By Denise McNamara
The celebrations surrounding the opening of the new Hibernians FC Clubhouse had to be carried out in the nearby community centre as the building hasn’t been handed over.
However, this didn’t seem to mar the atmosphere on Saturday as former player and Ireland international, David Forde charmed an army of youngsters.
Up to 400 people turned out to witness the unveiling of the €1.35m clubhouse which boasts six dressing rooms with shower facilities, gym, meeting rooms, office space and a substantial car park.
However because the facility had not been handed over by the contractor to Galway City Council in time, the crowd were not permitted to enter the building at the same time.
The invitees, which included Forde, Millwall and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper, as well as Football Association of Ireland (FAI) President John Delaney, had to don high visibility jackets and be taken on a guided tour of 25 people at a time, with nobody under the age of 16 allowed to enter.
The celebration to mark the occasion took place instead in the community hall in Bohermore instead of in the state-of-the art 5,000 sq ft clubhouse.
“The contractors, Weslin Construction from Dublin, were not in a position to hand it over, things probably ran a bit too tight in time. There were air test and water tests to be carried out as part of the snag list before it could be taken over by the council,” confirmed Councillor Ollie Crowe.
“I must have rung the council 40 times in the last two weeks but it wasn’t handed over in time. It was a small bit disappointing it wasn’t ready. I have got confirmation this morning from Galway City Council that it is going to be handed over no later than June 15.”
Member of the organising committee, Sean McGlynn, said they had picked the date some time back to suit Forde, who has just finished his season in the UK and is about to go on international duty for Ireland.
“Once we organised the function we couldn’t change. It wasn’t a major issue as far as we’re concerned. Galway City Council and the developers accommodated tours of 25 people so everybody who wanted to, got to see the inside of the building. The initial plan was to have it finished by that date but it was never written in stone.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.
It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.
General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.
She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.
Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.
Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.
Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.
She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.
Galway rowers aim for Olympic gold!
Best of luck to two Galway rowers – Aifric Keogh of Aill an Phréacháin in Na Forbacha, and Fiona Murtagh from Gortachalla in Moycullen – who are part of Team Ireland’s Women’s Coxless Fours team who compete in an Olympic final in Tokyo at 1.50am (Irish time) Wednesday.
Coverage on RTÉ 2 television begins from 1am.
Ireland – who were second in their heat after Australia, who set a new Olympic Record – are in lane two, with Great Britain on their outside, and Australia, favourites for a gold medal, in lane three.
The Netherlands, China and Poland are in lanes four, five and six at the Sea Forest Waterway.
Poor weather meant some rowing events were re-scheduled but the Women’s Fours final was not impacted.
Jim Keogh, Aifric’s father, told the Tribune he was hopeful ahead of the final.
“To make the Olympics is tough, to make the final is tough, to make the medal is tougher,” he said.
Photo: Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty.
*Full coverage of the race and reaction in this week’s Connacht Tribune and Galway City Tribune
Paedophile sentenced to a further 17 months in prison
A convicted paedophile, described by a Garda as ‘a prolific child abuser’, has had a 17-month prison sentence added to a 13-year sentence he is already serving for the rape and sexual abuse of children.
Disgraced primary school teacher and summer school bus driver, 69-year-old Seosamh Ó Ceallaigh, a native of Tuirín, Béal a’ Daingin, Conamara, had at all times denied two charges of indecently assaulting a ten-year-old boy at a Gaeltacht summer school in Béal a’ Daingin in 1979.
The offence carries a maximum two-year sentence.
A jury found him guilty by majority verdict following a four-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last month.
At his sentence hearing last week, Detective Paul Duffy described Ó Ceallaigh as a prolific child abuser who had amassed 125 child abuse convictions, committed while he was a primary school teacher in Dublin and while he operated an Irish language summer school in Beal a’ Daingin.
They included convictions for rape and sexual assault for which he is currently serving sentences totalling 13 years.
Those sentences were due to expire in August 2024, but last week, Judge Rory McCabe imposed two, concurrent 17-month sentences on Ó Ceallaigh, before directing the sentences begin at the termination of the sentences he is currently serving.
The judge noted Ó Ceallaigh’s denial and lack of remorse and the lifelong detrimental effect the abuse had on the victim as aggravating factors.