Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

CITY TRIBUNE

Norwegian skier who jumped at chance to represent Ireland

Published

on

Irish Winter Olympian Thomas Hjalmar Westgard, whose mother hails from Dunmore in Galway, taking on last weekend's Galway Bay Marathon on skis, along with the rest of the Irish cross country skiing team, to promote and create awareness of the sport in Ireland.

Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

Cross-country skier Thomas Hjalmar Maloney Westgard may have grown up a Norwegian, but the Winter Olympian, whose mother hails from Dunmore, says the Irishman within was always bursting to get out.

So, when the opportunity arose to represent Ireland by tapping into his motherly roots, Westgard jumped, quite literally, at the chance. The process of acquiring an international transfer began in 2014 but it would be December 2, 2016 before he would compete in the green, white and gold in Lillehammer, Norway before later taking part in World Cup events in Estonia and Sweden.

Since then, he has competed for Ireland at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships and, most notably, the Winter Olympics in Korea earlier this year. The latter event generated a great deal of interest. Suddenly, due to Westgard’s involvement, a sport on the periphery was thrust into the spotlight.

This is not lost on Westgard, who chatted with Talking Sport upon his return to Galway last weekend. “I mean, it was really good during the (Winter) Olympics because we got really good coverage. It was the first time RTE went to the Winter Olympics so that was a big start and a big development for us.

“Of course, we want to develop the sport a little bit more and we want to get more people on skis. That is probably the best way to go. To try to get some young kids on skis. So, it would be a dream to start a skiing club in Ireland and try to recruit more athletes. That would, perhaps, be the main thing, to grow the interest, while at the same time give you results.”

Competent in his English, lyrical in his Norwegian tone, Westgard takes us back to his early years, growing up on an island called Leka in Norway – a 600-strong fishing and farming community up north in Trøndelag – and spending Summers back in Dunmore, where his mother Celia Maloney hails from.

“That’s right. My mum is from there and, yeah, I have uncles and aunties living in Dunmore,” outlines the sports science student, who turns 23 this week. “I was there several times in my childhood. Every second year. And then they came to us every second year. It was fairly a lot.

“So, yeah, I mean I always had close connections to Ireland – and still have as well. I was never more proud when I represented Ireland in the (Winter) Olympics. It was a huge thing and, of course, I am more often in Ireland now than when I was during my youth. So, I get a bit more time to see my relatives, which is a really good thing.”

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

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and  county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council to ‘review’ Kirwan junction

Published

on

Councillors are demanding proof that the €5 million spent to transform Kirwan Roundabout into a signalised junction was money well spent – blasting the new junction as having created long delays and worsening rat-running.

A meeting of the local authority last week heard that while there was a general acceptance there would be ‘teething problems’ with the traffic-light junction after it became operational in July, ongoing issues were continuing to draw the ire of road users and local residents.

Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind) said he was one of five councillors on the previous Council to initially vote against the removal of the roundabout, based on fears that it would increase traffic through local residential areas – a fear that had been realised.

“What changes have been needed to be done since it went live,” asked the former Mayor, indicating that there had been little improvement.

Cllr Alan Cheevers (FF) said he understood that enhancement works were being done, but more were required.

“A lot of drivers are avoiding it and its driving traffic through the likes of Terryland Business Park. The Tuam Road is now gridlocked,” he said, calling on the Council to do a “PR exercise” to encourage drivers back to Kirwan.

Cllr Clodagh Higgins (FG) said the junction continued to confuse people and suggested that “overhead hanging signs” would be of assistance.

Green Party Councillor Niall Murphy said when the roundabout was slated for removal, it was promised that delays would be reduced by 25% and rat-running by 90% – but as yet, no evidence had been provided to show this.

“We need to put some science on this.

“The rat-running has moved to Dyke Road and there are some sections of that road where there are no footpaths, so it is quite dangerous for pedestrians,” said Cllr Murphy.

Acting Director of Services for Transport, Uinsinn Finn, told the meeting he believed there was a silent majority that were satisfied with the new junction.

He said that the junction’s ‘go live’ date was July 19, which coincided with the reopening of many parts of society that had been in lockdown due to Covid, and that had contributed to additional traffic.

“The first two objectives were to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, and those objectives have been achieved.

“There will be a post project review – that is something that we always do and I would be happy to bring that back to Council for its consideration,” said Mr Finn.

Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath confirmed that review was set to get underway.

“It will go through the various elements and if issues arise following the review, they will be addressed,” he said.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Thieves target cars as owners unload shopping bags

Published

on

Galway shoppers have been advised by Gardaí not to leave their vehicles unlocked or unattended as they bring their shopping into their homes.

This follows reports in the Newcastle area of opportunist thieves ‘striking’ as the shopping bags were being moved into houses.

One resident told the Galway City Tribune that the thieves waited until the person had taken a bag of shopping from their cars to bring into their home.

“This gives the thieves a minute or two to have a quick look in the car – what they seem to be looking for are purses, bags or wallets that are left behind in the car,” the resident stated.

He added that some of local residents had notices two ‘youngish lads’ – possibly in their late teens or early 20s – hanging around the Newcastle Park Road area over the past week or two.

“I just think that people need to be on their guard for this kind of opportunist theft. They just wait until the driver goes inside the house with the shopping and before they come back out, they do a quick search of the car,” he said.

Galway Garda Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Michael Walsh, said that opportunist thieves would always be ‘on the look out for a handy theft’.

“What I would advise is that either have someone to keep an eye on the car when the shopping is being removed – or else lock the car each time, and don’t leave any cash or valuables in the vehicle.

“It might be an inconvenience to lock the car each time you go back into the house, but it is still far better than having something stolen from your vehicle,” said Sgt Walsh.

He also urged, that as a matter of routine, no one should leave any valuables in their cars when they parked them up.

“Even the coins that some people keep in car pockets for parking or other small payments can attract thieves. Never leave anything of value in your vehicles,” he said.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

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.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending