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Connacht Tribune

Waterford’s Hurney has history in both camps

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Dual GAA player, Gary Hurney has divided loyalties this Sunday ahead of the All-Ireland senior hurling final showdown.

A Galwegian born in Moycullen, the prolific hurler and footballer has represented his adopted county of Waterford in both codes for many years.

The 36-year-old is from solid Moycullen stock – his mother Carmel (nee Lydon) is from Drummaveg and his father is Packie Hurney from Tullykyne.

The family moved to Dungarvan when he was just five or six, where Gary’s love of GAA – and Waterford – blossomed. And he went on to represent Waterford at minor, U21 and senior, in football, his first love, despite it being the poor relation to the glamour game of hurling in a so-called ‘weaker football county’.

He subsequently hurled for a number of seasons for the Waterford seniors including during Justin McCarthy’s reign in the mid-2000s.

“It’ll be a divided household I suppose. My parents would probably still be Galway but I’m Waterford. I hope if Waterford don’t win that Galway will win! We were roaring for Galway during the Tipperary match but now that Waterford are there I’ll be shouting for them. When Waterford aren’t involved we always shout for Galway,” Gary told the Connacht Tribune.

Gary has a sister, Lorna, and brothers – Laurence, John and Patrick – all three of whom played intercounty football for the Déise.

Nicknamed ‘Tank’, he won three county football titles with his club, Abbeyside/Ballinacourty, including the breakthrough year of in 2007, when they ended a 26-year famine.

Dad Packie was manager and all brothers were on the team – Patrick scored a goal late-on to finish a move that involved all four of the Hurney siblings.

The following year was hugely disappointing – Abbeyside/Ballinacourty reached county finals in the two codes, but lost both including the hurling one to city side De La Salle by two points. Gary subsequently played his part in winning two more county football championships for the club in 2011 and 2013.

Despite embracing Waterford as his own, Gary returns to his birthplace every now and then to visit the Hurney and Lydon families in Moycullen including a grandmother, uncles, aunts and cousins.

Many of them will be watching the game at Hurney’s Bar in Gortachalla outside Moycullen village this Sunday. But for those travelling, this novel All-Ireland decider is an ideal opportunity for a catch-up with the extended Hurney clan in Croke Park.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’ll be a great occasion. Galway haven’t won since 1988 and Waterford haven’t done it since 1959. Whoever wins is going to make history – there’s just so much at stake.

“Galway are the form team of the championship. They are quite traditional in that they play three inside forwards. Waterford didn’t start the year well but they’ve come good with their sweeper system. Contrasting styles. It’s going to be very tactical. I don’t think Joe Canning or Austin Gleeson are going to have much room.

“It’ll be so close. I hope not but I think it could come down to a mistake or maybe a call by the referee, it’ll be that tight. If Waterford don’t win, I hope you do!” added Gary.

Connacht Tribune

Gardaí in Galway operating with fewer patrol cars

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Five large Garda stations in County Galway are operating with fewer Garda vehicles now than two years ago – leading to a call for the local fleet to be restored to 2020 levels.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has confirmed to Galway West TD Noel Grealish that the Garda fleet in the Galway Garda Division stands at 116 as of October of this year.

That’s greater than any of the years from 2012 to 2019, but it represents a reduction on the Garda fleet when compared with 2020 and 2021 figures.

Galway Gardaí had a dozen fewer vehicles this year, compared with 2020. There are 13 fewer patrol cars, down from 96 to 83; there was no change in the number of vans and motorcycles, and the division acquired one extra 4×4.

Garda stations in Ballinasloe, Loughrea, Tuam, Clifden and Salthill have all lost patrol cars in the past 24 months, according to the official figures.

Independent Deputy Grealish has demanded a restoration of the Garda fleet in Galway to 2020 levels.

“Gardaí have a demanding enough job to do, but it makes that important work even more difficult if they are not allocated the proper resources,” Deputy Grealish said.

“A reduction of twelve vehicles in less than two years across the Galway Division, down from 128 at the end of 2020 to 116 in October this year, is concerning.

“I have asked the Minister for Justice to explain why this has happened, that the number of vehicles in the Galway Division has fallen by ten per cent, when nationally the total fleet actually increased by 6%. I am demanding that they at the very least be restored to their 2020 levels,” he said.

Deputy Grealish pointed out that almost all areas of the county had suffered a reduction in Garda vehicles since the beginning of last year.  Ballinasloe currently has six vehicles, a reduction of two since the end of 2020; Clifden also has six, down one; Loughrea was down three to eleven; Salthill was down three to ten; the biggest reduction in Garda vehicles was in the Tuam area down five to twelve.

Galway City’s fleet increased by two vehicles, for a total of 71.

Minister McEntee said that the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris was responsible for the administration and management of An Garda Síochána, including the purchase, allocation, and effective and efficient use of Garda vehicles.

“As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review to ensure their optimum use in light of identified operational needs and emerging crime trends,” she added.

Galway City Councillor Donal Lyons (Ind) last month complained that the number of vehicles available to Gardaí in Salthill and Knocknacarra was insufficient.

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Connacht Tribune

Progress stalls on setting up Eating Disorder Community Health Team

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Despite an increasing number of young people experiencing eating disorders, a new specialist community team has yet to be set up in Galway well over a year after it was announced.

The delay is mainly due to a difficulty recruiting a consultant psychiatrist to lead the team, this week’s HSE West Regional Health Forum meeting was told.

Councillor John Connolly (FF) queried the progress on the new Eating Disorder Community Health Team within the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) after the HSE revealed in September 2021 that it would be set up in response to the hike in youths presenting for treatment.

Chief Officer of HSE Community Healthcare West, Breda Crehan-Roche, said interviews had been conducted to recruit a clinical lead, but so far none had been appointed. Six other staff had been appointed and these had been assigned to existing teams within CAMHS while a psychiatrist could come on board to manage the team.

“We have difficulty getting locum cover. Interviews were held. It’s a priority. We are doing a running recruitment process,” she told this month’s meeting.

It took between six and nine months to appoint a person to such a senior post.

“There is a lot of work in specialist intervention in the eating disorders team.”

She admitted that there were no records of how much of an increase there had been in referrals to CAMHS Galway for youths troubled by an eating disorder as all records were on paper rather than on computer.

“I can’t ask clinicians and therapists to pull together manual figures,” she stated. But the indication from staff on the ground was that there had been a downward trend in referrals post-Covid.

There was a move to keeping digital records by the middle of next year.

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Connacht Tribune

Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan dies aged 78

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Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan has passed away at the age of 78.

Born in Kilkenny in 1944, Bishop Drennan studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth from where he was ordained in 1968

As a priest, the then Fr Drennan served as curate in both St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Kilkenny and then in Ballycallan.

From 1975 he taught Sacred Scripture at St. Kieran’s College, returning to Rome in 1980 to become Spiritual Director at the Irish College there for the next five years.

When Fr. Martin again returned home he became a Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997.

Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was chosen as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and was installed on 3rd July 2005 in Galway Cathedral serving to his retirement in 2016.

A brief statement released by the Diocese of Galway this afternoon confirmed his passing and offered their sympathies to Bishop Drennan’s family and all those who mourn his loss.

Funeral arrangements for the late Bishop Drennan will be announced later

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