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Ward steeled by past losses ahead of date with destiny

Stephen Glennon



Looking ahead to Saturday's All-Ireland Club ladies football senior final are, from left: Deirdre Bracken (management), Annette Clarke, Louise Ward (captain) and Aisling Costello.

WINNERS never forget the losses, the ones that got away. Kilkerrin/Clonberne captain Louise Ward certainly doesn’t, still rankled by the ghost of a defeat of eight years ago that by now should have been laid to rest.

In 2012, Kilkerrin/Clonberne were within moments — several times —of securing a place in the All-Ireland intermediate club final, only to draw with Parnell’s of London after two periods of extra-time first day out, before losing out in the replay on a 3-11 to 2-8 scoreline.

While Ward, who along with her sister Nicola collected her first ever All-Star award last Saturday, remembers having chances in the drawn game to win it, what haunts her more is that Parnell’s went on to win the All-Ireland by a landslide.

“We had chances in that (drawn) game to win it. They went on to beat Cahir of Tipperary by a good margin in the final, by 15 points (2-14 to 1-2), and it hurt because we had been so close to them.

“So, they beat us in a replay up in Emyvale in 2012, and then, obviously, we lost All-Ireland senior semi-finals to Termon (Donegal) in 2014 and Mourneabbey (Cork) in 2015 and 2018. So, to finally get past that barrier — the semi-final stage — this year was massive, from a psychological point of view more than anything.”

Indeed, their 5-12 to 2-10 victory over Leinster champions Foxrock/Cabinteely a fortnight ago was nothing less than impressive. For county star Ward, it was also satisfying to put one over a Dublin team, having lost out with the Tribeswomen to Dublin in last September’s All-Ireland final.

“It was nice to finally get one over a Dublin team,” she admits. “We had an element of confidence about us going into it; I think we knew what we were capable of, and we always know that if we can get a good performance we will be there or thereabouts.”

They now face title holders Mourneabbey, a side they have lost to on the previous two championship occasions they have met. However, Ward says with each passing year, the Kilkerrin/Clonberne players getting older, more experienced, and better conditioned. The latter can only happen by design.

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

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Covid could leave Galway City Council with €25m budget hole

Stephen Corrigan



Shop STreet this week.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway City Council is facing into a “potential crisis scenario” with a forecasted €25 million black hole in its budget, unless the Government comes good on a promise to plug the gap left by Covid-19.

That’s according to City Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath who told councillors this week that the commercial rates waiver introduced by Government and a drop in income from goods and services provided by the local authority could slash their forecast annual revenue by 25%.

Mr McGrath said the last Government, when it introduced the rates waiver for cash-strapped businesses in March, had committed to €260 million to be put aside to bolster local authority finances, but no detail of how that will be rolled out had been provided.

“We are hoping as part of the July stimulus package, the new Government will give us the detail we so desperately need,” he said.

“Our rates standing orders have been wiped out to the tune of 90%.”

Tourism was crucial to the economic success of Galway, he continued, with approximately 80% of city businesses reliant on tourists to stay afloat.

“We have the highest percentage dependency of any local authority on rates from the tourism and hospitality sector,” said Mr McGrath.

It was for that reason that the Executive was seeking councillors’ approval to free up €485,000 of the so-called ‘Marketing Sinking Fund’ to finance a raft of tourism initiatives aimed at boosting the local economy by attracting domestic tourists as Covid-related restrictions are eased, in what Mr McGrath referred to as “temporary internal borrowing”.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, and more on the tourism promotion plans, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Seafront prom and new train station planned for Murrough

Dara Bradley



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A vision of a new urban district on GMIT lands at Murrough – including a seafront promenade and new train station – has been submitted to Government for funding approval.

Galway City Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath has outlined a plan to ‘leverage’ land and resources of the third level institute to create a new East City Urban District.

Mr McGrath has included the plans in an application for funding under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF).

The total value of the project would be €61 million, he said, which values the land at Murrough at about €14 million.

“We are seeking URDF investment to activate these sites as catalysts to boost population and economic output for the city and region,” Mr McGrath told city councillors.

He said that by leveraging the lands at GMIT, the Council was delivering on a target in the National Planning Framework 2040, which states there should be “special focus on capitalising on the potential of underutilised and publicly owned and centrally located sites”.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Plans to double size of Galway City student complex

Enda Cunningham



A computer-generated image of how the new Cúirt na Coiribe would look.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The investment fund which owns the Cúirt na Coiribe student accommodation complex on the Headford Road is planning to more than double the number of bed spaces there to 920.

Exeter Property Group, one of the biggest property investment groups in the world, has applied to An Bord Pleanála for permission to demolish a two-storey building to the front of the development and to remove the existing fifth floor attic level from the next block.

The proposal involves extending upwards and outwards to create a total of 920 bed spaces in 868 bedrooms in a single building with nine linked blocks ranging from two to six storeys.

The project includes a gym/fitness studio in the basement, a games room, library/study spaces, café/restaurant and lounge spaces.

There will be 59 carparking spaces and 656 cycle spaces included. A total of 398 of the 405 existing bed spaces will be retained.

It is proposed that the existing bed spaces will retain their original planning permission which allows for short-stay lets throughout the year, and the additional 515 spaces would only be permitted to be used as short-stay lets during the summer months.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read it in full, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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