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Connacht Tribune

Work set to start on redevelopment of Tuam Stadium

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Works on the redevelopment of Tuam Stadium will commence in a matter of weeks following the announcement of a major grant for the venue.

It follows last week’s announcement that the ground is to receive over €110,000 towards the provision of new dressing rooms at the Stadium.

This, coupled with the €160,000 that has already been raised by a local group who want to see Tuam Stadium developed, has resulted in works being planned for the venue.

It now means that there is more than €270,000 available to commence the first phase of the development at Tuam Stadium.

Tenders for the project are now being reviewed as a result of the significant windfall from the Government’s Sports Capital Grant. The additional funding can allow for the new dressing rooms can now be built.

And once works on this project commence, the fundraising committee are embarking on a venture that will ultimately result on a new stand being provided at the ground.

The existing stand is in a dilapidated state and needs to be replaced so that Tuam Stadium can once again host some major national league and championship matches.

Kevin O’Dwyer of the Development Advocates of Tuam Stadium (DAFTS) said that the allocation was a major boost to the overall development of the ground into the future.

“This is where we start with Tuam Stadium. It has been a venue that has been ignored for so long but now it is high on the agenda. Works will commence early in the New Year,” Mr O’Dwyer confirmed.

He said that the fact that the Government recognised the need for the redevelopment of Tuam Stadium meant that Croke Park and the GAA authorities also had to sit up and take notice.

Viewers who watched the recent Connacht club championship matches involving Corofin were shocked at the state of the stand and terracing in Tuam. Some even took to social media to express their horror at the visual state of the ground.

The stand was described by some as being something like an agricultural shed that had fallen into a state of dilapidation while parts of the terraced areas were sad to look like derelict space that was in need of an upgrade. The TG4 coverage of the game certainly seemed to expose a lot of deficiencies in the ground.

Work is now expected to commence on the development of the new dressing rooms at the ground within weeks but the long term plan is to construct an ‘end to end’ stand so that the venue can accommodate around 18,000 of a crowd.

For years Tuam Stadium has been living in the shadow of Pearse Stadium and consequently a lack of investment has resulted in the venue being unable to take the crowds that it once enjoyed.

But the determined Development Advocates for Tuam Stadium have set about fund raising for the revamp of the ground with the intention that it will once again play host to Connacht senior football championship matches. This fundraising is now set to continue in earnest in light of the new funding allocation.

If developed, it would also mean that Tuam Stadium would again be capable of hosting a Connacht championship encounter – with many GAA fans relishing the prospect of a mouth-watering clash between Galway and Mayo at the venue sometime in the not too distant future.

Connacht Tribune

Eyrecourt tune makes it to Hollywood in Jig time

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A tune composed to celebrate the twinning of Eyrecourt in south-east Galway with Gouesnach in France is to feature in a new film.

Written by Niall Crehan, ‘The Eyrecourt Jig’ made quite a splash when it was released in 2013 and is still popular in music sessions up and down the country.

Niall had been commissioned to write the tune for the 20th anniversary of the twinning of the two villages, Eyrecourt and Gouesnach.

So, when he had a small part as a fiddler in a TV film called Royal Rendevouz, he started playing the jig.

The producers were so impressed, they added it to the movie soundtrack and it will appear in the credits.

Niall is a member of a celebrated traditional Irish musical dynasty hailing originally from County Clare.

He is the youngest son of whistle and concertina player Vincent Crehan and nephew of renowned fiddler Junior Crehan.

Niall and his brother Kieran ran the Dublin shop Crehan Musical instruments until his early retirement.

Now living in Kildare, Niall is a cousin of publican Mick Crehan, who runs the renowned folk pub in the west end of Galway, The Crane.

Niall and the large army of musicians in the extended family are regular guests.

His brother Dermot got music playing parts on films such as the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and he managed to get Niall onto the likes of Downton Abbey.

This latest TV project is the latest foray into the world of film, explains his son Brian.

The story centres on an American chef who is invited to an Irish manor to cook a feast in order to convince the matriarch not to sell the home.

It premieres on Sunday, February 26 at 9pm on the E! Network starring Isabella Gomez, Ruairi O’Connor and Ronan Raftery.

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Connacht Tribune

‘No show’ TDs criticised at County Galway policing committee meeting

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A county councillor has launched a stinging criticism of Oireachtas members for their repeated failure to attend County Galway Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meetings.

At a meeting of the JPC on Monday, Cllr Michael ‘Moegie’ Maher (photographed) said he believed it was time the three TDs on the committee decided if they wanted to remain, or give their place up to someone who would make use of it.

“I am asking the Council to write out to our Oireachtas members and ask them do they want to be on this JPC or not, and if not, let someone else be on it,” blasted the Fine Gael councillor.

This followed repeated non-appearances from TDs representing the Oireachtas on the committee – the three representatives are Deputy Noel Grealish (Ind), Deputy Anne Rabbitte (FF) and Deputy Catherine Connolly (Ind).

Cllr Maher said the JPC, which sits around five times per year, was deliberately held on a Mondays to facilitate Oireachtas members who were in the Dáil later in the week. He said there were issues being raised regularly that required raising at a national level and it was incumbent on national representatives to bring those matters back to Dublin.

One such issue was the use of CCTV in the pursuit of illegal dumpers and travelling crime gangs, said Cllr Maher who is Cathaoirleach of the County Council.

“I would like our members of the Oireachtas to be taking the message back on CCTV,” he added, as representatives locally were getting no further as a result of data protection laws.

None of the three Oireachtas members were present for this week’s meeting. Chair of the JPC, Cllr Jim Cuddy, confirmed he had received an apology from Deputy Catherine Connolly.

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Connacht Tribune

New Chief Executive for Galway County Council

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The new Chief Executive of Galway County Council is set to be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Liam Conneally, who is Director of Services for Economic Development at Clare County Council, is understood to be the preferred candidate following an interview process and has been offered the post.

His appointment will have to be ratified by councillors at an upcoming meeting of Galway County Council.

He will replace Jim Cullen, who was Acting CE for a number of years.

The last permanent CE of the local authority was also a Clare native, Martina Moloney who retired in 2014.

Since then, Kevin Kelly initially and then Jim Cullen have been acting in the roles.

According to his LinkedIn page, Liam Conneally was a senior planner at Limerick City and County Councils for almost three years before taking up the Director of Services role in Clare in 2016.

He was educated at University of Limerick and Queen’s University Belfast.

A native of Ennistymon, he is steeped in the GAA.

“He’s done a very good job in Clare; he’s very dynamic and forward-looking, he will be a good choice for Galway County Council,” said a source familiar with Mr Conneally, and the interview process.

Government completed a review in 2021 about whether it was going to appoint someone permanently into the CE role, which was filled on a temporary/acting basis for almost nine years.

It’s understood that officials in Dublin had delayed filling the role as they wanted to push for an amalgamation of both Councils.

The amalgamation, however, was rejected by local politicians, and has since been put on the back burner.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, is due to retire this year. It’s understood his deputy CE, Patricia Philbin will take the role in an acting capacity until an interview process is completed.

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