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CITY TRIBUNE

Keane wants to turn Leinster derby clash into a celebration

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Connacht Head Coach, Kieran Keane, and captain, John Muldoon, at the pre-game press conference in the Sportsground on Tuesday. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Ordinarily, an inter-provincial fixture against Leinster would be enough to whet the appetite. That it coincides with the last game of the season – and a home game at that – would certainly add to it.

However, all those sub-plots to Connacht’s PRO14 clash with Leinster at the Sportsgrounds this Saturday (3.05pm) have well and truly been superseded by the fact that this will be captain John Muldoon’s last time in a Connacht jersey as he retires from playing from the game.

On Saturday, Muldoon will line out for the 327th time for the province – a statistic Connacht Head coach Kieran Keane has described as “incredible”. Indeed, this season, he remarked, his side have played 27 fixtures, with Muldoon starting in 20 of them and coming off the bench for another four.

“That shows the resilience of the man at the tender age that he is,” praised Keane. “I think that resilience, toughness, want, and pride – he has got a lot of pride in himself and his club – are wonderful traits and he will be sadly missed.”

Believing Saturday’s game should be “a celebration” of the playing career of Connacht’s greatest warrior, Keane confided that he found the experience the Portumna native brought to the set-up invaluable in his first season in charge.

“Because he is so well-respected among his peers, it has been easy to move things across to his side of the desk, and get [those] things done, to let me find my feet,” noted Keane, who said he had already got a sense of Muldoon’s leadership qualities long before he boarded the airplane for Connacht.

“We had some long conversations on the telephone before I came over and it was pretty obvious to me that ‘Mul’ knew what he was about. He is an honest man and he didn’t fudge things, which suited me. I asked him to stay involved and stay as captain. So, he has given me a big leg-up personally and he is a good fellow.”

Keane believed the traits Muldoon showed as a leader within the group would also stand the out-going Connacht captain in good stead as he takes up his position as defence coach at Pat Lam’s Bristol this Summer – although Keane quipped he might find things a little different now on the other side of the fence.

“There will be a few surprises for him but certainly the manner in which he has held himself here at Connacht has been magnificent really and is to be applauded. The loyalty that he has shown us has been second to none and all those qualities will hold him in good stead for the next challenge in his life.”

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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