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Two-goal burst in 90 seconds is decisive for Galway United



Galway United striker Eoin McCormack who was on target in their First Division away win over Cobh Ramblers at St Colman's Park on Saturday.

Cobh Ramblers 1

Galway United 2

TWO goals in the space of 90 seconds midway through the first-half sealed a deserved, if somewhat nervous, win for Galway United away to Cobh Ramblers on Saturday night.

Strikes from Conor Barry and Eoin McCormack had the visitors cruising, but the loss of central defender, Stephen Walsh, on the half-hour mark saw United lose their hold on the game, and they had to withstand sustained pressure from the home side in the second-half to clinch a win that edges them closer to the play-off places.

New United manager, Alan Murphy, made just one change to the side which defeated Athlone Town the previous week, introducing Robbie Williams for the unfortunate Conor Layng, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a cruciate injury.

However, the introduction of Williams heralded a major switch in tactics from United, who lined out in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Williams employed alongside Alex Byrne as two holding midfielders, a strategy that paid rich dividends.

Walsh was forced off with a cut to his head in the 33rd minute, but Murphy said the central defender should be available for this Friday’s trip to UCD, and if that is the case, a similar set-up can be expected for the clash with the table-toppers.

It was all so different from less than two months ago, when a United side lacking any kind of confidence or belief played out an insipid draw at St Colman’s Park on the June Bank Holiday weekend.

That was in the middle of a six-game run without a win, a bad sequence of results that eventually cost Shane Keegan his job, but the turnaround in approach and attitude from United’s players in just two games since Murphy’s appointment has been refreshing, and the chance of a play-off spot which looked unlikely just three games ago is back on the radar once again.

“It was a tough win, coming down here to Cobh is never easy, 2-0 up and a great start, thought we pressed the game and forced the game as I asked the lads, we were the better side,” Murphy said after the game.

“I thought we were in complete control, we played well, forced the issue, played the game in their half. We were a smart side, and yes, we would have liked more of that same in the second half but it was tough, we were under serious pressure but we ground it out and that’s what needed to be done,” Murphy said.

United were constantly turning the Cobh defenders back towards their own goal, particularly Carlton Ubaezuonu and Barry out wide, and the former set up Ryan Connolly for the first attempt on goal, but his shot in the 8th minute cleared Paul Hunt’s crossbar.

Ubaezuonu and Adam Rooney both went close in the 11th and 17th minutes respectively, before the industrious Barry opened the scoring with his seventh goal of the season in the 18th minute.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway City Council to ‘review’ Kirwan junction



Councillors are demanding proof that the €5 million spent to transform Kirwan Roundabout into a signalised junction was money well spent – blasting the new junction as having created long delays and worsening rat-running.

A meeting of the local authority last week heard that while there was a general acceptance there would be ‘teething problems’ with the traffic-light junction after it became operational in July, ongoing issues were continuing to draw the ire of road users and local residents.

Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind) said he was one of five councillors on the previous Council to initially vote against the removal of the roundabout, based on fears that it would increase traffic through local residential areas – a fear that had been realised.

“What changes have been needed to be done since it went live,” asked the former Mayor, indicating that there had been little improvement.

Cllr Alan Cheevers (FF) said he understood that enhancement works were being done, but more were required.

“A lot of drivers are avoiding it and its driving traffic through the likes of Terryland Business Park. The Tuam Road is now gridlocked,” he said, calling on the Council to do a “PR exercise” to encourage drivers back to Kirwan.

Cllr Clodagh Higgins (FG) said the junction continued to confuse people and suggested that “overhead hanging signs” would be of assistance.

Green Party Councillor Niall Murphy said when the roundabout was slated for removal, it was promised that delays would be reduced by 25% and rat-running by 90% – but as yet, no evidence had been provided to show this.

“We need to put some science on this.

“The rat-running has moved to Dyke Road and there are some sections of that road where there are no footpaths, so it is quite dangerous for pedestrians,” said Cllr Murphy.

Acting Director of Services for Transport, Uinsinn Finn, told the meeting he believed there was a silent majority that were satisfied with the new junction.

He said that the junction’s ‘go live’ date was July 19, which coincided with the reopening of many parts of society that had been in lockdown due to Covid, and that had contributed to additional traffic.

“The first two objectives were to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, and those objectives have been achieved.

“There will be a post project review – that is something that we always do and I would be happy to bring that back to Council for its consideration,” said Mr Finn.

Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath confirmed that review was set to get underway.

“It will go through the various elements and if issues arise following the review, they will be addressed,” he said.

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Thieves target cars as owners unload shopping bags



Galway shoppers have been advised by Gardaí not to leave their vehicles unlocked or unattended as they bring their shopping into their homes.

This follows reports in the Newcastle area of opportunist thieves ‘striking’ as the shopping bags were being moved into houses.

One resident told the Galway City Tribune that the thieves waited until the person had taken a bag of shopping from their cars to bring into their home.

“This gives the thieves a minute or two to have a quick look in the car – what they seem to be looking for are purses, bags or wallets that are left behind in the car,” the resident stated.

He added that some of local residents had notices two ‘youngish lads’ – possibly in their late teens or early 20s – hanging around the Newcastle Park Road area over the past week or two.

“I just think that people need to be on their guard for this kind of opportunist theft. They just wait until the driver goes inside the house with the shopping and before they come back out, they do a quick search of the car,” he said.

Galway Garda Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Michael Walsh, said that opportunist thieves would always be ‘on the look out for a handy theft’.

“What I would advise is that either have someone to keep an eye on the car when the shopping is being removed – or else lock the car each time, and don’t leave any cash or valuables in the vehicle.

“It might be an inconvenience to lock the car each time you go back into the house, but it is still far better than having something stolen from your vehicle,” said Sgt Walsh.

He also urged, that as a matter of routine, no one should leave any valuables in their cars when they parked them up.

“Even the coins that some people keep in car pockets for parking or other small payments can attract thieves. Never leave anything of value in your vehicles,” he said.

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Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

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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