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Barna native lands new gig in Newstalk revamp

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She’s been a novelist, social diarist, political correspondent and regularly fills the large shoes of Vincent Browne – and now Galway native Sarah McInerney is set to tackle the world of radio.

The Barna native was announced as the new presenter of Newstalk’s drive-time radio show in a complete revamp of the station’s schedule, which sees her join the presenting team alongside the likes of Pat Kenny and George Hook.

While she hadn’t always envisaged a career in journalism, she always loved English and her ambition when she was younger was to write novels. By studying journalism in Dublin City University, she thought it would hopefully give her the chance to do just that.

However, this wasn’t the case and she was instead made report on current affairs and news stories instead. “I was a bit taken aback; our first lesson ever was use smaller words if you can rather than bigger words and I was devastated. As it turned out, it wasn’t what I meant to do but I really enjoyed it,” she said.

From there she landed a position with Sunday Tribune, where she started as a more creative writer, with a tongue-in-cheek piece social column called “Sarah in the City.”

“I spent two years going around to various high flying events in Dublin, looking at the rich, the wonderful and the gorgeous and writing about it.”

She quickly grew tired of venturing out on the town every night and gradually transitioned to general news stories.

Crime was something she never imagined doing but by the end of 2008 she was approached by publishers Gill Macmillan to develop one of her stories into a book.

The story was about a murder in the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains and the book was eventually published under the title “Where No One Can Hear You Scream.”

Then towards the end of 2008, Sarah was also approached by The Sunday Times and was asked to be the political correspondent for the newspaper.

“I hadn’t really any experience in covering politics because politics was so strongly covered at the Tribune. It was a big job for me to take and I wasn’t really given a choice to be honest and I saw it as a really big challenge.

“Of course three weeks later the banks collapsed. So I was on a steep learning curve from there on in. I loved it. Sort of like going from fiction to fact with journalism, I actually loved politics.”

From this point, her political career grew from strength to strength. She has appeared as a contributor for RTE, TV3 and Newstalk. She has even filled in as a guest presenter for Vincent Browne on his TV3 political show.

“No one can replace Vincent Browne; they are very, very big shoes to fill. My first time was terrifying but I got such a buzz out of it. I decided then that presenting was something I needed to start looking into because I really enjoyed it.”

When asked what her favourite type of journalism was, her response was simple.

“I don’t know, I love radio because no one is looking at you. TV brings in a whole other angle that you have to be conscious of. Where the camera is, where angles are, you have to look at cameras at various times etc.

“So it’s just the little added complications. It’s very hard to choose. I will always love print. I would not like to abandon it completely, that’s my natural home I think.”

The interview then switched to Sarah’s proudest moments in journalism. “The big political stories when you break them. The whole country is talking about the story it and you know they wouldn’t be talking about it unless you had found it out. Those moments don’t come that often but when they do they’re great,” Sarah said.

So what does the future bring for budding presenter? “Hopefully I’ll be regarded as a very successful radio broadcaster. If I could have the sort of success and career that Ivan Yates has had for example I’d be very happy with that.”

Speaking fondly of Galway, Sarah started that her busy schedule can make it difficult for her to travel back to her family home.

Working with The Sunday Times means her weekends are Sundays and Mondays make things more difficult for her and hampers her travelling home to only once every couple of months.

She describes her new radio show as lively mix of a very strong mix of news, current affairs and politics.

“There is also going to be the lighter things, we may look at movie reviews. Basically try and keep people entertained as well as informed. The whole idea is we will be catching people at the end of their day. They want to know what has happened during the day but they also want to be entertained as well.”

Sarah will be presenting her new show alongside Chris Donoghue and it will reach the airwaves this September.

Connacht Tribune

Tuam students have warm welcome for Eddie, the Labrador who is already top of the class

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Eddie the dog, Tuam's Mercy Convent newest addition.

A North Galway school has unveiled their newest member – Eddie, the three-year-old Labrador dog.

The new canine recruit works as a therapy, or education, aid for students in Mercy Secondary School, Tuam – and he has already been a huge hit with students.

Scoil Bhride Principal Gearoid Leen has described the dog as an essential part of the learning process within the school.

The pure-bred Labrador is one of just eight community dogs that have been assigned to schools across the country.

This week, the new arrival was introduced to students and parents as part of the learning process. The presence of the dog relaxes students and, apparently, helps with their concentration.

Eddie’s fourth birthday is on March 18, the day after St Patrick’s Day – and, such is his instant popularity, the students have a special celebration in mind.

The newest addition to the secondary school has been trained by the Irish Guide Dogs Association and Eddie, along with his trained handlers Sarah Molloy and Catherine Murphy, now becomes part of the essential learning process within the school.

The Labrador and his handlers work alongside the teachers and educational staff in the school to help reduce stress and increase the learning potential of the students by goal directed interventions.

Together, Eddie and his handlers participate in classroom activities and work with individual students and groups.

Parents have responded positively to the new arriva, saying that more schools should try and apply for the scheme.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Claregalway traffic plan is still stuck in neutral

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Stuck...another setback for Claregalway traffic calming scheme.

The long-awaited traffic calming scheme in Claregalway has suffered yet another setback – with engineers now looking at an ‘alternative solution’ amid a dispute over land acquisition.

A meeting of the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District heard the Council was seeking to acquire privately-owned lands to progress a surface water drainage scheme at the bridge – but despite protracted negotiations, the Council had hit ‘difficulties in finding a solution’.

Until the surface water issue was sorted, the long-approved traffic calming scheme could not progress and because of the delays, the local authority was now looking at an alternative plan.

Cllr Jim Cuddy (Ind) hit out at what he called ‘inordinate delays’ to progressing the scheme and said it was almost three years since Councillors approved planning permission for the traffic calming scheme.

“People can only put up with so much and this is a national primary road,” said Cllr Cuddy.

“Claregalway seems to be a forgotten area – an area totally neglected by the Council and by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).”

Regular road flooding outside Centra in the town meant a drainage scheme was required and Senior Engineer Damien Mitchell said the traffic calming scheme would not go ahead until that was completed.

“We are still having trouble acquiring the land at the bridge. It is quite sensitive at the moment and we are looking at alternatives because it is taking so long to find a solution.

“We thought we were reaching a solution recently but the situation has changed again,” said Mr Mitchell.

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.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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Connacht Tribune

Domestic violence hits Covid heights

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Galway saw a 43 per cent hike in the number of Garda call-outs for domestic violence last year compared to before the pandemic.

But experts have warned the worst may be yet to come – with predictions that people fleeing domestic violence are more likely to present now that restrictions are lifted and services resume.

That’s the fear of Dr Carol Baumann, head of the domestic abuse service at Cope Galway which runs Galway’s refuge Modh Eile House. The service has seen a twelve per cent increase in demand in the last year compared to pre-pandemic times.

It corresponds with an increase in the number of domestic violence incidents responded to by Galway Gardaí in 2021.

Figures released by the Aontú party found there were 1,792 domestic violence incidents reported to Gardaí here, a jump of 285 compared to 2020 and a hike of 539 incidents on the figures for 2019. That’s an increase of 19 and 43 per cent respectively.

Dr Baumann believes these statistics are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the situation on the ground.

“In general women only go to the guards where physical abuse has taken place or there is a risk of it, but abuse is much more pervasive. At the moment life is feeling abnormal and when the world is not feeling stable, you’re not going to destabilise it more by seeking help,” she opined.

“I think the real increase will come after the pandemic not during it.

“When you don’t feel safe, when you feel you have no control, you don’t have autonomy over your choices, that’s domestic violence. The pandemic aggravated that, but it didn’t cause it. What the pandemic did was unmask intimate partner abuse – urging us to limit our contacts, limit our movements, that was music to the ears of somebody who wanted to abuse a partner.”

She fears that many will be coming to the end of their tether after a long two years of restrictions being imposed and lifted.

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.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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