Date Published: 22-Jun-2011
EVEN the bookmakers haven’t been conned by Mayo’s brush with disaster in the opening round of the Connacht football championship in Ruislip last month. That was the day when James Horan’s squad came within a whisker of being involved in the GAA shock of the century for all the wrong reasons. As it was, they were lucky to force extra time before unconvincingly fending off the minnows from London.
Nobody saw Mayo struggling so badly against the Division Four league outfit, but those types of ‘no-win’ fixtures are all about the result. Ronan McGarrity and his team-mates had probably under-estimated the Exiles and having avoided an embarrassing defeat, the lesson in humility has surely not gone astray in terms of their preparations for the visit of Galway to McHale Park, Castlebar on Sunday.
Their near-escape in London, in retrospect, was the best thing that could have happened to Mayo. They will be well grounded for the Connacht semi-final even if the bookies have installed them as pre-match favourites and they have already recorded a comfortable National League victory over Galway at Tuam Stadium earlier in the year. New boss Horan is low key and that suits them too after the departure of John O’Mahony.
What about Galway? It’s fair to claim that the team’s supporters don’t really know what to expect from the men in maroon at the weekend. The disappointment of relegation to Division Two is tempered by the fact that the team was improving significantly as the campaign evolved, notably in a home draw with Dublin. Subsequently, Alan Mulholland’s U-21s gave the county a great lift by routing Cavan in the All-Ireland final having overcome a supposedly ‘unbeatable’ Cork outfit at the penultimate stage of the championship.
Three of those U-21s are set to feature in McHale Park, namely defenders Colin Forde and Jonathan Duane, along with attacker Mark Hehir. Several more are on the bench, including Micheal Boyle and Fionntán O Curraoin, and that infusion of young blood is welcome. On the debit side, Sean Armstrong’s troublesome hamstring has flared up again; Michael Meehan is still not ready to start; and Nicky Joyce remains in self-imposed exile.
These would be three classy forwards to go to war with against the county’s arch provincial rivals, but their attack still won’t be short of some heavy artillery. Naturally, Padraic Joyce can’t be the force of old, but he tends to strike fear into Mayo’s hearts and his experience remains vital to the Galway cause in an attack where Paul Conroy’s deployment at full forward could be a match-breaker and Cormac Bane’s accuracy should not be under-estimated. Gareth Bradshaw’s likely new role on the wing will surely bring extra energy up front as well.
Bradshaw and Conroy aren’t the only ones in unfamiliar positions. Long time full back Finian Hanley’s switch to midfield coincided with Galway’s improved form in the league and alongside Joe Bergin – we have always thought the Mountbellew man should be a permanent fixture in this sector – they give the team a greater capacity to secure primary ball. Their defence, however, is still a work in progress and, ultimately, the fortunes of Gary O’Donnell, Greg Higgins, who is also more recognised in another position, and Corofin clubmate Gary Sice, in the probable half-back line will be critical to the outcome.
For more, read this week’s Connacht 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.