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Baring her soul

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Meghann Scully, author of Broken Love: My Journey Through Loss & Grief: “It was never about sharing private details, but I wanted people to know I was so lonely,” she explains of the book. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Lifestyle – Plunged into grief by the death of her teenage brother and her father in the space of eighteen months, Meghann Scully has found a way to come to terms with the desolation – by writing a book to intimately detail her emotional journey. She talked to Judy Murphy.

Appearances can be deceptive. Meghann Scully is proof of that. The 27-year-old Ardrahan woman lives in Limerick where she works as a presenter with Spin South West radio station. She’s beautiful, academically successful and, going by her social media accounts, has a great social life.

But behind the image there’s a far more complex story, one Meghann tells in her new book, Broken Love: My Journey Through Loss & Grief, which was launched in Galway last Friday. In it, she explores a journey that began with the sudden, shocking death of her 18-year-old brother Marcus on March 5, 2005, when she was just 15.  He and his friend Cathal died as a result of a car crash. A year and a half later, Meghann’s father, Maxie, died too, aged 52, “of a broken heart”, she says.

Her relationship with Maxie hadn’t always been straightforward, as she recounts in Broken Love. He and her mother, Pauline had separated when Meghann was a toddler. The family lived in Dublin at the time and Maxie, who was originally from Gort, remained there while Pauline and the children moved to Spiddal. Eventually, they settled in Pauline’s home place of Ardrahan.

Maxie was a complex character for whom marriage and fatherhood didn’t come easy. A former champion showjumper, who had represented Ireland internationally, he suffered kidney failure aged 21 and nearly died before a successful transplant.

He had been a distant father when Marcus and Meghann were small and it was only after 2000, when he, too, relocated to Galway, that father and daughter became close.

Meghann is as open in person as she is in the book, but it took a long time for that to happen.  One reason was because she witnessed how Marcus’s death had affected their mother.

She recalls hearing Pauline wailing during the night in the months after he was killed.

“Her crying in the hallway used to go through me,” says Meghann simply. “I had to supress my own feelings. She needed me.”

Some years later, while Meghann was doing a Masters in Journalism in NUIG, their roles reversed. She entered a dark place and Pauline told her “now it’s me being here for you”.

Broken Love is “about a young girl who loved and lost” as Meghann explains in the book’s foreword. She has no formal training in psychology but did a lot of therapy and tried different holistic treatments over the years, attempting to come to terms with her devastating loss.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Hospitality group raises €90k

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Lorraine Gallagher (left) and Charlene Hurley of Galway Hospice presented with a cheque for €27,537 by Brian Lynch and Eveanna Ryan of Connacht Hospitality.

The Connacht Hospitality Group this week announced that they raised more than €90,000 for a range of good Irish causes throughout 2022.

The group, which owns well-known Galway establishments including The Connacht Hotel, An Púcán, HYDE Hotel, Residence Hotel and 1520 Bar, as well as the Galway Bay Golf Resort, held a range of events at various stages of 2022 to fundraise for Claddagh Watch Patrol, the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI), Galway Hospice and Make-A-Wish Ireland.

The announcement of over €90,000 worth of funds raised by the Connacht Hospitality Group for national and local charities comes off the back of the past 12 months which saw the group aim to make Corporate Social Responsibility a core part of their identity. This focus allowed them to become more aware of the causes that need assistance while also raising the profile of many of the charities.

The group arranged a diverse array of events to raise funds, and had lots of imaginative ways of grabbing the public’s attention. One event saw people attend HYDE Bar to savour a menu made by a mystery celebrity. In the end, it was revealed that TV personality Gráinne Seoige was the Executive Chef on a night that generated over €8,000 for the NBCRI.

Another event saw staff take part in a ‘Sunrise Swim’ in Salthill – and the public donated in their droves. All money raised went towards Claddagh Watch Patrol, an organisation that works to make Galway’s waterways safer by preventing accidental death and suicide.

One of the most successful fundraisers was the Galway Bay Golf Resort’s Golf Classic, which raised over €22,000 for Galway Hospice.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Residents in fear of gangs travelling to rural Galway to burgle homes

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Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins.

Residents in rural County Galway are living in fear of being burgled after one small area suffered at least 10 raids in the month of January.

Councillor Mary Hoade told a meeting of the County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) this week that those figures were for around Headford alone, as she called for additional resources to target travelling crime gangs visiting the county.

“Some of these burglaries are taking place in the morning when people go to work; some are in the evening; and others at night. It’s very frightening.  We recognise that these criminals are coming into the county, but we need more support to fight crime,” said Cllr Hoade.

“Rural garda stations have less resources . . . we’re relying on the resources in the nearest town,” she continued.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said gardaí couldn’t be everywhere at once, but communities needed to act as their eyes and ears and report suspicious activity when they see it. Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins (pictured) told the JPC that Galway was being targeted from time to time by travelling gangs.

“Three different gangs visited the county on one day recently,” said Det Supt Cummins.

Cllr Shelly Herterich Quinn (FF) said she believed increased CCTV and automatic number plate recognition cameras – to capture known gangs on tour – should be rolled out.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

IDA Ireland’s €10m land purchase backs Oranmore for industry base

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Former Mayor of County Galway, Liam Carroll.

IDA Ireland has trebled its footprint on the outskirts of Oranmore by purchasing more than 100 acres of land to support industry.

It’s understood the semi-state body purchased some 42.9 hectares on the outskirts of Oranmore, for a price in excess of €10 million.

The strategic purchase of land adjacent to some 21 hectares zoned ‘business and technology’ and already owned by the IDA, was a “major vote of confidence” in Oranmore and Galway, according Cathaoirleach of the Athenry/Oranmore Municipal District, County Councillor Liam Carroll (FG).

It brings the total amount of land owned by the IDA in the area to over 150 acres.

This latest parcel, purchased at the end of 2022, is located off the N67 Claregalway Road, to the north and east of the Galway to Dublin Rail line.

“It would be ideally suited and attractive to a major multinational company or companies for the establishment of a high tech, pharmaceutical or medical device type facility,” Cllr Carroll said.

The entire site of 150-plus acres is close to the M6 motorway, and an hour away from international links, Shannon Airport and Ireland West Airport in Knock.  It is also close to a number of potential Park & Ride sites, identified by the National Transport Authority as being suitable for commuters.

It’s understood the land is zoned agricultural and would require a material alteration to the County Development Plan to be voted on by county councillors, in order for it to be rezoned before 2028.

(Photo: Cllr Liam Carroll, who believes the land could be developed for a tech or pharmaceutical hub).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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