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Council to remove 1916 commemorative stone

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Galway City Council is to remove a controversial 1916 commemorative stone in Mervue, which has caused a political row since its unveiling on Holy Thursday.

Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said that the stone will be removed, as the council had not given permission for it to be erected in a green area at Connolly Avenue.

He said the Council is not aware who paid for and erected the engraved stone, but he accepted it was not the Mervue Residents’ Association.

At a local authority meeting, Fine Gael councillor Padraig Conneely proposed a motion (seconded by party colleague Pearce Flannery) that the commemorative stone be removed.

He said it carried the Sinn Féin emblem of an Easter Lily and should be removed as it was on Council land. Cllr Conneely contends that SF members are responsible for installing the stone.

Cllr Anna Marley (SF) said it would be a shame to have the stone removed at this stage, and she took issue with the “amount of hysteria” over the issue, asking “is a post-colonial inferiority complex at play here?”

Mayor Frank Fahy (FG) said he was “very offended” that he had not been invited to the unveiling of the stone, yet an “unknown” Sinn Féin TD was there.

“I’m very offended by that. To think that in my own parish, where my people have been since 1640 I wasn’t invited and local area councillors [with the exception of Sinn Féin’s Mairéad Farrell] weren’t invited. I was offended.

“It’s not acceptable that anybody should do something on public land without the permission of the council. I have no issue with it as long as proper procedures are followed,” said the Mayor.

He pointed to the commemorative stone and tree-planting ceremony which took place in Shantalla over Easter weekend, which had permission from the Council.

Prior to the meeting, Cllr Conneely said an invite sent around to locals was signed by Cllr Mairéad Farrell. This, he said, indicated she was connected to the stone and had prior knowledge of it.

“Who is fooling who here? The invite was signed by Mairéad Farrell, and the invite has a picture of her on it with a Sinn Fein activist, so quite clearly she has a connection to the stone and she was aware of who erected it. Let’s get real here. This is a Sinn Féin stone. It is not a community stone. It is political propaganda. The invite went out in her name.”

Councillor Farrell reiterated the stone was for all the community, and rejected the assertion that it was the Republican party’s stone.

“The stone is a community stone not a Sinn Féin stone. I helped organise the unveiling event and sent invites because I think for a community event like this it was important to invite as many people in the community as possible. It is a lovely stone. I really don’t know what the issue is with all of this,” she said.

Connacht Tribune

Transplant man’s gratitude for new lease of life

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The Kenny family from Laurencetown, Ballinasloe who are organising a fundraiser for the Irish Kidney Association (back – from left) Olivia, Megan, Kenneth, Pauline, Lorna, with (front) dad Jimmy, transplant patient Liam, Liam's son Zak, donor James and mum Patricia. Photo: Gerry Stronge.

A Galway electrician and father-of-one is embracing his new lease of life after his brother donated one of his kidneys – and now his family want to show their appreciation by raising funds for the charity that helped them through their darkest days.

Liam Kenny (31) from Laurencetown had a serious kidney condition that saw him require dialysis eight hours a day, three days a week prior to his operation – a reality that was impacting on his life and work.

But since he received a kidney from his 33-year-old brother James, he hasn’t looked back – and in gratitude the family has now organised a special day on Saturday, October 1, with the highlight a charity barn dance in the village.

It was back in 2014 when Liam Kenny, who works with an electrician, was diagnosed with chronic kidney reflux, resulting in only one functioning kidney at 15%. Liam’s quality of life deteriorated as he fought this disease.

This led to Liam receiving dialysis eight hours a day, three days a week and his ability to work was impacted.

Liam’s family volunteered to be tested for compatibility for a transplant – and fortunately, his older brother James, who is employed in an abattoir, proved a match.

In October 2017, after a long and emotional journey, Liam and James attended Beaumont Hospital to undergo a mammoth surgery.

Although this surgery was a success, there was always a possibility that Liam’s body could reject the transplant.

During this time, the Irish Kidney Association supported the entire family to ensure they were close to the lads by providing free on-site accommodation.

This, his sister Megan Kenny says, was pivotal in supporting their family through the surgery’s worry, stress and financial strain.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Long-lost video shows Galway faith healer enjoying trip back home

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Faith healer Mary Malone...back home in Mountbellew.

Long-lost video footage of a County Galway ‘faith healer and visionary’ has been discovered after more than two decades.

The video diaries of Mary Malone, a faith healer from Mountbellew, have been released on social media platform, YouTube. One of the videos shows Ms Malone, and her husband Malcolm, returning on a visit to Mountbellew in 2000.

As well as offering a unique view of the North-East Galway town at the turn of the millennium, it features several local people who are filmed speaking with Mary Malone as part of the documentary.

It portrays a village in more innocent times. Footage of a market in full-swing, old cars lining the streets, and interviews with locals welcoming Mary Malone home offer a glimpse of rural Ireland at the time.

In one section of film, a young Mountbellew man on a bike, reminisces with Mary Malone about life growing up, which included collecting call cards.

“I love coming back to Mountbellew,” she declared in the film, and joked with another man: “I’ve put ye on the map!”

They discuss how Mountbellew was a fine tourism town and all that it needs was a hotel.

Over the course of the half-hour footage, locals ask Mary Malone for help to heal their sick relatives.

Among those interviewed was Joe Noone, a cousin of hers, and mechanic and businessman. “It’s great to see you,” he said. They chit-chat about her home in England, their familial links, and her husband’s love of fishing, and Mary Malone’s ‘healing’ of his mother.

It also features footage of the couple in her cousin’s house a mile outside Mountbellew, where they stayed before they embarked on a healing tour of Ireland.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Draft fishing bye-laws are just watered down

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Lough Corrib

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) stands accused of a policy climb-down over the protection of non-native species such as pike on Lough Corrib.

Last year, IFI admitted that fishing bye-laws that afford non-native predatory species equal protection to native salmon and trout, were ‘contrary to the aims of the Habitats Directive and fisheries legislation’.

But in a new draft policy document issued last week, IFI stops short of recommending that the bye-laws be repealed.

Instead it has published a plan that’s described as advocating a ‘mixed fishery’ model, contrary to the wishes of salmon and trout anglers in the west.

IFI published a 50-page draft plan last week called the ‘Long Term Management Plan for the Great Western Lakes’.

The organisation invited feedback from the public on the plan, and the consultation period is until September 20, the deadline for public submissions.

Already, however, the plan is causing disquiet among fishing organisations who are galvanising support against it.

Local angling groups want the Great Western Lakes, including Corrib, to be maintained as salmonid fisheries.

They claim this new draft plan keeps the current ‘unacceptable’ position, which protects predatory pike and coarse fish on the Corrib system, which is an SAC (Special Area of Conservation).

Anglers in Galway and Mayo want the pike and coarse byelaws repealed, so that removing pike and coarse fish from the Corrib is not a criminal act.

Campaigner Mike Donnellan, a member of Oughterard Anglers, urged people to make their opposition to the draft plan known through the public consultation process that has commenced.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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