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Connacht Tribune

Building a better future

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Frank Monahan. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Lifestyle – Everyone loves looking behind other people’s hall door – but not as many really consider what role architecture can play in improving our environment and community. Architecture at the Edge looks at the big and small picture – and BERNIE NÍ FHLATHARTA spoke to its organiser to find out more.

Architecture is about more than bricks and mortar – it’s about designing spaces for us to live better lives as individuals and as a community. It’s also about connections and future proofing – but more importantly in the current climate crisis, it is an opportunity to adapt, reuse and re-imagine existing buildings.

And while many of us only ever think about the space we call home, the buildings in our community are probably just as important, as they reflect the way we live. Yet most of us never stop to think that we may have a say in how our villages, towns and cities are planned and designed.

For anyone who has any interest in the role all this plays in our daily lives, a visit to the Architecture at the Edge Festival in Galway next month is a must. And even for those who never stopped to think about this up to now, it is an opportunity to engage in a process that may indeed change their lives.

The two day festival on October 12 and 13, will include talks and discussions on ways that disused buildings could be adapted into cultural or community hubs that would inspire as well as meeting an ever growing demand for such spaces.

Frank Monahan, a Galway-based architect and director of the festival, is passionate about creating spaces which can be used for the public good whether they are creative hubs, food markets, art galleries or performance areas.

He was the man behind Ghost Chapel in the Claddagh for the Arts Festival in 2018, he has worked as a set-designer in London and he is about to start a lecturing post in GMIT.

Frank believes the theme of this year’s third annual event, ‘Adaptive Reuse’ is topical and one that will engage the wider community because of the current debate about the need for a multi-purpose arts space for the city and arts centres further afield in the county.

He points out that Inis Óirr is the only location in the county with a dedicated arts centre and that it’s time to ‘make it happen’ simply by people taking an interest and engaging with local authorities.

“This year we are focussing on looking at how old vacant buildings have been re-purposed and how some more could be put to use. We saw this year how the International Galway Arts Festival turned a former telephone exchange building in the centre of the city into a fantastic gallery.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

Galway SVP launches annual appeal as national calls reach record levels

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Mayor of Galway, Cllr Colette Connolly, launching the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Annual Christmas Appeal at Ozanam House, St. Augustine Street, pictured with (from left) Frank Leonard, SVP Area President, Galway City East, Seamus McManus, Area President, Galway City West and Deirdre Swords, SVP Regional Administrator, West Region. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul members made around 18,000 visits to homes in the Galway area last year – spending over €1m per year on direct assistance in the area.

And the charity, which helps with a myriad of practical, emotional and psychological problems, has only seen demand for its service grow under Covid.

That’s according to the Presidents of both Galway branches, as the organisation launched its Annual Appeal this week – predicting that, nationally, calls for help will be at their highest level in its history and could reach almost 200,000 by the end of December.

“We are seeing a lot of people getting in touch who have never needed to before, people whose circumstances have changed due to Covid,” said SVP Galway City East President Frank Leonard. “

We in the SVP have adapted to the new way of doing things and ensuring we are getting to people who need help.”

“The bulk of this goes to helping families with food, energy and education costs. Our volunteers are also involved in Education and Youth Initiatives and work directly with the elderly across Galway City,” he added.

SVP Galway City West President Seamus McManus said that they depend entirely on donations from the public and corporate donors – but, he said, thankfully the generosity of the people of Galway to SVP over the years has been outstanding.

“We hope that the response to this year’s Annual Appeal is as equally generous. The money raised in Galway is used locally and this Annual Appeal will support SVP’s work between now and year end and well into 2022,” he added.

National President Rose McGowan said the fact that the Society has received more calls for help nationally than at any other time in its history – and still managed to provide help – was testimony to the dedication of its volunteers and staff and the incredible support of the Irish public.

“We are facing a perfect storm for families contending with a cost-of-living crisis on multiple fronts. Energy prices are soaring, we are seeing rents rise well beyond what people can afford and increasing transport costs are also putting pressure on low-income households,” she said.

“We are deeply concerned that during the coming months this crisis will come to a head as households are unable to find extra room in the budget for escalating energy costs.

“In those circumstances they will inevitably turn to SVP for help. Need is the only criteria we apply when people seek our help. But to provide that help we need the generous support of the Irish public that we are seeking through this 2021 Annual Appeal.

“We are appealing for donations to be made locally, online or over the phone that will help people through this winter and into the new year,” she added.

The public can help by donating online to www.svp.ie and nominate ‘Galway’, or by phoning 0818 176 176 and again nominating ‘Galway’.

You can also do this by post to SVP, West Region, Ozanam House, St Augustine’s St, Galway, with cheques made payable to Society of St. Vincent de Paul Galway Area – or keep an eye out for special blue envelopes that will be in newspapers, churches and delivered to homes throughout the country.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Top award for political heavyweight with Galway roots

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President & CEO of The Ireland Funds Caitriona Fottrell with Martin J. Walsh, US Secretary of Labor, at The Ireland Funds Gala.

The son of Galway parents who went on to become Mayor of Boston before moving to Washington to become President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Labour was honoured for his achievements in his native city last week.

Close to 500 guests gathered for the Ireland Funds 40th Annual Boston Gala, where Martin J. Walsh, 29th Secretary of Labor of the United States of America, was presented with The Ireland Funds 2021 Distinguished Leadership Award.

Martin Walsh’s parents were originally from Galway; his father emigrated to the US in 1956 and mother in 1959, before they met in Boston and married there.

The Ireland Funds is a global philanthropic network. Established in 1976, its mission is to harness the power of a global network of friends of Ireland to promote and support peace, culture, education, and community development throughout the island of Ireland, and among Irish communities around the world.

The Boston Gala is one of the largest of The Ireland Funds’ international events and over $1.3 million was raised during the night to support outstanding charitable causes within across the island of Ireland and in the Boston community.

Returning to the city of Boston where he was Mayor for seven years, Martin J. Walsh spoke of his family’s immigration to the US from Galway and the importance of welcoming immigrants of all backgrounds seeking new opportunities, as his family once did, and of paying that opportunity forward.

He thanked those gathered for their generosity to the Ireland Funds and its vital work across Ireland as well as for the City of Boston.

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

Craughwell turn the screw in second half to take the spoils

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Alan Clancy of Liam Mellows gives chase to Craughwell's Alan Callanan during Saturday's County Junior A hurling final replay in Loughrea.

Craughwell 1-19

Liam Mellows 2-9

Ivan Smyth in Loughrea

CRAUGHWELL secured Junior A honours in their replay with Liam Mellows as a powerful second half display helped them atone for their 2020 final defeat to Clarinbridge.

The winners fired nine points without reply in an 18 minute spell during the second half which decided a contest that in the opening 30 minutes looked as if the winner would not be known until the concluding stages. The win means Craughwell will now field at senior and intermediate level next year as the club’s stock continues to rise.

The Pat Monaghan and Stephen Glennon managed side survived a challenging opening quarter and the subsequent concession of a soft goal just after the first water break to prevail. A Fergal Healy penalty in the 24th minute gave Craughwell a lead they would not surrender as Brian Dolan’s accuracy up front combined with a rock solid defence proved enough to curb the threat of a Liam Mellows side that simply did not perform in the second half.

They only scored one point from play in the concluding period of action with a late Luke Byrnes 20m free finding the net, but the effort only served to keep the losing margin to single digits. Owen Burke’s side did pile forward after conceding nine points on the spin, but Craughwell looked the fresher outfit and were able to use their pace on the counter attack.

Liam Mellows will look back on the opening quarter with regret as they dominated the action,but were only on level terms at 0-4 apiece when referee Gerry Donoghue blew for the first water break. They were in control of the game, but allowed Craughwell into the contest, mainly through their own poor shooting as they struck five opening quarter wides.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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