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Connacht Tribune

Falling for the wife all over again!



A loving husband overcame his fear of heights to take a spectacular dive for his wife – and in the process help her tick another adventure off her bucket list.

Marian Daniels from Tuam was all set to do a skydive as the second last thing on that bucket list – until her hips told her otherwise. So she asked hubby Ronnie to stand in, and fall for her all over again!

The only problem was that Ronnie has no great love of heights, so tumbling from a plane at 10,000 feet – albeit in tandem, strapped to a seasoned professional – was far from his idea of fun.

But because it was for Marian – and to raise funds for the RNLI – he did it.

“The parachute jump took place in Clonbullogue, outside Edenderry in Co. Offaly last Saturday week, after many hours of waiting round for the cloud to lift,” reveals Marian.

“Ronnie eventually made the jump at 4.40 – and for a man who doesn’t like heights he absolutely loved it,” she adds.

Marian would have happily done it herself, but recurring problems with her hips ruled her out on medical advice.

She had her hips replaced four years ago, and when one of them dislocated, she needed a new replacement, and it was only a year since the surgery.

“My consultant said it could be healing for another eight months. I hated to let the RNLI down as I already had to cancel it a year ago. So I asked my husband to go in my place,” said the 67 year old.

Ironically the dive was a Christmas present from Ronnie and daughter Pamela to Marian, who lives in Brownsgrove in Tuam.

“I’m the only one in this family who’s a daredevil,” she laughs. “He wouldn’t go over the speed limit he’s so careful. He must love me very much.”

She may have to upgrade Ronnie to hero status after this, because it’s been a busy time for him – on and off the ground. He spent the lockdown, delivering oxygen to hospitals from a base in Oranmore.

Marian is nearly at the end of her bucket list, having swum with dolphins and gone to a Celine Dion concert in Las Vegas.

She has tested Ronnie’ s fear of heights before, because she had already roped him in for a hot air balloon ride in France as well as a paragliding session over the water.  “He didn’t want to do it but he did and loved it,” she reveals.

Her three hip operations have done nothing to dint her enthusiasm for life – and she is already making plans to take to the skies herself when medical advice allows it.

“I want to do this skydive – maybe to celebrate my 70th in three years’ time. It will have well healed by then,” she says.

But first she wanted to thank all who have donated to the RNLI in her name, via iDonate.

“I am very grateful for all of their support – and for those who still wish to donate to this very worthy cause the iDonate page is active until the end of August,” she adds.

Connacht Tribune

Thousands on waiting list for student accommodation in Galway



The student housing crisis is ‘the worst it’s ever been’ – with thousands on waiting lists for rooms; hundreds relying on hostels and friends’ sofas; and countless more facing deferral or dropping out altogether.

The President of NUI Galway’s Students’ Union, Róisín Nic Lochlainn, told the Connacht Tribune that students had been left in a desperate situation, as she called for mass protests to have the issue addressed.

According to Ms Nic Lochlainn, 3,000 students were currently on the waiting lists for NUIG’s on-campus accommodation – Corrib Village and Goldcrest Village – with around 500 in line for any bed that might come up in the Westwood.

“Gort na Coiribe and Dunaras have told us their waiting lists are well into the hundreds too. I’ve only got to contact two of the hostels around town, but Kinlay and Snoozles have almost 200 students between them already – and they’re expecting more.

“The first years haven’t even arrived yet, and on top of all that, you have people in B&Bs and staying on their friends’ sofas,” said Ms Nic Lochlainn.

Pressure on the student rental market had been building for years, she said, but it had gone off the cliff edge this year as a perfect storm was created by increased student numbers and reduced bed availability.

“[Minister for Further and Higher Education] Simon Harris created new places on courses this year and talked about maximum access to education . . . I’m not sure how that works for students who are homeless.

“Because there weren’t many students around last year, some private landlords might have moved on. There was no new purpose-built accommodation delivered, and then Simon Harris creates new places with no new beds,” said Ms Nic Lochlainn of the causes of this year’s problems.”

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

Government asked to “do everything” to ensure Intel chooses Oranmore as base



The Taoiseach and Tánaiste will be asked to do “everything in their power” to ensure technology giant Intel selects Oranmore as the location for its new microchip manufacturing plant – which could create 10,000 jobs and transform the West of Ireland economy.

The 540-acre site is owned by the Defence Forces and was selected by IDA Ireland as the preferred site for the company’s new EU ‘chip’ base.


Oranmore is up against sites in Poland, France and Germany and Intel confirmed to Taoiseach Micheál Martin that the site is under consideration.

Galway East TD Ciarán Cannon said the development would be “transformative” and would be Intel’s largest microchip manufacturing plant in the world.

Meanwhile, at a meeting of the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District this week, councillors backed a proposal from Cllr Liam Carroll to write to Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar to urge them to push forward the plan.

“This would be a game-changer, not just for Oranmore but for the whole of Connacht. Imagine 10,000 directly employed at some stage in the future, and the spinoff from that,” he said.

The Oranmore site is reported to have been selected ahead of three other locations in Ireland.

It is on Intel’s short-list for the proposed project, which would involve building eight factory modules on a single campus at the site off the M6 motorway, northeast of Oranmore, the newspaper reported.

The American multinational tech company has whittled down its short-list to 10 finalists; Oranmore is up against sites in Poland, France and Germany.

The Sunday Times reported at the weekend that if it proceeds, the new Oranmore ‘mega-fab’ would dwarf Intel’s existing site in Leixlip, which employs almost 5,000.

Galway East TD, Ciaran Cannon (FG) said: “It would put Galway on the map internationally as a place for high-tech investment and it would serve to rebalance the economic imbalance that exists in our country where all of the weight is on the east coast.

“The IDA has a formula where every one new job created in that industry creates about eight or nine more jobs downstream in terms of the supply chain and services. They’re saying 10,000 jobs on site – twice the population of Athenry – on one campus and then another 80-90,000 jobs off site. The figures are phenomenal, mind boggling,” said Deputy Cannon.

The demand for the facility arose during Covid-19 when the supply chain between Asia and Europe broke down.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

Fraudsters ‘spoof’ Galway Garda Station’s phone number



Fraudsters replicated the phone number of Galway Garda Station and used it to call a local woman to demand money.

Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Michael Walsh, said that the number ‘091 538000’ was somehow used by criminals who attempted to extract money – in the form of the online currency Bitcoin – from the victim.   Despite the phone call appearing to come from the Garda station at Mill Street, the woman became suspicious and reported it to Gardaí.

Sgt Walsh said it was the latest in a series of ‘spoofing’ phone calls to have occurred this year.

Spoofing is where fraudsters change the caller ID to ring unsuspecting members of the public to try to extract money or personal information off them.

He said that the number of spoofing incidents reported to Galway Gardaí has more than doubled in the past year.

“It is top of my agenda,” he said.

He pointed out that criminals can obtain a ‘ready to go’ phone and SIM card, relatively cheaply, and it was “very difficult” for Gardaí to trace the caller.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story and more details on fraud figures in Galway, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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