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Connacht Tribune

Ticketless Galway supporters make charity trek to Croker

Dara Bradley

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Two hurling-mad Galway supporters take the road less travelled to the All-Ireland hurling final this weekend – cycling a homemade cart 170 kilometres to Croke Park . . . and they don’t even have tickets for the match!

Melvin Smith and Philip Coleman set-out from the main street of their native Ballygar this morning (Saturday) and will take it in turns to cycle their bicycle-powered makeshift cart to Dublin.

Cycle to Croker

Cycle to Croker … this cart will be cycled from Ballygar to Croke Park on the even of the All-Ireland Hurling Final in aid of the Alzheimer Society, Pieta House and the Irish Cancer Society. (Video: Melvin Smith)

Posted by Connacht Tribune – Galway City Tribune on Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Last year and in 2015, the pair were part of a group of Galway fans who travelled to the Capital in search of Liam McCarthy in a souped-up car that was all decked out in maroon and white flags and paraphernalia. This year they decided to do something different, and so they stripped the car of its hurling props, and decorated a handmade bicycle cart instead.

The duo expect to arrive at Jones Road this evening at about 9pm.

Melvin and Philip will do the bulk of the cycling but they will be accompanied by a group of about 10 other fans mainly from Ballygar who will also help out along the way.

During the 170 kilometre journey, they stop-off in Athlone, Moate, Tyrrellspass, Leixlip, Maynooth and Lucan. They’re raising money along the way for three charities Alzheimer’s Association, Pieta House and Irish Cancer Society. Melvin, who works in Medtronic in the city, agrees it’s a mad thing to do.

“It is, and it was a last-minute thing the way the final fell this year and the semi-final replay but sure it’s a bit of craic and we hope to raise money for charity . . . We don’t have tickets for the match. They’re awful hard come by this year . . . but look it one or two nearly always turn-up,” said Melvin.

Connacht Tribune

Galway Real Estate have attractive site for sale on the Aran Islands

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Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

Galway Real Estate have an attractive site/property for sale at Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

The site is approximately c.150 square metres. (c.1600 sq. ft.) on c.1 acre with planning permission to convert to a dwelling house and fit a new waste water treatment system. Planning Ref: 17/1284. There are two years  left on planning. The planning is for a proposed 4 bedrooms, kitchen, dining/room, laundry/room, bathroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a property ready to go. Offers in excess of €125,000 considered.

Full details from Paddy Flynn 0872557618 or Galway Real Estate on 091565488 or email: info@galwayrealestate.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Aran to welcome Ireland’s largest domestic passenger ferry

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Saoirse na Farraige

The largest domestic passenger ferry in the country is making its journey from the Far East to the Far West – ready to commence service from Galway to the three Aran Islands.

The 40-metre ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ represents a massive investment – and vote of confidence – in island tourism on the part of the owners, Aran Island Ferries.

Commissioned in January 2019, this sixth member of their fleet has a capacity of 400 – and it is expected to arrive in Galway Bay from Hong Kong in October.

The vessel departed Hong Kong last week, embarking on a 2,500 mile journey to Galway Bay – inside the hold of a heavy lift ship called Svenja’”.

Saoirse na Farraige has at least three more stops to make before arriving in Galway Bay at the end of October – and it won’t not enter service until next spring.

Aran Island Ferries Sales and Marketing Manager, Aine McLoughlin, said that they were looking forward to seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands, enjoying the increased capacity, accessibility, and safety features.

“We are really looking forward to officially launching ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ next year and seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands on board our new ferry,” she said.

Saoirse na Farraige will serve all three islands from Rossaveel – with a journey time of 40 minutes to Inis Mór, 50 minutes to Inis Meáin, and 55 minutes to Inis Oírr.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Emergency Department upgrade will happen at UHG – but it’s complicated

Denise McNamara

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The current ED at UHG.

Revamping the emergency department at UHG will involve three separate projects – leading to the hospital’s chief describing the process as ‘very complex’.

City Councillor John Connolly (FF) said the people of Galway were concerned that the new emergency department – like the ring road – would never happen, as it appeared to be so bound up in red tape.

Joe Hoare, assistant national director of estates in HSE West, told the Regional Health Forum West meeting that that outpatients department adjacent to the emergency department was being redeveloped to create more capacity for streaming Covid patients from non-Covid patients for the winter.

The outpatients department would be relocated to the Merlin Park campus. The design for this building would be completed within ten months with construction expected to begin in by last 2021 at the earliest.

An interim emergency department was the next priority so that the current building could be knocked to make way for the new state-of-the-art building, creating a new maternity department and paediatrics unit.

Since the budget for the new children’s hospital had blown out of all proportion, the rules over public projects over €100 million had changed and the Saolta hospital group had to ensure its business case for the massive project was ‘watertight’.

Mr Hoare said all three projects were moving in parallel, including the enabling works for the main build, which would take around 18 months to complete.

He described the project as Saolta’s ‘absolute top priority and was regarded as such by the national HSE organisation.

Head of Saolta, Tony Canavan, said the project was ‘big and very complex’ and required management to remain ‘very focused over a long time’.

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

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