Date Published: 30-Jun-2011
It was because he had such a tough start to life that Kieran Cunningham’s parents, Donie and Bernie, used to love seeing him excitedly run out the door for a night out in Galway with his friends and work-mates.
For a lad who sat his Leaving Certificate at 19, who had such a passion for hurling and kickboxing, he had been making up for lost time. Kieran had only begun socialising a few months before that fateful night in June 2009. He rushed in from his job in Hughes’ supermarket, the rap music blaring in the bedroom, had a quick shower, and sprinted down the hallway to wait for his lift into the city.
His job behind the deli-counter in Claregalway had opened up a whole new world of friends, nights out, and DVDs in work-mates’ houses for the Slieve Finn youngster. His father, who always enjoyed a good bit of banter with Kieran, could not get over how the job had transformed his 5’1” son’s life over the space of a year.
“When he got the job first, I thought he’d never stick it,” says Donie. “He’d have been lackadaisical. He would be smiling at you and tell you to go and get something yourself. But when he got behind that counter, something changed in him. He was a little flyer. He actually thrived on the job. It changed him. When he went behind the counter he was a totally different character. He was buzzing. He was so sharp, he’d remember exactly what people used to order from one week to the next.”
Donie used to keep a newspaper cutting from the Connacht Tribune in his wallet, from four years earlier. Still does. Kieran had lined out in a County U-16 final for Annaghdown. The little wing-back was the smallest man on the field, but scored 2-6 and walked away with the Man of the Match award. His dad was so proud.
Kieran arrived into this world three months premature, weighing less than two pounds. Bernie was lying in a coma in the Intensive Care Unit at University Hosptial Galway for ten days. The two of them were anointed by a priest that morning, 15 minutes apart. Donie met the priest as he made his way into the Premature Babies Unit at UHG. And he made a pact with God.
“The doctors pulled me aside when I went in to see him in the incubator,” says Donie. “They told me I would have to come to terms with the fact that we were going to lose him. They said ‘you can always have another child’. That morning I asked them could I open the porthole in the incubator. I just tickled him with my small finger. His hands were opened. He got a grip on my finger. And the grip that he had for that size!”
Donie described it as being like a ‘jump start’ of power. He told the doctors that he had not given up on his son. Within a couple of hours, tiny Kieran was taking drops of milk. “You don’t forget these things,” says his Dad.
For his first four or five years, Kieran had been constantly in and out of hospital. He got pneumonia twice and had a weak lung. He needed to use an inhaler to help him breathe. His parents used to listen to him coughing in the cot or bed at night, afraid that he might smother himself. When they would look in, though, he would just smile. Kieran never complained and, gradually, his health began to improve. By nine or ten, he was able for the battles on the Annaghdown hurling fields.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.