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Connacht Tribune

Abandoned village in the frame

Judy Murphy

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Artist Padraic Reaney with Tom Kenny of the Kenny Art Gallery.

Lifestyle – Ruined houses on a north Connemara island that was depopulated 58 years ago this  month, have been captured in a new exhibition, Inis Airc – the Inishark Project.  The work was captured over a 17-year period, artist Pádraic Reaney tells Judy Murphy.

A cluster of ruined houses on the south-eastern corner of the deserted Connemara island of Inishark have inspired the latest show from artist Pádraic Reaney.

Inis Airc, the Inishark Project, is an exhibition of paintings and graphics by the Carraroe artist, which opens at the Kenny Gallery in Galway City this Friday, October 12. It’s the culmination of an initiative which began in 2002, when Pádraic visited the abandoned island for the first time. He was with a Parks and Wildlife team from the Office of Public Works who were doing a bird survey of islands in the area.

That was in April 2002, when “I did some quick sketches on a notebook”, he recalls.

Inishark, which was once home to 300 people, was depopulated in October 1960 under a State initiative, when the last remaining six families – consisting of 23 people aged from 11 months to 73 years – were relocated to Claddaghduff on the nearby mainland.

In the years preceding their final exodus, the dwindling population of Inishark had endured much hardship, mostly because the island was inaccessible in any kind of inclement weather.  In 1958, a local man died of appendicitis because there was no phone or no way of informing the outside world about his plight. Drownings, too, had taken their toll and eventually, the few remaining islanders opted to leave. For the Government, it was easier and cheaper to relocate them in Claddaghduff, between Clifden and Cleggan, than to build a new pier that would have allowed them to remain on Inishark.

More than 40 years later, Pádraic made his first visit to the 615-acre island and was hooked. Over the course of 15 years, he returned when opportunity – and the tides – allowed. Landing on Inishark was always difficult and has become even harder as its old slipway has fallen into disrepair. But, when circumstances are right, the island is still accessible and the land – good land, he points out – is used to graze sheep, owned by farmers from the neighbouring island of Inishbofin.

These animals wander freely around the island, including among the islanders’ former homes, where Pádraic set about creating an artistic “record of what has been left”.

He has form in this regard, and, was awarded the Pádraic Mac Con Midhe Prize at the 1979 Oireachtas for a series of etchings which recorded the rapidly disappearing thatched houses in Ros an Mhíl.

Early on in the Inishark Project, Pádraic decided to focus on the exteriors of the houses, because “nothing that was on the inside interested me as much as the houses in the landscape did”, he says. “The only interesting features on the inside were the fireplaces and they were similar in all the houses.”

Islands, as well as ruins, have long intrigued him.

“I’ve been pulled to islands since I did work in Malta in the late 1980s,” he says, referring to a group of local artists including Jay Murphy, Brian Bourke, John Behan and Vicky Crowley, who visited Malta as part of the group Island Connection.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Public auction of Castlesampson farm with c.143 acres

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Connaughton Auctioneers are handling the sale of a c.143.40 acre farm located at Corraree and Ballygatta, Castlesampson, just 9km from Athlone/ M6 Motorway and 15km from Ballinasloe Town.

Located in a renowned farming district, the property has an extensive range of modern farm buildings including five-bay single slatted with lay back, three bay double bay slatted, covered yard with crush, two-bay double slatted, three-bay double flat shed and three-bay single flat shed with an overall area of c.10,274 sq. ft.

The lands are being offered for sale in four lots, Lot 1: c.77.77 acres with the farm buildings mentioned above, Lot 2: c.52.43 acres, Lot 3: c.13.20 acres and Lot 4: The entire property c.143.30 Acres with farm buildings. With a public road passing through the farm, there is extensive road frontage to an area of c.2,500 metres thereby holding huge potential for building sites in the future.

The property comes with mains connections to electricity and water and includes overall c.55.07 entitlements included in the sale.

Auctioneer for the sale, Ivan Connaughton stated: “This is a fine farm to come on the open market. The large investment in the ultra-modern farm buildings by the current owners together with an extensive holding of top-quality agricultural lands has attracted interest from both near and far.

The potential for transformation into dairy or usage as a large feed lot has attracted additional interest. Its location in a renowned farming district and conveniently situated close to the Galway/ Dublin M6 Motorway is a major advantage. The farm entitlements that total c.€21,000 per annum are included in the sale and has received a positive response from interested parties to date. I encourage any interested party to contact our office on 090-6663700 for further information and viewing”

The Public Auction is being held in Gullane’s Hotel, Ballinasloe on Friday August 30th at 4.00pm. All are welcome to attend. All legal enquiries can be made to solicitor for the carriage of sale, Hayden & Co. Solicitors, Athlone Tel: 090-6470622

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Connacht Tribune

Offering a lifeline to people affected by cancer

Denise McNamara

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Lifestyle – The Daffodil Centre at UHG which is celebrating its 10th anniversary has given practical and moral support to thousands of cancer patients and their family members since the Irish Cancer Society set it up as a pilot project. DENISE MCNAMARA hears one man’s story of its role in his recovery.

When Alan Rushe began to feel cramps in his stomach, he did not hesitate in attending his local doctor.

His GP asked if he had ever suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). As he had been diagnosed with the condition when he was younger, he was prescribed tablets for that and told to see how they worked.

Six days later, Alan’s condition hadn’t improved so his GP referred him for a colonoscopy. When the invasive test revealed he had colon cancer he was operated on within ten days. Two months later he was started on six months of chemotherapy, getting treatment once every fortnight.

When he was coming to the end of the treatment, Alan found himself in a bind.

He wanted reassurance about what to expect as the chemicals left his body but the doctors and nurses in the oncology ward were far too busy to give him the time he needed to sit and chat.

“One of the things about having cancer, your whole life becomes obsessed with your problem and how you’re dealing with it,” Alan reflects.

“Suddenly you’re coming to the end of chemo and you find yourself in a very strange place; you are in a vacuum. You might be told things by different doctors and nurses but you haven’t taken it in.

“You can’t just drop back into the ward, yet you want to talk to people who know all there is to know about your type of cancer.”

He was advised to go to the Daffodil Centre in University Hospital Galway (UHG), which is run by the Irish Cancer Society to seek further information.

There he found oncology nurse Fionnuala Creighton who manages the Galway Daffodil Centre. She sat down with Alan and gave him the time to answer the myriad of questions that were swirling around his mind.

“She gave me all this information about what to expect when chemo is leaving the body, how it would affect me. She gave me information leaflets and told me about services that are available, such as exercise classes in Cancer Care West,” he explains.

The Daffodil Centre at UHG began as a pilot project for the Irish Cancer Society a decade ago this month.

Aileen McHale, who is now Cancer Information Services Manager with the Irish Cancer Society, was the first nurse to work there.

“We wanted to set up a designated cancer centre in a hospital to provide information to the patient, relatives and general public at the point of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up,” she explains. “I was involved in the setting up and running it and, from the beginning one of my roles was recruiting and training a group of volunteers who would help me in the running of the centre.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Hanley’s high-quality minors break new ground in great style

John McIntyre

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Galway 3-14

Kilkenny 0-12

HURLING history was made much easier than expected at Croke Park last Sunday when Galway claimed a third consecutive All-Ireland minor hurling title for the first time ever.

As it transpired, this repeat of last year’s championship decider was a no-contest. Galway were so superior it made a nonsense of the conventional theory that the more games a team plays, they better they should become.

This may have been Kilkenny’s eighth match of a protracted campaign, but it was undoubtedly their worst display in falling to a heavy 11-point defeat. The young Cats were almost too bad to be true and their tame challenge faded completely after the break.

Though Kilkenny’s poverty considerably eased the task of the defending champions, the manner in which Galway went about their business was still impressive. Their overall skills set was in a different league, while their big-match temperament also stood them in good stead.

Having to beat the same team twice in the same championship can be problematic and although only three points had separated Sunday’s protagonists in the quarter-final round-robin series a few weeks ago, there was little or no drama in the championship’s defining battle such was the gulf in standard.

Not alone were Galway completing a notable three-in-a-row, but this was also the fourth time in the last five years that the Irish Press Cup has returned west, while the county has now captured eight of the last 16 All-Ireland minor titles.

This is an exceptional feat by any standards and new Galway manager Brian Hanley has clearly followed in the footsteps of his successful predecessor, Jeffrey Lynskey, in recognising young talent and then shaping them into a formidable team.

Galway are now the undisputed brand leaders at minor level and while the failure to translate this dominance to greater success in senior ranks remains a deep source of frustration, this week in not the time to be looking at the wider picture.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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