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.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.