THERE is uncertainty over what the Government’s latest Covid-19 restrictions means for basketball’s national league and the upcoming cup semi-finals weekend in Cork, with the sport’s governing body believed to be waiting for clarification on whether or not the 8pm indoor ‘curfew’ applies to sport as well as hospitality.
If that is the case, there is a chance the league and cup could be suspended until February, though it is more likely that games will either be brought forward to a 6pm tip-off at the latest; or be played as scheduled, but with a ban on spectators.
On the court at the weekend, NUIG Mystics were comfortable winners away to Swords Thunder on Saturday to see them continue to lead the way in the Women’s Division 1, but they were again the only Galway side to claim a win.
NUIG Maree lost in Dublin to Eanna in the Men’s Super League; while Titans went down at home to Drogheda Wolves in the Men’s Division 1. Moycullen’s Men’s Super League game at home to Killester was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Killester squad, the second Moycullen game this season to be called off due to Covid-19. Their next game is scheduled to be at home to Neptune at the NUIG Sports Centre on Monday, January 3 (3pm).
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Donegal roots inspire Des’s debut collection
Sarsfields out of sorts
Galway schoolchildren join international effort to plant million trees in Ireland and Africa
Galway stop for ‘pier-less’ pensioner
Regeneration plans for Galway city centre
Close to 2,000 Galway schoolchildren have joined a campaign that’s planting more than a million trees in Ireland and Africa, this year.
In the lead-up to Christmas, over 30 primary schools from across the county are holding tree planting ceremonies on school grounds, local parks and public land, and will lend their backing to communities who will be planting tens of thousands of new trees in Uganda, Kenya, Senegal and Malawi before the end of the year.
The schools initiative is part of the One Million Trees campaign, which will see Self Help Africa plant over a million trees this year.
Supported by the INTO teachers’ union, the schools initiative will see native Irish seedlings being distributed for planting by each participating class group. Workshops, collections and other activities are also being held in hundreds of schools to support tree planting activities in Africa.
INTO President Joe McKeown said that the campaign was a great opportunity for schoolchildren to learn more about trees, and climate issues, and also play their part in the worldwide effort to combat climate change.
“Young people are very aware of the challenges of global warming. A campaign like this gives them the change to engage directly with the issue, and also learn about the impact in parts of the world that are extremely vulnerable to climate change,” he said.
Former INTO President Mary Magnier, who is an ambassador for the One Million Trees schools campaign said that she been overwhelmed by the support that the campaign has received from schoolchildren and their teachers right across the country.
The venture is also being backed by the Gaelic Players Association (GPA), who include thousands of primary teachers in their ranks, and is supported by Glenisk, who have mobilised public support by promoting the tree planting initiative on their products.
Self Help Africa planted ‘One Million Trees’ in Africa and a further 100,000 native trees in Ireland last year, and are on course to achieve a similar target in 2021, thanks to the support of Irish primary schools.
To find out more visit: selfhelpafrica.org/onemilliontrees
An 80-year-old man – who has taken to the coastal waters around Ireland for charity – stopped off at Oranmore over the weekend ducking into the sea at Renville.
Paddy Conaghan from Árainn Mhór in Donegal is travelling around Ireland and swimming at piers along the coastline to raise much needed funds for a walk-in counselling service known as ‘Gemma’s Legacy of Hope.’
The Donegal man started his journey in the North-West before taking in Sligo, Mayo and then Galway last week where he linked up with Silver Fins Swim Club as well as Atlantic Masters in Renville. He visits three to four piers every day and hopes to complete the challenge by February.
“I love a challenge, and this is a great challenge for me” he said. “It’s for a wonderful charity and it’s lovely to visit so many great places across the Island including Oranmore here in Galway.”
Paddy trained for the challenge all summer swimming in the sea, going to the gym and sitting in a barrel of iced water to prepare himself for the cold waters. He is travelling around the country in his own van which is kitted out with a mattress, cooker, water and generator.
Bernie Rogers, PRO of Atlantic Masters said: “it was just brilliant to have Paddy here as he continues to raise money for such a great cause.”
Fergal Madden, one of the founding members of Atlantic Masters and Chairperson of the club said “what Paddy is doing is just great as it’s a tough time for charities out there and people with mental health issues, etc.”
To donate just go to Paddy’s GoFundMe page ‘Ducking and Driving for Gemma’s Legacy of Hope’.
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The regeneration of the city centre will be the focus of planners in the next City Development Plan – transforming Galway to become ‘more concentrated, compact and co-ordinated’.
In a draft of the City Development Plan 2023-29, plans are set out to deliver the regeneration of significant sites in the city centre including the area around Ceannt Station and the Inner Harbour – an area where it is suggested ‘landmark buildings’ which include high rise could form part of the makeup.
Planners are proposing the targeted rejuvenation of so-called brownfield sites – once used and now abandoned – as well as underutilised space with the delivery of new homes a key target.
“A focus on regeneration of brownfield and underutilised sites that are well served by existing and planned public transport, amenity, social and community infrastructure is required.
“The resulting regeneration will have potential to be transformative for the city, creating new urban districts, vibrant and attractive places, sustainable city living and a reduced carbon footprint,” states the draft document to be considered by councillors in January.
According to the text under consideration, a change in direction is required due to changing retail trends and planning in future must reflect “the need for diversity of uses” and “move towards a broader day and night-time economy”.
It is also proposed that more needs to be done to encourage the use of vacant upper floors in the city centre for housing as part of an overall ‘living city’ policy.
Other areas of the city slated for regeneration include Eyre Square East, from Richardson’s Pub down as far as Forster Street – much of which is in the ownership of the Comer and McHale Groups.
A master plan is also to be created for this area, suggesting the planning of the area will not be developer-led.
“The master plan will be required to demonstrate the merits of the development strategy being pursued and show how it would result in the creation of a successful new quarter in the city. It is recognised that this does not infer nor necessitate the replacement of many existing structures within the block nor alter the form of the existing surrounding principal streetscapes within the block, rather it would show how new development could complement and enhance the overall block.”
(Image: The Comer Group’s ‘vision’ for the eastern side of Eyre Square, where they own around 30 properties with the McHale Group)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the latest on the next City Development Plan, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Regeneration plans for Galway city centre
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