Living with the ignominy of anonymity on social media

Country Living with Francis Farragher Technically, I am on Facebook and Twitter, but I can never seem to quite motivate myself to tell all my virtual friends that my dog has overeaten today; that the...
The Galway version of 'Spaghetti Junction where the intersection of the M6 and the M17/M18 takes place.

Coming to terms with a motorway drive to Tuam

Country Living with Francis Farragher There was something vaguely ‘not right’ about a journey I made last Thursday night, following another vain attempt to replicate the strokes of Michael Phelps at the Tuam Swimming Pool....
As far as the eye can see . . . Bales, cars, stands and people: all part of Ploughing 2017 at Screggan, Tullamore.

A mad but magical place to be for at least one day every year

Country Living with Francis Farragher After missing out on it for the past few years, there was a little hankering last week to make a return to the Ploughing Championships and their central location at...
Country Living with Francis Farragher There is always something mildly melancholic about the second half of September with its series of hints that we have at last bade farewell to summer days. The GAA championship season draws to an end . . . the autumnal equinox falls around the 21st or 22nd day of the month . . . the corn has been harvested . . . out the country the turf sheds are loaded up for the Winter season . . . and the dreaded Christmas word tends to get mentioned in the same breath as parties and hangovers. John Keat’s opening lines in his ode To Autumn, about ‘the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, and ‘close bosom friend of the maturing sun’ seem to capture the atmosphere of the month, with September always delivering a rich crop of apples and wild fruits. It is the month of farewells too, as the swallows who have flown in and out of sheds within a millimetre of our temples all summer long, start to assemble on the telephone wires with plump bellies ready for their trip to the warmer climes of South Africa. Their arrival last April heralded the start of the summer and there’s a long tradition in rural Ireland of never disturbing a swallow’s nest as their lodging periods in our sheds and barns is regarded as a sign of good luck. True, they do deposit their marks behind them, and through this summer in my own neck of the woods, they were even bolder than normal, winging their way in through half-open bedroom windows before leaving a little reminder behind them that they had called. Those small irritations apart though, they are the most wonderful of creatures and their loyalty in flying back to us every Spring from the southern hemisphere is a truly awesome gift of nature. This week the National Ploughing Championships will have come and gone and their location on the calendar through the third week of September is no coincidence. They are timed to coincide with the end of the harvesting season when the labours of the long days have been completed and the feed supplies have been stored safely away for the Winter season to come. For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

A search for solace as we bid farewell to our season of light

Country Living with Francis Farragher There is always something mildly melancholic about the second half of September with its series of hints that we have at last bade farewell to summer days. The GAA championship...
To win just once: Galway players and supporters share the joy of winning an All-Ireland final after 29-years a-waiting. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

Facing into the West without those bleak September blues

Country Living with Francis Farragher IF you’re a Galway GAA supporter or indeed a Mayo Gaelic football fan, returns to the West, have often been lonesome affairs during the month of September. At that time...
The way we were: Emotionally charged scenes for the return of Liam McCarthy, as Joe Connolly is mobbed by fans at the homecoming banquet for the Galway hurlers on the Monday night of September 8, 1980, at the Sacre Coeur Hotel, Salthill. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

A clash of deadlines and emotion at the final frontier

Country Living with Francis Farragher It does seem only like yesterday, but 37 summers have now passed since Galway’s breakthrough hurling success of 1980, a final victory against Limerick, that bridged a 57-year gap since...

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