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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Gardaí issue warning on ‘movie money’
Gardaí have warned of an increase in ‘novelty’ euro notes – which are almost identical to real currency – in circulation.
The notes are usually marked ‘movie money’ or ‘prop money’, but this can often go unnoticed by the person handling it. They do not have any security features.
Revenue Officers have seized notes in varying denominations representing a value of €430,895 in recent mail centre detections.
Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said: “People need to be aware that such notes exist and at busy times, especially late at night, they need to exercise a little care and attention.
“These notes are easily identifiable if precautionary checks are made. Also people who try to tender such notes as real face prosecution, a possible prison sentence and a conviction, which is for life. Such convictions have serious ramifications if one wanted to travel, to work in certain sectors and it can affect their credit rating”.
“We advise businesses and members of the public who deal in cash to be aware that such notes are in circulation and take appropriate precautionary measures. Business owners should ensure staff members handling cash are alerted to watch out for these fraudulent notes.
“The use of fraudulent currency when trying to purchase goods or services is an offence under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 and carries a potential prison sentence of 10 years.
“These fraudulent notes should not be accepted as legal tender and any incidents of persons trying to pay with “prop money” should be reported to Gardaí immediately,” said Det Supt Cryan.
Fire at site of former Corrib Great Southern Hotel
Emergency services are at the scene of a large fire at the site of the former Corrib Great Southern Hotel which broke out in the early hours of this morning.
Four units of the Galway Fire and Rescue Service were called to the former hotel near GMIT at 5.45am. A unit from Athenry is also in attendance at the scene.
Fire fighters are maintaining a presence at the derelict hotel, which has been the scene of a number of arson attacks over the past number of years.
Three refused bail on violent disorder charges
Three men who were arrested this morning as part of a Garda investigation into violent disorder at a funeral in Mervue last year, have been denied bail by a District Court Judge.
Denis Hannafin, Curry; Robbie Hannafin, Corboy, Edgeworthstown and Tommy Hannafin, Dublin Road – all in Longford – were charged with violent disorder in connection with an incident which occurred outside Holy Family funeral home on in January 13 last year.
Detective Garda Ronan Leonard told the court this morning that CCTV footage showed a number of members of the Hannafin family outside the funeral home on January 13, 2019, at approximately 3.15pm, when a number of members of the McGinley family made their way towards them.
An altercation ensued, which resulted in one member of the McGinley family suffering a gunshot wound, while another received a stab wound to the back. A third man suffered acid wounds.
Gardaí explained that there is a feud going on between the two families, which began when juvenile members of the families got into a fight at a pool hall.
Detective Leonard voiced concerns that if the three accused were granted bail, they would commit further offences and intimidate members of the McGinley family.
Judge Seamus Hughes had remanded the three accused in custody to Harristown District Court next Friday, February 28.