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CITY TRIBUNE

Muldoon trying to keep emotions in check ahead of farewell game

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Connacht captain John Muldoon pictured on Tuesday at his final Connacht pre-game press conference. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

The iconic embodiment of modern day Connacht Rugby, captain John Muldoon, will bid farewell to a professional playing career that has left an indelible mark on not just Galway but on the West of Ireland sporting landscape as a whole when he hangs up his boots after this Saturday’s PRO14 game against Leinster.

Four days before he is to bring down the curtain on an illustrious career that saw him lead the province to the PRO12 crown in May 2016, Muldoon is just trying to keep his thoughts and emotions on this landmark event at arm’s length. It is not easy.

Ahead of Connacht’s final fixture of the season, the powers-that-be at the Sportsground have added additional terracing and advised supporters to get to venue up to two hours in advance of kick-off, such is the volume of crowd they are expecting to pay tribute to a man that has inspired them as a player and as a person.

“I don’t want a big deal to be made of it,” remarks the Portumna native as he settles in for a quick chat with Talking Sport on Tuesday before the Connacht press conference takes places a little later. “I have been contemplating retirement now for about 18 months – before Pat (Lam) left – so it has kind of been a slow burner.”

Indeed, just the week previous, he touched base with Connacht’s marketing team in an effort “to keep a lid on this somehow” but he now concedes that this is now unlikely to happen and laughs that he is “just going to have to sit and suffer for the next couple of days”.

The well-wishes have been pouring in for a player who has epitomised the journey Connacht Rugby has been on since 2003.

“Without sounding arrogant, I have been around the city and around Connacht Rugby for a long time. I suppose, a lot of people would look at me in terms of Connacht Rugby and the journey it has been on and would relate with me through that.

“So, I am appreciative of that and I am appreciative of all the sincere wishes that have come in over the last couple of weeks and I am sure over the next couple of days as well. Just for me, I don’t feel I deserve anything bigger than anybody else. There have been lots of good people who have worn the jersey and continue to be in the jersey. I don’t feel I deserve anything more than them.”

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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