Date Published: 12-May-2011
She’s not a hermit, and she’s not a mystic, but Deirdre Ní Chinnéide is on a spiritual journey – one that links directly with Ireland’s ancient past and a time when Ireland’s Christianity belonged to the Celtic rather than Roman Catholic tradition.
Deirdre, who lives on Inis Mór, runs a spiritual hostel on the island for “people who are taking time out from the ‘busyness’ of life to be creative and to meet fellow journeyers. It’s for people of all religions and no religions”, she says.
For the past two years she and others have been doing residential retreats there, incorporating yoga, music, movement and sacred arts.
Galway based Go West tours have now begun promoting these retreats under the auspices of its company Celtic Footstep, which organises “Christian, Cultural and Spiritual journeys of Ireland”.
Inis Mór has long been regarded as a sacred place, both in pre-Christian and Christian times and Dublin born Deirdre found herself drawn to the island from an early age.
She trained as a teacher and worked as a school principal, during which time she studied psychotherapy, feeling it would help her pupils maximise their potential.
After specialising in the area of Trauma and Recovery she worked throughout Ireland, and then in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo, helping people who had been raped and traumatised during the bitter conflict in former Yugoslavia.
During that time, Inis Mór offered a haven from the death and destruction she witnessed, explains Deirdre, whose clear voice and use of her hands to stress her points feel strangely familiar on our first meeting. And well they might, as she is a sister to Nationwide presenter, Mary Kennedy, who joined the rest of the family on the island recently, helping Deirdre to redecorate her house/ hostel.
They are a close bunch, says Deirdre and they have supported her in a journey which saw her give up a secure job teaching for a freelance life centred on spirituality and music. Many people might think she is mad, but this is not a “New Age thing” for Deirdre – it’s grounded in the island and in her music.
“I’m open to the fact that there’s more to life than material things,” she says.
Deirdre’s biggest musical project to date has been the CD, Celtic Passage, a mix of music, song and chant in Irish and English, which was released in 2007.
She spent six months on the island writing Celtic Passage, which was inspired by her experiences in the Balkans as she needed to respond creatively to the death and destruction she had witnessed there.
“I’d always been singing but this was my first time writing music. Celtic Passage goes on a journey of the heart, returning to a place of peace within ourselves.”
Celtic Passage was performed in the Balkans shortly after its composition, and she was amazed by the way people understood the emotion, if not the words.
When Deirdre sang it in Glenstal Abbey, one of those who heard it recommended her to US record label Sounds True, who released the CD in America and Ireland. It won Celtic album of the Year in the US in 2007.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.