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Connemara connection to Ingrid Bergman as Sweden remembers movie icon




Sweden is preparing to celebrate the centenary of their greater screen legend of all – but Connemara too has its own footnote in the story of Ingrid Bergman.

The Casablanca star – Ilsa Lund to Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine – will be remembered in her native Sweden later this month to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth.

And among those present will be author and translator, Ann Henning Jocelyn, who has lived in Connemara for the past 32 years.

She will be remembering Ingrid Bergman, not alone as an actress and a screen icon – but as a close friend.

Ingrid Bergman’s autobiography “My Life” will be re-published as part of the commemoration and an epilogue written by Ann Henning Jocelyn has been appended to the original version of the book.

The epilogue is entitled: “Ingrid Bergman – A Good Friend”.

Ann Henning-Jocelyn . . . Bergman connection

Ann Henning-Jocelyn . . . Bergman connection

It happened in London 35 years ago.  Ingrid Bergman’s autography was being crafted by Alan Burgess; the publishers wanted a simultaneous version of the book in Swedish.

“That was how I came into the picture”, says Ann Henning Jocelyn.

A native of Gothenburg in Sweden, Ann had come to London to study drama and she was also a proficient linguist.  She was asked to translate the Bergman autobiography text to Swedish and the task also involved going through the film actress’s letters, diaries and Swedish source material.

Ingrid Bergman liked the translation but decided she wanted to tell the story again.  She asked Ann Henning to join with her in doing the work.   It was an unforgettable and almost awe laden assignment.

Ingrid Bergman is described by one film history source as “one of the greatest actresses from Hollywood’s lamented Golden Era. Her natural and unpretentious beauty and her immense acting talent made her one of the most celebrated figures in the history of American cinema”.

Bergman role in the 1940ies war time film “Casablanca” is legendary but it is only one of her major films: “Murder on the Orient Express” and “For Whom the Bells Toll” are others that remain etched in the popular memory.

Ann Henning-Jocelyn has fond and abiding memories of that spring and summer of 1980 in London.

“Ingrid had great charisma. She was warm and also forthright.   She said what she meant and she meant what she said.  I found this very comfortable as you had no difficulty in trying to work out how she felt about something,” says Ann.

Both of them were Swedish and Ann Henning-Jocelyn says this help in established a bond between them.  As well as that link, Ann and her family had holidayed for four generations in Fjallbacka, a small fishing village on the west coast of Sweden.

Ingrid Bergman and her third husband, Lars Schmidt also had a home there and Ann, as a young girl, remembers Bergman coming shopping to the village.  “We shared a nostalgic background in that way”, Ann explains.

During that summer of 1980 Ann Henning-Jocelyn worked with Ingrid Bergman, often outdoors on the roofed terrace of the film icon’s home in Chelsea.  Sometimes it was seven days a week; it was hectic but fun filled and exciting.

“She always encouraged you and brought you into circles of people” says Ann.

Sometime ago Ann Henning- Jocelyn went back to Cheyne Gardens in Chelsea to see the Bergman homestead again.

It was spring, a cold wind blew and the skies were dark and “three dark windows looked gloomily down on me”…the scene had changed.

Ann Henning-Jocelyn writes in the republished epilogue to Bergman’s autobiography: “How different from my first visit to this Chelsea street!  On that occasion the fruit-trees were in blossom, a southerly breeze played softly over the river Thames and curtains billowed around the three windows, left open to let in sunshine and warm spring air.

“I was filled with happy anticipation, for I was on my way to my first ever meeting with film star Ingrid Bergman.  On my way to the start of a treasured friendship that was tragically cut short”.

Ingrid Bergman was already in the early stages of the cancer that killed her when the book was finished.  Ann Henning-Jocelyn met her on occasions in the following years as the film star’s vitality and energy drained away.

It was about this time that Ann Henning-Jocelyn got married and moved to live in Doonreagan House in Cashel in Connemara and it was there on the morning of August 22 1982 that she heard the news on radio; Ingrid Bergman had died.

It was her birthday – she was 67.

Connacht Tribune

Gardaí seek help in locating missing man

Enda Cunningham



Gardaí have sought help in locating a man missing in Galway since the end of December.
34-year-old Luke Davoren was last seen in the University Road area on December 30.

He is described as having fair hair, 6ft in height and having an athletic build. He was last seen wearing a grey hoody, brown leather jacket, blue jeans and brown leather boots. He also had a black back pack in his possession.

Gardaí and Luke’s family are very concerned for his welfare and have urged him to make contact.

Anyone with information, particularly any road users with dash cam footage of the Newcastle/University Road areas between 1am – 2am on December 30, is asked to contact Galway Garda Station on 091 538000.

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‘Daredevil’ swimmers are a fatality waiting to happen

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – ‘Daredevil’ winter sea swimmers who dive or jump into the water in places like Blackrock during adverse weather are putting their own lives at risk – and possibly those of rescuers – by their actions, it was warned this week.

Water Safety Ireland have cautioned that the biggest single contributor to drownings in Ireland is what is known as ‘cold water shock’ – a condition caused by the sudden entry into a cold body of water.

There is now growing concern that a copycat trend is emerging with young people – without wet suits – diving or jumping into the sea in stormy or icy-cold weather.

Several people have been filmed on social media in the sea at Salthill during storms – with a number of them taking ‘running jumps’ off the diving tower at Blackrock.

Roger Sweeney, Deputy CEO of Water Safety Ireland, told the Galway City Tribune that people jumping into the sea during storms showed at best a reckless disregard for their own safety and in a worst-case scenario represented ‘a fatality waiting to happen’ for the jumpers – or the persons trying to rescue them.

“Jumping into cold water puts you at risk of cold shock which can result in immediate incapacitation and doing so in storm conditions can make it difficult to get back out of the water safely and promptly before hypothermia sets in.

“Hypothermia leads to the cooling of the muscles needed in the arms and legs to stay afloat. Drownings typically happen when someone over-estimates their ability and under-estimates the risks,” said Mr Sweeney.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune, that the key thing for all people who enjoyed the water and the sea was to carefully plan their exercise or hobby.

“Cold water shock is a real danger at this time of year for all swimmers. Be prepared – have your cap, ear plugs, mats, woolly cap [after leaving the water] and towels all in place. Check the weather forecast and check the tides – and never, ever just jump straight into the water during the colder season.”

(Photo: Diving into the water at Blackrock during Storm Bella in December)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Developer banks on boom in rental property market

Enda Cunningham



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The backer of the Crown Square scheme in Mervue is planning an increase in the number of apartments in the development following a review of the economic viability of the project.

The 345 apartments will specifically target the rental market.

Crown Square Developments Ltd, which is operated by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has told Galway City Council that the amended plans will form part of a new planning application to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála under ‘Strategic Housing Development’ legislation.

According to the company, the property market has changed since it was granted permission in November 2019 for 288 apartments in three blocks ranging from five to eight storeys in height.

Mr Rhatigan has now sought planning permission for an 18% reduction in the overall size of basement levels and a reduction in car parking from 1,377 to 1,012 spaces. Cycle parking spaces will increase from 1,110 to 1,200.

The plan also involves the relocation of the vehicular and pedestrian access to the development on the Monivea Road, which will now be closer to McDonagh Avenue. The existing planned access is at the south-easternmost point of the site, but is now planned to move further west.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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