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Connacht Tribune

The warning signs were there as Galway surrender McCarthy Cup

John McIntyre

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Galway players Joe Canning, Conor Whelan and Colm Callanan, along with team manager Micheál Donogue, show their despair after losing to Limerick in Sunday's All-Ireland hurling final. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

IT wouldn’t have taken TV super sleuths like Ironside, Mannix or Columbo long to realise that Galway hurlers were vulnerable in last Sunday’s All-Ireland final after sifting through all the various pre-match evidence.

I was partially fearful that Galway would be beaten too, but when you are a former manager of the county hurlers and a few of those players are still involved, never mind working the Connacht Tribune for nearly 38-years, it wouldn’t have been appreciated to strike a discordant note ahead of the sport’s biggest occasion.

Too many were being dazzled by Galway early blitzes in their replay against Kilkenny and the two battles with Clare. Being taken to replays by both the Banner and the Cats did not fit the profile of a team which was generally considered unbeatable at the start of the championship. They only edged out Dublin by a point as well and though supporters dismissed that result as the game was a dead rubber, the warning signs were there.

Obviously, a marathon eight-match campaign left Galway carrying some wear and tear ahead of the showdown, but it was still a surprise just how much they were off the pace. This was the heaviest one-point defeat ever in an All-Ireland final. The champions only got so close through sheer force of will and character. In similar circumstances, past Galway teams would have been beaten out the gate.

This latest final defeat – the county’s seventh since 1988 – should make us appreciate all the more Galway’s all-conquering run through the league and championship in 2017. They were the team to be shot at from the start of this year’s campaign and though their displays were riddled with inconsistency, they always found a way to survive.

Defending a 13-match championship was no accident, but a lot of the Galway players were stuck in neutral last Sunday. Limerick shook them with their intensity and though Joe Canning, Padraic Mannion, David Burke and Joseph Cooney all had some great moments, this quartet’s collective efforts could not compensate for the troubles all around them.

With even the Galway camp admitting afterwards that it would have constituted “robbery” if they had salvaged a draw in the dying seconds, it reflects the overall trend of the final just as much as their own difficulties. They just weren’t as sharp as Limerick. Too many players were caught in possession; clearances were mis-directed; and they also struggled to couple to cope with the Treaty men’s successful puck-out strategy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Student nurses face all the risk – for no reward

Dara Bradley

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Working on the children’s ward of a busy hospital during a global pandemic is no joke; less funny still when you’re not getting paid for your toil.

All the risk and none of the rewards of qualified staff – that’s the lot of Edel Moore, a student nurse who is currently on placement at University Hospital Galway.

Edel, and hundreds of student nurses like her on placement in UHG and Portiuncula in Ballinasloe, want more than a round of applause and platitudes from Government.

“None of us want a pat on the back for struggling. We’d just like to be recognised,” she said.

“The Government are full-time talking about front-line workers, and they want to give them a ‘clap hands’. Then you see Junior Ministers getting massive raises. For what? What have they done for us, the student nurses, that they’re getting a €16,000 wage increase?

“We’ve put ourselves through a four year degree but all I’m worth is a clap? Thanks! It’s ridiculous. They say that front-line workers deserve all the help they can get but it just seems that the ones who are able to give us the help we need are not going to give us the help that we deserve.”

Edel Moore is a mature student originally from Westmeath but living in Leitir Mealláin in Connemara with her husband and three children.

A third year student nurse of NUIG, she is currently on placement at the paediatric ward at UHG.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Island museum gets the green light

Declan Tierney

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An artist's impression of the proposed Inishbofin museum.

Work is expected to begin shortly on the construction of a museum on Inishbofin after planners gave the green light to the project.

The museum at Middlequarter is being developed by local historian and photographer Marie Coyne – and when completed, it will be home to items of historical significance from both Inishbofin and Inishark.

There is an existing museum on the island but it is too small to house the amount of artefacts, photographs and family histories that have been assembled over the years.

The new building will also include a photographic exhibition room, restoration workshop along with a gift shop and coffee dock. It is proposed that the new 3,400 square feet museum will be built on a site at the rear of Ms Coyne’s home.

Eamon Gavin of Eamon Gavin Architects based in Cornamona told the Connacht Tribune that this was an important project for the island and it was a welcome decision.

And he said that the green light would kickstart the process of conserving the vast and unique artefacts and archives built up over the years.

“As a practice, we have a long history of dealing with planning consultancy on unique rural sites in Connemara and the islands, therefore we fully understood how sensitive the proposed location of the project would be – the site is located in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and National Heritage Area,” he said.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Tuam woman a picture of health a year after Covid crisis

Declan Tierney

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Tuam's Kitty Farrell with her dog Lulu a year after her Covid diagnosis.

Last year was a Mother’s Day like no other for Kitty Farrell who spent it in the back of an ambulance being rushed to hospital with Covid – but the 80 year old Tuam woman can look forward to a more sedate celebration this time out….thankfully restored back to full health.

Kitty, from Ballygaddy Road, had developed a debilitating cough the previous week – and when she was admitted to UHG on Mother’s Day, she tested positive for the coronavirus despite a lack of symptoms.

The retired businesswoman spent the next nine days seriously ill in isolation – and all alone as her four children could not visit her.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to come through it but I was so sick that at times, it didn’t really matter. But the thought of passing away in isolation made a bad situation even worse,” Kitty said at the time.

A year on, she is back to full health, and while she restricts her movements, Kitty told The Connacht Tribune that she is just happy to be alive and she spends her days ‘pottering about’ and looking forward to the arrival of family members.

“Even though I don’t particularly agree with the current lockdown because everyone should be responsible for their own behaviour, I am living a life of relative isolation at the moment,” she said.

Read Kitty’s full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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