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United fail to break down ten-man Shels in a feisty affair

Keith Kelly



Galway United captain Conor McCormack sparing no effort against Shelbourne’s Yousef Mahdy during the clubs' First Division encounter at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway United 0

Shelbourne 0

Keith Kelly at Eamonn Deacy Park

GALWAY United’s bid for a fifth promotion in the club’s history got off to an underwhelming start on Friday night as they were held to a scoreless draw by a Shelbourne side that played for just over half the match with 10 players.

Both teams are tipped to be fighting it out for the title at the end of the season, but on Friday night they were literally fighting it out on the halfway line just before half-time.

This was more than just ‘handbags’ as well – as the two sets of players squared up to each other following a horror two-footed lunging tackle by Glen McAuley on Maurice Nugent, David Hurley was sent sprawling to the deck by a well-aimed punch.

McAuley was shown a straight red card for his disgraceful flying tackle on Nugent, who thankfully avoided serious injury and was able to continue after brief on-pitch treatment. Only time – and the referee’s report – will only reveal whether or not the officials spotted the punch that caught Hurley on the chin.

It was very much a new-look United that took to the pitch – of the starting XI, only Nugent and Shane Duggan were at the club last year as six players made their United debuts: Hurley, Conor Kearns, Conor O’Keeffe, Gary Boylan, Mikie Rowe, and new captain, Conor McCormack,

There had been a simmering tension from the first whistle, with the visiting players trying to intimidate both United and the officials. Things took a nasty turn in the 10th minute when Stephen Walsh was caught by an elbow that gave him a nasty gash above the right eye.

He is as tough as leather, Walsh is, and after a quick wrap of a bandage he was back on the pitch, before going in search of the team doctor after the game to get stitches for a wound that looked like it was deep enough to have exposed bone.

Minutes after that elbow on Walsh, Ryan Brennan was apparently shot or stabbed or tasered or was the victim of some egregious treatment, such was the roar of pain he let out of him when Duggan managed to avoid making any contact with him. The United players were unhappy with the challenge on Walsh minutes earlier, but it was Duggan who picked up the game’s first booking.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Gardaí bid to identify body recovered near Mutton Island




Gardai have launched an investigation following the discovery of a body in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon.

A member of the public raised the alarm after spotting the body in the water while walking on the causeway to Mutton Island.

Galway Fire Service, Gardai and the RNLI attended the scene and recovered the body at around 4pm, before it was taken to University Hospital Galway for a post mortem.

It is understood that the body may have been in the water for some time.

Gardaí are currently examining a list of missing people in the city.

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Land Development Agency rules out Merlin ‘land grab’

Dara Bradley



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Campaigners have warned the Land Development Agency (LDA) to keep its hands off Merlin Woods.

Local community group Friends of Merlin Woods said that the amenity on the east side of the city is not suitable for residential development.

It has sought clarification on whether the LDA has earmarked part of the recreational and amenity lands for housing, after it appeared on its online database of publicly-owned lands.

In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, the LDA said its database compiles a list of all State lands, not just land for development.

In relation to Merlin Woods, the LDA said: “Those lands aren’t included in the LDA developments in Galway. The lands database is a map-based tool which compiles all State lands and has no reflection on development potential.”

It came after Caroline Stanley of Friends of Merlin Woods raised concern that land within Merlin Woods had been earmarked for development.

“I’d be concerned that it’s marked as residential when it’s in RA (Recreational and Amenity) land. Some is marked ‘open space’ but some is marked as ‘new proposed residential’ on its [LDA’s] database. It makes us wonder why. We’d like clarity and to clear it up.

“The message we’d like to get out there is we need clarification, whether it’s a mistake on the Land Development Agency’s part, or whether it is an area that they consider as a residential area, which the community would be opposed to. We need clarity. It could be something that is in line for development later on, we don’t know, and we need clarity.”

Councillor Owen Hanley explained that the fears around Merlin Woods stem from legislation currently making its way through the Oireachtas that would strip councillors of powers to veto the transfer of land to the LDA for housing projects.

The Bill would also allow Government to direct what public lands – including those owned by local authorities – can be transferred to the LDA for development of social and affordable housing.
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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‘Detractors’ could hold up €10m Spanish Arch flood defence scheme

Enda Cunningham



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan has warned that the Office of Public Works and Galway City Council “may end up in the High Court” if they attempt to expedite plans for the €10 million flood defence scheme for the Spanish Arch and Docks areas.

Speaking at an Oireachtas Finance Committee meeting last week, the Minister for the Office of Public Works admitted his frustration at the length of time such projects take.

But he said that if he and the OPW attempted to “shave off time” in moving the project forwards, they would have to be mindful of “detractors” making accusations later and there being a legal challenge.

He was responding to Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell, who said it was likely to be 2028 before the flood prevention works would be completed.

“It was revealed in November that it will be at least eight years before long-awaited flood defences are completed in the Spanish Arch and Docks areas – with the City Council estimating that it will be towards the end of 2028 before works conclude,” said Deputy Farrell.

Minister O’Donovan said: “The OPW is committed. There is money available. We do not have a worry about allocating money for capital spending. I say to Deputy Farrell, and to Galway City Council, that, if we can shave off time in advancing projects, we will gladly do so, but we have to be mindful of the fact that if our detractors make accusations later, we may end up in the High Court. We do not want that.”

(Photo: Flood Street in February 2014. Spanish Arch, Fishmarket Square and the Docks areas were flooded in storm weather during high tide. PHOTO BY JOE O’SHAUGHNESSY)
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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