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Connacht Tribune

Did my baby sister die, was she trafficked or buried in a cesspit?

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A Galway man who himself spent his formative years in the St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home fears he may never know what happened to his infant sister, who was born in the same Tuam facility – and disappeared without a trace over sixty years ago.

Peter Mulryan from Derrymullen, Ballinasloe, said he was being denied access by authorities to records and files relating to his sister, Marian Bridget Mulryan. She is believed to be among the 796 children recorded having died at the home between 1925 and 1961 – now the subject of a major inquiry and media attention that has traversed the globe.

In an emotional graveside address in Bohermore Cemetery on Sunday, during the Flowers for Magdalen’s memorial event in memory of the women who once lived and worked in the Magdalen Laundry in Galway, Mr Mulryan shared his fears that he may never know what happened to his sister.

The 73-year-old recalled how his mother Delia spent over 30 years in the Magdalen Laundry, and how – after starting out life in the Tuam residence – he was fostered out to “not a nice home” at the age of four and a half.

He became teary when he remembered being “beaten” and “tortured by nettles”.

Addressing his long running battle to get information about the fate of his baby sister, who died in February 1955, Mr Mulryan said: “. . . My sister also was supposedly buried in this so-called grave septic tank in Tuam. She was only nine months old when she died. I have a birth record, death certificate and what she died from – supposed to be from convulsions.

“I don’t know and I will ever know. At the moment, I’m looking for a file and I’m being refused it. I was refused even to . . . they didn’t want to give me the information because she was dead.”

Mr Mulryan indicated that the Flowers for Magdalen Memorial event has helped to give relief and bring some closure.

“My mother was going around like this,” he said, with his head looking to the ground, indicating a head hung in shame. “I was going around like this,” he said, again gesturing his head was bowed to the ground.

Then, lifting his head skyward, he added: “But now we can look up at the stars.”

See full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Schools and colleges in Galway advised to close for Storm Barra

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Schools in Galway have begun informing parents that they will not open tomorrow, following advice from the Department of Education.

The Dept said this evening that schools, colleges and universities in areas where a Status Orange or Red warning apply for Storm Barra should not open.

A spokesperson said: “Met Éireann has advised that there is a strong possibility that the status of parts of these counties currently in Status Orange are likely to change and escalate to Status Red.

“Due to the significant nature of Storm Barra, as forecast by Met Éireann and to give sufficient notice to institutions of further and higher education, the department is advising that all universities, colleges and further education facilities covered by the Red Alert and Orange warning from Met Éireann should not open tomorrow, 7 December.

“All schools and third level institutions should keep up-to-date with the current weather warnings which are carried on all national and local news bulletins and in particular any change in the status warning for their area.”

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Connacht Tribune

Galway Gardaí: ‘Stay at home during Storm Barra’

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Gardaí in Galway have warned people to stay home tomorrow (Tuesday) as Met Éireann forecasted a ‘risk to life’ ahead of Storm Barra’s expected landfall tomorrow morning.

At a meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said the City Council was preparing for the ‘high probability’ of coastal flooding.

A combination of tomorrow’s high tides with the forecast high winds and heavy rainfall would likely lead to a flooding event, he said.

Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said the best advice available was to stay at home but refused to comment on school closures – advising that was a matter for the Department of Education.

Mr McGrath said a number of meetings between local and national agencies had already taken place, with more set to run throughout the day as preparations got underway for this winter’s first severe weather event.

“High tide is at 6.45am tomorrow morning and at 7.20pm tomorrow evening. There is currently a Red Marine Warning in place for the sea area that includes Galway and an Orange Storm Warning for Storm Barra for 6am Tuesday morning to 6am on Wednesday morning,” said Mr McGrath, adding that it was possible this storm warning could be raised to Red later today.

With high tide at 5.45 metres and a forecast storm surge of 1.05m, the risk of flooding was significant. In addition, winds were currently forecast to be South-West to West, said Mr McGrath, conducive to a flooding event in the city.

“It is potentially problematic . . . the hope would be that the storm surge doesn’t happen at the same time as high tide,” he added.

The flood protection barrier had been installed at Spanish Arch over the weekend and storm gullies had been cleaned. Sandbags were to be distributed throughout the day, said Mr McGrath.

Council staff would be on duty throughout the weather event and Gardaí would be operating rolling road closures from early morning. Carparks in Salthill were closed today, while tow trucks were on standby to remove any vehicles not moved by their owners before the high-risk period.

Chief Supt Curley said it was imperative people stayed home where possible.

The best way to say safe was to “leave the bicycle or the car in the driveway” from early tomorrow morning, and to stay indoors until the worst of the storm had passed.

Met Éireann has warned of potential for flooding in the West, with Storm Barra bringing “severe or damaging gusts” of up to 130km/h.

A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork from 6am Tuesday to 6am Wednesday, with southerly winds, later becoming northwesterly, with mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h and gusts of up to 130km/h possibly higher in coastal areas.

“High waves, high tides, heavy rain and storm surge will lead to wave overtopping and a significant possibility of coastal flooding. Disruption to power and travel are likely,” Met Éireann said.

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Connacht Tribune

Storm Barra to bring coastal flooding and disruption to Galway

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Met Éireann has warned of potential for flooding in the West on Tuesday, with Storm Barra bringing “severe or damaging gusts” of up to 130km/h.

A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork from 6am Tuesday to 6am Wednesday, with southerly winds, later becoming northwesterly, with mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h and gusts of up to 130km/h possibly higher in coastal areas.

“High waves, high tides, heavy rain and storm surge will lead to wave overtopping and a significant possibility of coastal flooding. Disruption to power and travel are likely,” Met Éireann said,

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