Date Published: 23-Jun-2011
CHAIRMAN of the 2011 Féile na nGael Committee, Stephen Cahalan sits comfortably in an anteroom off the lobby of the Lough Rea Hotel. For a man spearheading the mammoth task of hosting 240 teams – between hurling, camogie and handball – in the county over the coming weekend, he looks quite relaxed. Frighteningly so.
However, Cahalan says he can afford to be. Since taking on the unenviable role of organising one of the country’s premier juvenile events, he states he has received nothing but support from the local clubs, local businesses and organisations and, of course, his fellow committee members.
“I suppose, when I took this job, I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for,” laughs Cahalan. “It has been a paramount task but, in fairness, the committee has really embraced it and they have worked tirelessly. They are really on top of their brief.
“The logistics of this are absolutely massive. At the very outset, when we looked at it, I said if this was going to be successful, then we had to get a specific group of people behind us, and that was the clubs. Thankfully, they have really rowed in behind us. Whatever help we wanted, we got it. They have been true to their word.
“I mean, the response is unbelievable. We held a stewards meeting recently because we needed 80 people to marshal (at the parade). However, over 100 people volunteered. So, while logistically it looks a big task, given that kind of support, it has to be a success.”
With over five thousand U-14 players due to feature in 410 games throughout Féile weekend – which will be hosted right across County Galway this Friday, Saturday and Sunday – Cahalan and company also recognised that they needed the backing of more than just the clubs.
“We knew we had to meet the people of Loughrea (headquarters of the games) and we have received great co-operation from the local Gardaí, in particular Supt. Enda Walsh and Sgt. Daithí Cronin; Loughrea Hurling Club, especially Christy O’Loughlin; Loughrea Town Council; the Chamber of Commerce; and the Tidy Towns,” continues the Féile na nGael Chairman.
“They have really, really embraced it. They have really pulled out all the stops. So, having a body of people like that behind us, it really made our job much, much easier.”
Cahalan stresses, though, that pulling it all together was not solely down to him, and that the success of what has been achieved so far has been down to the entire committee. “The amount of work they have done is unreal.
“Noreen Shiel has been an excellent Secretary. The amount of work she has done in coordinating the whole thing! From the Galway Committee to the Croke Park Committee, she has been absolutely tremendous, while Bernie O’Connor, as Treasurer, has been a great fundraiser. We had targets to meet and he reached them all . . . and he maybe even surpassed some of them.
“Michael Nee is our referees’ coordinator and he has given courses to all our referees. He has about 70 referees organised and waiting for this weekend. Gordon Duane has coordinated all the fixtures from the Friday, through Saturday, to Sunday – he has done tremendous work – while Gerry Glynn has worked tirelessly to produce a beautiful programme. It is absolutely excellent.
“Niall Canavan is our PRO and he has kept us to the forefront of local news. Indeed, we are really indebted to the Connacht Tribune, which ran a page of Féile pictures every week over the last 10 weeks, and to Galway Bay FM for their coverage. Along with Niall, they have been getting our story out there.”
Other committee members to receive particular mention were Kevin Craddock and John Williams, both of whom have coordinated the handball competitions and County Camogie Chairperson Geraldine McGrath, coordinator of the visiting teams.
Gort’s Francis Connors is also lauded by the Chairman for his work, in particular for spearheading the recent promotion of Féile in the local national schools, some of which were even visited by GAA President Christy Cooney throughout the course of the week. “That was a total success,” beams Cahalan.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.