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CITY TRIBUNE

Turning the tables on St Thomas’ is not the driving force for selector O’Brien

Stephen Glennon

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Former Liam Mellows player and current team selector, Seanie O'Brien.

LIAM Mellows selector Seanie O’Brien insists the motivation for Sunday’s SHC final is more on delivering a performance rather than defeating the defending champions, St. Thomas. This is despite the latter having relieved the city outfit of the Tom Callanan Cup in last year’s decider.

In the last three seasons, Liam Mellows and St. Thomas’ have dominated the local hurling landscape. Yet, for all that, O’Brien says the 2019 showpiece is not about getting one over this Sunday’s opponents; it is about producing a performance that reflects Mellows’ attitude and application.

“We know, looking back on last year’s final, we didn’t compete against St. Thomas’. They blew us off the pitch in a lot of spots and they took their scores when the opportunity presented itself, where we found scores hard to come by,” recalls O’Brien of that 2-13 to 0-10 loss.

“So, going into this final, we just hope we now can bring our ‘A’ game with us and that we turn up and be competitive because if you turn up and be competitive in a final, you have a great chance. If you win, brilliant; but if you lose, at least you can turn around and say we gave it our all and the better team won on the day.

“We couldn’t say that last year because we were disappointed with the performance and that has been in the back of our head, all throughout the year. So, hopefully, we can remedy that next weekend: that we go out and play. If we do play well, and bring our ‘A’ game, we are in with every chance of winning the county final again.”

That said, O’Brien is under no illusions as to the task they face in St. Thomas’, a side that is seeking its fourth SHC title since 2012. “We know what St. Thomas’ bring. They are littered with inter-county players all over the pitch. They have huge experience with the titles they have won but they also have inter-county hurlers who have won All-Irelands with Galway.

“That is a huge thing to have in any team and it is why they have been so competitive over the past few years. They might be a small parish, but they buy into everything they do. They are a physical team, but they can score. You can’t give them half an opportunity at all; if you do, they will punish you,” believes the former Liam Mellows full-back.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Voluntary group has taken part in 30 rescues

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Members of Claddagh Watch, Donna Burke, Annmarie Heffernan, Arthur Carr, Jimmy McGovern, Eimear Gullane and Trish Keogh on their first night on patrol in March.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Looking out over the River Corrib on a cold clear November night has a touch of the majestic about it.

Tourists and locals alike are spellbound by its mesmerising rapids and the pulsating surges which characterise this wonderful city river.

However, a group of volunteers at Claddagh watch over the glistening waters at night for an entirely different reason – not to marvel at its beauty but to keep a much-needed eye over people’s safety in the Corrib’s surrounds.

Just over eight months after its inception, Claddagh Watch is going from strength to strength. Starting out as a three-man crew in Spring, the organisation now has a 60-person team of volunteers dedicated to keeping people out of danger around Europe’s fourth fastest-flowing city river.

The group was formed by husband-and-wife team Arthur and Deborah Carr from Galway East Life Support Suicide prevention group, along with a former member of the Irish Coast Guard Séamus Ó Fátharta, following a series of deaths along Galway waterways early in the year.

“Claddagh Watch came to fruition from three ordinary people seeing the number of people losing their lives on the waterways and realising that a simple initiative could help reduce this,” explains Séamus of the motivation behind the group.

Since March, the organisation has taken part in almost 30 rescues, aimed at preventing people entering the water. Volunteers never enter the water themselves, even in emergency situations but are instead on hand to notify and provide vital information to rescue services as soon as an incident occurs.
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CITY TRIBUNE

Rents and rise in costs driving students to seek counselling

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A painful rental market and increasing costs being loaded onto third level students are all contributing to increasing demand on student counselling services, according to Galway’s student leader.

President of NUI Galway Students’ Union, Clare Austick, said additional funding must be allocated to student counselling services at NUI Galway to ensure students in need of help are not turned away.

This comes after it was revealed that there had been a 21% jump in the number of students at the university seeking the support of the counselling service over the past four years.

Ms Austick said the Union of Students in Ireland, in conjunction with national mental health bodies, had run several campaigns in recent years to encourage an uptake of mental wellbeing supports on offer – but it was vital that these supports were accessible if students did take that initial step of seeking help.

“Encouraging people to reach out has resulted in an influx of people looking for counselling services and I think people are now more willing to ask for help.

“When someone finally builds up the courage to reach out for help and they’re turned away, it’s very discouraging and it might not encourage them to do it again,” said Ms Austick.
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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council boosts spend on homelessness

Denise McNamara

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A homeless man sleeping in the city centre.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A record €12 million boost to the coffers has meant that Galway City Council’s budget will reach nearly €100 million for next year – with the bulk of the increased spending targeting homelessness and housing.

A third of the overall budget has been ringfenced for accommodation for the homeless and local authority tenants costing over €33m; with a €4.3m increase on last year to provide homeless services (to €10.7m).

An additional fund of €200,000 will be used to turn around the 44 vacant Council properties to ensure the local authority has no more than 10 properties ‘void’ at a time – a figure which other councils have managed to achieve.

One fifth of the budget will be earmarked for recreation and amenity, of which €2.8m will be used to roll out the European Capital of Culture programme and a quarter of a million euro set aside to resurface tennis and basketball courts around the suburbs.

The roads and transport sector takes up 15% of the yearly spend at €14.5m – more traffic lights will be connected to the Urban Traffic Control Centre, set to get an upgrade costing €100,000.

The cost of providing environmental services is €12m – or 12% of the funding pot – out of which €90,000 will be aimed at implementing a climate change plan.

Acting Head of Finance, Nepta Moggan, told a budget meeting this week that while there was no increase in the rate to be levied on businesses for commercial rates or householders liable for the Local Property Tax, the Council had an €800,000 bonus from increased and new valuations of commercial premises.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here.

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