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’Wegians unable to complete league double over Shannon



Ronan Loughney made his seasonal debut for Galwegians on Saturday.

Shannon 17

Galwegians 14

Galwegians suffered a disappointing defeat away to Shannon at the Thomond Park back pitch on Saturday in their return to action after a two-month absence of league competition.

Having thumped the eight-time former AIL champions in their last League outing in early December, this was a dramatic turnaround as a rejuvenated and fired-up Shannon claimed the spoils against a rusty-looking Wegians.

The Blues named a strong side, especially upfront where Ronan Loughney, Peter Claffey, and Eoghan Masterson all made their club debuts this season, the latter two making welcome returns after lengthy injuries.

The visitors had an early chance to take the lead, but out-half Aidan Moynihan hooked his penalty attempt wide. The opening exchanges were fairly even, but with the aid of a stiff first-half breeze the hosts soon began to assert themselves. They opened the scoring on 17 minutes through a penalty from their out-half Fionn McGibney, after as earlier effort came back off the post.

Shannon started to take advantage as Wegians were getting on the wrong side of referee Eddie Hogan O’Connell, and with flanker Josh Pim in the bin, the home side took advantage just on the half-hour mark. Following strong pressure from their pack, promising U-20 scrum-half Jack Stafford sniped over from close range for the game’s opening try, which McGibney converted to make it 10-0.

Moynihan had another opportunity to land a penalty soon after the restart, but again he pulled it to the left. The rest of the half was frustrating for Wegians, who never really got any momentum going, and they were lucky to avoid going further behind when they resisted another Shannon onslaught on their line just before the break.

Coach Brian McClearn clearly had words with his charges as the visitors started much better in the second-half. Despite the wind suddenly dropping completely, the Blues went on the offensive, and on 49 minutes they deservedly hauled themselves back into the contest.

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


Lions debut for Aki



Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw will renew their centre partnership tomorrow when the Lions take on Japan. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie.

Bundee Aki will become the fourth Connacht player to pull on a Lions jersey after he was named in the starting XV that will take on Japan tomorrow in Edinburgh in a challenge game ahead of the summer’s trip to South Africa.

Aki will renew his Connacht and Ireland centre partnership at Murrayfield with Robbie Henshaw in a side featuring six Irish players, with a seventh on the bench.

“That combination obviously goes back to the Connacht days,” Lions head coach, and former Connacht and Ireland head coach, Warren Gatland explained. “It’s the two Connacht lads coming together and I think they are obviously great mates as well, so that kind of helps.”

Aki follows in the footsteps of Ray McLoughlin, John O’Driscoll, and Ciaran Fitzgerald in becoming a Lion while still playing for Connacht, and Gatland says he expects the Connacht man to surprise a few people with the various facets to his game.

Henshaw had moved on to Leinster by the time he was picked for the 2017 tour to New Zealand, but having played against club sides Chiefs, Highlanders and Blues, he had to withdraw from before playing in a test match after picking up an injury against the Hurricanes, but Gatland is expecting great things from their partnership.

“A lot of people sort of see Bundee as someone . . . and we know he is capable of getting the ball across the gain line, but he has got a lot more than just that to offer.

“He has got some real rugby skill, some great footwork, and a passing and offloading game. So, we are expecting some real quality rugby out of both of those two men,” Gatland said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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50 domestic abuse 999 calls to Galway Gardaí cancelled



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway’s Garda Chief has committed to a ‘root and branch investigation’ after an internal review unearthed over 50 domestic abuse calls that were cancelled by local Gardaí.

An internal Garda inquiry has revealed that nationally, members of the force cancelled between 3,000 and 4,000 domestic abuse-related ‘999’ calls between 2019 and 2020.

At a meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) on Monday, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley told members that the inquiry found 53 such calls in the Galway Division.

He said he had been tasked by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to sift through the calls and follow up on how they were handled by Gardaí.

“In relation to domestic incidents where calls were cancelled, I have 53 from my division. I am carrying out a root and branch investigation and perhaps at the next JPC meeting, I will be able to give an update of the findings.

“I have only listened to a number of the calls at the moment and I’d rather be in possession of the full facts before commenting any further,” said Chief Supt Curley.
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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Councillor claims dealers are using jet skis to bring drugs to Galway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Drugs are being delivered into the city by jet skis coming down the Corrib, a meeting of the city’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) heard on Monday.

Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said there had been reports of dealers using jet skis to come down the river from areas around Headford and Cong, dropping deliveries in the city without fear of detection.

“Do we have a Garda water unit in Galway City to deal with that,” asked Cllr Fahy.

The Chief Superintendent, Tom Curley, said he was not aware of the practice but if anyone had any information on these deliveries, they should bring it to Gardaí.

“We haven’t got a water unit in the city but there is one in Athlone that is available to us any day of the week,” he added.

This came as the JPC was informed that drugs seizures have soared in the city, with year-on-year figures for detection of dealing up 84% in the first five months of 2021.
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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