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Connacht Tribune

Hurling dominates Galway Sports Stars awards

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IN a year in which Galway hurlers swept the boards in spectacular fashion, it’s highly appropriate that one of the county’s greatest ever exponents of the game will be honoured with the Galway Sports Stars Hall of Fame award for 2017.

Athenry’s PJ Molloy was an integral figure in Galway’s long-awaited All-Ireland triumph in 1980, and also featured in the Tribesmen’s championship success in 1987. A gifted and skilful attacker whose scoring exploits for both club and county will stand the test of time, Molloy also won All-Ireland U21 and National League medals, together with inspiring his club to an emotional county title in 1987.

Indeed, the 53rd annual Galway Sports Stars banquet in the Galway Bay Hotel on Saturday night, January 27, will be dominated by the sport of hurling with the county’s glorious run to All-Ireland success celebrated with three different awards – Joe Canning, Player of the Year; Micheál Donoghue, Manager of the Year; and Galway receiving the Team of the Year honour.

Hurling also features in the Special Achievement category as Liam Mellows’ first county championship triumph in 47 years after defeating Gort in the final, together with their unstinting promotion of the sport in the city, is recognised.

In camogie, Galway defender and a key member of the Sarsfields team which retained their domestic supremacy, Tara Kenny, stood apart from her peers, while Olivia Divilly will be presented with the Ladies Football accolade after some big displays for Galway and helping her club, Kilkerrin-Clonberne, win yet another county title.

One of the most respected Gaelic footballers in the county, Kieran Fitzgerald, is being feted as well after picking up a record-breaking 12th county medal with Corofin last year and also helping the club maintain their supremacy at provincial level. The former All-Star remains a formidable competitor as the Galway champions turn their sights on a third All-Ireland success.

Fifteen years after his previous Horse Racing award, Craughwell’s Pat’s Kelly fittingly bridges that gap after pulling off a stunning win for the second season running by landing the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham National Hunt festival, this time with Presenting Percy.

In the long history of the Sports Stars awards, volleyball has only featured once before, but Loughrea’s Olivia Molloy has broken the mould in not alone continuing to captain the Irish senior team, but also leading Galway Volleyball Club to All-Ireland League and Cup glory.

It will also be a special night for Sinead Keon, who won gold and silver medals in table tennis and the javelin respectively at the World Dwarf Games in Canada, while Galway Water Polo Club’s remarkable success at various All-Ireland levels sees them take the Club of The Year award

The All-Ireland Senior Cup is the most sought-after prize in amateur team golf and Galway GC came up trumps in decisive fashion by overcoming Limerick 4-1 in the AIG sponsored final in Carton House last September, an achievement which sees them honoured with the golfing accolade.

Kieran Molloy (Boxing), Alanna Lally (Athletics) and Claire Rockall (Basketball) are previous award winners who are being feted again, while joining the honours list for the first time are Diarmuid Mulkerrins (Handball), Tiernan O’Halloran (Rugby), Dave Mannion (Rowing), Stephen Folan (Soccer), Jessica Burke (Showjumping) and Sarah Kelly (Swimming).

The Sports Stars awards are the definitive benchmark of sporting achievement in the county and special guest at the presentation banquet – the social highlight of the local sporting year – will be Kilkenny’s Henry Shefflin, the most decorated hurler of all-time.

Galway’s biggest private employers and medical devices company, Medtronic, continue as sponsors of the Sports Stars awards and the panel of local journalists who adjudicate on the awards are indebted to the US multinational for its valued support.

The selection panel comprised of: John McIntyre, Connacht Tribune; Billy Coss, Tuam Herald; Mártan Ó Ciadhra, Raidio na Gaeltachta; Frank Farragher, Connacht Tribune; Stephen Glennon, Connacht Tribune; Mark Walsh, Tuam Herald; Michael Glynn, Connacht Tribune; Seán Bán Breathnach, Raidio na Gaeltachta; Keith Kelly, Connacht Tribune; and Dara Bradley, Connacht Tribune.

Full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune

 

 

Connacht Tribune

Fuel for thought as we try and energise our wheels

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

A good few years back . . . well probably even decades . . . I remember asking quite a knowledgeable motoring correspondent, long gone to his eternal reward, about the pros and cons of staying with petrol or switching to diesel. By the time his reply had finished, nearly 20 minutes had elapsed, and I was avalanched with so much data that I was no wiser at the end of the conversation than I was at the start.

I thought of that a few weeks before Christmas when I happened to tune in to a programme on Channel 4 – Dispatches – which examined the practicalities of owning and driving an electric car across the roads of the United Kingdom.

There is a wish amongst all of us to pursue a more environmentally friendly way of life. At this stage, we all probably know someone who has purchased a fully electric car and certainly many more who have dipped their toes into the waters of the hybrid models.

Anyway, the main theme of the Dispatches programme was that after 10-years of investment by the UK authorities in the infrastructure needed to support electric cars, quite a shocking number of charging points were either out of action or were not working to their full efficiency.

Nearly 10% of the ‘rapid chargers’ sampled across the UK were found not to be working properly, while 30 new ultra-rapid charges were also found to be dysfunctional to varying degrees. Some of the charging points had been out of action for six years and a percentage of those were unrepairable as their technology base was now obsolete.

Apart from their significant extra cost – even if one qualifies for the maximum €5,000 Government grant – the great fear I would have with the electric cars is that I’d find myself marooned in a corner of Kerry or Antrim, out of ‘juice’, and unable to access a charging point.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Covid boosts college coffers

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NUI Galway

NUI Galway reported an operating surplus of almost €19 million during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic when its campus was closed for months.

The healthy finances reported by NUIG has prompted its student body to call for it to waive repeat exams’ fees and student levies, and to invest in mental health services.

Consolidated financial statements for NUIG for the year ended September 30 2020 show the university reported an operating surplus of €18.9 million. This was up by €16 million on the surplus generated in 2019.

The financial statement said that while Covid-19 was ‘extremely challenging’, the ‘extraordinary dedication and work ethic of its staff have mitigated against the financial impact’ of the year.

The report said a surplus of €18.9 million was a ‘commendable performance’ given that 95%  of staff and students withdrew from campus in March 2020 to study and work remotely in line with Government regulations.

It noted that core income fell by a net €4 million compared with the previous year.

“Drops in research income of €9m and a Covid-related decline in commercial and student accommodation income of some €5m were offset by increased fee income of €4m, a €3m increase in the fair value of investments, and other increases of €3m relating to Government grants and other income,” the report said.

It said that the increase in Government grants includes Covid Support grant funding from the Higher Education Authority to cover additional specific Covid-19 related costs of €2.2m.

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

Farm buildings can be used as business hubs in rural areas

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Cllr. Declan Geraghty (Ind)

RURAL farm buildings should be utilised for small business enterprises which would supplement the income of landowners as well as creating some local employment in the process.

This was the view of the vast majority of Galway councillors who passed a motion that buildings directly relating to farming be considered for other purposes that would be financially advantageous to the owners.

The matter came up for discussion at a meeting of the Galway County Development Plan when it was suggested that the farming community needed to be allowed develop small business opportunities.

A motion from Cllr. Declan Geraghty (Ind) – deviating slightly from Galway County Council policy – proposed that they be allowed carry out businesses such as the servicing and repair of machinery, land reclamation, drainage works, and agricultural contracting was carried.

The motion added that this be allowed where it is financially advantageous to locate in a given area and where it would not have an adverse impact on the environment.

The Williamstown councillor said that it could result in hundreds of small business enterprises being developed out of farm buildings.

“At the moment they cannot get planning permission for such enterprises given that they are located in a rural area,” he argued.

He was supported by Cllr. Pete Roche (FG) who went further by saying that even the establishment of pet farms or animal farms that could be opened up to the public were also options that could be considered.

“There are farm families at the moment who cannot earn a decent living out of agriculture alone and would relish the opportunity to diversify,” he added.

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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