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Connacht Tribune

Minors fly out of the blocks to get campaign off to ideal start

John McIntyre

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Galway 3-16

Kilkenny 2-16

MIDWAY through this gripping All-Ireland minor hurling quarter-final round-robin tie at Croke Park on Sunday, we were tempted to hail Galway as one of the best teams ever seen at this level; 18 minutes later we were wondering would they even win the match.

It summed up the wild swings in fortunes which saw the boys in maroon surrender a 12-point lead – established by some swashbuckling and fluid hurling – only to rally bravely against the odds in repeating last year’s All-Ireland final victory over Kilkenny.

In essence, Galway had to win the game twice. Initially, doubts about their ability to hit the ground running on their championship debut against a team which was playing its seventh competitive game were swept aside in breathtaking style. Brian Hanley’s young charges were a joy to watch as they made the Cats look second-raters.

Ironically, Kilkenny’s hectic schedule – this was their third game in a fortnight – left them looking fatigued and clumsy for much of the opening-half only for the Leinster finalists to admirably haul themselves back into the contest by an unexpected third-quarter surge, highlighted by a brace of goals from impressive substitute Ian Byrne

Gradually, they reeled in opponents who had been coasting, but Kilkenny had to expend a lot of effort in retrieving such a big deficit and, it was no surprise, that Galway would eventually get a second wind down the home stretch, with the smart use of the substitutes bench helping to swing the contest back in their favour.

The bush telegraph had suggested the latest edition of Galway minor hurlers were at least as talented as some previous All-Ireland winning teams from the county, but still the level of their dominance in the opening 30 minutes was surprising. All over the field, their hurling was sharper and crisper, with the ability of several forwards to win high ball – notably Tiernan Killeen and the outstanding Greg Thomas – having the Cats in all sorts of trouble.

Though Kilkenny were first on the scoreboard with a Billy Drennan free, Galway didn’t take long to build up a head of steam. Thomas, Gavin Lee and Seán McDonagh picked off quality points before an angled delivery by Killeen was excellently finished to the net by Thomas after breaking free from Peter McDonald in the seventh minute.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway Real Estate have attractive site for sale on the Aran Islands

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Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

Galway Real Estate have an attractive site/property for sale at Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

The site is approximately c.150 square metres. (c.1600 sq. ft.) on c.1 acre with planning permission to convert to a dwelling house and fit a new waste water treatment system. Planning Ref: 17/1284. There are two years  left on planning. The planning is for a proposed 4 bedrooms, kitchen, dining/room, laundry/room, bathroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a property ready to go. Offers in excess of €125,000 considered.

Full details from Paddy Flynn 0872557618 or Galway Real Estate on 091565488 or email: info@galwayrealestate.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Aran to welcome Ireland’s largest domestic passenger ferry

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Saoirse na Farraige

The largest domestic passenger ferry in the country is making its journey from the Far East to the Far West – ready to commence service from Galway to the three Aran Islands.

The 40-metre ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ represents a massive investment – and vote of confidence – in island tourism on the part of the owners, Aran Island Ferries.

Commissioned in January 2019, this sixth member of their fleet has a capacity of 400 – and it is expected to arrive in Galway Bay from Hong Kong in October.

The vessel departed Hong Kong last week, embarking on a 2,500 mile journey to Galway Bay – inside the hold of a heavy lift ship called Svenja’”.

Saoirse na Farraige has at least three more stops to make before arriving in Galway Bay at the end of October – and it won’t not enter service until next spring.

Aran Island Ferries Sales and Marketing Manager, Aine McLoughlin, said that they were looking forward to seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands, enjoying the increased capacity, accessibility, and safety features.

“We are really looking forward to officially launching ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ next year and seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands on board our new ferry,” she said.

Saoirse na Farraige will serve all three islands from Rossaveel – with a journey time of 40 minutes to Inis Mór, 50 minutes to Inis Meáin, and 55 minutes to Inis Oírr.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Emergency Department upgrade will happen at UHG – but it’s complicated

Denise McNamara

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The current ED at UHG.

Revamping the emergency department at UHG will involve three separate projects – leading to the hospital’s chief describing the process as ‘very complex’.

City Councillor John Connolly (FF) said the people of Galway were concerned that the new emergency department – like the ring road – would never happen, as it appeared to be so bound up in red tape.

Joe Hoare, assistant national director of estates in HSE West, told the Regional Health Forum West meeting that that outpatients department adjacent to the emergency department was being redeveloped to create more capacity for streaming Covid patients from non-Covid patients for the winter.

The outpatients department would be relocated to the Merlin Park campus. The design for this building would be completed within ten months with construction expected to begin in by last 2021 at the earliest.

An interim emergency department was the next priority so that the current building could be knocked to make way for the new state-of-the-art building, creating a new maternity department and paediatrics unit.

Since the budget for the new children’s hospital had blown out of all proportion, the rules over public projects over €100 million had changed and the Saolta hospital group had to ensure its business case for the massive project was ‘watertight’.

Mr Hoare said all three projects were moving in parallel, including the enabling works for the main build, which would take around 18 months to complete.

He described the project as Saolta’s ‘absolute top priority and was regarded as such by the national HSE organisation.

Head of Saolta, Tony Canavan, said the project was ‘big and very complex’ and required management to remain ‘very focused over a long time’.

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

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