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Lundy leads the Corofin blitz of All-Ireland Club Champs

John McIntyre

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Corofin's Conor Cunningham, Michael Farragher and Martin Farragher celebrate after their All-Ireland Club football semi-final victory over title holders St. Vincent's in Tullamore last Saturday. Photo: Enda Noone.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

THIS was arguably the best we have ever seen from a Galway club football team. Squaring up to the All-Ireland champions and a St. Vincent’s outfit which hadn’t been beaten since October of 2012, Corofin not alone ended the Dublin side’s reign but managed this noteworthy feat with loads to spare.

Sure, Corofin’s cover had already been blown by the manner in which they had bludgeoned their way to Galway and provincial glory late last year, but this was the ultimate test for Stephen Rochford’s superbly drilled squad and, frankly, St. Vincent’s were fortunate to be only five points adrift at the finish.

There had been much neutral anticipation of a high octane contest ahead of last Saturday’s All-Ireland Club semi-final in Tullamore and they weren’t to be disappointed. It proved an invigorating struggle and the Galway champions showed to a wider audience why no team has hardly been able to lay a glove on them over the past 12 months.

With a highly professional team management and a driven panel of players, Corofin’s natural ability has been augmented by a phenomenal work ethic and exceptional fitness levels. St. Vincent’s knew what was coming down the tracks, but they were unable to cope for long periods of the match and failed to score at all in the concluding quarter.

Not alone was Corofin’s commitment extraordinary, but the quality of their football also reached a new standard at O’Connor Park. Their accurate foot passing would have done justice to top inter-county teams, while they are a bit like the Irish rugby side at present in that everybody was in the same zone and knows what their job is.

The movement and pace of the Corofin attack, in particular, had St. Vincent’s reeling at times with two players doing most of the damage. Michael Lundy, who burst onto the inter-county scene in 2014, and the accurate Ian Burke accounted for eight points from play between them as the Galway champions set up a St. Patrick’s Day collision with Slaughneil of Derry.

Lundy was an electrifying presence in the Corofin forward line. Much of the pre-match talk had centred on the possible impact of Diarmuid Connolly and though St. Vincent’s ‘go to man’ was admittedly influential in the opening quarter, it was Lundy who stole the show. Apart from landing four points, he was instrumental in several other scores while fouls on him led directly to three pointed frees.

Corofin’s class and artistry was there for everyone to see, but they had to be resolute too, especially when Gary Delaney’s 23rd minute penalty after a foul on Gary Sice thundered back off the crossbar. That was a blow in itself, but it was compounded barely 90 seconds later when St. Vincent’s converted a spot kick of their own.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune

 

Connacht Tribune

A Moycullen win would add badly needed spice to football’s big day

John McIntyre

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Conor Reddington of Annaghdown and Tuam Stars' Adam Carton in action during the North Board Minor B football final at Tuam Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

BEFORE a ball was kicked in this year’s Galway senior championship, the smart money would have been on champions Corofin, Tuam Stars, Salthill/Knocknacarra and Mountbellew/Moylough making it to the semi-finals if they managed to keep out of each other’s way on the road to the penultimate stage off the title race.

Unfortunately, for a Salthill team which, in any event, didn’t scale their expected heights this year, they came up against the champions in the quarter-finals where the Seasiders’ challenge was dismissed in convincing fashion. It was business as usual for Corofin who remain odds on to claim a record-breaking eighth consecutive title.

With Tuam Stars edging out Bearna after extra-time, a Paul Kelly goal helping Moycullen get the better of St James’, and Mountbellew/Moylough powering home against 14-man Killannin, it means that three of last year’s semi-finalists are back seeking a place in the Galway decider this weekend. Mountbellew/Moylough are the odd ones out having fallen to Corofin in the 2019 quarter-finals.

Val Daly’s troops will need the performance of the lives to overturn club’s football’s dominant power, especially as they continue to field without county player John Daly – a son of their manager. Of course, they are not without a chance and if the likes of Michael Daly, Matthew Barrett, Eoin Finnerty, Eoin Ryan and Barry McHugh hit the ground running, they could give Corofin a searching time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Greens see red on gold rush

Dara Bradley

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Opposition is intensifying to the prospect of a licence being awarded to Canadian gold prospectors planning to explore the heart of Connemara.

Environmental campaigners have warned of the dangers of awarding a prospecting licence to Toronto-based MOAG to mine for gold and silver in land around Roundstone, Ballyconneely and Ballynahinch.

They claim the exploration could devastate water supplies, tourism, wildlife – and also led to tensions in the local community.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton has indicated he intends to grant a prospecting licence to the company to explore for the valuable minerals in townlands in Ballynahinch Barony.

The licence allows the holder to explore for mineral deposits, and does not authorise mining of any materials that are found – that requires further licensing.

And Minister Bruton’s Department insists that the activities permitted under this licence are “non-invasive” and “of minimal environmental impact”.

However, campaigners have warned of the dangers mining can have on Connemara, and have urged the public to object before July 6.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Controversial Ballinasloe landfill prepares for closure

Declan Tierney

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The Galway dump that forced householders to close their windows during the hottest of summers will take in waste for the last time during the middle of this year.

The pong the emanated from the landfill site in Kilconnell will be no more as it will cease accepting waste by the end of June next year.

Ballinasloe area councillors were told how Galway County Council took over the running of the landfill site following the liquidation of the former operators Greenstar.

The Council agreed to accept 300,000 tons of municipal waste over a three-year period and this will come to an end by the middle of next year, after which the dump will be capped and closed the following year.

Director of Services Jim Cullen informed a meeting of Ballinasloe Municipal Council that following the closure of the dump, there would be long term care of the site to ensure that there would be no adverse environmental issues.

When Galway County Council took over the running of the landfill site, an allocation of €300,000 was provided by the Department of the Environment for local projects.

Of this, €120,000 has been given to the area engineer to spend at his discretion and the remaining €180,000 has been dispersed equally among the six Ballinasloe councillors – resulting in each getting €30,000 to spend on projects in their area.

It is expected that a further €300,000 will be allocated to organisations within a certain radius of the landfill site and a committee made up of Cllr Aidan Donohue (FG), Cllr Dermot Connolly (SF) and Cllr Timmy Broderick (Ind) to decide how this fund will be dispersed.

For years, the dump in Kilconnell caused annoyance for local residents because of the smells emanating from the site and many householders say that it is still a major problem.

Cllr Michael Finnerty warned about the possibility of a run-off of leachate – a liquid that drains from landfill sites that can cause pollution – from the site into the future.

He said that he attended a meeting in Ballinasloe in which residents expressed concern about a leachate run-off from the old dump in Poolboy which has been closed down for years.

He was assured by Mr Cullen that the situation in Poolboy was being continually monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency but he would investigate these claims.

With regard to the closure of the dump in Kilconnell, Cllr Aidan Donohue said that he was not convinced about the ongoing maintenance of the site into the future.

He said when the landfill site in New Inn was closed many years ago, the Council just walked away and left the site in an unacceptable state.

The Fine Gael councillor was referring to suggestions that the Kilconnell site might have future potential and may be an asset but he cited what happened in New Inn when he said that it was just abandoned.

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