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Supermac’s moves up a gear with new Formula 1 team




Supermac’s chief Pat McDonagh has announced the company will sponsor a Formula 1 team in 2018 in a move to develop the brand’s relationship with the motorsport sector.

The group of family restaurants is a supporter of the Galway International Rally and is involved with the Formula 1 World Schools Competition that was last held during the US Grand Prix in Texas in October of last year.

Supermac’s connection with motorsport includes involvement with the Galway International Rally and as proud sponsor of rally driver, Aaron McHale. Supermac’s has also developed the Supermac’s Racing brand to help develop engineering talent through the motorsport sector.

“Since the time of Joe Kelly, Ireland has had a presence on the F1 circuit. Derek Daly, David Kennedy, Tommy Byrne and John Watson played their part to keep the Formula 1 flag flying and in recent years Eddie Irvine held the torch for us,” Pat McDonagh said. “Eddie Jordan brought things to a new level with the Jordan Racing team in the 1990s but since 2005 there has been no recognizable Irish presence on the circuit and we aim to change that in 2018,” he said.

“There has been almost a natural progression in the world of motorsport since our involvement as rallying sponsors that we now feel the time is right to pursue sponsorship in one of the highest echelons of the sport and our Supermac’s Racing sponsorship brand has given us the taste for success.”

The Supermac’s MD was giving little away when it came to who would be supplying the car but he was confident that they would be ready and competitive for the first race of 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. “There is a lot of work to be done to drive this along,” he said.

“We have been working behind the scenes with the Formula 1 governing body and with a major Formula 1 brand who are looking to re-enter the scene in 2018 and we are confident that we have designed a car that is fast, competitive and Irish so we can take our place at the top table again.

“Supermac’s has recently sponsored the Supermac’s Racing team at the World Finals of the F1 Schools Competition in Austin, Texas towards the end of last year.

“This is where we got a feel for the power of the Formula 1 project and we began to look at ways of tying in with the races and more specifically with the racing team.

“It soon became clear that the Formula 1 Circuit was lacking an Irish element and our focus quickly turned to generating a relationship with a car provider with a strong Irish connection. It’s been in the fast lane since then,” he said.

Supermac’s Racing was a partnership between Supermac’s and St. Brigid’s College in Loughrea where the team designed and manufactured a 1/20th scale CO2 powered Formula 1 car capable of travelling at speeds in excess of 120km/h. The car won the award ‘Best Engineered Car’ at the F1 National Finals in the RDS last May.


Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara



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.

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Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan



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.

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GMIT warns partying students they are delaying return to campus

Enda Cunningham



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Partying students have been told their actions have impacted GMIT’s plans to re-start practical classes on campus – and Gardaí are monitoring the city’s bus and train stations to catch those breaking the 5km travel restriction by returning home for the weekend.

College authorities said the current “extremely serious outbreak” of Covid-19 among students in Galway City was caused by a small minority who are “moving and mixing between different households”.

Following a meeting with Gardaí last week, GMIT contacted all students to clarify that because there are no ‘onsite’ classes, there should be no need to travel for educational purposes.

“The Gardaí have notified us that there will be checks at the bus and train stations to implement the 5km travel rule, as well as checkpoints on the roads, and that fines will be given for any non-compliance with this rule,” students were told.

In a separate communication issued this week, the college’s Covid Officer appealed to students to abide by the rules.

“This outbreak has had an impact on our plans with regard to return to onsite practical work, with consequences for all students.

“We are appealing to all students to comply with all Covid restrictions and in doing so, to help ensure that those students who have to return to onsite practical work can do so,” the email read.

Many students from outside the city have opted to stay in their accommodation for access to better broadband.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story and more coverage of Covid figures and vaccinations, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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