Date Published: 22-Jun-2011
ONE of them might prefer his usual berth in the heart of the Galway defence and the other to be raiding Mayo from the left wing, but it looks as though Finian Hanley and Joe Bergin are set to start the 2011 Connacht Championship in the middle of the field when the Tribesmen open their campaign in Castlebar on Sunday.
Midfield has been identified as a problem area for Galway for some years now and new manager Tomas O Flatharta tried out the Hanley-Bergin axis to good effect in the later stages of the Allianz League campaign, when the side almost staged a dramatic escape from relegation after losing their first five games.
Hanley admits himself that he is more comfortable at full-back, where he has turned in many consistent displays for club and county over the years, while Bergin enjoys attacking a defence from wing-forward and taking scoring opportunities.
With fresh blood on the verge of making a breakthrough following the county’s joyous All-Ireland U-21 success on May 1, it may be something of a stop-gap partnership for the Tribesmen. But both men are happy just to be involved.
“Even growing up as a child, Mayo against Galway was always a massive game. It’s no different now as a player, it always whets the appetite and really gets the blood flowing. I’m not too sure how many games I’ve played now in the championship against Mayo, but I’d say it is pretty even-Stevens. There’s never much between us,” said Bergin this week.
“We know we have a big challenge ahead of us. Mayo had a decent League campaign, they consolidated their Division One status again, and going down to Castlebar is not going to be easy. But we are really looking forward to it, training has gone very well, and we are hoping to put in a big, big performance.”
The Mountbellew-Moylough man, in his 12th season with the county seniors, admitted that last year’s campaign was one to forget, with a draw and loss against Sligo being followed by the humiliation of a home defeat to Westmeath and the end of Joe Kernan’s ill-fated reign.
“That is behind us now. I suppose the U-21s have brought an extra dimension to it. They have really upped things since they’ve come in and they have kept us on our toes. It’s good for competition.
Everybody wants to start against Mayo and, unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. There are going to be a lot of lads disappointed, but they will be chomping at the bit to get in and turn the game our way if needs be.”
Hanley told Tribune Sport that the rivalry with Mayo remains as strong as ever, even if neither county has made much of an impact at a national level in recent years. He felt it was important that young players got game time in the League, such as when young Colin Forde took his No. 3 jersey while Hanley found himself in unfamiliar territory further out the field.
Both players have been impressed by how the young Killererin full-back adapted to the step-up to senior intercounty football, freeing up Hanley to work on his partnership with Bergin in centrefield since the conclusion of the League.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement
Date Published: 07-May-2013
Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.
It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.
Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores
This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.
However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.
Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.
That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.
The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.
Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.
Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.
He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.
Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.