Date Published: 05-May-2011
By Dara Bradley
On the face of it, this should be a dead-rubber. A cursory glance at the standings in the Magners League shows Munster on top, 14 points clear of the next best, and already qualified for a home semi-final berth.
Connacht, in ninth place, would seem to have little to play for given that they cannot – on their own merits – qualify for the Heineken Cup based on their positioning in the league.
But interprovincial derbies are rarely insignificant and there is much still up for grabs when Connacht takes on the might of Munster at Thomond Park tonight (7.05pm).
Obviously pride and the wish to end a season on a high are important. However, the stakes are higher than that: Connacht, four points behind Edinburgh, have their best Magners League finish within their grasp and can still leapfrog the Scots with a bonus point win but equally can be overtaken by tenth place Benetton Treviso if results don’t go their way.
Munster, too, will be anxious to bring back the ‘fortress factor’ to Thomond Park after their disappointing Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final exit, in front of their home support, against Harlequins last weekend.
That 20-12 defeat – described as “extremely embarrassing” by coach Tony McGahan – will hurt and Munster will be hoping to get back to winning ways in Limerick, where they have won all ten home matches in the Magners League this season.
McGahan took a lot of ‘stick’ this week for the manner of Munster’s Amlin exit but out-half Ronan O’Gara redirected the criticism back at the players – you can be sure there was a lot of soul-searching and introspection down South this week and Connacht should expect an almighty backlash.
Another motivation for Munster is many of the team, like Tomás O’Leary, will be looking to impress, as places in the starting XV for the league semi-final – and final should they make it – are still up for grabs. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a Magners League final against possibly their fiercest rivals Leinster?
Others, like Paul Warwick, who is leaving Munster for pastures new, and Ian Dowling and Alan Quinlan who are retiring, will want to give the Red Army stellar last performances to remember them by.
The same is true for Connacht’s Ian Keatley – who will no doubt be anxious to impress his new employers ahead of his transfer to Munster next season – Fionn Carr, Seán Cronin, Jamie Hagan (all Leinster bound), Troy Nathan (who this week signed for Glasgow), and Mike McComish (who is heading to Ulster next season), who this week bid farewell to the province. Four of the departing men start tonight, with McComish and Nathan named on the bench.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.