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CITY TRIBUNE

Takeover falls by the wayside as United face final home tie of season

Keith Kelly

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Galway United striker Eoin McCormack who will be hoping to find the target against Wexford on Friday night.

GALWAY United play their final home game of a hugely disappointing season this Friday when they welcome Wexford FC to Eamonn Deacy Park (7.45pm).

A side that many people suggested was too good to be relegated suffered that exact fate at the end of last season, with that prediction been equally as wide of the mark as the one that United would bounce straight back at the first time of asking.

Instead, they are set to record their worst league finish in 15 seasons, guaranteed to finish 6th in the league no matter how they fare tonight, or on Saturday week when they conclude the season with a game against Shelbourne in Tolka Park.

Those two games are set to see Alan Murphy continue his policy of blooding young players as the club looks to the future, a future that does not look like including an investment or input from any Saudi business group.

Back in June, the club was in talks with two Saudi businessmen with a view to them taking a controlling interest in the club. The talks had gone as far as seeing two representatives of United travelling to the Middle East to meet the proposed investors, but it seems to have fallen by the wayside.

“As far as the Saudi takeover, the line I have been given is that it has gone cold. I don’t know what that really means, but gone cold to me suggests it is dead,” said Murphy when asked for an update on the proposed takeover.

It appears that the deal fell through as the club undertook a due diligence process – apparently, members of the Galway United Friends Co-operative were told at the supporters’ group AGM last month that phone calls to the Saudi group had simply gone unanswered all of a sudden.

If that is the case, it sits neatly in the narrative of a shambolic season for the club, which had started so promising with a 4-1 win at home to Athlone Town. However, United dropped valuable points in those early stages, surrendering leads away to both UCD and Drogheda United, and that failure to get positive results against the other sides in the chase for promotion eventually proved United’s undoing.

In the 14 games against the five sides above them, United have won just once – a season-best performance seeing them record a 2-0 win at home to UCD. A haul of seven points from a possible 42 is nowhere near good enough for a side to challenge for promotion.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms

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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.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan

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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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