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Connacht Tribune

Lively Galway hit the ground running in defeating Rossies

Dara Bradley

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Galway's Cathal Sweeney tussling for possession with Roscommon's Enda Crawley during the Connacht minor football final at Hyde Park on Friday evening. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway 2-13

Roscommon 2-9

A strong start and a solid first-half, where clinical shooting was the hallmark, ensured Galway claimed the first ever Connacht U17 football title, and their fourth provincial crown on the trot at the minor grade.

They allowed standards to dip in the second half at Dr Hyde Park last Friday evening, and a late Roscommon goal put some respectability on the scoreboard for the home team, but Galway were full value for this four-points victory.

Both Connacht finalists had already qualified for an All-Ireland quarter-final to be played on the weekend of July 28/29 – the prize for winning is a clash with Clare and, more importantly, avoiding Munster kingpins and All-Ireland favourites Kerry in the last eight round of matches.

There are plenty of areas for improvement before Galway embarks on the All-Ireland series but captain Conor Raftery and company can take huge satisfaction from the manner in which they put the Rossies to the sword.

Man-of-the-match Matthew Cooley was unmarkable, kicking five points from play at corner-forward to maintain the Tribesmen’s 100% unbeaten record in this championship season. In a four-point win, the Corofin man’s contribution truly was the difference on a day when both defences were under pressure.

The opening quarter of the game summed it up. Galway was alert, hardworking and capitalised on the four chances they created with Cooley, Ryan Monaghan (two frees) and Daniel Cox all splitting the posts giving them a 0-4 to no score lead.

By the 15th minute, when Ruaidhrí Fallon opened Roscommon’s account, the Rossies had been enjoying their fair share of possession but were wasteful in front of the posts. During that period, Paul Staunton’s men hit the post twice and registered three wides.

Roscommon doubled their tally from the restart when Shane Cunnane’s aerial prowess was integral to setting up his midfield partner Enda Crawley for his side’s second score of the day but Galway soon re-established their dominance where it mattered most: on the scoreboard.

Decent build-up play by Cox and centre forward Aidan Halloran led to Galway’s first goal; the Salthill/Knocknacarra man went on an enterprising run deep into the Roscommon danger area before unselfishly squaring the ball across to his clubmate Eoghan Tinney who made no mistake in the 17th minute.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Hospitals cope with overcrowding and staff shortages as Covid crisis peaks

Dara Bradley

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Confirmed cases of Covid-19 continue to skyrocket in Galway, as virus-related frontline healthcare staff shortages persist and now overcrowding emerges as a new threat.

Galway experienced four days of record-breaking positive case notifications in the past week, as hospitalisations grew exponentially and pressure was heaped on the critical care units at University Hospital Galway (UHG) and Portiuncula.

Hospital management said it was unsure whether community transmission had peaked locally yet – and they expect hospitals to be under ‘significant pressure’ from Covid admissions well into February.

Nurses have highlighted how overcrowding in the Emergency Department of the county’s two main public hospitals has returned – some 112 patients were stuck on trolleys awaiting admission to UHG and Ballinasloe on five mornings in the past week. Meanwhile, it hasn’t yet been officially confirmed that the new UK variant of Covid is present in Galway, but authorities believe it is.

The latest data shows there has been no let-up in new cases notifications in Galway – 604 confirmed cases were notified for Monday, the highest in Ireland and Galway’s worst ever day by a long shot.

It was a frightening figure but it was not for one day and was part of clearing the backlog of cases over Christmas and New Year, the HSE said.

That pushed Galway’s 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 to 1033.9 more than double what it was a week ago and eight times what it was a fortnight ago. Some 2,668 new Galway cases were notified in the fortnight to midnight Tuesday.

Read the full story and comprehensive coverage of the Covid-19 crisis in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Suffer little children – report shines a light into shameful past

Dave O'Connell

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Baby clothing hanging from a tree branch in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home burial ground this week. PHOTO: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Tribune Comment

The final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes shines a light into the darkest recesses of our shameful past; young women and tiny babies neglected by Church and State – fellow, frail human beings whose lives and deaths somehow didn’t matter at all.

These women and their children were punished, hidden out of sight; mistreated at best; physically and sexually abused at worst – and way, way too many were left to die without a shred of dignity in their lives or in their passing.

The Trojan work and dedication of people like Catherine Corless lifted the stone on the shame – but it is only in their shocking stories, as we’ve read and heard this week, that we can get any sense of the depths of this depravity.

Many of the mothers were little more than children themselves, who had their little babies taken from them and given away with even a sliver of consent.

There were no records of their adoption, and no willingness, even decades later, to help those babies to find their birth mothers. Because to do so would have exposed the cruel and heartless manner of their forced adoptions in the first place.

And yet exposing this scandal is only the first step; an apology was the very least they were entitled to. Now we as a nation, and particularly those religious orders who ran the homes, must do everything to redress this wrong.

We must open the files so that they can discover their full life stories, find their living relatives, and be compensated so that at least the rest of their lives are in complete contrast to all they’ve endured until now.

We need to look at how we can give hundreds of innocent babies a proper burial – however belated and insufficient that may be.

Nothing will undo the damage – but now that the depths of this depravity have finally been laid bare, there must be no equivocation, no prevarication; just a commitment to doing whatever it takes to try and right a terrible wrong.

See full coverage of the Commission’s Report in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway couple celebrate a remarkable 75th wedding anniversary

Francis Farragher

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Martin and Kathleen McEvilly, pictured with their son John, who was home from Boston.

THEY are without doubt the King and Queen of Rosscahill – 104-year-old Martin McEvilly and his 96-year-old wife, Kathleen – who last week celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.

Both Martin and Kathleen still live at home as part of the Killannin community, and although Covid has presented its difficulties, they still managed to have a small anniversary celebration on January 7 last.

The couple tied the knot back on January 7, 1946, just three months after World War II had ended, when Martin was 29 and his bride – also a McEvilly (from nearby Oughterard) – was just 21 years of age.

Seven children later – three boys and four girls – there are now also many grandchildren and great-grandchildren to carry on the McEvilly lineage, and hopefully too, the genetic gift of longevity.

Two of ‘the lads’ – Pat and Mike – still live locally as do daughters Noreen (now a carer for her parents) and Madge, while John (the youngest) is in Boston, with daughters Mary and Christina in Sydney and Australia.

Son Pat, who lives in Knockferry, said that the 75th diamond wedding anniversary, was still a very special occasion for the family and one of great happiness.

“You don’t hear of them too often – 75th wedding anniversaries – and it was a very special occasion for all of us, to have our parents still alive and well,” said Pat.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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