WE’RE approaching the business end of the Galway senior club football championship with the final round of the groups stage taking place this weekend.
A handful of teams have already qualified for the quarter-finals, and are battling it out for the top spot to earn a seeded draw (table-toppers face group runners-up in the last eight, which is decided by an open draw).
Teams that finish third are safe, and will have no further involvement this year. There are a number of teams who already know they’ll be in a relegation battle but there is still everything to play for in terms of retaining senior status: teams that finish fourth in their group will have two chances to avoid the drop to intermediate and fifth placed teams will have just one chance at staying senior.
A number of teams, such as Caherlistrane, could finish second, third or fourth in their group; An Cheathrú Rua versus Claregalway is a straight shoot-out to avoid a relegation play-off and the winner of Monivea/Abbey and Moycullen advances to the quarter-final.
Meanwhile, in the intermediate championship quarter-finals on Saturday, in a double-header at Pearse Stadium, An Spidéal face Menlough (3pm) and Oranmore/Maree take on Mícheál Breathnach (4.45pm); on Sunday, in Rosmuc at 3pm Aran Islands face Clifden, and at 4.15pm in Tuam Stadium, Dunmore take on Headford.
GROUP ONE: Saturday
An Cheathrú Rua v Claregalway
This season was all about consolidation for Claregalway, the 2017 intermediate champions, and this relatively young side will achieve that aim with a win here to secure third place. Wing-back Jack Glynn, injured against Cortoon, is okay again. Midfielder Conor Glynn is one of a few players away in the United States who will be available in the coming weeks but obviously manager Alan Moran is hoping that won’t be necessary.
An Cheathrú Rua were in pole position against St. James’, seven points up midway through the first-half, but were undone by the brilliance of Eoin Concannon and lost by five, a 12 points turnaround. Turnovers from short kick-outs proved costly. The Connemara men are always hardworking and honest but a few key men went missing and they relied too heavily on Oisín Ó Gríofa. They’re on a slippery slope having lost their last two games, including a morale sapping tanking to Corofin. The losers face a relegation battle.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
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€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.
The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.
A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.
Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.
Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.
The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.
“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.
“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”
Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.
“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.
The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools
Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.
“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.
“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.
A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
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.