Inside Track with John McIntyre
EATEN bread is soon forgotten. Well, that appears to be the case with the Galway hurlers judging from some of the fallout after failing to do themselves justice in the All-Ireland final against Limerick last Sunday week. Descriptions like ‘pathetic’ and ‘shocking’ are being bandied about to describe the Tribesmen’s admittedly disappointing display.
This is a wholly over-the-top and unmerited reaction to Galway surrendering their All-Ireland title. Remember, this was a team defending a 13-match unbeaten championship run, had also won the National League title in 2017, and displayed admirable levels of resilience and spirit, especially in their big summer clashes with Kilkenny and Clare.
Sure, Galway were mistake-prone against Limerick and most of the players fell short of their high standards over the past two years, but a minority of fans have gone overboard in their reaction to the team’s eclipse on hurling’s biggest day. There were extenuating circumstances, notably the fatigue factor after a marathon campaign, not forgetting the naked desire of opponents desperate to end a 45-year famine.
You’d swear that Galway crumbled altogether and that their performance had no redeeming features. What about the brilliant point-scoring of David Burke, Joseph Cooney and Joe Canning, or Conor Whelan’s terrific late goal, or the overall fortitude of the team when Limerick stormed eight points clear in the 68th minute. Errors continued to hamper their display, but nobody in a maroon jersey threw in the towel or went missing.
Their injury-time show of defiance almost rescued a match which they didn’t deserve to get anything from on the balance of play, but sport has thrown up many inequitable results down through the decades. Galway kept trying to the bitter end and deserve huge credit for that. They had Limerick hanging on at the finish and their fans in a state of near apoplexy over the sudden shift in the on-field dominance.
These Galway players have done the county proud – bringing only a fifth All-Ireland senior hurling title west – and deserve more respect from a small cohort of ‘know-it-all’ supporters. Getting to within a point of Limerick at the death after so much going wrong was a testimony to the squad’s character. Their camp, both management and players, also warrant our admiration for their graciousness in defeat.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer
On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.
Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.
While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.
“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.
“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”
Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!
Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.
But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.
The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.
She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.
The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.
“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.
“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”
Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery
Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.
But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.
The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.
To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.
“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.
But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.
Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie