Date Published: 21-Apr-2011
Hurling in the county may be at something of a low ebb following the tame conclusion to Galway’s Allianz NHL campaign, but the focus switches to the club scene this weekend as there are eight senior hurling championship games down for decision on Saturday and Sunday.
The Tribesmen’s annihilation by Tipperary and the disjointed one point defeat to Waterford last weekend have marooned expectations for the coming summer and yet the presence of two of the last three All-Ireland club champions should ensure plenty of interest in the local tussles this year.
Last year’s semi-finalists – champions Clarinbridge, former champions Portumna, Tynagh/Abbey-Duniry, and Loughrea – will hold their fire until the second weekend and some clubs will already be targeting their opening games as ‘must win’ fixtures with tougher tests to come.
That’s certainly the case in respect of newly promoted Padraig Pearses and 2010 relegation candidates Athenry, who meet at Ballinasloe on Sunday afternoon. Defeat for either side would be a huge blow ahead of tough assignments against Portumna, Mullagh, and Tommie Larkins, each of whom won their groups last year.
Mullagh face Larkins in what has the makings of a competitive tie at Loughrea on Sunday, part of a double bill which also features St Thomas’ and Sarsfields. There is another double header in Athenry on Sunday evening, where Mellows will be expected to account for Ardrahan and Kiltormer have a host of injury worries ahead of their showdown with Carnmore.
Fans of the game will hope to see the emergence of a new and youthful force to enliven the scene this year, despite the novelty of Clarinbridge’s first county championship success in nine years last November.
But local bookmakers John Mulholland are not expecting any major surprises over the coming weeks and months, as they have installed Portumna as unbackable 4/7 favourites to regain the title after Loughrea (16/1 this year) ended their glorious domestic run in last year’s semi-final replay.
The bookies do not see any genuine challengers to the Shannonsiders at this stage, as Clarinbridge at 10/1 are second favourites, followed by Gort and an exciting young St. Thomas’ side at 14/1. Pearses, at 150/1, will be fighting hard just to stay up as the bookies do not give them a prayer of being in contention in the Autumn.
Mullagh v Tommie Larkins (Loughrea, 4pm)
A Mullagh team who expect to get to the knock-out stages of the championship every year will have to plan without long-term injury victims Johnny Rafftery (knee) and Derek Hardiman (ankle), both of whom underwent surgery during the winter months. Neither is expected back for the group stages, while manager Padraig Donohue has added three youngsters to his panel who might not be quite ready to start at senior level just yet.
Larkins’ youthful side reached the county quarter-finals last year, losing to the eventual All-Ireland champions, and will feel they made good progress in 2010 given that they topped their group and picked up the League title. Last year’s captain Alan Garvey emigrated to Australia while county minor Jason Flynn is a new addition to the panel. They might fancy springing a surprise here.
Craughwell v Gort
County star Adrian Cullinane is waiting on the results of a scan after picking up a knee injury against Waterford last Sunday, while his Craughwell team-mate Aiden Ryan has emigrated to London. Both young Thomas Ryan and the long-serving Hugh Whiriskey have retired, while injuries to Shane Dolan (shoulder), Dermot Ryan (ankle), and Mark Horan (head) have hindered Craughwell’s preparations for what looks an evenly-matched tie.
Gort have been unable to call on the services of county panellist Richie Cummins (ankle) since last year and Gerry Quinn is another key forward who will have to miss this one due to injury. Mattie Murphy’s men were a mixed bag in a mediocre group last year, winning two and losing two, but will expect to capitalise on Craughwell’s lengthier injury woes.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.