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Connacht Tribune

Family edge closer to getting Shane home

Declan Tierney



Shane Grogan pictured with his parents Joan and Joe at the recent family fun day in the Palace Grounds in Tuam. Photo: Johnny Ryan Photography.

The family of a young man who suffered horrific brain injuries in an unprovoked attack more than seven years ago finally hope to be able to bring him home over the next few months.

The parents of 29-year-old Shane Grogan from Tuam are in the process of modifying a house to make it suitable to his needs.

Joe and Joan Grogan were grief-stricken when they learned that their son, who was just 22 at the time, had suffered catastrophic brain injuries as a result of the incident.

While Shane is making good progress with round-the-clock care and physiotherapy, it will never be the same for the Grogan family who are still trying to come to terms with what happened back in 2012.

But his parents, who visit him on a daily basis in a local nursing home, are more determined than ever to bring him home.

However, Joe Grogan admits that it is not a simple procedure and that various planning requirements need to be put in place before it is acceptable to both the Health Service Executive and those who will be looking after Shane in the future.

The Care for Shane fund has raised around €250,000 since it was established. The long term ambition is to bring Shane home to his family.

Shane was a gregarious, ambitious and adventurous individual who had excelled in terms of education and sport.

He graduated in business studies at GMIT Castlebar and worked in the financial department of Merit Medical in Galway. He was also a keen athlete and marathon runner.

More than seven years after he suffered horrific brain injuries in an unprovoked attack after attending the Galway Races, the hopes are high that he is finally coming home.

Shane Grogan, who is now 29, has resided in a number of care facilities since the attack took place in Tuam after he celebrated a very rewarding and extremely enjoyable final day of the Galway Races in 2012.

Planning permission was granted to the Grogan family in Tuam for the construction of a new house in the town which will be specially adapted to accommodate Shane who will then move into the bosom of his family.

Shane sustained severe head injuries in the attack and subsequently a man was convicted of the assault and a prison term was imposed.

Shane was walking with his girlfriend towards the house of a friend in the area when the incident happened at approximately 3.30am on a Sunday morning.

Tuam Gardaí and the emergency services were alerted and were quickly on the scene and Shane was taken by ambulance to University Hospital, Galway. He was later transferred to Beaumount Hospital, Dublin for specialist treatment for severe head injuries.

“Shane is in good form and is responding well to the therapy he is receiving,” Joe said. “He particularly likes music – so we give him a blast of the Sawdoctors every so often”.

Connacht Tribune

Two arrested in Galway over spate of burglaries

Enda Cunningham



Two men in County Galway have been arrested as part of a Garda investigation into a series of burglaries in businesses in Limerick and Tipperary.

As part of the operation, three houses were searched yesterday (Saturday) morning in Co Galway and two men in their 20s were arrested. They were brought to Henry Street and Roxboro Road Garda stations in Limerick, where they were detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007.

During the search operation, two vehicles were also seized for technical examination.

The eight burglaries were carried out in the Limerick and Tipperary area in the early hours of last Wednesday morning.

As part of these investigations, an operation was put in place by detective Gardaí from Henry Street Garda station with the assistance of the Armed Support Unit in the Western Region and Gardaí from Tipperary, Limerick and Galway.

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Connacht Tribune

Branar reaching for skies at former airport

Judy Murphy



Marc Mac Lochlainn, the director of Branar Téatar do Pháistí.

Lifestyle – The disused terminal at Galway Airport is being transformed for Sruth na Teanga, an immersive journey through centuries of Irish language and culture. Created by theatre company Branar, it was commissioned by Galway 2020 and will use puppetry, music, video and live performance to give audiences a fresh insight into the oldest vernacular language in Western Europe. Its creator and director, Marc Mac Lochlainn talks to JUDY MURPHY.

Entering the terminal of Galway Airport is like visiting the place that time forgot.

The desks for Avis and Budget Travel are still in place, exactly as they were when the facility closed nine years ago. So too are signs saying ‘Departures’ and ‘Garda and Customs only’, while the yellow pay-machines for the empty car-park stand abandoned by the main door and wind howls through the deserted building.

At the reception desk, a dog-eared copy of Dan Brown’s novel, Deception, is a lonesome reminder of the days when people thronged through this airport, carrying reading material for their flights.

“It’s a bit like the Mary Celeste,” says Marc Mac Lochlainn, the director of Branar Téatar do Pháistí with a mischievous grin. He’s referring to the American shipwreck that was found abandoned off the Azores in 1872, with everything perfectly intact but its crew missing.

At the height of Storm Brendan, with the rain lashing and wind howling, the space does feel eerie, but from March 2-29, thanks to Branar, it will become home to magical forests, streams and islands for one of the main events of Galway 2020 – European Capital of Culture.

Branar’s new show, Sruth na Teanga, was commissioned by 2020 as one of its flagship productions.  Now the theatre company has just over a month to transform the abandoned terminal building into a space for an immersive journey capturing the evolution of Western Europe’s oldest written, and still spoken, language. That language is Irish – a subject which caused so many people so much angst at school.

Marc is aware of this difficult legacy, but points out that Irish language and its culture far predates what has happened to it in the 20th Century at the hands of the Irish education system.

And that’s what Sruth na Teanga – based on the metaphor of a river – is all about. With puppetry, music, video mapping and live performance, it’s for children and adults and Marc hopes it will give people a fresh appreciation for Irish and its ongoing role in shaping us as a nation, through our place-names, our stories, our songs and the way we view the world.

Transforming the deserted airport terminal for this production will be no small feat but then Branar have never been short of ambition, as anyone who has seen their magical productions, such as How to Catch a Star and Woolly’s Quest, will be aware.

Sruth na Teanga has been evolving since 2015 when Galway first sought the European Capital of Culture designation and invited people such as Marc to dream big.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Corofin stand 60 minutes away from club football crowning glory

John McIntyre



Corofin's Colin Brady is tackled by Paul Kerrigan of Nemo Rangers in the All-Ireland club semi-final. The reigning champions face Kilcoo of Down in Sunday's showdown at Croke Park.

IT’S a date with destiny like none other in the history of club Gaelic football. A team from Galway trying to go where no parish team has gone before.

Protecting a remarkable 35-match unbeaten run, Corofin stand on the threshold of becoming the first team to win three All-Ireland club senior titles on the trot.

It would represent a phenomenal achievement and the crowning glory for the Galway champions who have been such a compelling force over the past decade.

Standing in their way are All-Ireland final debutants, Kilcoo from Down, and while Corofin are red-hot favourite, the biggest occasion on the club GAA calendar has been littered with upsets down through the years.

It’s not in the nature of Kevin O’Brien’s charges to take anything for granted, however, and if they bring their A-game to Croke Park for the third year running, Corofin will have secured a cherished place in the record books on Sunday night.

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