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CITY TRIBUNE

Pundits left with egg on faces after Galway men romp home

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Galway's Sean Kelly after scoring their first goal in Sunday's big Connacht football semi-final win over Sligo at Pearse Stadium.

THERE’S no pleasing some pundits. There really isn’t.

On Sunday in the Connacht Football Championship semi-final, Galway racked up a cricket score against Sligo. They kicked 4-24. They won by 21 points. They’d 11 different scorers. Eight players scored twice or more. Twenty-two of their white flags came from play. That’s serious scoring. It was an exhibition of scoring in the Stadium.

It’s the highest tally Galway have hit during Kevin Walsh’s reign; seven points more than the hammering they doled-out to Donegal in the Qualifiers last season. It was far higher than previous provincial blowouts including the 3-16 Galway put past Roscommon in the 2016 final replay; the 2-18 against New York in 2015; and 3-17 they put-up against London in 2014.

A total of 4-24 is off the Richter scale altogether. And still curmudgeon Colm O’Rourke scoffed on RTÉ television’s Sunday Game programme when fellow panellist Tomás Ó Sé generously suggested Galway aren’t as defensive as some people make them out to be.

You’d wonder how much more Walsh’s charges would have to accumulate before the Meath man acknowledged it. Forty points? Who knows.

On Saturday, in his column in the Irish Daily Star, which was flagged on the front page, former Donegal player Eamon McGee talked about how much he disliked Galway, who “do the spite thing”. They’re just two of many.

Walsh and Co will rightly pay no heed to the flak. If anything, it should be regarded as a compliment. Because all the background noise from national critics does is highlight that Galway are a credible force once again. The fact that McGee, O’Rourke and others are grudging means Galway are relevant. They’re on the rise. They’re a threat. They’re contenders.

That was perhaps the most pleasing aspect of Galway’s cakewalk in Pearse Stadium.

They came into this as favourites having edged out Mayo in an arm-wrestle in Castlebar; and Galway more than justified their favouritism with an absolute clinical professionalism. Like Kerry did to Clare down in Munster shooting the lights out, and like Dublin have been doing in Leinster for donkeys’ years against so-called lesser teams, Galway showed Sligo no mercy.

This was a mismatch but it was a mismatch because Galway didn’t give a sucker an even break. That’s what you want to see – good and great teams don’t stumble over minnows.

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

 

CITY TRIBUNE

Concerns over reopening of Middle Arch on Tuesday

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A Galway City Councillor has given a cautious welcome but has also raised concerns over the reopening of the ‘Middle Arch’ beside the Claddagh Basin next Tuesday.

Access was closed to the public last May following requests from the Gardai due to large crowds that had gathered in the days previously amid fears of it becoming a serious health and safety risk.

The concerns were raised by Cllr. Niall McNelis who said that a cautious welcome should be given but that the possibility of closing it in evenings needs to be seriously looked at.

He said “The decision to close it was earlier in year was due to it had become an area where large groups had gathered drinking and had led to calls by locals that it had become a serious health and safety risk. The area also does not have safety barriers and this has led to persons falling into the water in the past.

“Recently there has been a large number of calls made that the area should be reopened and that public space be made available to the public.”

Cllr. McNelis also said that a cautious welcome should be given but that the possibility of closing it in evenings needs to be seriously looked at.

“We can not have the same scenes repeated as we did earlier this year and in previous years. House gardens and Claddagh church grounds were used as toilets and large amounts of litter mainly drink, was left behind. I have met a number of residents this weekend who are not happy with decision and calls have been made by them to have it closed in evenings by City Council and Gardai should assist in clearing area if needs be.

“We do not have enough Garda personnel to have proper policing in our city, we need more resources for the city to tackle and enforce anti social behaviour.

“I have met this week with Gardai and have been given assurances that this will be closely monitored and occasions such as exam results nights, freshers week and good weather will be monitored,” he said.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Council rows back on ‘reduced delays’ projections for Kirwan junction

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Motorists have described it as ‘a disaster’ and a former mayor has said the project gave very poor value for money, but Galway City Council have this week asked the public to be patient with the revamped Kirwan junction, close to the Menlo Park Hotel.

Since the four-arm signalled junction opened early last week, motorists have complained of traffic queues stretching back to the Quincentenary Bridge and Corrib Park.

And now the Council has rowed back on its consultants’ claims that the junction would increase capacity by 15% and reduce waiting times by 25%.

Former mayor and local taxi driver, Cllr Frank Fahy, told the Galway City Tribune that given the negative impact of the junction on traffic, the €5 million spent on the project represented ‘very poor value’ as regards taxpayers’ money.

“I will admit that the junction is now safer for pedestrians in that they can hit a button to give them a safe crossing, but since it opened there have some very serious traffic tailbacks,” said Cllr Fahy.

However, City Council Acting Director of Services for Transport, Uinsinn Finn, told the Galway City Tribune that the new junction needed time to ‘bed in’ with a familiarisation process.

“The main objectives of this project were to make far safer for pedestrians and cyclists to negotiate, as well as making it safer for motorists too, without impacting [negatively] on the traffic flow,” said Mr Finn.

He added that since it opened – and over the coming few weeks – data on all aspects of how the junction was functioning would be compiled which could involve changes to light sequencing, lanes and peak traffic flows.

One motorist who contacted this newspaper said that the daily “nightmare” journey from the Barna Road to the Headford Road during the morning peak traffic time had added up to 40 minutes to his journey time.

“The two lanes are regularly gridlocked from the junction, back the N6, over the Quincentenary Bridge and back to Corrib Park.

“In the mornings, it’s now easier to go down Taylor’s Hill and into town, past Eyre Square and up Bohermore to get down to the Headford Road.

Councillors were told by consultants in 2017 and again in 2018 – when they voted to proceed with the changeover to a junction – that average delays would be reduced by 25% and junction capacity would increase by 15%.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Man hospitalised following Eyre Square assault

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Gardaí have appealed to the public for information into an assault in Eyre Square last weekend which led to a young man being hospitalised.

The victim of the assault – a man in his early 20s from the city area – suffered a cut to his knee and may have had a substance sprayed towards his eyes.

Following the incident – that occurred close to the Eyre Square taxi rank shortly after midnight on Saturday night last – the victim was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Galway.

It is understood that the victim was released later that morning and has made a full recovery. This week, Gardaí are poring over CCTV footage in an effort to try and identify the perpetrators of the assault.

The assailants are understood to have fled on foot after the incident towards St Patrick’s Avenue on the east side of Eyre Square.

A Garda spokesperson has appealed for anyone who was in the vicinity of the taxi rank on Eyre Square between 12 midnight and 12.30am on the Sunday morning (Saturday night) of July 25 last, and who may have witnessed the incident to contact them.

(Photo: the assailants fled on foot towards St Patrick’s Avenue off Eyre Square)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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