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CITY TRIBUNE

Show is back on the road as positive United stop the rot

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Galway United's Gary Shanahan on the attack against Athlone Town during Friday night's First Division tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United 4

Athlone Town   1

JOB done, the show is back on the road, and the play-offs are back on the horizon after Alan Murphy marked his first game as United manager with a statement of intent in more ways than one.

Murphy, who made history earlier in the season when becoming United’s all-time leading scorer in the league, guided United to a first win in seven games on Friday night to prevent the club’s worst-ever run of results in the First Division.

Results elsewhere at the weekend has also seen United make up a little bit of ground on the top four, and with Finn Harps hosting Longford Town this coming weekend, and Drogheda United travelling to Shelbourne, a win for United away to Cobh on Saturday night will see them inch even closer.

That said, no-one is losing the run of themselves after Friday’s game against a side which was the comfortably the poorest to play at Eamonn Deacy Park since 2011. That previous god-awful team was the Galway United side that lost a staggering 22 consecutive league games in that season from hell, and Athlone are right up there – or should that be right down there – with that standard.

Athlone were so bad, the team from my local out in Maree would have given United a better game. And I’m talking about our darts team. Still, a win is a win, but it wasn’t just the three points won gained that caught the eye on Friday.

Murphy made three changes to the side beaten so insipidly the previous week, with Adam Rooney coming in at centre-back for his first league start; Alex Byrne returning from suspension to start in midfield; and Conor Layng joining Eoin McCormack up front, as Murphy reverted to a traditional – and far more effective – 4-4-2 formation.

The biggest change, however, was in United’s approach. No more of this nonsense of constantly playing backward passes, and a serious reduction in lateral passes, two tactics which blighted United under both Tommy Dunne and Shane Keegan.

“United is a team that plays out now, not one that plays out and plays back again. That is something we worked on during the week, that was pleasing, getting the ball forward more, being more positive, both attackingly and territorially,” Murphy said after the game.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
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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