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CITY TRIBUNE

Popular West of Ireland track launches their racing programme for 2017

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Attending the launch of the Ballinrobe Racecourse 2017 Season of Racing at the track last Friday evening. Left to right: John Mullholland (Mullholland Bookmakers), Gary Munroe (Munroe's, Galway), Roger O'Sullivan(The Galleon Restaurant, Salthill), Alan Mullholland (Mulholland Bookmakers), Pat Kelly (trainer, Craughwell), John McIntyre (Sports Editor, Connacht Tribune) and John Flannelly (Ballinrobe Racecourse Manager). Photos: Trish Forde.

IF any racing aficionado still clung to the notion that Ballinrobe was just a summer course for modest horses, their outdated perception would have been well and truly buried by the happenings at the recent Cheltenham National Hunt Festival.

Irish runners ransacked the sport’s most prestigious meeting with a record-breaking 19 wins and four of those horses, including the Galway-trained Presenting Percy, had been successful earlier in their careers at the picturesque Co Mayo track.

Pat Kelly’s Cheltenham hero landed his bumper in Ballinrobe in March of 2016, while three more winners in the Cotswolds, Tiger Roll, Rock The World and Champion Chase victor, Special Tiara, all landed their novice chases at the course.

It’s an impressive roll of honour by any standards and underlines the higher quality chaser and hurdler Ballinrobe had been attracting over the past five years in particular – a reflection of ongoing improvements to facilities and the expansion of the course itself.

Having four track winners coming up trumps at the Cheltenham festival was the perfect backdrop last Friday night for Ballinrobe launching their 65-race programme spread over nine meetings for 2017.

Though that represents one less fixture than last year, total prizemoney for Ballinrobe’s seven National Hunt and two flat fixtures of €920,000 is actually a comparative increase on the 2017 total of €950,000.

John Flannelly, Ballinrobe’s Racetrack Manager, outlined this year’s calendar with the action getting underway on Tuesday evening, May 2, and revealed that the track will host 11 feature races, valued between €20,000 and €40,000.

Once again, the big meeting of the year on Tuesday, May 30, will feature the €40,000 McHale Mayo National Handicap Chase, won last year by the Aidan O’Brien trained King Leon, and the McHale Coranna Handicap Hurdle (€27,500).

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

 

CITY TRIBUNE

No end in sight for work on junction near Galway Clinic

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From the Galway City Tribune – The City Council has declined to set a date for the completion of the Martin roundabout replacement near Galway Clinic – which was due to have opened more than a month ago.

In a statement, the Council would only confirm that the project was over 50 per cent completed.

“The project is now progressing to the surface type works including the installation of roadside kerbs, provision of footpaths and cycle lanes and road surfacing. These elements of the works will progress quite rapidly over the next month and there will be more of an appreciation for the progress on this project and the final layout will start to become apparent,” said a spokesperson.

“Ducting and preparatory works for the traffic signal installation is in progress and installation of the lights themselves will commence once the majority of surface works are complete. The final phase of the works will consist of significant landscaping of the junction.”

Work began on the junction in February, with an expected six-month schedule.

“There have been some delays to the programme as a result of industry-wide, supply-chain issues related to the war in Ukraine. There has also been further delays due to rock being encountered on site.

Rock was expected, however the hardness of the rock has been greater than anticipated and as such, has been slower to break and excavate on site,” according to the Council.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article and to support our journalism, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway Docklands Festival set to make a big splash in the city!

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The city’s link to the sea is to be celebrated later this month with the staging of the inaugural Galway Docklands Festival featuring a range of culinary treats, sea tours, demonstrations and talks.

Running from the weekend of Friday, October 21 to Sunday, October 23, the event has the aim of celebrating the city’s bond with the sea and the local waterways network.

Organised by the Galway Hooker Sailing Club, Galway Bay Boat Tours and Galway Bay Seafoods, the spectacle has a packed schedule of events – many of them free – through each of its three days.

The ‘pay events’ – ranging from €5 to €15 – include a coffee morning, beer and seafood sampling as well as an historical boat tour of the Claddagh and Galway Bay (€15).

Boatbuilder Cóilín Ó hIarnáin will be giving free demonstrations of his skills on each of the three days; Ciaran Oliver will give a walking tour of the seafront (€10); while there will also be a free Galway Hooker rigging demonstration.

For the more adventurous, there are supervised powerboard ‘taster spins’ (€10) while for ‘the foodies’ the Galway Bay Seafoods fish’n’chips, the Hooker beer and seafood sampling, as well as the family cooking demonstrations – all priced at €10 each – look set to be big attractions.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Mayor told to stay away from homecoming over funding snub

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From the Galway City Tribune – The Mayor of Galway was asked to stay away from homecoming celebrations for extreme adventurer Damian Browne, the Galway City Tribune understands.

Mayor Clodagh Higgins was told that she was not to attend the event at the Docks on Tuesday as there had been disappointment in the ‘Project Empower’ camp that funding had not been made available from Galway City Council.

The Galway City Tribune has learned that Project Empower, which is led by Voluntary Manager MacDara Hosty, applied for €30,000 in funding from the local authority’s Marketing Fund in September 2021, but was deemed ineligible.

A spokesperson for Galway City Council confirmed this week that Project Empower did not meet the criteria set down by the fund which seeks to support the holding of major events and festivals in the city.

In documents seen by this newspaper, Project Empower proposed that Galway City Council be the title partner at a cost of €30,000 plus VAT.

The Tribune understands that the Council’s refusal to provide this funding was at the root of the Mayor’s snub on Tuesday, which drew attention online as members of the public questioned her absence.

When contacted, the Mayor refused to be drawn on questions relating to the Marketing Fund, but said it was her intention to offer a Civic Reception to Damian Browne at the nearest opportunity.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story and extensive coverage of Damian Browne’s homecoming, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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