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.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.