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Connacht Tribune

Oughterard’s influx before the mass exodus!

Dara Bradley

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Oughterard goalkeepers Ciaran Noone and Jordan Waller at last weekend's press day ahead of Oughterard's All-Ireland intermediate Club Final this weekend. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

There mustn’t have been a sinner left in Oughterard last Saturday week, as what looked like the entire parish – and more besides – invaded the pitch in Kilmallock in their hundreds to celebrate a famous All-Ireland intermediate semi-final win over hot favourites, Kerry and Munster champions Templenoe.

Anyone who wasn’t there, who were tuning in on Galway Bay fm or following online on social media, was on the blower to manager Tommy Finnerty and squad members soon after the final whistle. The congratulatory messages poured-in – and so too did the pledges they’d be there for the final at Croke Park this Saturday against Monaghan’s Magheracloone, the club’s finest hour.

Finnerty, who transformed the team since taking the reins in 2018, has been blown away by the support of well-wishers. “It’s huge and how it has spread out,” he said.

“The amount of Oughterard people I have met and I wouldn’t have seen for quite a while. Even Oughterard people who live in Galway that wouldn’t have gone to Oughterard games in the past but they’re Oughterard men and they’re Oughterard women and they just come back. The night in Castlebar after winning the Connacht final (versus The Neale), the amount of Oughterard people I met on the pitch who are no longer living in Oughterard, who have moved away, was absolutely huge.

“They’re coming basically from the four corners of Ireland. As soon as the final whistle went in Kilmallock and we were just getting on the bus heading back home, a great friend of mine, Alan O’Connor, texted me and he is travelling back from Boston for the final. Alan played in the All-Ireland U21 final with me for Galway against Cork in 1989. That’s what it means to him as an Oughterard man and as an ex-player.

“Another friend of mine Gerard Geoghegan is coming from San Francisco. The Healy brothers, the McGauleys are coming from Chicago. There are people coming from all over the world. My own daughter, she’s teaching in Brighton in England and she’s coming back. They’re coming from everywhere,” he said.

See full story and match preview in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Homemade Wimbledon is a different bale game!

Francis Farragher

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James Craughwell about to serve over the tape – and the sheep gates – to brother Christopher with mum, Anne, in the background. The family dog Prince is showing a keen interest in taking up the role of ‘ball boy’. The brollies on the deck chairs were actually purchased at the Wimbledon tournament that the Craughwells attended in 2017.

WIMBLEDON mightn’t be happening for the tennis professionals this year due to COVID-19 – but one North Galway family are planning their own version of the tournament.

The younger members of the Craughwell family in Menlough village have had a tradition over the years of lining out their own court on the silage slab that’s available for recreation purposes during the early weeks of the Summer.

The three sons of Jarlath and Anne Craughwell – Christopher, Shane and James – rarely missed the opportunity through the years to ‘get the silage slab ready’ for their own Wimbledon tournament.

“The dimensions of the silage slab are almost exactly the same as a tennis court [78 feet X 36 feet} so back the years we always organised our own games. When the silage was made, then that was always it for another year,” Christopher Craughwell told the Connacht Tribune.

As the lads grew older the summer tennis court hadn’t been used for a few years but in 2020 with the introduction of the coronavirus restrictions, it seemed like a perfect time to bring it back.

“This year we took it a stage further. We used the sheep gates for the net with a line of white electric fence tape along the top so this is probably the best job we’ve ever made of it.

“The silage won’t be made for at least another month so were planning to stage our own family tournament over the coming weeks. With the weather so good, it’s been a great way to pass the time,” said Christopher.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

City Council houses Travellers in county

Declan Tierney

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Cllr Donagh Killilea.

Galway City Council will spend close to half a million euro to house a Traveller family – in a property well outside its own local authority boundary.

Instead the family of four, who previously lived on the Carrabrowne halting site, will be accommodated in the house at Kiltulla near Carnmore, which is deep in Galway County Council’s local government area.

The City Council is understood to have paid €388,000 for the property which will require another €50,000 to refurbish – leaving little change out of half a million euro.

Angry residents, who were unaware of the plan, have now organised a petition to City Council CEO Brendan McGrath to voice their objection to the move.

But Cllr Donagh Killilea believes that there is a bigger issue at stake – with Galway City Council acquiring property wherever they like.

And Senator Ollie Crowe said that he believed the City Council – of which he was a member up to his Seanad election – should be acquiring property within their own area and that this acquisition was ‘unprecedented’.

He said that it was his view that there would be nothing bought outside the city boundary and that the money spent on this property would refurbish a lot of the City Council’s housing stock that had fallen into a state of dilapidation.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

Long drives still out of bounds for golfers

Declan Tierney

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Teeing off from the 12th tee at Galway Bay Golf Resort in Oranmore this week on the re-opening of golf courses around the country. There is nothing to suggest that any golfers travelled more than 5km to play in Oranmore. Photo: Keith Kelly.

This week’s relaxation of travel restrictions saw an exodus to the garden centres and the golf courses – but Gardaí have this week reiterated their warning to those planning to excede their five kilometre limit that they may find themselves in the heavy rough.

The first phase of a return to ‘normality’ went to plan, despite the early rush to newly reopened facilities. Even the rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of furloughed golfers, who were on the first tee from daylight.

Time sheets for golf clubs across the county were choc-a-bloc as they opened their doors to members for the first time since the end of March – but many clubs privately admitted that more than half of those who played had travelled way beyond the 5k restriction.

That led Gardaí to warn that they will be mounting checkpoints and turning people back home – adding that the golf clubs themselves have a responsibility to advise members on the travel rules.

Tuam Sergeant Pat Hastings confirmed that Gardaí had the power under the Health Preservation and Protection Act 2020 to turn back individuals travelling more than 5k from their homes.

He warned that a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions to deal with anyone who continually breached the regulations.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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