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Connacht Tribune

Golf clubs feeling strain as courses still out of bounds

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Players out on the course at Galway Golf Club following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in May 2020. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

GALWAY golf courses are closed again after a Covid disrupted 2020, leaving many under financial pressure with members seeking a reduction in subscriptions due to reduced playing times. The Connacht Tribune puts the spotlight on a sport bunkered for the third time in months.

THE game of golf took yet another hammering in County Galway in late December with the decision to close down clubs which has impacted on an estimated 10,000 members.

There are 16 golf clubs in the county and the vast majority have been struggling from a financial perspective for the past 10 months with a combination of closures and restricted activities within clubhouses.

Even though the weather conditions have not been conducive to golf over the past couple of weeks, the courses and clubhouses are again left deserted and, largely, through no fault of their own.

Golf club members across Galway, some who pay in excess of €1,000 for their annual subscriptions, believe  that they are  now being victimised by a situation that they are not responsible for.

And they are even more infuriated by the fact that so called ‘elite sports’ such as rugby and soccer can continue when golfers, who invariably are so far distanced from each other on the course that there is even less risk of spreading of the virus.

Golfers, who haven’t got much value for the annual sub during the course of 2020, are also annoyed that their governing body, Golf Ireland, have not put up a significant case to keep courses open.

Courses were forced to erect the ‘course closed’ on their gates on two occasions during the 2020 lockdowns and now there are vacant fairways since the latest restrictions have come into place with no knowledge of when they will be allowed reopen.

The Connacht Tribune have been told by several golf clubs across the county that they are looking at their membership being decimated even when they do eventually reopen.

They say that members feel frustrated that they haven’t got value for their membership during the various closures and may not renew their subscriptions unless there are significant discounts in place to entice them to return.

Members are also frustrated given that social distancing automatically happens whenever they are playing golf – unlike the scenes in the aftermath of PRO14 rugby clashes or even the recent GAA football and hurling series.

The Taoiseach announced that elite sport was being given the green light to continue as the country returned to Level 5, but there was no such latitude granted to golf clubs or tennis clubs whose members invariably participate in an event while keeping a substantial distance apart.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway’s snaring of Shefflin is riveting tale of the unexpected

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Galway's new hurling manager Henry Shefflin in action against the Tribesmen's David Collins during his legendary playing career with Kilkenny.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

The process took over a fortnight longer than expected, there were many twists and turns, but Galway hurling eventually got their man – and what a spectacular coup it represents.

How Galway ended up snaring Henry Shefflin as their new senior team manager was hardly straight forward, but the appointment of the Kilkenny legend to succeed Shane O’Neill has energised the county’s hurling heartlands.

That appeared an unlikely scenario over two weeks ago when the Galway Hurling Committee Chairman Paul Bellew – addressing a specially convened meeting of club delegates in the Lough Rea Hotel – spelt out how the search for a new hurling supremo had stalled. They would have to start all over again.

With the bush telegraph and social media going into overdrive with some wildly inaccurate commentary and a vacuum in terms of reliable information, Galway had to now move quickly to retake control of the situation and quell rising discontent.

But few anticipated that, within ten days, the county would have enticed the sport’s most decorated player to come West, especially a man whose allegiance to Kilkenny has been without compromise and was already perceived as Brian Cody’s successor in the Noreside dug out.

When Galway had begun their quest to fill the managerial vacancy, the initial scouting led to four candidates emerging – former boss Micheál Donoghue, outgoing minor supremo Brian Hanley, an external former inter-county manager (not Davy Fitzgerald) and a local coach who didn’t have a big profile and withdrew from the race within 48 hours.

Family reasons prevented the ‘outsider’ from getting involved, while Hanley found it difficult to commit to the selection process with Donoghue’s shadow hanging over events. In the end, officials never even got to the negotiating stage with Donoghue who opted out due to a combination of family responsibilities and the timing of a possible return to the Galway sideline.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

That’s the spirit!

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Roy enjoys one glass of whiskey every night before bed and only one, he stresses. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Lifestyle – Roy Court, born in Scotland and living in Craughwell, dedicated his career to improving the process of distilling spirits, especially whiskey. His job took him all over the world and involved a stint with the UN. His new book explains what’s involved in creating a great whiskey and is based on skills he gained during more than half a century in the business. He talks to STEPHEN GLENNON.

If there is one thing that Roy Court knows about, it is what constitutes a good whiskey. So much so, he has written a book about it called How We Put An ‘e’ in Whiskey.

A native of Scotland, Roy, who worked as a chief chemist for William Grant & Sons and as a development distiller for John Jameson & Sons (later Irish Distillers) moved to Ireland in 1965. He has spent the last 40 years in the West of Ireland.

Sitting in his home in Craughwell, alongside his daughter Ruth, who has followed in his footsteps into brewing and distilling, the 84-year-old reflects on a career that took him all over the world.

Born in 1937, Roy began his journey as a laboratory assistant in Scotland with the Distillers Company Limited (DCL) – based at Menstrie, near Alloa – in 1955. He also attended third- level education on a part-time basis, qualifying as a research chemist.

“It (the laboratory) was the old Glenochil Distillery, at which my grandfather had been one of the excise officers,” he explains. “The distillery was closed many years and they had it converted to a yeast factory, but, onsite, they had various laboratories because it was part of the distillers’ company.”

The scientific work for the five main grain distilleries was centralised in these laboratories, and Roy’s duties included measuring the moisture content in maize and malt, along with malt analysis.

Through his studies, Roy identified a better way to speed up kilning in the malting process.

“I had the idea that when the water was evaporating, it actually holds down the temperature. So, what you should do is hit it with a lot of heat at first, get rid of the excess water, and then slow it down.

“Anyway, the company took this on and I was sent to the various maltings to supervise doing that, which resulted in them increasing their production.”

In the whiskey industry (whiskey is spelled without the ‘e’ in Scotland), Roy became hot property and was offered a job with Associated British Maltsters in England. He spent three years with them before he was head-hunted by Scottish firm William Grant & Sons and became their chief chemist in a new distillery in Girvan in South Ayrshire.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Familiar foes are set for intriguing senior decider

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Kilkerrin-Clonberne’s Claire Dunleavey and Claregalway's Charlotte Cooney in action during the 2019 Galway senior ladies football final in Milltown. The clubs meet in the decider for the third consecutive year on Saturday.

By Ivan Smyth

IT will be a case of familiar foes meeting when Kilkerrin/Clonberne and Claregalway square off in the county final in Annaghdown on Saturday (4pm). Willie Ward’s all conquering Kilkerrin/Clonberne side will be aiming to win their ninth county title in a row, but they come up against a Claregalway outfit who drew with them in the group stages of this year’s championship.

The sides will meet in the county final for the third year running and the fifth time in seven years. Last year’s decider ended in a nine point win for Kilkerrin/Clonberne, although the victory margin slightly flattered the champions. Claregalway manager Eugene Kearney is aware of the difficult task his side faces when they come up against this all conquering Kilkerrin/Clonberne outfit.

“We are well used to the opposition and we are looking forward to taking them on. We have a huge task ahead of us. We are under no illusions to the size of the task we face. In terms of preparation, we have tried to improve ourselves in the year since. We are just focused on our own dressing room and our own players. We are trying to improve the mindset and show we can achieve with Kilkerrin/Clonberne have.”

Kearney’s charges will be monitoring the fitness of Ciara Burke who is suffering with a hamstring issue. His side have impressed in this year’s competition remaining unbeaten, while drawing with Saturday’s opponents in the group stage. They ruthlessly put Corofin to the sword in the last four, prevailing by 5-17 to 2-5.

“If you stand still you are going backwards so that’s why we aren’t going through the motions in any game. We’ve had a full squad since the Coen Cup finished up so we have been able to work together and improve game by game. We are under no illusions to the size of the task. I’m quietly confident in this squad’s ability, but it will all come down to who is better on the day.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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