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Sammon remains a believer despite setback



GALWAY great Liam Sammon may be a football purist who is largely abhorred by the modern, ultra-defensive game but even he concedes he would sacrifice his ideals for another All-Ireland senior football championship medal.
As a classy sharpshooter, Sammon, corner forward on Galway’s All-Ireland winning side that completed the three-in-a-row in 1966, was poetry in motion and this was evident by the three All-Star awards he collected during his inter-county career between 1966 and 1979.
In that time, he appeared in four All-Ireland finals, with his only victory coming in his debut year of ’66. The other deciders – 1971 v Offaly, 1973 v Cork and 1974 v Dublin – all ended in utter heartbreak, more so given Sammon captained the Tribesmen in ’71 and ’73.
Throughout his career though, he was regarded as a stylist and so the modern game is quite simply alien to him. And he says as much over the course of the interview. However, when asked would he sacrifice style of play for another All-Ireland medal, he can’t help but laugh.
“Well . . . Ah Jaysus, I would of course but in saying that could we win the other way as well? I would contend that we could,” says Sammon, who managed Galway between late 2007 and 2009, leading the county to a Connacht SFC title in 2008.
That said, he can understand why Galway has adopted many of the traits of the modern game – primarily a defensive set-up – and no one is more delighted than him to see the county in the shake-up for All-Ireland honours in 2018.
“It has been a great run so far really. In many ways, it is unexpected because at the start of the year there was all sorts of talk of us going back down (relegated from Division 1 of the National League). Whereas, we ended up in a National League final, which was marvellous.”
Of course, Galway followed this up with victories over Mayo, Sligo and Roscommon to claim the Connacht crown before they saw off Kerry and Kildare to qualify for this weekend’s All-Ireland semi-finals. Consequently, he says last Saturday’s defeat to Monaghan cannot be taken as face value.
“It was a bit disappointing on Saturday evening but you would have to question our frame of mind. I would say it was very difficult knowing you were in the semi-final already to be as committed as Monaghan were. When any team then gets a run at you – like Monaghan did – it is pretty hard to get back into the frame of mind that is needed to save games like that.”
He doesn’t doubt though the Galway players did their best on the evening but, again, he notes the sub conscious mind is a powerful weapon and, in many respects, it would have been thinking of an All-Ireland semi-final in Croke Park the following weekend.

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

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Galway City Council to ‘review’ Kirwan junction



Councillors are demanding proof that the €5 million spent to transform Kirwan Roundabout into a signalised junction was money well spent – blasting the new junction as having created long delays and worsening rat-running.

A meeting of the local authority last week heard that while there was a general acceptance there would be ‘teething problems’ with the traffic-light junction after it became operational in July, ongoing issues were continuing to draw the ire of road users and local residents.

Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind) said he was one of five councillors on the previous Council to initially vote against the removal of the roundabout, based on fears that it would increase traffic through local residential areas – a fear that had been realised.

“What changes have been needed to be done since it went live,” asked the former Mayor, indicating that there had been little improvement.

Cllr Alan Cheevers (FF) said he understood that enhancement works were being done, but more were required.

“A lot of drivers are avoiding it and its driving traffic through the likes of Terryland Business Park. The Tuam Road is now gridlocked,” he said, calling on the Council to do a “PR exercise” to encourage drivers back to Kirwan.

Cllr Clodagh Higgins (FG) said the junction continued to confuse people and suggested that “overhead hanging signs” would be of assistance.

Green Party Councillor Niall Murphy said when the roundabout was slated for removal, it was promised that delays would be reduced by 25% and rat-running by 90% – but as yet, no evidence had been provided to show this.

“We need to put some science on this.

“The rat-running has moved to Dyke Road and there are some sections of that road where there are no footpaths, so it is quite dangerous for pedestrians,” said Cllr Murphy.

Acting Director of Services for Transport, Uinsinn Finn, told the meeting he believed there was a silent majority that were satisfied with the new junction.

He said that the junction’s ‘go live’ date was July 19, which coincided with the reopening of many parts of society that had been in lockdown due to Covid, and that had contributed to additional traffic.

“The first two objectives were to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, and those objectives have been achieved.

“There will be a post project review – that is something that we always do and I would be happy to bring that back to Council for its consideration,” said Mr Finn.

Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath confirmed that review was set to get underway.

“It will go through the various elements and if issues arise following the review, they will be addressed,” he said.

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Thieves target cars as owners unload shopping bags



Galway shoppers have been advised by Gardaí not to leave their vehicles unlocked or unattended as they bring their shopping into their homes.

This follows reports in the Newcastle area of opportunist thieves ‘striking’ as the shopping bags were being moved into houses.

One resident told the Galway City Tribune that the thieves waited until the person had taken a bag of shopping from their cars to bring into their home.

“This gives the thieves a minute or two to have a quick look in the car – what they seem to be looking for are purses, bags or wallets that are left behind in the car,” the resident stated.

He added that some of local residents had notices two ‘youngish lads’ – possibly in their late teens or early 20s – hanging around the Newcastle Park Road area over the past week or two.

“I just think that people need to be on their guard for this kind of opportunist theft. They just wait until the driver goes inside the house with the shopping and before they come back out, they do a quick search of the car,” he said.

Galway Garda Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Michael Walsh, said that opportunist thieves would always be ‘on the look out for a handy theft’.

“What I would advise is that either have someone to keep an eye on the car when the shopping is being removed – or else lock the car each time, and don’t leave any cash or valuables in the vehicle.

“It might be an inconvenience to lock the car each time you go back into the house, but it is still far better than having something stolen from your vehicle,” said Sgt Walsh.

He also urged, that as a matter of routine, no one should leave any valuables in their cars when they parked them up.

“Even the coins that some people keep in car pockets for parking or other small payments can attract thieves. Never leave anything of value in your vehicles,” he said.

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Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

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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