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Connacht Tribune

COPE volunteers provide the backbone that helps keep charity working

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The spirit of volunteerism is alive and thriving – helping local charities to fulfill the ever-increasing demand for services while at the same time contributing to the greater good.

COPE Galway relies heavily on its team of almost 200 volunteers – which is why, as part of National Volunteering Week, the charity this week held its third annual Volunteer Recognition Event in Salthill to thank all of their helpers for giving their time.

COPE Galway provides supports and services for those affected by homelessness, domestic violence and for older people. Its aim is to improve quality of life for these people in a home of their own by supporting home, promoting community and reducing isolation.

Cabrini McDaid, Neil Cronin and Patsy Kenny are just three of the people who use their time to help out at COPE Galway.

“What led me to it is my now-adult children are all grown up so I have more time on my hands,” explains Cabrini.

She had already been doing some volunteer work but was set on finding something different and that would challenge her. And so, Cabrini checked out COPE and became an activities coordinator for the organisation.

Her job involves meeting with COPE clients and getting information from them, she then goes in search of social or recreational activities that will suit the person and get them involved.

Fundraising is something Neil has done for years and he is now a fundraising volunteer for COPE Galway.

He started with COPE around ten years ago and is responsible for gathering spot prizes and setting up everything needed on the day of the events.

Patsy’s friend got her involved with volunteering around six or seven years ago. Her working week went down to three days so she had more time to help those who needed it and soon she began delivering meals to the elderly around Galway with community catering.

Connecting with businesses, clubs and other services to see what they can offer at a discount or for free is all in a day’s work for Cabrini.

“What I find when I contact people is that they are so willing to help,” she says – and she wants others to participate in volunteering and providing services so that COPE clients feel connected to the community and feel valued.

Neil worked in the electrical business for years and so knows a lot of people around Galway – a valuable asset when looking for spot prizes. He likes to go out and speak to people face-to-face rather than ring them.

“I find then that they can’t say no,” he laughs, “but I find people are good no matter where you go looking for something, you get it.”

Each Monday, Patsy does community catering, or ‘meals on wheels’ as it’s known. Before her route, she heads to COPE and is given a list of who wants a meal that day and she begins her day.

She not only delivers a nutritional meal, but also provides some conversation and companionship for the people she meets on her route.

Cabrini’s work as COPE’s activities coordinator has meant a busy time for her in this new role. Volunteering is a way to give back and Cabrini would encourage others to get involved.

“I think most volunteers will say that it’s a win-win situation; I’m getting a huge amount out of it and it is very fulfilling,” she says.

Neil and Patsy no longer work and dedicate as much free time as they can to COPE.

Patsy also helps with the Renmore Friendship Club. “It’s run on the same style as the COPE lunch clubs so we supply the meals from COPE,” she explains.

The Renmore Friendship club is every Tuesday and Patsy explains that four teams of volunteers take part – each team does one Tuesday per month – and they recently won a mayoral award for their commitment to increasing the quality of life for the elderly in the community.

The three volunteers would encourage others to dedicate any time they can to COPE Galway.

Neil enjoys his time at COPE and how there are no separations between volunteers and managers – everyone sits together and has a chat in the office and get along great.

Patsy feels the same, the people she meets doing community catering are always happy to see her and ‘everything is a chat and a laugh and friendship’.

Cabrini tells of how she approached a local hairdresser who offered her skills at a Galway hostel. Those who availed of haircuts felt valued and it boosted their confidence and she encourages anyone with any skills to get involved with COPE.

COPE’s 200 volunteers help in over 30 volunteer roles, including driver, kitchen assistant, food rescue, cookery tutor, befriender, day centre, lunch club, musicians, playroom support, health and well-being, physical activity, shop assistant, fundraising and administration and many more.

COPE have church gate collections around the county on June 17 and 18, a bucket collection at Oranmore Town Centre on June 23 and one at Barna Supervalu and they are hoping people can lend some time for these collections.

If you would like to find out more about COPE or would like to volunteer, have a look on their website

Connacht Tribune

Clifden break new ground with a five-star final show

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Clifden's Gearoid King, who has Michael O'Toole in support, breaking out of defence against St Ronan's of Roscommon during Saturday's Connacht Club Junior Football Final at Hyde Park. Photos: Bernie O'Farrell.

Clifden 1-16

St Ronan’s 0-10

John McIntyre at Hyde Park

A lot can change in one year. Just ask the mould-breaking Clifden junior Gaelic footballers for confirmation.

In the space of 12 months, Galway’s most westerly Gaelic football bastion has gone from fighting relegation to being crowned Connacht champions.

It’s some turnaround in fortunes by any standards, and Clifden are not finished yet with an All-Ireland Club semi-final to look forward to in early January.

Having taken out highly-rated Islandeady of Mayo in the semi-final, suddenly the burden of favouritism for provincial glory fell on Clifden’s shoulders, but they made light of this new-found status at Hyde Park on Saturday.

Coming up against St Ronan’s of Roscommon – a club which was fighting for survival itself just five years ago – in the Connacht final, a progressive Clifden outfit carried too much firepower and quality for opponents who are based close to the Sligo border.

Having suffered defeat in the club’s two previous provincial final appearances – in 2006 and 2015 – Clifden were determined to make it third-time lucky and the fact their supporters rarely had cause for concern underlines how much they were in control.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

An Spidéal raise their game after being hit by black card

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Kinvara full forward Joshua O’Connor is challenged by Liam Ó Fatharta and Eoin Ó Conghaile of An Spidéal during Saturday's County U19 B Football Final at Tuam Stadium. Photos: Iain McDonald.

An Spidéal 1-10

Kinvara 1-6

Eanna O’Reilly at Tuam Stadium

AN Spidéal claimed the county under 19 B football title on Saturday following an entertaining contest with North board winners Kinvara at Tuam Stadium.

The Connemara side were deserving winners on the day as they played the superior football for long spells. Nevertheless, they were well tested by a hard working Kinvara side, who produced a strong third quarter performance and took the lead in the 43rd minute.

An Spidéal weathered the storm however, to take control of the contest in the final quarter, scoring the final five points of the game to deservedly take the title.They displayed a greater ability to generate scores from play, which made all the difference in the end. An Spidéal’s tallied 1-6 from open play, while Kinvara were held to 0-3 by comparison.

Both sides deserve credit for serving up an entertaining spectacle in tricky conditions at Tuam Stadium. Kinvara played against the wind in the opening half but made a bright start when Oisín Ivers pointed from the right corner.

An Spidéal replied with their first score, which proved to be a major one. A strong run from Liam Ó Conghaile saw him break through Kinvara’s defence before firing a shot to the bottom corner past Shaun Philips.

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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Country Living

A glimpse back to darker days when we turned on each other

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A photo taken in happier pre-civil war times on October 27, 1921, at the wedding of Kevin O’Higgins (centre) to Birdie Cole (centre front). O’Higgins is flanked to his right by Eamon de Valera and on his left by Rory O’Connor, the latter to be executed just over a year later on the orders of O’Higgins. Photo: Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of my regrets in childhood and younger life was that I never really got to know my ageing father. There was a rural way of life back through the 20th century where older farmers tended to marry younger women, one of the consequences being that by the time the youngest of the children had reached teenage years, their father would have slipped into old age.

It wasn’t all bad though and as a child, I’d hear first-hand stories of what times were like during The Troubles from the War of Independence through to the Civil War. My father wouldn’t always talk about it that often, but here and there, he’d mention tales of hiding behind walls when they’d hear the sound of Crossley Tenders – lightweight lorries which carried parties of Black-and-Tans across the country to ‘put manners’ on the restless natives.

Tales of guns and ambushes were quite frightening but also somewhat alluring yarns for a young lad of 11 or 12 summers as here and there, my father would mention that what followed on after the hated Black-and-Tans was even worse. He would recount tales from the Civil War and how even the closest of families were torn apart, depending on whether they were pro-Treaty or not.

He would point to a spot on a field where IRA members fired shots at the Free State-controlled railway station in Ballyglunin, or maybe a house where two brothers fought on opposite sides during the Civil War. As years passed, and elderly parents moved on, talks of the Tans and the Treaty faded, but of late with the 100th anniversary of so many awful events in 1922 now being recalled, curiosity again took hold.

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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