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Connacht Tribune

Aran’s footballing heroes head for the high seas once again!

Dara Bradley

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The footballers of Oileain Árainn are used to long journeys – in cars, ferries and aeroplanes – just to get to training sessions and matches.

But next week’s trip across the Irish Sea to Birmingham is probably their longest yet.

It’s certainly their most historic and significant.

On Saturday week, Oileain Árainn will compete for the first time in the All-Ireland junior football quarter-final at 2pm against Liverpool-based John Mitchels.

They go to England as Connacht champions. They earned that right after defeating Achill Island comprehensively in last Sunday’s Connacht junior football final at Tuam Stadium.

“The best thing that happened to us is Pearse Stadium was closed,” laughs selector, Mairtín Ó Coisteala, from Báile an tSéipeil, Inis Óirr.

“We can’t seem to lose in Tuam Stadium – that’s three finals we’ve won there now; we couldn’t seem to win in Pearse Stadium!”

It was a massive achievement for the club and follows on from their county final success at the same venue against Annaghdown a few weeks previous, as well as their West Board win.

Oileain Árainn has now won two major titles on the trot – not bad going for an outfit whose recent history in finals has been littered with hard luck stories and runners-up medals.

The travel plans were finalised Tuesday after a serious co-ordination and juggling effort. The players still living on the islands – about seven or eight who started the last day plus a few substitutes – will take the ferry to Ros a Mhíl and travel by bus to Dublin Airport, picking up lads along the way in Galway city.

Other lads, who live in Limerick and Waterford and Dublin, will make their own way to the airport before flying out Friday evening to Birmingham where they will stay in a hotel overnight.

A supporters’ bus, which has sold out, will leave Ros a Mhíl at the same time as the squad but the 50 or so fans will travel over to England by ferry.

Scores more islanders are expected to make their own way to Birmingham; including many emigrants now living in England.

The total cost of the team’s trip will be in the region of €13,000 for the squad and management of around 30. The GAA will fork out €10,000 of that but the cost to the club is still significant, especially in these straightened times.

The logistics headache of getting the squad to Birmingham is nothing new for Oilean Árainn’s management. They’re well used to juggling training times according the weather.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – and read the full report on the Connacht Junior Football Final in Tribune Sport.

Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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