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CITY TRIBUNE

Tobin expects old foes to bring best out of each other

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Galway's Danny Cummins, Damien Comer and Eamon Brannigan and Mayo's Tom Parsons in action in last year's Connacht semi-final in Castlebar.

As Galway and Mayo prepare themselves to go head-to-head in one of Gaelic football’s greatest rivalries at Pearse Stadium this Sunday (4pm), former Galway star and ex-manager John Tobin believes fans can expect another “very special” and “very intense” battle between the old foes.

In his time, Tobin – who is Connacht GAA Provincial Games Manager based in Bekan, Ballyhaunis – has had his fair share of duels with Mayo as player and mentor while, in his guise as Connacht boss, he worked with many of the current Galway and Mayo players when guiding them to interprovincial honours in 2014, which was the province’s first such title in 45 years.

“The rivalry between Galway and Mayo has always been very special and is always very intense. More often than not, they bring out the best in one another and, because of that, the results, invariably, have been unpredictable,” begins Tobin.

“To a certain extent, form goes out the window with a lot of these local derbies. From a historical perspective, Galway wouldn’t have any fear of Mayo and, I presume, that is also applicable in reverse.”

Galway and Mayo could not be coming at this Connacht semi-final more differently. Galway produced a below-par performance in bowing out of the championship to Tipperary in the quarter-final last year, while Mayo came within a whisker of winning the Sam Maguire Cup – only losing by the minimum to Dublin after a replay.

The Tribesmen, though, bounced back in the Spring to win Division 2 of the National League, securing promotion to Division 1. Mayo, for their part, were up and down in their Division 1 campaign but, ultimately, retained their top-flight status with a final day win over Donegal.

While the bookmakers have obviously seen enough to install Mayo as favourites heading into this Connacht semi-final fixture against the reigning champions, Tobin is far more optimistic about his native county’s chances.

“Galway are coming in on the back of a very good run in the league, they are developing all the time, they are improving all the time, and their preparation has been fairly positive in the sense that they have gone up to Division 1 now. I think they are going to be very strong contenders in Division 1.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
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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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
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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