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Nolan says little to choose between sides

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Date Published: 16-Mar-2011

STEPHEN GLENNON

It takes O’Loughlin Gaels manager, Michael Nolan time to warm up to the phone call from the West. Throughout, he is careful in his choice of words and offers only fleeting glimpses of the inside story. He keeps his fervour for the battle ahead caged like a wild animal, although, briefly, you can hear the beast roar vociferously underneath the tarp.

So, in the opening exchanges of this ‘game’, we fence like Olympians around the topic of today’s All-Ireland club senior hurling clash against Clarinbridge.

“Any injury worries Michael?”

“No injuries,” responds Nolan.

I write that down. “I suppose, Michael, a face-off between the Galway and Kilkenny champions, no doubt, a very attractive final?” True, it’s not the most probing question in the world, but it might help to break the ice.

“Sure, it is. I suppose, everyone is looking forward to it, but Clarinbridge will be hot favourites, won’t they?” ponders the O’Loughlin Gaels manager.

Again, I picture a wry smile at the other end of the line and we both laugh nervously. We dance around the ring once more, but by now, the punches are flighty and the shadows are simply lying lazily against the ropes.

“Michael, both counties have a great tradition in this competition, particularly in recent years. Does this add a bit more pressure on both clubs to follow suit?”

The Kilkenny man pauses, and considers. “Sure, it does, but both teams will be expecting a good tough match all the same. We are as ready for it as Clarinbridge are.”

I decide it’s time to land the first punch, hinting that having come through a testing provincial campaign, where they had to overcome Ballyboden St Enda’s and Oulart-the-Ballagh in the Leinster semi-final and final respectively, O’Loughlin Gaels may well be better positioned to challenge for honours in the St Patrick’s Day encounter.

All of a sudden, the shadows spring to life and the verbal bout begins in earnest.

“I suppose, we are battle-hardened,” concedes Nolan, “but so are Clarinbridge coming out of Galway. The way I would see it is that Loughrea beat Portumna, after a replay, and Clarinbridge beat Loughrea after a replay, and that is nothing simple either.”

Again, Nolan tries to switch the emphasis onto Clarinbridge, but we are here to talk about the Kilkenny champions and so the manager is asked for an honest assessment of his charges. To his credit, he gives it.

“We are a fine balanced team. We wouldn’t have any weak links or anything, but, then again, it is on the day, isn’t it?”

There is another long pause, before Nolan is pressed on. “There are a few of them around the 20 (years of age) mark and four or five more are around the 23 or 24 mark. Then we have Brian Hogan and Martin Comerford, both of whom, I suppose, would be the senior citizens of the team. They have all come up through the underage structure. A few of them would have won minors five or six years ago. So, a few of them have come off that team.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway Bay FM News Archives

Galway County VEC Chief takes High Court case

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

The High Court is hearing arguments from the state in an action brought by two VEC bosses who are challenging the loss of an annual allowance worth 12 and a half thousand euro.

Former president of the GAA Joe McDonagh who’s the CEO of County Galway VEC and Dr Katie Sweeney, CEO of Mayo VEC, say a special Transport Liaison Officers Allowance should not have been cut, even though that part of their role no longer operates.

Lawyers for the Department of Education deny the allowance is part of their pay.

The case is in the context of planned changes within the VEC system under the Croke Park agreement.

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Planning go ahead for community facility in Doughiska

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Date Published: 09-May-2013

A hotel in the city is to be changed into a community facility.

Planning permission has been granted to DRA Community Development Company Limited to redevelop the ‘Racing Lodge Hotel’ in Doughiska.

It’s planned to use the building for community, educational and pastoral use.

Planners have attached 4 conditions to the development, including the stipulation that all uses at the building be on a not-for-profit basis.

 

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Galway call for Transport Minister to intervene in bus strike

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Date Published: 13-May-2013

City Councillor Michael Crowe is calling on the Transport Minister Leo Vradkar to urgently intervene to end strike action by Bus Eireann in Galway.

Major travel disruption is expected in Galway and nationwide as the national strike enters its second day.

Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.

Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing their picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city.

It’s understood up to 80 Galway workers took part in the picket on rotational rosters yesterday.

Speaking on Galway Talks, City Cllr Michael Crowe said Minister Vradkar needs to take urgent action to intervene so that transport services can be restored.

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