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Connacht Tribune

Councillors call for improved measures at rural crossroads

Declan Tierney



There are renewed demands for improved safety measures at a junction in a rural part of East Galway has seen a number of lives over the past few years.

The junction at Nutfield Cross claimed the life of a motorist back in 2014 – and according to Cllr Dermot Connolly at this week’s meeting of Galway County Council, another motorist was killed there in the past year.

The junction is located on the road between Ballinasloe and Kilconnell and it seems that a stop sign on one side is obscured because of overgrown shrubbery.

That has led the Sinn Fein Councillor to call for a staggered junction to be provided.

Cllr Connolly asked officials to make funding available in an effort to prevent further fatalities from taking place.

“I don’t care what it costs but to save a life at this junction is worth any money in my opinion.

“There are crashes there on a monthly basis and it is mainly due to the fact that cars are crossing the junction without stopping,” Cllr Connolly added.

It was announced a couple of years ago that €70,000 had been earmarked for improvements to be carried out but Cllr Connolly said that collisions were still occurring at this location.

He has now asked officials to advance works at the junction before another life is lost. He is calling for a special meeting of Ballinasloe Municipal Council to be convened with just this item on the agenda.

Chief Executive of Galway County Council, Kevin Kelly told the meeting that an additional €1 million of a roads grant had been secured and that Nutfield Cross will be a project for serious consideration. He asked the councillors from the Ballinasloe area to make a submission in this regard.

Cllr Aidan Donohue, who had previously raised the issue at Ballinasloe Municipal Council level, said that it would be ideal for a Low Cost Works Scheme and did not believe that it would take a colossal amount of money to put right.

He is now hoping that any funding made available be used to provide a staggered junction – similar to the works that were carried out several years ago at Cossan Cross on the main Athenry to Tuam road.

Even Gardaí in Ballinasloe have agreed that the junction at Nutfield Cross has been the scene of an unacceptable number of accidents over the past ten years.

It seems that there is a difficulty for motorists approaching the main Ballinasloe to Kilconnell road in identifying the ‘stop’ sign at the junction as it is obscured.

“It is a straight crossroads and motorists coming from the minor roads often cross without looking. It has been the scene of quite a number of serious accidents in recent years,” explained Cllr Donohue.

Connacht Tribune

Exploring the merits of moving into the west

Dave O'Connell



Mary Kennedy with Carol Ho, one of the Galway interviewees for her new TG4 series, Moving West. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Broadcaster Mary Kennedy has an abiding image of those early mornings when she’d set out from Dublin at the crack of dawn to begin work on another day’s filming down the country with Nationwide.

“I always liked to go in the morning rather than stay there the night before – so I’d be on the road early. And from the moment I’d hit Newland’s Cross, all I’d see was a line of traffic of people trying to make it from home to their workplace in Dublin,” she says.

These were people whose day began before dawn to get their bleary-eyed kids ready to drop at a childminder along the way, so they could be on time for work – and then race home to hopefully see those same kids before they went to sleep.

But if the pandemic had a positive, it was the realisation that work was something you did, not a place you went to. As a result, many people finally grasped the nettle, moving out of the city and sometimes even taking their work with them.

Which is why Mary – busier than ever since her supposed retirement from RTÉ – is presenting a new television series called Moving West, focusing on those individuals and families who have, as the title, suggests, relocated to the West.

One of the programmes comes from Galway, where Mary met with Stewart Forrest, who relocated with his family from South Africa to Oughterard, and Carol Ho, a Hong Kong native who has also settled in Galway.

The TG4 series also stops off in Sligo, Mayo, Kerry, Clare, Roscommon and Leitrim.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Community’s tribute to one of their own – saving final cut of turf after his passing

Dave O'Connell



Well saved...members of St Brendan's GAA Club honour their departed stalwart, John Geraghty, after a record-breaking evening saving his turf.

A local community responded in force to the death of one of their own – a man who had given so much of his life for the good of the parish – by paying one last practical tribute to him last week.

They lifted and footed his turf.

John Geraghty – or Gero as he was known – lived for Gaelic football and he’d filled every role imaginable with the St Brendan’s GAA Club since he came to live in Newbridge in 1983.

He’d cut the turf before he died last Tuesday week, but there it lay, until his old GAA friends organised a bunch of guys – made up of the football team, friends and neighbours – to meet in the bog last Wednesday evening to lift and foot/clamp John’s turf.

“Upwards of 50 fellas from the community showed up,” said St Brendan’s chairman Gerry Kilcommins.

Which was just as well, because, as Gerry acknowledged, John – himself a two-time chairman of the club in the past – had a lot of turf cut!

“It took up an area around three-quarters of the size of a standard football pitch,” he said.

Not that this proved a problem, given the enthusiasm with which they rolled up their sleeves for their old friend.

They started at 7.30pm and had it done at 7.55pm – that’s just 25 minutes from start to finish.

Read the full, heartwarming story – and the St Brendan’s GAA Club appreciation for John Geraghty – in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Liver donor dad would do it all again in a heartbeat

Denise McNamara



Daddy’s girl…Sadhbh Browne with her very special message on organ donations. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

It is nearly two years since Paddy Browne gave his daughter Sadhbh part of his liver to save her life. And just ahead of Father’s Day, he reflects on how he would do it all over again in a heartbeat, without a single moment’s hesitation.

After an initial testing time in the first six weeks when they beat a path to the intensive care unit after the operation in St King’s Hospital in London, Sadhbh has never looked back.

“She’s thrived and thrived and thrived. She skips out to school every day. She loves the normal fun and devilment in the yard. She’s now six and started football with Mountbellew Moylough GAA, she loves baking, she’s a voracious reader – she’ll read the whole time out loud while we drive up to Crumlin [Children’s Hospital].”

But it could have all been so different.

Sadhbh from Mountbellew was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia shortly after she was born. She quickly underwent major surgery to drain bile from her liver. It worked well until she reached three years old when an infection caused severe liver damage and she was placed on the liver transplant list.

She was on a long list of medication to manage the consequences of advanced liver disease. While she lived a full life, she would tire very easily.

Paddy was undergoing the rigorous process to be accepted as a living donor when one of the tests ruled him unsuitable. His brother Michael stepped forward and was deemed a good match.

Then, further tests revealed that Paddy was in fact eligible for the operation and the previous result disregarded as a false positive.

Read the full, uplifting story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from

Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. You can also visit the website or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.

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