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Connacht Tribune

Dreams inspire trilogy of novels

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Jennifer Rose McMahon: “Four years ago, I sat down and said ‘I’m going to get this done’,” she says of how she put order on the ideas that had been swirling around “in my head for 20 years”.

Lifestyle – Judy Murphy talks to Boston author Jennifer Rose McMahon who uses her intimate knowledge of Galway as the setting for her debut novel called Bohermore which weaves history and fantasy

Bohermore – or The Big Road in Irish – is a name that’s as synonymous with Galway City as Staten Island is with New York. And it’s the title of the debut novel by Boston-born Jennifer Rose McMahon, who lived there while spending a semester at the then UCG in 1990.

Bohermore, the novel, is the story of 18-year-old Bostonian Maeve O’Malley, who to the surprise of her family and friends, suddenly decides to relocate to Galway instead of following her plans to study in Boston College.

Thus begins a story that weaves history and fantasy, with life and love in contemporary Ireland and which features locations including Bohermore and the former Snug in Garavan’s Bar.  For anyone who knows Jennifer, that will come as no surprise. She loved her time in Galway, reconnecting with her own family and finding love with a Salthill man, Dara McMahon, whom she subsequently married. They have four children, ranging in age from 20 to 14,

A series of “awake dreams” experienced by their youngest daughter, was the catalyst for Jennifer finally writing this novel – the first of a trilogy.

One set of her grandparents were from Mayo and her mother is an O’Malley – with that ancestry Jennifer had long been fascinated by the life and deeds of Ireland’s 16th century Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley or Granuaile.

During Jennifer’s time in Galway in 1990, and on subsequent visits here with Dara after the couple settled in Boston, she carried out extensive research on Grace O’Malley and the history of Galway and Mayo.

She had long wanted to write a story featuring Granuaile. Then, finally, four years ago, “the final piece of magic happened”.

Jennifer’s daughter, who was 10 at the time, started to experience ‘awake dreams’ which her mother believes were probably caused by anxiety – the child was having visions of Jennifer getting hurt.

“And each time it happened to her, something would happen to me,” recalls Jennifer. She describes those occurrence as being most likely coincidence, but also thought it was “weird” and decided to write about it.

Maeve, the heroine of Bohermore is being haunted by visions from the past – and there’s an Irish twist to them, which is why she leaves Boston for Galway.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

Schools and colleges in Galway advised to close for Storm Barra

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Schools in Galway have begun informing parents that they will not open tomorrow, following advice from the Department of Education.

The Dept said this evening that schools, colleges and universities in areas where a Status Orange or Red warning apply for Storm Barra should not open.

A spokesperson said: “Met Éireann has advised that there is a strong possibility that the status of parts of these counties currently in Status Orange are likely to change and escalate to Status Red.

“Due to the significant nature of Storm Barra, as forecast by Met Éireann and to give sufficient notice to institutions of further and higher education, the department is advising that all universities, colleges and further education facilities covered by the Red Alert and Orange warning from Met Éireann should not open tomorrow, 7 December.

“All schools and third level institutions should keep up-to-date with the current weather warnings which are carried on all national and local news bulletins and in particular any change in the status warning for their area.”

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Connacht Tribune

Galway Gardaí: ‘Stay at home during Storm Barra’

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Gardaí in Galway have warned people to stay home tomorrow (Tuesday) as Met Éireann forecasted a ‘risk to life’ ahead of Storm Barra’s expected landfall tomorrow morning.

At a meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said the City Council was preparing for the ‘high probability’ of coastal flooding.

A combination of tomorrow’s high tides with the forecast high winds and heavy rainfall would likely lead to a flooding event, he said.

Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said the best advice available was to stay at home but refused to comment on school closures – advising that was a matter for the Department of Education.

Mr McGrath said a number of meetings between local and national agencies had already taken place, with more set to run throughout the day as preparations got underway for this winter’s first severe weather event.

“High tide is at 6.45am tomorrow morning and at 7.20pm tomorrow evening. There is currently a Red Marine Warning in place for the sea area that includes Galway and an Orange Storm Warning for Storm Barra for 6am Tuesday morning to 6am on Wednesday morning,” said Mr McGrath, adding that it was possible this storm warning could be raised to Red later today.

With high tide at 5.45 metres and a forecast storm surge of 1.05m, the risk of flooding was significant. In addition, winds were currently forecast to be South-West to West, said Mr McGrath, conducive to a flooding event in the city.

“It is potentially problematic . . . the hope would be that the storm surge doesn’t happen at the same time as high tide,” he added.

The flood protection barrier had been installed at Spanish Arch over the weekend and storm gullies had been cleaned. Sandbags were to be distributed throughout the day, said Mr McGrath.

Council staff would be on duty throughout the weather event and Gardaí would be operating rolling road closures from early morning. Carparks in Salthill were closed today, while tow trucks were on standby to remove any vehicles not moved by their owners before the high-risk period.

Chief Supt Curley said it was imperative people stayed home where possible.

The best way to say safe was to “leave the bicycle or the car in the driveway” from early tomorrow morning, and to stay indoors until the worst of the storm had passed.

Met Éireann has warned of potential for flooding in the West, with Storm Barra bringing “severe or damaging gusts” of up to 130km/h.

A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork from 6am Tuesday to 6am Wednesday, with southerly winds, later becoming northwesterly, with mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h and gusts of up to 130km/h possibly higher in coastal areas.

“High waves, high tides, heavy rain and storm surge will lead to wave overtopping and a significant possibility of coastal flooding. Disruption to power and travel are likely,” Met Éireann said.

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Connacht Tribune

Storm Barra to bring coastal flooding and disruption to Galway

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Met Éireann has warned of potential for flooding in the West on Tuesday, with Storm Barra bringing “severe or damaging gusts” of up to 130km/h.

A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for Galway, Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Cork from 6am Tuesday to 6am Wednesday, with southerly winds, later becoming northwesterly, with mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h and gusts of up to 130km/h possibly higher in coastal areas.

“High waves, high tides, heavy rain and storm surge will lead to wave overtopping and a significant possibility of coastal flooding. Disruption to power and travel are likely,” Met Éireann said,

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