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Connacht Tribune

No more slumber for successful GAA teams in month of January

John McIntyre

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Moycullen's Daniel Cox gets to the ball ahead of Salthill/Knocknacarra's John Cullinane Quinn during Saturday's West Board U20 A Football Final in Moycullen. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

THERE was a time when January was something of a slumber month for the GAA . . . players at club and county level getting some opportunity to recharge their batteries after the exertions of the previous season. Well, that era is well and truly gone as the Association grapples with a burgeoning fixtures schedule.

January has now become arguably the busiest month of the year for GAA activity, and what’s coming down the tracks in 2020 will see another increase in the maze of matches being staged. The pre-national League tournaments like the Walsh Cup and the Connacht FBD League will be in full swing, while action in the continually squeezed Sigerson and Fitzgibbon Cups is also scheduled.

The National Leagues are due to commence on the last weekend of January – Galway is hosting a double header at Pearse Stadium on Sunday the 26th, with the hurlers facing Westmeath and the footballers taking on Monaghan – but now for the first time ever, the All-Ireland club championships will be completed in the first month of 2020.

That results in All-Ireland semi-finals and finals at senior, intermediate and junior level in both hurling and football being run off in often the most hostile month of the year weather wise. It’s scheduling which is asking for trouble and puts players involved with successful club teams under a new kind of pressure and presented with different challenges.

Given the preceding Christmas festive period, it’s most unfair on club players to try and be peaking for critical matches on the first weekend of January. Locally, the Oughterard intermediate footballers have an extra week’s reprieve ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final, but for the hurlers of St Thomas’ and Micheal Breathnach, together with Corofin footballers, they are unlikely to be lashing into the turkey and ham on Christmas Day or liberally toasting their triumphs of 2019.

For the managers operating at senior level – in Galway’s case, Kevin O’Brien of Corofin and Kevin Lally of St Thomas’ – they will have to work around the demands of Christmas in order to have their teams ready for tough assignments against Nemo Rangers and Borris-Ileigh respectively. Perhaps, that process will go smoothly enough, but players won’t really be able to relax or partake fully in the Christmas festivities.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Influx of visitors heightens Covid fears

Dara Bradley

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Saolta CEO Tony Canavan

Local health chiefs are planning for the worst case scenario of a second surge of Coronavirus brought on by domestic tourism – as ‘staycationers’ from parts of the country where the virus is more prevalent carry it into the west.

There has been just one new confirmed case of Covid-19 in Galway in the past week, and just a handful of new cases in the past several weeks.

But the authorities fear tourists from parts of the country more affected by the virus will result in an increase here during August and September.

There are also concerns that there are not enough beds in the public health system to cope with a resurgence of Covid-19 alongside regular winter hospital admissions.

Tony Canavan, CEO of Saolta, which manages public hospitals in the West, at the HSE West Regional Health Forum this week, said health workers are anxious that the deadly virus will spread to the West, as the reopening of society continues.

“There are concerns among those working in the health system associated with Government plans to reopen society and the economy, even though we know that is absolutely necessary and important for the well-being of the population as a whole.

“But the concerns we have relate to the greater movement of people whether it’s going to and from work, or going about their business, whether it’s attending the shops or entertainment events and so on, and that greater movement of people creates an environment where the risk of the spread of Covid-19 is increased.

“We’re particularly concerned in the West and North West, that there would be a level of movement of people associated with tourism at this time of year,” said Mr Canavan.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also add the paper to your online grocery delivery; you can purchase a digital edition here, or you can have it delivered at no extra charge by An Post; full details are on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

Chanelle McCoy unveils her clinically proven cannabinoid cure

Stephen Corrigan

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Chanelle McCoy (left) and Caroline Glynn with their new Pureis product line in Galway this week. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

The usage of CBD food supplements to treat a whole raft of illnesses and conditions in recent years has given rise to concern that many of the products currently on the market are being sold to consumers without any clinical trials to verify their safety.

It was the rise in demand for these products that first caught the attention of well-known Loughrea business woman Chanelle McCoy who this week, together with her business partner and fellow Galwegian Caroline Glynn, launched the first CBD product on the Irish market that has been clinically proven to be safe – Pureis.

Chanelle, whose family business Chanelle Pharma in Loughrea has a proven track record in the medical world, stepped back from that venture five years ago to focus on her own Chanelle McCoy Health.

“My family business in Chanelle Pharma in Loughrea and so I’ve worked there for about 18 years. When I joined the business, it was a veterinary business and my father and I co-founded the medical side of the business. Then I was lucky to have the opportunity to lead that medical business over the last 18 years with a great team and with Caroline working with me,” says Chanelle of the beginning of her working relationship with Caroline.

“We bought the medical business into 96 countries around the world and we got over 2,500 product licences granted across those 96 countries. We would be looking at products in terms of what to put into the R&D pipeline and I started looking at CBD back in 2015, probably inspired a bit by Vera Twomey and the inability for moms like her to access good quality CBD products for kids like Ava,” she says, explaining that Cork woman Vera Twomey’s plight to secure cannabidiol treatment for her daughter’s epilepsy was a real eye-opener.

Read the full feature in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also add the paper to your online grocery delivery; you can purchase a digital edition here, or you can have it delivered at no extra charge by An Post; full details are on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

State can’t leave Galway addiction services in limbo

Dara Bradley

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Any further delay in setting up an alcohol addiction treatment service in Galway City will result in more deaths, including suicides, of problem drinkers – and cause ‘total devastation’ to local families, addiction experts have warned.

Addiction Counsellors of Ireland (ACI) has demanded that the Health Service Executive (HSE) immediately establishes an alcohol treatment service in the city.

The professional body which accredits counsellors claims that GPs in Galway are ‘flooded’ with drink-related patients, and the Emergency Department ‘can’t cope’ with the level of alcohol admissions.

It said the long-awaited alcohol addiction treatment service planned for the city would save lives and save tens of thousands of euro on alcohol-related emergency admissions at University Hospital Galway.

Some €470,000 a year funding for the service was announced by the previous Government last December; and a commitment for the service was contained in the Programme for Government agreed by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Green Party.

This week, Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton, a Minister of State in the new administration, confirmed that some €225,000 for the service from now to Christmas, is available in the 2020 HSE budget to get the service up and running.

Local addiction counsellors have now demanded that the HSE urgently hire the staff, and source a building, to roll out the alcohol addiction service, which has been absent for the past seven years.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also add the paper to your online grocery delivery; you can purchase a digital edition here, or you can have it delivered at no extra charge by An Post; full details are on this website.

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