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CITY TRIBUNE

McDonnell and Casey are first locals home in the Galway 8k

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Emmet Lee, Castlegar Athletics Club, leads home a group of runners in the Streets of Galway 8K Road Race. Photos: Iain McDonald.

JOHN Travers of Donore Harriers won the 33rd edition of the Streets of Galway 8k Road Race held on Saturday evening last around the city with a superb front running performance, befitting his National champion status.

Travers, Irish international and National 1500m champion, took off in the first kilometre from the lead pack, and established an early advantage which he was never to relinquish, winning in a time of 23.56 to take his first Streets victory.

Damien Landers and Rory Chesser of Ennis Track AC were next home in a tight battle for the podium places, finishing in 24.29 and 24.35 respectively. First Galway athlete over the line was Brendan McDonnell of GCH in fourth with a good run in 24.43, ahead of fifth placer Andrew Annett of North Belfast Harriers who ran 24.48. Ennis Track took the men’s team prize for the second year running with GCH in second

In the women’s section, Irish international Siobhan O’Doherty of Borrisokane AC stormed home to a third consecutive title, clocking 27.50 for a well-deserved victory for the Tipperary native.

O’Doherty finished ahead of top local athletes Regina Casey GCH in second with a personal best 28.38 and Jane Ann Meehan of Athenry AC who came home in 29.55. Rounding off the top five were Margaret Murphy of Mallow AC, and GCH’s Emma Grimes. GCH also took the women’s team title, ahead of Crusaders AC.

The race was once again a great success, thanks to the hard-working committee of Galway City Harriers, along with the assistance of hundreds of volunteers, the City Council and Gardai among others.

Huge crowds lined the start at GTI on Fr Griffin Road, and the race routes through the City Centre, Salthill and the Claddagh, and especially the finish at South Park.

A record number of runners finished the race in a field which saw thousands of Galwegians and many tourists and visitors from Irish and UK athletics clubs take to the city’s streets. The race was once again sponsored by the Galway Clinic.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara

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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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan

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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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

GMIT warns partying students they are delaying return to campus

Enda Cunningham

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Partying students have been told their actions have impacted GMIT’s plans to re-start practical classes on campus – and Gardaí are monitoring the city’s bus and train stations to catch those breaking the 5km travel restriction by returning home for the weekend.

College authorities said the current “extremely serious outbreak” of Covid-19 among students in Galway City was caused by a small minority who are “moving and mixing between different households”.

Following a meeting with Gardaí last week, GMIT contacted all students to clarify that because there are no ‘onsite’ classes, there should be no need to travel for educational purposes.

“The Gardaí have notified us that there will be checks at the bus and train stations to implement the 5km travel rule, as well as checkpoints on the roads, and that fines will be given for any non-compliance with this rule,” students were told.

In a separate communication issued this week, the college’s Covid Officer appealed to students to abide by the rules.

“This outbreak has had an impact on our plans with regard to return to onsite practical work, with consequences for all students.

“We are appealing to all students to comply with all Covid restrictions and in doing so, to help ensure that those students who have to return to onsite practical work can do so,” the email read.

Many students from outside the city have opted to stay in their accommodation for access to better broadband.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story and more coverage of Covid figures and vaccinations, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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