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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€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.
The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.
A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.
Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.
Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.
The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.
“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.
“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”
Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.
“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.
The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools
Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.
“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.
“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.
A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
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.