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Tough draws for Galway sides in FAI Junior Cup



The NUI Galway team which has gone top of Division 2. Back row, from left: Joe Kelly, Peter McAnena, Alan Hansbury, Darren Sinton, Ger Bane, Niall Walsh, Colm Tummon, Micheal Mayhew, and Ray Darcy. Front: Cathal Sweeney, Johnny Heaney, Patrick Casey, David Tierney, Killian Moore, Fergus Browne, and Fionn Murphy.

Soccer Wrap with Mike Rafferty

Probably for the first time ever the Galway League will have its strongest representation ever in the Fifth Round of the FAI Junior Cup. The last local round was played at the weekend with the outcome that the top three teams in the Premier League have advanced to the National open draw at the last 64 stage.

Mervue United, Salthill Devon and Athenry all won with different degrees of comfort, but in Wednesday’s draw, the two city sides were handed tough away draws, while Athenry have the benefit of a home tie.

Salthill Devon are guaranteed a trip to Dublin is guaranteed as they will meet the winners of the outstanding game between Sheriff FC and Kilmore Celtic. Sheriff are past winners of the competition, were last year’s beaten finalists, and are one of the strongest teams in the AUL.

It will be a trip home for Mervue United manager, Gareth Gorman, as his side are heading to Donegal to face Inishowen side Greencastle. Again, they are a good quality side and one Mervue will do well to overcome.

Athenry have been drawn at home against Cork side Coachford FC; while one other Galway side, Ballinasloe Town of the Roscommon & District Senior League, also remain in the competition, and have been handed an away tie against Villa.

In Western Hygiene Supplies Premier League action, West United closed the gap on the top three with a home win over Maree/Oranmore; while a late equaliser denied Hibernians a win as they had to settle for a draw with mid table Loughrea.

In Division 1, leaders Cois Fharraige maintained their long unbeaten league record with an away draw in Tuam; while second-placed Mervue United B took full advantage with a home success over Dynamo Blues.


Salthill Devon 7

Corrib Rangers 0

A four-goal second-quarter blast helped ease the home side past a limited visitors at Drom on Friday night and thereafter the game was over as a contest as three second-half goals just added to the punishment of Rangers.

The home side were just operating at a different level throughout the game, as their pace and movement had Rangers stretched all over the park, but it took Devon until the 24th minute to take the lead when Darren Creaven fired them ahead.

Aaron Conway very quickly added a second with the aid of a deflection, before Shane Concannon set up Timmy Molloy to make it three. Two minutes from the break, a Molloy pass allowed Creaven beat the off-side trap to lob the advancing Derek Griffin to leave it 4-0 at the interval.

Rangers were struggling to get any sort of forward momentum and in their only opportunities of note, two free-kicks from outside the box by Mark Wynne were comfortably gathered by Arek Mamala.

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

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Renters paying €12,000 more per annum in Galway City than ten years ago



People living in private rented accommodation in Galway City are paying, on average, around €12,000 more per annum than they were a decade ago.

New research from property website has found that in the past year, average rents in the city have increased by 16.4% and now stand at €1,713 per month.

Meanwhile, the Dáil was told last week that the situation in the rental market in the city is “horrendous”.

According to the figures published this week, rents in the city have increased by a whopping 145% since the bottom of the market in early 2012, when they stood at an average of around €700 per month.

Nationally, the increase was 14.1% year on year, or 4.3% between June and September (the figure was 3% for Galway City).

Economist Ronan Lyons of said that the last ten quarterly reports from the website have recorded new all-time highs for average rents.

He said that in the past 18 months, there has been an “extraordinary collapse” in the stock available to rent in Ireland.

Speaking at the Oireachtas Select Committee on Finance last week, Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell said Sinn Féin had long been calling for tax credits, but these needed to be in tandem with a freeze on rents.

“My concern is that if the Government does not introduce a rent freeze, this measure will put further pressure on families and individuals who are struggling to pay for their accommodation. Many renters feel there is no end or hope in sight. To be perfectly honest, I have never seen the housing crisis in Galway as bad as it is now.

“Galway is the place I can best reference and there is little rental property available in Galway. There is concern that this will add to the pressure that people are already facing if a rent freeze is not also introduced,” she said.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe responded that in the Budget he had announced a €500 rent credit, specifically for those who do not receive other housing supports from the State.

“I also acknowledge that too many people are paying too much of their income in rent,” he said.

The Minister added that in Berlin, where rent freezes were imposed, the volume of new rental accommodation available had decreased, and he contended the same would happen in Ireland.

Deputy Farrell said: “Myself and the woman who works with me in my local office are at our wits’ end. Today we had a conversation about how to tell people coming to us that the council can do nothing because there are no rental properties and there is nowhere for people to go.

“That is a position that we have not seen ourselves in since I was elected. I am talking about the period since 2014. Things are getting worse.”

According to the report, average monthly rents for a one-bed apartment in Galway City stand at €1,142 (up 15% year on year); €1,333 for a two-bed house (up 13.7%); €1,594 for a three-bed house (up 16.2%); €1,948 for a four-bed (up 17.7%) and €1,959 for a five-bed (up 2.7%).

For the ‘rent a room’ renters, a single bedroom in the city centre is costing an average of €572 per month (up 15.1% year on year) and €617 for a double room (up 13.4%). In the suburbs, single bedrooms and renting for €533 per month (up 20.3%) and €593 for a double (up 22.5%).

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Minister deploys high-level ‘rescue’ team to help University Hospital Galway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has deployed a high-level National Support Team to help crisis-stricken University Hospital Galway

Ann Cosgrove, Chief Operating Officer of the Saolta University Healthcare Group – which operates UHG and Merlin Park – confirmed this week that the ‘rescue’ team was in place to tackle overcrowding and delays at the Emergency Department.

Membership of the support team includes at least seven high-level HSE managers, including a hospital consultant.

The team has already met with local staff in charge of patient flow, discharges, bed management and unscheduled care. They will write up an action plan to improve the patient experience, she said.

The hospital has implemented a targeted intervention plan over the past few months to reduce the number of patients on trolleys while awaiting admission to a bed, focusing on timely diagnostics and decision making and the timely discharge of patients.

To achieve this, the hospital had been approved to recruit seven patient flow coordinators, one “data analyst for the acute floor” and one medical social worker.

Management are also in talks to increase bed capacity with the Galway Clinic and the Bon Secours private hospitals.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, and support our journalism, see the November 25 edition of the Galway City Tribune. There is also extensive coverage this week of plans for a new cancer Centre of Excellence and the latest meeting of the Regional Health Forum West. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Shoplifting in Galway almost doubles as cost of living crisis takes hold



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The rate of shoplifting in the Galway City has skyrocketed as the cost of living crisis takes hold.

At a public meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) on Tuesday, it was revealed that the rate of theft from shops in the city had increased by 87% year-on-year.

Chief Data Analyst for the Galway Garda Division, Olivia Maher, said this was in line with a national trend.

“There is some thought that this is as a result of the cost of living crisis and the pressures that people are under as a result – we are seeing these trends at a national level,” said Ms Maher.

She said that overall, property theft had begun to return to pre-Covid levels, with 1,264 incidents in the first 10 months of 2022 – a 50% increase on the same period last year.

“Property crime is beginning to reach pre-Covid figures and while it’s up on last year, it’s down 5% on the 2019 figure.

“Burglary is still trending below pre-Covid figures at 107 compared to 192 in 2019,” said Ms Maher.

An increased awareness of fraud was resulting in a reduction in a number of categories, including accommodation fraud, something that typically affects the city’s third level students.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article,  see the November 25 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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