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Connacht Tribune

Dutch invasion at Battle of Aughrim site!

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A 326-year link between Holland and Aughrim will be made on Tuesday next when a party of ‘Williamites’ arrive at the East Galway village.

The part of 36 Dutch visitors – who describe themselves as ‘friends of Amerongen Castle’ – will take part in an historic tree-planting ceremony at the site of the Battle of Aughrim.

Cathaoirleach of Galway Co. Council, Cllr. Michael Connolly, will officially greet the party of Dutch visitors at 2pm next Tuesday.

“I’m looking forward to meeting these people and in its own little way, I think that this visit will show we’ve moved on here in Ireland in an inclusive way.

“We need to get the message out there that everyone is welcome to visit our places of historical interest from all sides – we want more and more people coming to these places on our own doorstep,” said Cllr. Connolly.

The local Aughrim Interpretative Centre will be opening specially for the guests who have links with Godard de Ginkell, Commander of the Williamite forces at the Battle of Aughrim on July 12, 1691. Amerongen Castle in the Netherlands is the birth place of General de Ginkell.

Local man Paddy Naughton, said that Tuesday’s visit by the 36 people from the Netherlands, was another historic day for the Aughrim area, and represented an important historical link with the battle of nearly 325 years ago.

“We look forward to welcoming these visitors to our site and Interpretative Centre and we also look forward to the Cathaoirleach of Galway Co. Council, Cllr. Michael Connolly taking part in the tree planting ceremony,” said Paddy Naughton.

Historian Dr. Padráig Lenihan of NUI Galway will be the keynote speaker at Tuesday’s event – Dr. Lenihan has written and spoken extensively of the significance of the battle in the context of Irish history.

He has pointed out that the Battle of Aughrim – rather than the Battle of the Boyne – was the most significant confrontation of the Williamite versus Jacobite war of the 17th century.

Most people will remember the story of the battle from their history classes which recounted that a turning point of the confrontation was the loss of the Jacobite commander, General St. Ruth, in the height of the action, who had his head blown off by a cannon ball.

Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Siblings find each other – and their Connemara roots – after 80 years

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Reunited...Pat and Miceál McKeown outside their mother Síle’s birthplace in Carna.

By Erin Gibbons

A family separated for over 80 years was reunited at the end of an emotional journey in Connemara last weekend – thanks to DNA testing and the expert help of heritage researchers.

Pat McKeown, who lives in Staffordshire in the UK, is the daughter of Síle Gorham from Roisín Na Mainiach, Carna – but she was given up for adoption and reared for a time in a Belfast Mother and Baby Home.

Now, at the age of 81, she found her roots – returning to her mother’s native place for the first time last weekend, in the company of her long-lost brother Micheál.

It was an emotional end to a lifelong search for her roots that even led her to hire a private detective to try and locate her family and to discover her name.

All of this proved unsuccessful – and she had effectively given up her search when she was contacted unexpectedly by a man called Miceál McKeown, who turned out to be her brother.

Micheál – an artist and sculptor – and his daughter Orla had made the connection through DNA testing, after Miceál too had set out to discover more about his own roots.

That revealed that Síle Gorham had married Michael McKeown in 1939, and Síle went on to have three more children named Áine, Séan and Miceál.

Pat visited Connemara last weekend for the first time to learn about her mother Síle and the Connemara ancestry which she feels was robbed from her for her entire 81 years.

She was accompanied by Miceál, his wife Rosemary, daughter Orla and son-in-law Rueben Keogh.

Read 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

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