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Connacht Tribune

Ahascragh/Fohenagh men hit new high to stun Lismore in Tullamore

John McIntyre



Ahascragh-Fohenagh's Stephen Kelly and Eoghan Delaney in a race for possession with Lismore's Ray Barry during the All-Ireland Club Intermediate hurling semi-final at Tullamore on Sunday. Photos: Enda Noone.

Ahascragh/Fohenagh 1-17

Lismore 0-13

IT may have been new territory for the hurlers of Ahascragh/Fohenagh at O’Connor Park, Tullamore on Sunday, but their pioneering spirit ensured that they weren’t daunted in the slightest at the prospect of taking on the highly-rated Munster champions.

Rookies to this level of competition and rank outsiders to carry the day, Ahascragh/Fohenagh rose to the occasion in magnificent style, producing a career-best team performance which had their increasingly rattled Lismore opponents on the ropes for much of the hour.

The Waterford title holders had come into this All-Ireland club intermediate semi-final with a tall reputation, but they were second best for much of a high-quality contest and their frustrations boiled over late on when both Maurice Shanahan and John Prendergast were sent to the line after being red-carded.

Lismore had laid siege to the Ahascragh/Fohenagh posts in the closing minutes, but a series of 20m frees yielded nothing as the Galway champions were in no mood to surrender a clear-cut advantage which had been the product of a high-energy, committed and skillful display.

Inspired by the terrific Mannion brothers, Padraic and Cathal, Ahascragh/Fohenagh also possessed the better team-work as they made a mockery of their pre-match odds of 3/1. All over the field, they hurled with an intensity and maturity which Lismore couldn’t cope with, and the seven-point margin at the finish proved an accurate reflection of the gulf between the teams.

Having taken two attempts to get the better of Ballyhaunis of Mayo in the Connacht final, Ahascragh/Fohenagh did have something to prove despite a long-awaited breakthrough in Galway, but they simply thrived in Sunday’s new surroundings and, clearly, have improved significantly since last winter.

This triumph represented a tremendous victory for the players and the Willie Dilleen led management team. They hit the ground running, never dropped their levels of concentration and produced bouts of really quality hurling which rocked the Waterford men.

Naturally, the individual fortunes of Ahascragh/Fohenagh’s county players, Paderaic and Cathal Mannion, was going to have a big influence on the outcome, and both were in the zone from the off. Centre back Padraic was simply brilliant in the opening-half, while Cathal finished with a dozen points to his name, including four glorious efforts from play.

Their leadership lifted the team to new heights. Wing back John Finnerty carried out a wonderful marking job on Maurice Shanahan; full back John Kelly hardly gave the anonymous Dan Shanahan a look in; the tireless Ronan Kelly fired-over three memorable points; while the fit again Luke Cosgrove was in the right place to expertly finish the game’s only goal in the 26th minute.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.


Connacht Tribune

Exploring the merits of moving into the west

Dave O'Connell



Mary Kennedy with Carol Ho, one of the Galway interviewees for her new TG4 series, Moving West. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Broadcaster Mary Kennedy has an abiding image of those early mornings when she’d set out from Dublin at the crack of dawn to begin work on another day’s filming down the country with Nationwide.

“I always liked to go in the morning rather than stay there the night before – so I’d be on the road early. And from the moment I’d hit Newland’s Cross, all I’d see was a line of traffic of people trying to make it from home to their workplace in Dublin,” she says.

These were people whose day began before dawn to get their bleary-eyed kids ready to drop at a childminder along the way, so they could be on time for work – and then race home to hopefully see those same kids before they went to sleep.

But if the pandemic had a positive, it was the realisation that work was something you did, not a place you went to. As a result, many people finally grasped the nettle, moving out of the city and sometimes even taking their work with them.

Which is why Mary – busier than ever since her supposed retirement from RTÉ – is presenting a new television series called Moving West, focusing on those individuals and families who have, as the title, suggests, relocated to the West.

One of the programmes comes from Galway, where Mary met with Stewart Forrest, who relocated with his family from South Africa to Oughterard, and Carol Ho, a Hong Kong native who has also settled in Galway.

The TG4 series also stops off in Sligo, Mayo, Kerry, Clare, Roscommon and Leitrim.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Community’s tribute to one of their own – saving final cut of turf after his passing

Dave O'Connell



Well saved...members of St Brendan's GAA Club honour their departed stalwart, John Geraghty, after a record-breaking evening saving his turf.

A local community responded in force to the death of one of their own – a man who had given so much of his life for the good of the parish – by paying one last practical tribute to him last week.

They lifted and footed his turf.

John Geraghty – or Gero as he was known – lived for Gaelic football and he’d filled every role imaginable with the St Brendan’s GAA Club since he came to live in Newbridge in 1983.

He’d cut the turf before he died last Tuesday week, but there it lay, until his old GAA friends organised a bunch of guys – made up of the football team, friends and neighbours – to meet in the bog last Wednesday evening to lift and foot/clamp John’s turf.

“Upwards of 50 fellas from the community showed up,” said St Brendan’s chairman Gerry Kilcommins.

Which was just as well, because, as Gerry acknowledged, John – himself a two-time chairman of the club in the past – had a lot of turf cut!

“It took up an area around three-quarters of the size of a standard football pitch,” he said.

Not that this proved a problem, given the enthusiasm with which they rolled up their sleeves for their old friend.

They started at 7.30pm and had it done at 7.55pm – that’s just 25 minutes from start to finish.

Read the full, heartwarming story – and the St Brendan’s GAA Club appreciation for John Geraghty – in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Liver donor dad would do it all again in a heartbeat

Denise McNamara



Daddy’s girl…Sadhbh Browne with her very special message on organ donations. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

It is nearly two years since Paddy Browne gave his daughter Sadhbh part of his liver to save her life. And just ahead of Father’s Day, he reflects on how he would do it all over again in a heartbeat, without a single moment’s hesitation.

After an initial testing time in the first six weeks when they beat a path to the intensive care unit after the operation in St King’s Hospital in London, Sadhbh has never looked back.

“She’s thrived and thrived and thrived. She skips out to school every day. She loves the normal fun and devilment in the yard. She’s now six and started football with Mountbellew Moylough GAA, she loves baking, she’s a voracious reader – she’ll read the whole time out loud while we drive up to Crumlin [Children’s Hospital].”

But it could have all been so different.

Sadhbh from Mountbellew was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia shortly after she was born. She quickly underwent major surgery to drain bile from her liver. It worked well until she reached three years old when an infection caused severe liver damage and she was placed on the liver transplant list.

She was on a long list of medication to manage the consequences of advanced liver disease. While she lived a full life, she would tire very easily.

Paddy was undergoing the rigorous process to be accepted as a living donor when one of the tests ruled him unsuitable. His brother Michael stepped forward and was deemed a good match.

Then, further tests revealed that Paddy was in fact eligible for the operation and the previous result disregarded as a false positive.

Read the full, uplifting story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from

Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. You can also visit the website or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.

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