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Connacht Tribune

IRFU and Connacht Rugby call time on 2019/20 domestic rugby season

Keith Kelly

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Connacht’s Jack Carty is encouraging people to be supportive and avoid trolling or scaremongering when using social media as part of Rugby Players Ireland and Z Zurich foundation’s #ImTakingControl campaign. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie.

The domestic rugby season has been brought to an end by the outbreak of COVID-19, with both the IRFU and Connacht Rugby respectively confirming that the All-Ireland Leagues and the provincial competitions have been deemed as finished.

The IRFU announced last Thursday that Irish Rugby’s 2019/20 domestic season is to conclude with immediate effect due to ongoing concerns over coronavirus.

The directive applies to all incomplete national and provincial competitions, and means that there will be no promotion or relegation in any of the five divisions of the Energia Men’s All-Ireland League.

The planned expansion of the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League for the 2020/21 season remains in place.

There will be no league or cup winners in any competition organised at a national level including the Energia All-Ireland Leagues, Energia Women’s All-Ireland Cup and the Energia Bateman Cup.

“The decision to end the domestic rugby season for 2019/2020 season has not been made lightly. All options were discussed and the IRFU is satisfied it has arrived at the only equitable solution.

“These are challenging times for us all and we know clubs will be impacted by this directive, but we will look back at this season as one where we put the physical welfare of our rugby community above all else,” said IRFU Director of Rugby Development, Colin McEntee said:

The news was not unexpected by Galway’s two AIL clubs, Galwegians and Corinthians, who both ply their trade in Divisioon 2B of the AIL.

Chairman of Galwegians RFC, Frank Kinneen, said that “it’s disappointing of course for many of our teams who were still involved in competition”.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway’s newest garden centre has arrived at McD’s in Galway Crystal

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Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building

For over 10 years people have been flocking to McD’s Garden Centre in Loughrea to get the very best range for garden, home and much much more.

This weekend McD’s are proud to announce the opening of a brand new Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building.

Nicely located with good parking and serviced by the 404 Newcastle to Oranmore bus, McD’s Garden Centre at Galway Crystal is a must visit location if you need anything from plants, shrubs, pots, garden furniture and more. They have a dedicated solar garden lights section, gorgeous array of water features and garden ornaments and practically everything you need for your garden.

Visit their Facebook today where they are running competitions and keep track of other promotions too. You can visit their website online at www.McDs.ie

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Connacht Tribune

UHG nurse battles for her life in ICU

Dara Bradley

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Leona Paula Leoncio...in ICU.

UHG remains braced to rapidly respond to any rise in Covid-19 patients as a result of a second surge – but the plight of one of their own colleagues this week showed just how precarious this pandemic can be.

Because while senior management at the Saolta Group vowed to stay ‘vigilant and alert’, a staff nurse at UHG was battling for her life in the hospital’s own ICU.

Leona Paula Leoncio, a 36-year-old mother of two boys, tested positive for Covid-19 last week, and was moved to ICU on Monday where she was intubated and ventilated.

The staff nurse, who had no underlying health conditions, is now battling for life in ICU at UHG, according to the Philippine Consulate in Dublin, which has urged people to pray for her.

Ms Leoncio moved to Ireland in 2017, with her husband and two children, to work in the country’s health system.

“We might have different faiths and beliefs but can I ask of you . . . to take a pause and say a prayer of healing and strength for her and her family,” said Chuck Giner, her nursing colleague at UHG, in a posting relayed on the Philippine Consulate’s social media.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – along with all of the latest news on the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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Connacht Tribune

Gort boy reunites Tipp star with broken hurl from famous point

Dara Bradley

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Liam Linnane from Gort holding Brendan Maher's broken hurley from the All-Ireland semi-final club game. Photo: Hardiman Photography.

Tipperary All-Star hurler Brendan Maher has revealed that a young lad in Gort has found his long-lost hurl – the one he used to score one of the points of the last sporting year.

The broken hurl, the one that broke the hearts of St Thomas’ fans back in January, was used to fire over a point in Borris-Illeigh’s All-Ireland semi-final victory over the Galway club at the Gaelic Grounds.

Maher revealed last week that he tried to retrieve the hurl after the match to keep as a memento, but couldn’t find it. He subsequently got a letter from twelve year old Liam Linnane from Gort, who had found it.

“After I scored the point I got kind of carried away and I threw it over my shoulder into the open stand in the Gaelic Grounds. After the match, I thought I would really like to have that hurley but we could not find it and the club even contacted the Gaelic Grounds afterwards to see if it was found.

“Several weeks had passed and I’d given up on it when I got a letter from a young fella in Gort and I read down through it. He said he was twelve years old and that he was at the game where I scored the point with the broken hurley and that he had the hurley.”

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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