Date Published: 08-Jun-2011
The curtain has come down on another schoolboy soccer season – or, as parents might describe it, a crash course in local geography and finding fields in place you never knew existed.
But for every missed turned and sat nav failure, there is great reward. There are small clubs up and down the county and beyond who have facilities that they can rightly be proud of – all-weather pitches, proper playing surfaces and dressing rooms that would befit any professional operation around.
Of course if they were a professional outfit, all of that money would go to paying journeymen ‘professionals’ who play for the highest bidder. And they wouldn’t own a blade of grass because all of the money would go on wages.
In a week that FIFA dragged what little remains of the good name of football through the gutter, schoolboy football restores your faith in the Corinthian spirit, because there are coaches and officials who give their time and energy to a cause that will never see them in the spotlight.
And yes, that’s the same for those involved in the GAA or rugby or athletics or any sport you care to mention – it’s just that our boys play football.
They’re with Corrib Rangers who someday hope to have their own pitch; in the meantime they tog out in dressing rooms that will never feature on Grand Designs and at this time of year, they negotiate the daisies as frequently as the full-backs.
But there are people who have given their lives to that club, who turn up night after night in wind and rain just to watch the under-11s or under-12s do their level best.
There are coaches – in our case guys like Gerry Stiffe and Phil Trill, but they have compatriots in every small club in every corner of the country – who give so much of their spare time and energy into helping these young fellas improve their skills and knit as a team.
And they do it only out of the generosity of their hearts.
We’ve been the clubs like Ballinrobe where the parents of the opposition clubbed together to produce a groaning table of Supermacs goodies that were devoured by adults and hungry boys alike.
We were in Athenry many times where the hospitality just gets better every time you go there – and the coffee and snacks that kept out the cold earned our undying gratitude.
We were in Abbeyknockmoy and Carraroe, Kilkelly and Cregmore and every venue we went to shared the common thread of coaches and helpers that gave more to their club than anyone could reasonably ask.
At a time when the professional game is rotten to the core with money and dodgy dealing, it is positively uplifting to see first-hand how the game should be run and should be played.
The Corrib Rangers teams we were involved with didn’t win any trophies this year – in fairness they didn’t win any matches for a long time but we turned that corner towards the end – but the players got more than points from their season.
They know what it’s like to be part of a team, to work for each other and to know the joy of victory or how to deal with defeat.
Most of all they met people who showed them what community spirit is really all about.
So to the unsung heroes – the coaches and officials, the drivers and the kit men, who all play their part to nurture the stars (and the hackers) of tomorrow – take a bow. And enjoy the few weeks of down time until it all kicks off again in the autumn.
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.