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CITY TRIBUNE

More gloom for Keane’s charges as Edinburgh steal points

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Connacht's Eoin Griffin gets the ball away against Edinburgh during Friday's PRO14 encounter at the Sportsground. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Connacht 22

Edinburgh 29

IF possession is nine tenths of the law, Connacht are a prime example of why fine margins can often be where the winning and losing is decided. Here was another game where almost everything went right for the men from the west – they owned the ball, camped out in Edinburgh territory and offered more attacking creativity and guile in every imaginable way, yet still came out on the wrong end of the scoreline.

A week out from the biggest game of the season – a game that might prove to be the defining point of a stuttering campaign – Kieran Keane’s men offered so much that could be banked in the positive department. The positives included resilience, accuracy at set piece time and some hair raising attack play which allowed them to overturn an eight point deficit and lead by as much as six before crumbling in the closing minutes.

Edinburgh’s victory can be defined by two vital moments, the first came from the opening kick off where John Hardie was up as quick as lightning and blocked down a telegraphed Tiernan O’Halloran clearance with Dougie Fife winning the race to touchdown and score the fastest ever try in PRO14 rugby. That was just ten seconds into the game.

The second came with seven minutes remaining and Connacht seemingly in control, leading by three. Craig Ronaldson’s ill advised, or poorly executed, kick down field was blocked by Duncan Weir and the replacement fly half burst clear with no one at home for Connacht, hacking ahead and diving on the ball over the line just to the right of the posts. The conversion made it a four point game and his late penalty on full time merely copperfastened the win.

In between all that, Connacht were by some distance the better team, despite formlines which showed Edinburgh as one of the competition’s top contenders, comfortably in the play off places in Conference B and in far better form all round. Connacht’s tries had been brilliantly taken in the first half and even when they were a little off that kind of pace in the second half, they had come up with a vital third try on the hour mark to seemingly set them on their way to victory.

Edinburgh’s match stats were eye catching considering the final result. Their 207 metres gained with ball in hand (compared with 369 from Connacht) was the lowest managed by any team against Connacht this season in the competition, they had a mere 40% of possession and 39% territory for good measure and yet still managed three tries and a win.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
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

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
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

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
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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