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Is Noel Grealish a racist? On a scale of one to 10

Dara Bradley



Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column with Dara Bradley

Is Noel Grealish a racist? On a scale of one to 10, like. One being not racist at all, and 10 rabidly racist. Certainly, his comments were racist.

At a meeting in Oughterard last week, the Independent Galway West TD, described Christian refugees fleeing Syria, as “genuine”; but African asylum seekers (and for African, we read ‘black’) were “economic migrants” who come to Ireland to “sponge” off the system.

The ones earmarked for the Connemara Gateway Hotel (which it has not yet been officially confirmed will be turned into a Direct Provision centre), would be the latter, opined the former Progressive Democrat.

The remarks were nasty, and hurtful to Africans living here and people in Oughterard and asylum seekers, many of whom, as An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar pointed out, are “fleeing war and fleeing persecution” and it is right that we, as a country, should take some people in.

Almost everybody – bar the mandarins in the Department of Justice, who are tasked with finding Direct Provision (DP) centres – is opposed to Oughterard as a base to house asylum seekers.

Leaving aside the arguments against Direct Provision as a system, even if you were fully supportive of DP, you couldn’t argue that Oughterard was an appropriate place for up to 300 asylum seekers. It just couldn’t cope and it would be wrong for both those seeking refuge, and locals.

Part of the reason why refugees are fleeing here is because we’re a stable democracy, where freedom of speech is sacrosanct and we value people’s right to express opinions. But we can recognise Noel Grealish’s right to say something, while rejecting completely what he said as racist.

Noel’s comments were wrong, too, because they stoked the flames of an already tense situation, and as a public representative, his language should have been more measured.

Even if it were true that some of those coming here are economic migrants; so what? Irish people have been emigrating for economic reasons for donkeys’ years. Noel himself has family in the US; he knows many undocumented Irish living abroad, those forced overseas because the country was broke – and broken. Hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Pensioners, school students, and local community groups know ‘Noeleen’ as the sound lad who buys them lunch during tours of Dáil Éireann. Carnmore hurlers know him as the sound lad who gets the pints in the local after championship games. His Oireachtas colleagues know him as the sound lad who’s handy on the golf course. Constituents, and those who work with him, know he’s a sound TD who gets things done; little things like filling out social welfare forms. It’s what gets him elected.

What ‘Noeleen’ said about African economic migrants being spongers was far from sound. It was ugly, and disappointing. And now the mask has slipped, everybody in the country knows him as the man at the centre of a racism storm in a small, picturesque town in Connemara.

For more Bradley Bytes, see this week’s Galway City Tribune


Titans return to the national league for coming season

Keith Kelly



The Titans team which was defeated by Moycullen in the National Cup semi-final in 2009. Back row, from left: Joe Bree (manager), John Finn (assistant coach), David O'Keefe, Conall MacMichael, Darren Callanan, Patrick O'Neill, Colin Turke, Paul Freeman, and Mike Lynch (coach). Front: Cian McKeown, Danny Finn, Rimyvdas Visockas, Derek Mulveen, Paulius Peldzius, and Jack Considine.

TITANS BC is returning to the national league for the upcoming 2020/21 season, one of four new teams that will compete in the Men’s Division 1 this year.

The city side will play in the Northern Conference of the league alongside fellow new sides, Drogheda Wolves and Malahide, along with Ulster University from Belfast; LYIT from Donegal; Sligo All-Stars; and Dublin Lions and Tolka Rovers from Dublin.

That looks to be the easier of the two conferences: Dublin Lions were relegated from the Super League at the end of last season, LYIT finished 5th in Division 1, Sligo finished 8th, Ulster University finished 9th, and Tolka Rovers finished 10th in a 12-team league competition that ran as a single league, rather than split into two conferences.

With four new teams for the coming season – Team Kerry are the 4th new side – Division 1 is returning to a split conference format, and all the heavy-hitters would appear to be in the Southern Conference.

Team Kerry will be joined by fellow Killarney side, St Paul’s, which finished second in the league last season, as well as Cork’s Fr Mathews and IT Carlow, who finished 3rd and 4th respectively.

Limerick Celtics and Limerick Eagles, who finished 6th and 7th, are also in the Southern Conference, as well as last season’s bottom two, WIT Waterford and Portlaoise Panthers.

Titans took a one-year hiatus from the league last season, having endured a torrid 2018/19 campaign when it finished with the worst record in the league, winning just two of its 23 league games to finish bottom of the Northern Conference.

Maree and Moycullen will once again represent Galway in the Men’s Super League, which is also being split into a two-conference format, with six teams in each conference. However, while Titans will be looking north for their main opposition, Maree and Moycullen will be looking in the opposite direction as both have been placed in the South Conference.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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Group hurling ties to be restricted to supporters of participating teams

John McIntyre



Ronan Elwood of Liam Mellows, and Castlegar's Donal McGreal in action during the group stages of last year's senior county championship.

NO neutrals will be allowed to attend the opening round of the revamped Galway senior hurling championship which is scheduled to start in little more than a fortnight’s time.

A gathering of 500 – likely to also include the rival players and mentors – will be restricted to each group game, with the participating clubs set to be allocated around 200 tickets each for sale/distribution ahead of the fixture.

A mechanism has still to be sorted for this process, but matches will be restricted to Galway’s three county grounds: Pearse Stadium, Kenny Park, Athenry and Duggan Park, Ballinasloe, along with Loughrea. Killimor was the fifth venue in consideration for hosting senior games, but redevelopment work at the ground has ruled out that prospect.

The full round of 12 group ties will go ahead on the weekend ending July 26, but there will be no double headers. Instead, games at the same venues will be staged four hours apart to allow sanitisation of the various grounds.

Only people with tickets will gain entry to the games and there will be no cash taken at the turnstiles.



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Street fight thugs from viral video outside Garda HQ avoid jail




A still from the video of the brawl close to the Garda HQ in Renmore.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Two men and a woman who were involved in a ‘staged’ fistfight outside the new Garda HQ in Renmore were warned they will serve prison sentences if they don’t stay off social media for two years.

Suspended sentences were imposed on all three over the incident which was recorded on mobile phone and footage went viral on social media.

The altercation between John Maughan (27), formerly of Rinville Park, Oranmore, who now lives in Dublin, and Patrick Maughan (31), of 122 Laurel Park, Newcastle, was filmed on Patrick Maughan’s phone by his wife, Ellen Maughan (31), who is John Maughan’s sister.

The footage was uploaded that evening to YouTube, where it gained a lot of traction.

Galway District Court heard this week the trio were sitting in their cars when Gardaí arrived at the scene within a matter of minutes.

They were subsequently charged with affray at Dublin Road, Murrough, Renmore, on November 2, 2018, in that all three used or threatened to use violence towards each other, thereby putting other people present in fear for their own safety and the safety of others.

Both men were also charged with breaching the peace.

Garda Pat Casey told the sentence hearing the incident occurred at 2.30pm on the main road between GMIT and the Garda HQ.

He said the men’s cars met, whether by accident or design, at that location where they got out and had a fist fight in the middle of the road.

Judge Mary Fahy asked if the location chosen for the fight, right outside the new Garda HQ, was deliberate.

Garda Casey said the men claimed they met by accident, “but that was where they met”, he added.

“The inference is they did it deliberately outside the Station to make it even better on social media. They are an absolute disgrace to do that in public and to do it in front of their children,” Judge Fahy said.
This is a shortened preview version of this court report. To read the article in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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