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CITY TRIBUNE

Nothing other than victory over Toulouse will keep Connacht’s Euro hopes alive

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Connacht out half Jack Carty who is set to return to the team for Saturday's European Champions Cup tie against Toulouse at the Sportsground.

IT really is familiar territory – a poor performance in the league right before a crucial must-win clash in Europe. Down through the years, Connacht have tended to buck the trend in these fixtures and surprise teams with their ability to change gears. They’ll be looking for history to repeat itself on Saturday as French champions Toulouse arrive in Galway for the round five Champions Cup clash (3:15).

If the four-time European winners know their history, they would do well not to read too much into recent poor Connacht performances. Spending too much time dissecting the defeats in Ulster and Leinster from recent weeks could be a fool’s errand as the home team that takes to the field on Saturday will be a much-changed outfit from what we saw in those one sided defeats in Belfast and Dublin.

Injuries and enforced rest periods for the two World Cup squad members meant Connacht’s squad was stretched to breaking point over Christmas and boy did it break, conceding 13 tries in two away games and being fortunate that both opponents eased off somewhat during the second half of the one-sided drubbings. However, the number of players returning to action this weekend will lift the spirits of all involved.

Ahead of Saturday’s clash, Connacht are regarded as outsiders but by no means no hopers. From the side that lost to Leinster, there could conceivably be up to eight changes with key players returning. Jack Carty, Bundee Aki and Matt Healy will all strengthen the backline options, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Jarrad Butler and Colby Fainga’a are all set to bolster the pack.

That said, the majority of the 23 who are in action on Saturday will have been involved during both Christmas defeats and their confidence and self-belief must have been stretched to the limit in recent days. Head coach Andy Friend thinks it’s the kind of test of character that they should relish.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

GAA supporters advised to use Quincentenary Bridge

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Salthill Gardaí have asked GAA supporters travelling to the double-header Galway football championship games in Pearse Stadium today (Saturday) to use the Quincentenary Bridge route to and from the fixtures.

The matches are coinciding with the Streets of Galway 8k road race which starts at 7pm from Grattan Road near South Park via the Spanish Arch, Eyre Square, Galway Cathedral, NUI Galway, Salthill past Pearse Stadium and then back along the Prom before a Claddagh finish roughly between 7.30pm and 8.15pm.

A Salthill Garda spokesperson said that GAA supporters going to Salthill – possibly 1,000 plus – should stay away from the city centre route on Saturday to avoid traffic congestion and delays.

The two games in Pearse Stadium on Saturday are Corofin v. Oughterard at 5.45pm, followed by Salthill-Knocknacarra v. Barna at 7.30pm

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council abuzz with rumours of workers’ €5.5m Lottery win

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From the Galway City Tribune – City Hall was abuzz from early Thursday morning after rumours circulated that a Galway City Council syndicate had won €5.5 million in the midweek National Lottery draw.

Lotto chiefs arrive in Galway later today (Friday) for a publicity event at Newspoint in Galway Shopping Centre (pictured) which sold Wednesday’s jackpot winning ticket.

A National Lottery spokesperson said the city player or syndicate has not yet come forward to claim their prize of €5,541,001.

Hours prior to Lotto confirming the winning player was based in Galway, speculation was rife locally that a syndicate of workers at Galway City Council had hit the jackpot.

The suggestion was that the prize was scooped by a group of ten Council outdoor staff in the syndicate, including five retired staff.

Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, joked that he probably had not won it because he was not a regular player.

“A really lovely story and I very much hope it’s true. If it is true it’s well deserved. These guys give wonderful public service and their good fortune, if true, will be well deserved.

“There’s nothing but a feelgood factor about the rumour and everyone hoping it’s true and sending good wishes to those who may have had success.”

Asked about the rumours, the National Lottery spokesperson told Galway City Tribune: “The winner has not made contact yet.”

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the August 5 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

JD Wetherspoon unveils plan for ‘superpub’ in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – British pub chain JD Wetherspoon has drawn up plans for a €2.5 million overhaul of the former Carbon nightclub on Eglinton Street in Galway – creating up to 70 jobs,

Plans for the ‘The Three Red Sails’ – a bar and restaurant over two floors – were submitted to City Hall last week – and the company said NUI Galway will provide a market for it.

“It is a short 500 metres from NUIG. It’s significant to note that there are 18,605 students in the college as well, which provides a market for the proposed development,” the planning application reads.

Wetherspoon has moved to reassure local residents that its ‘no music’ policy will be in force and “large groups in fancy dress” will not be permitted if it is given the go ahead by Galway City Council.

The company operates more than 860 pubs – including eight in Dublin, Cork and Carlow – and said it will seek “to create long-term relationships with local suppliers” for its all-day food menu.

The plans for the former nightclub premises – which Wetherspoon purchased in 2019 – involve demolition and refurbishment works on the ground floor and an extension at first floor level to provide a roof terrace and beer garden. A ground floor terrace already exists and will be slightly extended.

Drawings indicate seating for around 220 people on the ground floor and 100 people on the first floor (including 50 in the roof garden).

The proposed trading hours are 8am-11.30pm Monday to Thursday; 8am-12.30am Friday and Saturday and 8am to 11pm Sunday and the company said these reduced hours would be a “far less intense use” than the previous nightclub.

(Image: how the new pub would look)

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the August 5 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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