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Concern in parish over the workload for solitary priest

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The transfer of the second priest out of Knocknacarra has been met with disbelief by locals who fear the workload in the biggest parish west of the Shannon will prove too onerous for one cleric.

Fr David Murphy was one of 16 priests moved by Bishop John Drennan before he announced his shock retirement a three weeks ago due to ill health.  The curate has been appointed chaplain to University Hospital Galway.

Left to manage a population of 15,000 on his own is parish priest Fr Tadhg Quinn. Since St John the Apostle Church opened in 1992 and the parish was newly-formed by former Bishop Eamon Casey, there has always been two priests to administer the heavy workload associated with Galway’s most populated suburb.

Parishioners have voiced their concerns that the task will be too much for anybody on their own as there are two masses said daily, four on a Sunday, one on a Saturday with the usual variety of ceremonies held regularly such as baptisms, weddings and funerals.

“There is a great deal of disquiet here about the impact this will have. Fr Tadgh has always been a very hard worker. He’s always going to the hospice or the hospital visiting people in the parish,” said one resident who spoke on condition his name was withheld.

“He’s also the chaplain for Cura (pregnancy advice group) and he set up the Wall of Hope at Christmas where people on hard times can write that they need coal or fuel etc. and other people can donate services, goods or money and nobody knows about the recipients or beneficiaries – only Fr Tadhg.”

Attendances at St John the Apostle Church buck the trend in Galway and nationally – there are far more young people, families and older people going to Mass here than in any other diocese so additional masses were put on to cater for the numbers.

The weekly collection is in the region of €2,800, which demonstrates the high esteem the clergy are held in by parishioners, this resident pointed out. Some 640 parishioners attended a celebration for the 40th anniversary of Fr Tadhg’s ordination a fortnight ago.

“Over the years, curates from the parish were transferred but somebody was always appointed in their place. Word on the street is they have no priest to transfer here. Yet, one of the priests recently ordained in Galway is going off to administer in Australia when he’s badly needed here.”

A spokesman for the diocese said in a statement: “While Canon McLoughlin, the Diocesan Administrator, is fully aware of the very heavy workload of many priests across the diocese, he does not, as a matter of policy and fairness, comment on individual parishes, appointments or on the diocesan changes.

“Any priest who feels their workload is excessive or unsustainable is always most welcome to discuss their situation with him.”

Fr Tadhg was leading a pilgrimage to Medjugorje and was unavailable for comment.

CITY TRIBUNE

No end in sight for work on junction near Galway Clinic

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From the Galway City Tribune – The City Council has declined to set a date for the completion of the Martin roundabout replacement near Galway Clinic – which was due to have opened more than a month ago.

In a statement, the Council would only confirm that the project was over 50 per cent completed.

“The project is now progressing to the surface type works including the installation of roadside kerbs, provision of footpaths and cycle lanes and road surfacing. These elements of the works will progress quite rapidly over the next month and there will be more of an appreciation for the progress on this project and the final layout will start to become apparent,” said a spokesperson.

“Ducting and preparatory works for the traffic signal installation is in progress and installation of the lights themselves will commence once the majority of surface works are complete. The final phase of the works will consist of significant landscaping of the junction.”

Work began on the junction in February, with an expected six-month schedule.

“There have been some delays to the programme as a result of industry-wide, supply-chain issues related to the war in Ukraine. There has also been further delays due to rock being encountered on site.

Rock was expected, however the hardness of the rock has been greater than anticipated and as such, has been slower to break and excavate on site,” according to the Council.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article and to support our journalism, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway Docklands Festival set to make a big splash in the city!

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The city’s link to the sea is to be celebrated later this month with the staging of the inaugural Galway Docklands Festival featuring a range of culinary treats, sea tours, demonstrations and talks.

Running from the weekend of Friday, October 21 to Sunday, October 23, the event has the aim of celebrating the city’s bond with the sea and the local waterways network.

Organised by the Galway Hooker Sailing Club, Galway Bay Boat Tours and Galway Bay Seafoods, the spectacle has a packed schedule of events – many of them free – through each of its three days.

The ‘pay events’ – ranging from €5 to €15 – include a coffee morning, beer and seafood sampling as well as an historical boat tour of the Claddagh and Galway Bay (€15).

Boatbuilder Cóilín Ó hIarnáin will be giving free demonstrations of his skills on each of the three days; Ciaran Oliver will give a walking tour of the seafront (€10); while there will also be a free Galway Hooker rigging demonstration.

For the more adventurous, there are supervised powerboard ‘taster spins’ (€10) while for ‘the foodies’ the Galway Bay Seafoods fish’n’chips, the Hooker beer and seafood sampling, as well as the family cooking demonstrations – all priced at €10 each – look set to be big attractions.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Mayor told to stay away from homecoming over funding snub

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From the Galway City Tribune – The Mayor of Galway was asked to stay away from homecoming celebrations for extreme adventurer Damian Browne, the Galway City Tribune understands.

Mayor Clodagh Higgins was told that she was not to attend the event at the Docks on Tuesday as there had been disappointment in the ‘Project Empower’ camp that funding had not been made available from Galway City Council.

The Galway City Tribune has learned that Project Empower, which is led by Voluntary Manager MacDara Hosty, applied for €30,000 in funding from the local authority’s Marketing Fund in September 2021, but was deemed ineligible.

A spokesperson for Galway City Council confirmed this week that Project Empower did not meet the criteria set down by the fund which seeks to support the holding of major events and festivals in the city.

In documents seen by this newspaper, Project Empower proposed that Galway City Council be the title partner at a cost of €30,000 plus VAT.

The Tribune understands that the Council’s refusal to provide this funding was at the root of the Mayor’s snub on Tuesday, which drew attention online as members of the public questioned her absence.

When contacted, the Mayor refused to be drawn on questions relating to the Marketing Fund, but said it was her intention to offer a Civic Reception to Damian Browne at the nearest opportunity.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story and extensive coverage of Damian Browne’s homecoming, see the October 7 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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