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Baring her soul

Judy Murphy

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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

Increase exam grades this Christmas at Kilmartin Educational Services

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Second level students are making the most of their Christmas holidays by attending the ever popular Intensive Revision Courses in Kilmartin Educational Services, Limerick Ennis and online.  These courses are designed for Junior Cert and Leaving Certificate students sitting exams next June 2021 and who want to maximize their grades. Courses will be available onsite and online this year. All courses are taught by experienced teachers, many of whom are state examiners.  Class sizes onsite are limited in line with our Covid-19 health and safety policies 

The courses will provide effective and efficient revision by concentrating on the vital examination topics within a subject. These Intensive One Day Revision Courses are excellent value at €80 per course and are now better value than ever!  All courses run from 9.153.15pm. 

Students who simply wish to avail of daytime supervised study will also be catered for over the Christmas period from 9.45-4.30pm dailySupervised study pods are bright, spaciousdistraction free and well ventilated 

Due to a policy of limited enrolment on all courses, immediate booking is advisable. This Christmas, give the Gift of Exam Success by booking your revision Courses at Julie Kilmartin’s. Pricing information and timetables are available online at www.kes.ie. To book a place on any course, call Kilmartin Educational Services on 061-444989. 

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Connacht Tribune

Cherish every moment; hug and kiss your loved ones every night

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Happier days…Geraldine Mullan with her husband John and their children Tomas and Amelia.

Last August, GERALDINE MULLAN (née Connaughton) endured an unfathomable nightmare, losing her husband and two children in a crash that she herself was lucky to survive. Here the Williamstown native writes of life since – and how the support of so many has helped her over the last three months.

My husband John was a fan of Bruce Springsteen. In normal circumstances he would be currently enjoying Bruce’s latest album “Letter to You” and taking particular interest in the songs, especially the one entitled “House of a Thousand Guitars” (given John’s love of that instrument).

But these are not normal days and instead it is me appraising the new offering from The Boss and taking poignant note of some of the other lyrical melodies on the album, particularly those entitled “One Minute You’re Here” and “I’ll See You in my Dreams”.

These two songs in particular speak to my situation and have become musical reminders of my beloved departed, my husband John and our children Tomas and Amelia, who were cruelly taken from this world in late August of this year.

Since the tragedy unfolded, I have been surrounded by many wonderful people and wrapped up in their familial and communal embraces, all united in offering me solace, comfort, assistance and no end of love, understanding and compassion.

I stand each day and get through it, in no small part, due to the continuous support you provide to me.

Such is the outpouring and swell of sympathy and empathy alike, and many are the calls, messages, cards, letters, flowers, gifts, acts of service and human kindness which have reached my Moville doorstep, that I am truly overwhelmed, very much humbled and ever-grateful.

I am genuinely appreciative of it all and your love and caring has taken root in my heart and in my head. That being said, I am unable to respond to everyone individually, therefore this is my “Letter to You”, my simple way of acknowledgement and sincere thanks.

You can read Geraldine’s full, heart-breaking letter in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Early Christmas box for 13,500 Galway farmers

Francis Farragher

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CLOSE on 13,500 Galway farmers should be getting an early ‘Christmas Box’ this week with the final tranche of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) monies being paid out – ‘bang on schedule’, according to Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue.

Back in October, farmers got the 70% advance payment in BPS with a commitment given at the time that the balance would be paid out in early December – balancing payments under the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme are scheduled to commence next week.

Total BPS payments to Galway’s 13,500 farmers come to just over €82 million, according to figures released by local TDs this week, with the average individual payment per farmer working out at just over €6,000.

East Galway TD and Minister of State, Anne Rabbitte, said that the final tranche of the BPS payments was a most welcome one for thousands of farmers across the county after a most difficult year.

“The really important thing about these payments is that they are being made on schedule and they will help a lot of farmers to ‘balance the books’ for 2020,” said Minister of State, Rabbitte.

The Minister for Agriculture also confirmed this week that payments under the 2020 National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme will also commence alongside payment of the 2020 BPS balancing payment – this will also benefit a significant number of Galway farmers.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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