Knocknacarra

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Knives, live shotgun cartridges and over €10,000 worth of drugs were seized by Gardaí in an operation earlier this week in the Knocknacarra area.

Four young males – who were acting suspiciously in the Lios Mór area at Cappagh Park on Tuesday evening last at around 7pm – were approached by a Garda unit and searched.

During the search, Gardaí found a quantity of cocaine on one of the men, while nearby they also seized a number of offensive weapons including knives.

All four were detained for questioning by Gardaí after being taken to Garda HQ in Murrough, Renmore and in a follow-up search at a house in Knocknacarra, €10,000 worth of cannabis was discovered as well as three live shotgun cartridges.

One of the men – aged in his early 20s – is . . . .
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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