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Quarter-final race heats up with Craughwell win



Craughwell's Brian Callanan tries to find a way past the Liam Mellows duo of Kevin Lee and Mark Hughes. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Craughwell 2-12

Liam Mellows 0-14

A peculiar game in which neither side showcased their true potential was deservedly won by Craughwell, the hungrier outfit with a nose for goals.

Maybe it was the Friday evening of a Bank Holiday throw-in, but there was a flatness to the proceedings and the atmosphere in Athenry, particularly early-on, as goals in either half from Fergal Healy and Shane Dolan earned Craughwell the spoils.

In fairness to Craughwell, they were business-like in meeting the Mellows’ challenge, and carving out a four-points victory, which ensures senior A group two will go down to the wire.

Pacesetters from the first two rounds, this defeat means Mellows have now been leapfrogged by Craughwell and Cappataggle; and those three, plus Mullagh and Tommy Larkins, remain in the hunt for the pair of automatic quarter-final qualifications.

Having lost one of their opening two games, Craughwell probably needed the points more, and it showed – once they hit the front with Dolan’s goal two minutes into the second-half, they always looked capable of protecting that advantage.

Liam Mellows netted seven goals in their first two games, but never really got a sniff of one here.

Conversely, Craughwell bagged two – effectively what swung it in their favour – and there was an ever-present danger they’d get another, such was the amount of space in the Mellows’ defence.

Though the city men didn’t click upfront – their six starting forwards managed just three points from play between them, and two prominent players were held scoreless – it was the backs that will cause more sleepless nights for manager, Louis Mulqueen.

For both goals, Mellows were badly exposed with their defence too open, and even during those periods when a seventh player dropped back from the forwards to sweep up, Craughwell still seemed to pose a threat.

The goals proved crucial.

In the 19th minute, it broke kindly to Fergal Healy who had only one thing on his mind – he skipped by his marker, and put the head down with nobody but the ‘keeper to beat.

Jack Forde had no chance of stopping that shot, but he can shoulder some of the blame for the second. The custodian hesitated when a ball was sent high, into the danger area, and like all good corner-forwards, Dolan followed it through and pulled on it. A typical poacher’s goal and in Forde’s defence, the glare from the setting sun may have momentarily impacted his vision.

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


Galway family’s light show adds magic to Christmas



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The Carrick Family Light Show returns tonight (Friday) as 70,000 lights are illuminated in aid of a worthy local charity.

The man behind the lights spectacular, James Carrick, says test runs this week have proven successful and the family is ready to mark another Christmas in style.

“This is our fourth Christmas doing it. We started in 2019, but Covid was around for the last two years so it will be great this year not having to worry about that so much,” says James, who has spent the last few weeks carefully rebuilding the show at his home in Lurgan Park, Renmore.

He’s added “a few bits and pieces this year” – his brother buying the house next door has provided him a ‘blank canvas’ to extend.

Over the past three years, the show has raised almost €30,000 for local charities and James hopes to build on that this year – offering the light show for free, as always, and giving the opportunity to donate if people wish to do so.

The show runs nightly from 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday, with an extra kids show on Sundays at 5pm at 167 Lurgan Park (H91 Y17D). Donations can be made at the shows or by searching ‘idonate Carrick Family Light Show’ online.

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‘Chaos’ for Christmas as Martin junction works delayed again



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Motorists attempting to get into Galway are facing a nightmare before Christmas as continued delays to the works at the Martin roundabout create traffic chaos on the east side of the city.

Anger over the controversial project to remove the roundabout at Galway Clinic intensified this week as the completion date was pushed out to February – nearly a year after works began and six months later than the supposed deadline.

Local councillor Alan Cheevers (FF) told the Galway City Tribune that he had lost all confidence in the Transport Department in the City Council and hit out at their “outsourcing the problem” to private contractors.

He said despite repeated representations from him, the local authority was refusing to take responsibility for the bedlam caused by the works, which he said had resulted in “three minor collisions in the last five weeks”.

“The bottom line is that this has been an absolute shambles and I’ve lost all faith in senior officials in City Hall. When I raised the issue again this week, I was accused of looking for newspaper headlines – they will not take responsibility,” said the City East councillor.

“It’s like an obstacle course up there, and now they’re saying February for completion. I’ve no confidence it will even be done by then – they’re out of their depth. If you look at what they’re saying, they say they’ll be doing the surfacing until February,” continued Cllr Cheevers, anticipating that works could still be ongoing next March or April.

In a statement issued by contractors Fox Building Engineers Ltd and Galway City Council, it was claimed that “supply chain issues” had impacted severely on the project.

Motorists this week reported delays of up to an hour just to travel the short distance from Briarhill Shopping Centre as far as the Doughiska Road-Dublin Road junction, a distance of less than 2km.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article,  see the December 2 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Councillors rubber stamp ‘temporary’ helipad after nine years in place



The helipad on the former Shantalla pitch.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The Health Service Executive (HSE) came under fire over the ‘temporary’ helipad serving University Hospital Galway at a meeting to finalise the Galway City Development Plan for 2023-29.

Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, made a point of publicly highlighting his dissatisfaction with the HSE, calling on them to urgently “regularise” the planning permission for the helipad.
Speaking on the issue, Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said that he mistrusted the HSE’s proposal concerning the helipad, saying that previous promises about the site had not been kept.

Currently, University Hospital Galway operates the helipad to transport medical emergencies on Council-owned land in Shantalla – it has been used for past nine years, despite the HSE saying it would be used for six months.

The temporary structure, the busiest helipad in Ireland, transports patients from as far north as Donegal to the hospital.

Councillors voted to change the Galway City Development Plan to provide for a helipad at this location but urged the HSE to normalise the planning permission at the site and to provide compensation to the local community for the loss of a section of the park.

Mr McGrath said that he wouldn’t “wait forever” for the HSE to bring the site in line with the planning laws.

Last month marked the ninth anniversary of when the Saolta University Hospital Group gave a commitment to the people of Shantalla about the public land it borrowed.

Tony Canavan, the then Chief Operating Officer, and now CEO of Saolta, said that the land would be used to accommodate a helipad at the rear of UHG for six months only.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article,  see the December 2 edition of the Galway City Tribune where there is extensive coverage of rezoning decisions under the City Development Plan. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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