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Connacht Tribune

‘Keeper Breathnach goes into local folklore with stunning score to force extra time

Dara Bradley

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An Spideal's Conall O Caoimh tries to halt the progress of Micheal Breathnach’s Sean Denvir during the County Intermediate Football Final replay at Pearse Stadium on Sunday. Photos: Enda Noone.

An Spidéal 1-13

Micheál Breathnach 1-11

(After extra time)

MAGHNUS Breathnach saved the day for An Spidéal, who return to senior for the first time in 18 years after beating neighbours CLG Micheál Breathnach in the County Intermediate Football Final replay at Pearse Stadium on Sunday.

The Galway goalkeeper stopped a penalty in the eighth minute of the first-half and scored two vital points – including a long-range free with the last kick of normal time, which he earned and subsequently converted, to draw the game and force extra-time.

An Spidéal, who played the entire second half with just 14 men after Ciaráin Ó Droighneáin was dismissed for a high challenge on Seán Denvir in time-added-on in the first-half, were much livelier when restored to a full complement of players in the two 10-minute periods of extra-time, when they outscored their opponents by three points to one.

Fittingly, the only one of those four scores that came from play was from the boot of official man-of-the-match, An Spidéal midfielder Dara Mac An Rí, who worked his socks off throughout the 80-plus minutes and bagged a crucial first-half goal.

Full-forward Cormac Ó Laoi was another player who stepped up to the plate and delivered for An Spidéal on the big occasion. A constant threat on the edge of the square, he scored two invaluable points in each half of normal time, and kept the Micheál Breathnach’s defence honest.

An Spidéal deservedly carried the day and advance to meet Mayo champions Belmullet in the Connacht semi-final but their rivals from Indreabhán, who contributed immensely to such enjoyable tussles over two days, will have nightmares about the scoring opportunities they spurned.

Rónán MacDonnchadha scored an absolute screamer of a goal in the 23rd minute of the first-half, which made-up for his earlier spot-kick miss – ‘keeper Breathnach will get the kudos for stopping it but the attacker will concede his shot lacked both power and precision.

Even aside from the penalty miss, Micheál Breathnach had ample opportunity to kill the game off and their inaccuracy came back to haunt them.

Frank Doherty’s well-drilled charges were wasteful, kicking 11 wides in total, including five in the second-half when they had numerical advantage and could have put the squeeze on their rivals. Three of those wides were recorded in extra-time, and they also had a few shots dropping short into the goalkeeper’s hands. In a game of such tight margins, those missed chances really hurt.

An Spidéal were guilty of profligacy, too, in particular in the first half when their rate of conversion of chances to scores dipped below 50% – as well as four wides, they also dropped short three efforts, which if even half of them were converted would have put them in a commanding position.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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