Date Published: 16-Mar-2011
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 ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.