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A different perspective on life, war and religion

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Lifestyle – Judy Murphy meets Richard Kimball and gets an insight into Quakerism and its core belief of non-violence

The Religious Society of Friends, better known as Quakers, has one of the most distinctive traditions within the Christian tradition. Members oppose all wars, conduct their worship without clergy, have no written creed, don’t have formal sacraments such as the Eucharist or Baptism, and believe that men and women are equal. At their core is their belief in a direct relationship between God and individuals.

The Galway branch of the Quakers recently held an Open Day at its meeting rooms in St Nicholas’ Parochial School – near the Courthouse – to offer the public an insight into what is involved in being a Quaker and what happens at meetings.

The group is not seeking to ‘poach’ members from any other church, explains its current Clerk of Meetings, Richard Kimball.  But people who are looking for Christian spirituality and not finding it in the church they grew up with, might feel at home in the Quakers, he adds.

“We have people from all Christian religions – Lutheran, Catholic, Church of Ireland. Our meetings are a place for people to relax, to take stock and to have God in their lives. It’s good to have God in your life and not to detach from Him.”

Belief in God is a human need and “without it we are not as good as we can be, either individually or as a community. When you believe in God, you are the best person you can be”, he says, observing that Christianity generally in Europe and the West needs to assess where it is going.

US-born Richard, who originally comes from Portland, Maine, has lived in Galway since 1988 having previously served in North Africa with the voluntary US Peace Corps movement.

The Israelis bombed the PLO headquarters in Tunisia while he was there, killing 60 people, and the US bombed Libya the year afterwards, so he had first-hand experience of ‘Superpower’ policies from the perspective of small countries.

As a result, he didn’t want to return to America, so when he got an opportunity to work as a fisherman in Ireland, he accepted. Having grown up in Maine, he was a skilled fisherman, and he’d also worked in a fishing co-operative in Tunisia.

Ireland was a reasonably developed country with a good fishing industry and it was not a belligerent nation.  That was important to Richard.

Quakers believe war is immoral and will not fight, although they will serve in ambulance corps during conflicts and many German Quakers were involved in smuggling people out of occupied Europe during World War II, he says

Mennonites are the only other Christian denomination to have such a fixed anti-war view, explains Richard, who was reared in a mixed family of Irish and Eastern Europeans with diverse religious backgrounds. While his parents were “socially conservative”, they encouraged the young Richard and his brother to check out as many different religions as possible.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune

Connacht Tribune

Unique pilgrim talking the walk

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Breandan will give a talk on his pilgrimage this Sunday evening at Clifden's Station House Theatre with all proceeds going to the Irish Cancer Society. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

Lifestyle – Breandan Ó Scanaill returned to Clifden last month after a six-month pilgrimage on foot from his home on Beach Road to Santiago de Compostela – a journey of some 3,500km that took him across Ireland, Wales, England, France and Northern Spain. In his final column for  The Connacht Tribune, he reflects on his experiences and the people he met.

Having travelled through Ireland Wales and England, by the time I reached central France in mid-Summer, the temperature was getting hotter by the day.

I’d say it topped 40 degrees on several occasions, but was in the high 30s almost every day.  I managed to keep walking, and found myself thinking of the old song, which I changed one word of, “Mad dogs and Irishmen go out in the mid-day sun”. I probably was mad to be doing this but I was being very careful.  I was drinking around six or seven litres of water each day and anywhere I found water I would pour it over my head.  I also had a light towel around my neck which I kept wet at all times, while my wide-brimmed hat kept the worst of the sun off my head and face.  I would shelter from the heat for an hour or so in the mid-afternoon.

This heat the fires which were raging just ahead of me in France were constant worries and on a number of days the paths were closed and I had to take to small roads to move forward.

One of the hottest and strangest days was just north of Bordeaux.  I was walking in a forest which was not closed but which had warnings about the risk of fire.  It had all the feeling of a Hitchcock film.  Nothing stirred, there was no breeze, no insects, no animals and the heat radiated up from the ground.  The grass and leaves below my feet cracked and broke, they were so dry. I was completely alone and I was fully expecting someone to come emerge from the bushes armed with a large knife.

I finally arrived in Bordeaux to be given the expected bad news, all the trails south were closed and it was against the law for anyone to be found crossing that part of the country. There were a number of reasons for this. One was the obvious risk to life, another was that anyone embarking on these trails was putting the fire fighters’ lives at risk and also taking them away from their main task, which was trying to control the blaze.  A further reason was that as thousands of people had been evacuated, homes were at risk of being looted.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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A little girl celebrates Sarsfields’ success in the County Hurling Final in 1997.

1922

The ‘pay-nobodies’

The righteous wrath of members of Galway County Council very properly manifested itself against the “pay nobodies” at the meeting on Saturday last.

“I am quite satisfied,” declared Dr. Walsh, “that numbers of people who defend the policy of not paying rates are thoroughly dishonest.”

Mr. Kennedy said the policy to-day was to pay nobody and the people who were in debt themselves “wanted everybody else to be in the same position”.

Mr. Tierney invoked the dictum of the Irish Hierarchy in regard to the payment of just and lawful debts. Verily, “there are greater thieves than Cacus” – men who have such noble and patriotic notions that, to their mind, national freedom is synonymous with freedom from just and lawful obligations. It is time the people paid their rates and debts and gave up their outworn cant.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Guru to the stars to breathe life into seminar

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Patrick McKeown

Health, Beauty and Lifestyle with Denise McNamara

Patrick McKeown has some rather high-profile followers. The Galway clinician – who runs one of the largest breathing schools in the world from his Moycullen clinic – can count Coldplay singer Chris Martin and his ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow, the Oscar-winning actress turned lifestyle entrepreneur, as followers.

It was the rock star who made headlines when he gave a copy of Patrick’s book The Oxygen Advantage to cricketer Ollie Robinson after the England team saw Coldplay at Wembley before their Test series against South Africa.

Gwyneth, who has over eight million followers in Instagram, last week posted online that she is using Mytotape, the product Patrick invented in his Moycullen practice which aims to train people to breathe through the nose while sleeping rather than through the mouth.

“This is probably the single best wellness tool I have found recently. Breathing through your nose at night apparently creates alkalinity in the body and promotes best quality sleep,” she exclaimed.

Patrick is one of six speakers at the international Functional Medicine Conference (FMC) held this weekend at the Galway Bay Hotel where doctors and nurses, complementary medicine practitioners and students convene to hear from experts, share experiences and network.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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