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CITY TRIBUNE

Return of international contingent strengthens Connacht’s hand for trip to Wales

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Connacht's Ultan Dillane, one of their international contingent who is available for Saturday’s PRO14 encounter against the Dragons at Rodney Parade.

By Rob Murphy

THE rugby continues for Connacht on Saturday with a trip to Wales to take on the Dragons at Rodney Parade (5.15pm). It’s been a happy stomping ground in recent seasons for the men in green and after their big win away to Edinburgh on their last outing, hopes will be high that they can start to build some early season momentum in the PRO14.

Following an unexpected break from action last weekend with the postponement of their home clash with Benetton (due to two Covid-19 cases in the Italian’s squad), Connacht will head into this game eager for an opportunity to build on the promising rugby they were able to produce in their high scoring victory at Murrayfield.

The break probably didn’t come at a great time, especially for some of the emerging squad members keen to make an impression during the international window. It didn’t come at a good time for Andy Friend either, because the five-try demolition of Edinburgh saw his side play some of the best rugby we’ve seen since the victory over Ulster in the Aviva Stadium back in August, and he would have hoped for more of the same against the Italians.

There is good news for Friend however. He is welcoming back the bulk of his international contingent for the coming weekend with Quinn Roux, Jack Carty and Kieran Marmion who didn’t see action, and Ultan Dillane, FinlayBeallham and Dave Heffernan who were involved in both Six Nations encounters, all training with the squad and available for selection this weekend.

One name is missing there. Bundee Aki started both games for Ireland in the conclusion of the 2020 Six Nations and is understandably down for some much needed rest ahead of a busy run of November internationals starting on Friday week with a home tie against Wales at the Aviva Stadium.

The Dragons are also welcoming back some international squad members. Five in total – Keon Brown, Ross Moriarty, Aaron Wainwright, Nick Tompkins and Jonah Holmes. The Newport side lost at home to Munster on Monday evening 28-16. It’s a third straight defeat against Irish provinces and there only win in so far this season was a home triumph over Zebre.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Matriarch of Scotty’s Diner donates kidney to her son!

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A well-known family in the Galway restaurant trade have swapped chef whites for hospital gowns after the matriarch donated a kidney to her son.

Jenny and Andrew Ishmael, synonymous with Scotty’s Diner in Cúirt na Coiribe on the Headford Road in Terryland, are recovering in Beaumont Hospital after the marathon live donor operation.

It took place last Monday and staff are so impressed by the quick recovery of mother and son that they could be discharged as early as this weekend.

“It went really well. I’m still a bit sore. We’re still on the mend. It’s working perfectly,” says Andrew from the isolation ward of the hospital’s Kidney Centre.  “My creatine was over 1,000 when I came in and it’s already around 260.

“I felt weak after the surgery, but I could feel that bit of life in me again straight away. It’s amazing how quick it works. Mom wasn’t too great after the surgery – it was her first ever. She was quite sore, a bit iffy, but she’s good now.

“We have rooms back-to-back. We’ve been going for walks, going for breakfast together. It’s nice to spend that time together.”

Andrew – or Drew as he’s known to family and friends –  was diagnosed with kidney disease when he was just 16.

Berger’s Disease occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin builds up in the kidneys and results in inflammation, which over time, can hamper the kidneys’ ability to filter waste from the blood.

He managed the condition well for over a decade without too much impact on his life.

The son of classically trained chefs who studied together at Johnson and Wales College in Rhode Island, he grew up working in his parents’ American-style diner, trading since 1991.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

New River Corrib rescue boat to be deployed following ‘significant donation’

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The provision of a specialist rescue craft on the Corrib – upstream from the Weir – could now happen over the coming weeks or months following a ‘significant voluntary donation’ in the past few weeks, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

Water safety issues on the Corrib were highlighted last month when up to 10 rowers had to be rescued after their two boats were sucked in by the currents towards the Weir.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has launched an investigation into the circumstances of the potentially catastrophic incident which occurred around midday on Saturday, January 14.

A specialist D Class lifeboat is now being sourced as part of a multi-agency approach to try and improve emergency rescue operations upstream from the Weir which would be accessible on a 24/7 basis.

While the cost would be in the region of €40,000 to €50,000, the overall figure would rise to around €80,000 to €90,000 when specialist personnel training costs were included.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune that he was aware of a lot of work going on behind the scenes to try and get the Corrib rescue craft in place as soon as possible.

“I suppose we’re all trying to work together to ensure that a full-time rescue craft is provided on the Corrib and I believe that real progress is being made in this regard. This would be very good news for everyone,” said Mr Swan.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Three years on and ‘Changing Places’ facility on Salthill Promenade still not open

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Mayor of Galway, Cllr Clodagh Higgins at the site of the Changing Places facility, for which she had ring-fenced money. Work on the project only began last February, despite initial predictions that the facility would be open in January last year.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The wait for accessible, specialised toilet facilities at Ladies Beach in Salthill goes on – three years after they were ‘prioritised’ by city councillors.

Galway City Council has confirmed to the Tribune this week that the ‘Changing Places’ facility at Ladies Beach is still not open.

Construction of the facility began almost a year ago, at the end of February 2022.

The local authority confirmed that some €135,600 has been spent on the unit, which is not yet open to the public.

“The initial stages of construction went well, with the facility now largely in place. There are a number of outstanding snags to be completed before the facility can open.

“Galway City Council is liaising with the contractor to complete out these snags, with a view to opening the facility as soon as possible,” a spokesperson said.

The local authority did not elaborate on what ‘snags’ were delaying the project.

But in January, Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, suggested that staffing issues were to blame for the delay.

(Photo: Mayor of Galway, Clodagh Higgins, at the site of the Changing Places facility, for which she had ring-fenced money).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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