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Connacht Tribune

Relegation disaster for Galway Utd despite courageous last stand

Keith Kelly

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Galway United's Kevin Devaney gets to the ball ahead of Dundalk's Jamie McGrath during Friday's Premier Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Galway United  3

Dundalk  4

THE guts of 3,500 minutes of football was summed up in an hour and a half on Friday night as Galway United bid adieu to the Premier Division after a three-year stint.

The home side became just the third team this season to put three goals past Dundalk in the league, and any time you score three goals at home, it should be enough to win the game. But this is Galway United we are talking about, and unlike Derry City (3-1) and Cork City (3-0), Shane Keegan’s side still finished the game empty handed as defensive frailties ensured a night that began with hope ended in despair.

Even if they had won, it would not have been enough to save United from the drop as both St Patrick’s Athletic and Sligo Rovers picked up the point they both needed to escape the drop to the wastelands of the domestic league.

It is a cliché to say the table doesn’t lie, but on this occasion, it can be accused of bending the truth a little as relegation is a little harsh on a United side that finished the campaign with fewer defeats than a Shamrock Rovers side that finished third in the table and qualified for Europe (12 for United, 13 for Rovers).

United scored more (45) than Sligo Rovers (33) and Limerick FC (41), and the same as St Patrick’s Athletic (45); and conceded less than St Pat’s (52), Limerick (51) and Bray Wanderers. And yet they will now find themselves digging out directions for Stradbrook Road, the home of Cabinteely, next season.

United needed a couple of factors to go their way on Friday night, but first they had to look after their own part of the bargain by winning at home to Dundalk. They got off to an ideal start, taking the lead in the 9th minute; but rather than smother the game, they let concentration drop and any momentum they had was killed just two minutes later when the visitors equalised.

The Tribesmen were on top in the early stages, and Stephen Folan had a goalbound header cleared by Dundalk captain, Stephen O’Donnell, in the 5th minute; while Gary Rogers had to go full stretch to push an Eoin McCormack shot around the post for a corner four minutes later.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Gardaí seek help in locating missing man

Enda Cunningham

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Gardaí have sought help in locating a man missing in Galway since the end of December.
34-year-old Luke Davoren was last seen in the University Road area on December 30.

He is described as having fair hair, 6ft in height and having an athletic build. He was last seen wearing a grey hoody, brown leather jacket, blue jeans and brown leather boots. He also had a black back pack in his possession.

Gardaí and Luke’s family are very concerned for his welfare and have urged him to make contact.

Anyone with information, particularly any road users with dash cam footage of the Newcastle/University Road areas between 1am – 2am on December 30, is asked to contact Galway Garda Station on 091 538000.

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Connacht Tribune

Hospitals cope with overcrowding and staff shortages as Covid crisis peaks

Dara Bradley

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Confirmed cases of Covid-19 continue to skyrocket in Galway, as virus-related frontline healthcare staff shortages persist and now overcrowding emerges as a new threat.

Galway experienced four days of record-breaking positive case notifications in the past week, as hospitalisations grew exponentially and pressure was heaped on the critical care units at University Hospital Galway (UHG) and Portiuncula.

Hospital management said it was unsure whether community transmission had peaked locally yet – and they expect hospitals to be under ‘significant pressure’ from Covid admissions well into February.

Nurses have highlighted how overcrowding in the Emergency Department of the county’s two main public hospitals has returned – some 112 patients were stuck on trolleys awaiting admission to UHG and Ballinasloe on five mornings in the past week. Meanwhile, it hasn’t yet been officially confirmed that the new UK variant of Covid is present in Galway, but authorities believe it is.

The latest data shows there has been no let-up in new cases notifications in Galway – 604 confirmed cases were notified for Monday, the highest in Ireland and Galway’s worst ever day by a long shot.

It was a frightening figure but it was not for one day and was part of clearing the backlog of cases over Christmas and New Year, the HSE said.

That pushed Galway’s 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 to 1033.9 more than double what it was a week ago and eight times what it was a fortnight ago. Some 2,668 new Galway cases were notified in the fortnight to midnight Tuesday.

Read the full story and comprehensive coverage of the Covid-19 crisis in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Suffer little children – report shines a light into shameful past

Dave O'Connell

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Baby clothing hanging from a tree branch in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home burial ground this week. PHOTO: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Tribune Comment

The final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes shines a light into the darkest recesses of our shameful past; young women and tiny babies neglected by Church and State – fellow, frail human beings whose lives and deaths somehow didn’t matter at all.

These women and their children were punished, hidden out of sight; mistreated at best; physically and sexually abused at worst – and way, way too many were left to die without a shred of dignity in their lives or in their passing.

The Trojan work and dedication of people like Catherine Corless lifted the stone on the shame – but it is only in their shocking stories, as we’ve read and heard this week, that we can get any sense of the depths of this depravity.

Many of the mothers were little more than children themselves, who had their little babies taken from them and given away with even a sliver of consent.

There were no records of their adoption, and no willingness, even decades later, to help those babies to find their birth mothers. Because to do so would have exposed the cruel and heartless manner of their forced adoptions in the first place.

And yet exposing this scandal is only the first step; an apology was the very least they were entitled to. Now we as a nation, and particularly those religious orders who ran the homes, must do everything to redress this wrong.

We must open the files so that they can discover their full life stories, find their living relatives, and be compensated so that at least the rest of their lives are in complete contrast to all they’ve endured until now.

We need to look at how we can give hundreds of innocent babies a proper burial – however belated and insufficient that may be.

Nothing will undo the damage – but now that the depths of this depravity have finally been laid bare, there must be no equivocation, no prevarication; just a commitment to doing whatever it takes to try and right a terrible wrong.

See full coverage of the Commission’s Report in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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