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Connacht Tribune

Back to school for former Galway county councillor!

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A former member of Galway County Council has produced an engineering textbook that has been circulated to more than 400 schools around the country.

The textbook is for students who choose engineering as one of their chosen subjects for the Junior Cycle (formerly the Junior Cert).

It is compiled by former councillor and vocational school teacher Seán Ó Tuairisg from Indreabhán, having been commissioned by the Department of Education.

But his involvement in the Junior Cert syllabus on this particular subject dates back to the mid-1980s, when he was asked by the Department to produce a textbook on the subject of metalwork.

It evolved from there and in the meantime, he has updated the syllabus on no fewer than eight occasions and as students begin their new school term this week, they will be studying Seán’s latest version entitled Basic Engineering for the Junior Cycle.

Seán was Vice Principal of Coláiste Cholmcille in Indreabhán until he took early retirement in 2004 following his election to Galway County Council on a Fianna Fáil ticket.

In his last year on the local authority, he served as Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, and did not seek re-election in last May’s local elections.

During his career in Coláiste Cholmcille, he taught metalwork, engineering and technical drawing.

There are around 8,000 students studying engineering in mainly former vocational schools across the country, but Seán explained that the subject was getting very popular in mainstream schools and he was also encouraged by the increasing number of girls who were taking it up.

He said that the subject covers more diverse courses than in the past, while the syllabus changes on a more frequent basis as technology evolves.

Seán said that health and safety when dealing with machinery had become a major element of the subject, while the introduction of 3D printing in the manufacture of machinery parts had now been introduced.

It also involves mechatronics which is a branch of engineering that involves the creation of electrical and mechanical systems.

“It has changed so much over the years that students are now even learning how to devise something as diverse as an automated traffic barrier by using proximity sensors.

“This used to be a minority subject but the numbers taking it up age growing each year,” said Seán who also compiles an Irish-language version of the textbook for secondary schools in the Gaeltacht areas such as Carraroe, Rosmuc, Carna and the islands.

But he said that he gets great help from his sons Eoin, who is an electrical engineer in San Jose; Aodhán, who is also an electrical engineer in Los Angeles and Cormac who is a qualified aeronautical engineer who is now teaching in Spiddal along with daughter Sheila.

Connacht Tribune

Tesco to take over 10 Joyce’s Supermarkets across Galway

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Tesco Ireland has announced it is to take over 10 Joyce’s Supermarkets stores in Galway.

Subject to approval, they’ll be rebranded and re-designed throughout next year on a phased basis.

No figure has been disclosed for the deal, which has been struck on the 70th anniversary of the family-run business.

Joyces was first established as a small grocery shop in Headford in 1951 and earlier this year the Joyce family celebrated 70 years in business.

The firm currently employs over 500 people and has stores in Headford, Knocknacarra, Athenry, Tuam, Inverin, Ballybane, Fr. Griffin Road, Doughiska, Oranmore and Oughterard.

All ten are set to be taken over by Tesco – though the acquisition is subject to the approval of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

In a statement, Tesco says all stores will be rebranded throughout 2022 and will also offer services such as Grocery Home Shopping, Click & Collect, F&F Clothing and Homeware.

It adds Joyce’s employees will be welcomed as colleagues of Tesco Ireland and will be supported to continue and grow their careers at Tesco.

Tesco Ireland CEO Kari Daniels says Pat Joyce, his management team and staff have built a fantastic business with many great aspects that can complement Tesco’s offerings.

She says they look forward to welcoming customers to Tesco and engaging with suppliers and the wider community as soon as possible.

In a statement, Pat Joyce says it’s a historic moment for the business that he believes will bring great benefit to communities, and the opportunity has been carefully considered.

He adds they’re pleased to pass on the business to an established brand in Tesco and has moved to thank staff, suppliers and customers for their support over the years.

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Connacht Tribune

Truckers to take to the roads in droves – for pre-Christmas fundraising run

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Paddy Rock and Ray McHugh, organisers of the Joyce Country Truck Run and Light Show, with representatives of both charities, Galway Parkinson’s and My Canine Companion, along with truckers Paul Morrin and Brendan Varley, who are taking part in the event.

A convoy of big-wheel truckers will take to Connemara’s roads next month – in a variation of the iconic Coca Cola Christmas ad.

That’s the plan announced by local advocate Paddy Rock, who wants to recreate that festive feeling – and raise money for two worthy causes in the process.

But the truckers won’t bring the region to a standstill – because they will be taking to the roads with just their cabs, all decked out in Christmas lights!

Launching the Joyce Country Truck Run & Light Show, Mr Rock outlined the charity route, beginning at Peacock’s Hotel and travelling through Maam, Cornamona and Cloughbreac before finishing in Clonbur village, where the annual lighting of the Christmas tree will officially trigger the start of the festive season.

The whole spectacular will benefit two charities – Galway Parkinson’s Association and My Canine Companion, Autism and Therapy Services, because both support two local families in the area.

Paddy Rock, founder of the Joyce Country Truck Run, is also a member of the Galway Parkinson’s Association – an organisation he said had helped him cope with his own diagnosis of the illness.

“It has help me manage my Parkinson’s with tips and helpful information from other members and of course the therapies the association provides,” he said.

And that was why he decided to come up with the truck run.

He said he always had an idea that he would love to make his own version of the Coke Christmas ad with all the trucks lit up for Christmas.

And he knew that Maam Valley – all lit up with the finest trucks around decorated in Christmas lights – was the place to recreate such an iconic scene and do it for the benefit of deserving charities.

Aoife Conroy, mother of Robbie Conroy-Dermody, revealed the positive impact on her little boy after he received his assistance dog, Archie, from My Canine Companion – Autism and Therapy Services.

My Canine Companion trains assistance dogs for children with autism and other needs.

The dog’s primary role is to be a safety anchor when out in public for the children as the child is attached to the dog’s vest via a safety belt ensuring the child is safe at all times – bu,t they are also companions, sensory and emotional supports…and most importantly a friend.

Robbie Conroy-Dermody is autistic and was delighted to receive his assistance puppy-in-training Archie back in August.

Aoife said that Archie had changed her son’s life already after only a couple of months of being with them.

“Robbie made a friend on his first day of school – something that would otherwise be very difficult for him,” she said.

“A boy in his class was so taken with Archie and – after his teacher told the class Archie was a magic doggie to help Robbie – she later heard the boy tell his mother that Robbie was his friend, and he had a magic doggie.

“So thanks to Archie, the magic dog, Robbie now has two best friends,” she said.

The launch event also heard from Marie Cahill, Chairperson of the Galway Parkinson’s Association, who told the gathering that the GPA provides physiotherapy and speech and language therapy for over 100 members per week.

“These therapies are vital for the members of this group – and the level of support for this event shows just how important they are to the people of Galway and their families,” she said.

The first annual Joyce Country Truck Run & Light Show in aid of Galway Parkinson’s Association and My Canine Companion – Autism and Therapy Services will commence on December 11 from Peacock’s Hotel, Maam Cross, at 5pm.

The event is open to articulated lorry cabs – no trailers – and to smaller trucks such as refrigerated six wheelers and delivery trucks.

For more information on how to register for the event, contact joycecountrytruckrun2021@gmail.com – and to contribute go to https://www.idonate.ie/JoyceCountryTruckRun

 

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Connacht Tribune

Galway Lions roar into festive action!

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Keith Finnegan launching the Galway Lions Club Radio Auction, which takes place on December 3 on his Galway Talks show, joined by (from left) Galway Lions Club President Fergal McAndrew; Auction Project Vice Chair Geraldine Mannion; Mayor of Galway, Cllr Colette Connolly, and Bishop Brendan Kelly.

A Galway charity is once again focussed on the real spirit of Christmas – by raising funds to provide festive vouchers for over 400 families and individuals in need this Yuletide season.

To do that, Galway Lions Club has this week launched four separate fundraising drives – including its annual Radio Auction on Galway Bay Fm.

This annual extravaganza – overseen by ‘auctioneer’ Keith Finnegan and broadcast live on his Galway Talks show – has hundreds of great gifts under the hammer, with the proceeds then helping hundreds of needy families this Christmas.

The #lionsauction2021 will take place on Friday, December 3, between 9am and 12 noon – live on Galway Talks with Keith Finnegan and streamed live on:  https://www.facebook.com/GalwayLionsClub.ie

The Lions expect to have over 230 items for sale including weekends away, fuel and food vouchers, tickets to sporting events, shopping vouchers and furniture.

You can bid online from 9am on Tuesday next, November 30, until 12 noon on Friday, December 3, on the auction website at www.galwaylionsclub.ie, or on the day by phone on 091-353250 where lines will be manned throughout the show.

On top of the Radio Auction, they will also be holding cash collections at local supermarkets and shopping centres, as well as a November swim and soft toy raffles – and they are once again appealing to the businesses and people of Galway to help them to help others.

“The Lions Club is a community-based organisation working to help those families in need. We work closely with many local organisations on a joint community basis – sourcing donations from businesses, working with other local charities and organisations and all our volunteers come from a wide spectrum of the local community in Galway,” said Galway Lions President Fergal McAndrew.

“Our joint wish is to give that extra little bit of help that might just make the difference and maybe help families in these tough challenging times. All of this is only possible through the generosity of the people and businesses of Galway,” he added.

The Lions Club Supermarket Collection, year on year, yields circa €18,000 which is a vital contribution to funding club projects – and volunteers are hoping to at least match that again this year.

The cash collections will be evident throughout the city from the last weekend of November and the first two weekends of December.

“Given the restrictions we were faced with relative to our cash collections at supermarkets last year and thankfully to a lesser degree this year, we have looked to iDonate to support our traditional cash collection fundraising efforts,” said Fergal McAndrew.

And one of those iDonate contributors will also win a hotel break at the Delphi 4* hotel and spa. That Draw will take place on December 18, and the winner will be notified by email.

You can also support Galway Lions by buying a line to win one of those big friendly cuddly bears that you will see on display in offices, shops, sports club, gyms and other venues. All the money goes directly to the Christmas appeal.

 

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