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.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.