Mark Gardiner, our man in Japan for the Rugby World Cup
Excitement has been building all week and even though Hiroshima isn’t a host city we are still getting a fair share of rugby fans passing through. Since last Saturday I’ve noticed some Irish fans coming into the pub, people who have arrived to take in some of the sights of Japan and then head off to take in the some of the pool matches.
There’s been some from Wexford, Mayo, Roscommon, Kerry, Laois, Dublin and Donegal but none from Cork yet! All of those fans will now be making their way to Yokohama which is situated right next to Tokyo and around 4 hours on the bullet train from Hiroshima. I’m giving the first two games a miss and will wait for Ireland to move closer to my adopted home city.
The Russia game will be held in Kobe, just one hour away, so I’ll be going to that with my son Tom on the eve of his 10th birthday. More accustomed to going to baseball games together hopefully he’ll see a try fest and enjoy a very different sporting atmosphere.
Earlier in the week, my Guinness rep walked in looking proud as punch to present me with five big Guinness posters for the rugby. As I unrolled one I couldn’t believe my eyes! [See poster below.] He couldn’t understand so I told him it was like having a Kirin beer poster with “good luck Korea” on it. He got the message pretty lively!
For some reason, the big story here is how much beer rugby fans drink. They’re very wary about bars, restaurants and stadiums running out so there have been numerous articles in papers telling landlords to order twice the norm. I had the local newspaper calling me yesterday almost begging me to tell them that I’d ordered way more beer than I normally would.
Tonight we have the opening game at 19:45 local time so hoping to get a good crowd into the pub for that. I will try and post some photos in the next few days. A big win for Japan is probably vital in order to catapult the tournament into the mainstream consciousness so hopefully, they won’t disappoint.
If anyone reading this plans to come out, there is a great forum on Facebook “Irish Rugby World Cup Japan Forum” or you can contact me on the Molly Malone’s Hiroshima Facebook page. Fingers crossed for Sunday.
Follow Mark Gardiners World Cup Diary here and on the Galway App.
Mark Gardiner is a former Galway resident now resident in Hiroshima, Japan where he owns and operates Molly Malones Bar.
Read his weekly unique insight into the 2019 Rugby World Cup here and on the Galway App.
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Huge reward for ‘dognap’ – as canine companion dies of broken heart
Galway City Tribune – Galway’s most famous dog, Biggy the Irish Wolfhound, has “died of a broken heart” after his Jack Russell best mate was the victim of a suspected ‘dognap’ – which led to the owner putting up a €20,000 reward.
Following a social media campaign which went viral, Biggy was famously reunited with his family 11 days after he went missing in 2013. He was discovered on the motorway outside Athenry.
Nine years later, James Leopold Mechels has erected hundreds of posters all over the city and suburbs in a desperate bid to find the ageing Jack Russell he calls ‘Little One’.
The Belgian native recently increased a reward for the return of his beloved pooch from €1,000 to €20,000. But so far, no credible sightings have been made.
“He’s been missing for 3,288 hours – 137 days, I’m so exhausted, so upset, so anxious. I’ve stopped working to focus all of my effort into finding him. I’ve cycled all over the city, I’ve driven to the horse fair in Ballinasloe,” James told the Galway City Tribune this week.
This is a preview only. To read more of James’ story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.
■ Anybody with information is asked to call 087 0650678 or Ark Vets on 091 584185.
Row deepens over Tiny Traders market
Galway City Tribune – The row between the Tiny Traders Village and Galway Arts Centre – the operators of Nuns’ Island Theatre – deepened this week as the Arts Centre announced its intentions to open its own market on the site.
Manager of the Tiny Traders Village, Paul David Murphy, has claimed this was proof that it was always Galway Arts Centre, and its Managing Director, Páraic Breathnach’s, intention to “force” them out, adding that he had felt under constant threat of being shut down.
“It did come as a bit of a shock, but it was something I was expecting,” said Mr Murphy of a post on social media announcing that a new market would open.
“It’s now obvious that they were trying to get rid of us and I can’t believe how transparent they’ve been. Up until this point, there had been a little degree of mystery as to why this happened. It’s sad because the Tiny Traders Village was working really well.”
This comes following a decision by the Tiny Traders to cease trading two weeks ago, citing changes that Galway Arts Centre had requested that Mr Murphy said would have made his business “unviable”.
Speaking to the Galway City Tribune this week, Páraic Breathnach confirmed that they had requested changes – involving layout alterations and clearance – but this had been done due to health and safety concerns.
“There were changes requested to comply with fire regulations, safety and health. They were in relation to the blocking of pathways, the blocking of fire exits, clearance between stalls and the affixing of canopies to a listed building,” said Mr Breathnach.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.
Call for Gardaí to confiscate vehicles involved in fly-tipping
Galway City Tribune – confiscation of vehicles – and driver disqualification – have been sought by a Galway TD and a local councillor for those involved in illegal dumping.
According to Independent TD, Noel Grealish and Independent councillor, Noel Larkin, illegal dumping on the east side of Galway City has now reached ‘an all-time high’.
Last week, Deputy Grealish and Cllr Larkin, met with Climate Action and Environment Minister, Richard Bruton, to seek new measures cracking down on those involved in illegal dumping.
“I asked Minister Bruton to introduce legislation that would result in driver disqualification for persons convicted of illegal dumping while using a vehicle. I am also seeking for the introduction of legislation that will give judges the power to order the confiscation of vehicles used for illegal dumping,” said Deputy Grealish.
The Gardaí and Galway City and Council Councils have now been asked to establish an ‘all-county initiative’ to tackle the problem.
This year, Galway City Council was allocated just €50,000 from a €7.4m Government fund to tackle illegal dumping – the lowest figure of any local authority in the country.
This is a preview only. For extensive coverage of the illegal dumping issue, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.