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Festival celebrates a special landscape

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Lifestyle – Judy Murphy meets the people behind Burren in Bloom as the unique area bursts back into life

From flowers to food, from archaeology to adventure trails, the full glory of the Burren’s landscape and history will be explored this month as part of the Burren in Bloom Festival, which is being co-ordinated by the Kinvara based Burrenbeo Trust.

The aim of the month-long Festival with its huge programme is to deepen people’s understanding of this unique and extraordinary landscape of South Galway, the Aran Islands and North Clare.

Burren in Bloom is held in May because that’s the time of year when the place starts to come alive, both from a nature point of view and the arrival of visitors, says Áine Bird, Communications Officer with Burrenbeo.

The organisation which was founded five years ago by Dr Brendan Dunford of the Burren Farming for Conservation Programme is dedicated to promoting the sustainable management of the Burren’s landscape and heritage. Focusing on working with the local community, it has the distinction of being Ireland’s first ever landscape charity.

“The Burren in Bloom Festival is about getting people out engaging with the Burren and adding to their knowledge,” says Áine, “and also to celebrate the great work being done in the Burren by the local community.”

It is a mix of guided walks, talks, food trails, exhibitions, book launches and family events and, as Áine says, “there is a great selection. You could be here every day of the week”.

Burrenbeo has assembled a quality line-up of experts for the Burren in Bloom walks and talks. This was done by Áine and two of the Burrenbeo voluntary directors, Stephen Ward and Richard Morrison.

In addition, Burrenbeo has linked in with many local organisations, including Adventure Burren, which runs activity and adventure trails every Friday throughout the season – for May these are incorporated into the Burren in Bloom programme. In addition, local food producers and restaurants, under the banner of Burren Ecotourism Network, have organised food and adventure trail events.

The remit of the Burrenbeo organisation is to provide education and learning in a hands-on way to people of all ages and that’s reflected in this Festival programme. There are serious topics up for discussion but in a way that is accessible and sociable.

“The topics have to be academic but they are not delivered in an academic fashion,” says Áine. “It’s about bringing people along.”

One of these talks will be delivered by Swedish archaeologist Dr Stefan Bergh, a lecturer at NUIG, whose specialises in the interaction between people, place and landscapes in prehistory.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Mayor of Galway, Cllr Michael Smyth, turning the first sod of the new £86,000 community centre at Shantalla on August 6, 1971

1921

Treatment of women

At the meeting of the Galway Board of Guardians on Wednesday, Mr. Pk. Thornton in the chair, a discussion took place regarding the admission of women with illegitimate children.

Mr. Cooke said that it was one of those questions which the Dáil Éireann was trying to solve. The assistant clerk said that Galway was only a small place in comparison to other places.

A member said that these people were coming in month after month, and it was perfectly scandalous.

Mrs. Young said that the practice should be stopped as in England. The assistant clerk said that they had laws of their own in England in regard to this matter. Mrs. Young said that it was a matter that the guardians should go into.

Clerk: So these women assist in washing and scrubbing, Mr. O’Toole?

Master: Yes, they do.

Mrs. Young: Until you tackle the thing, you can never make much headway. The nuns were terrified by some of them who absolutely refused to work.

Mr. Cooke: They should be cleared out.

Chairman: It is not fair for any able-bodied woman to be in the workhouse at the ratepayers’ expense.

The clerk said that this question was one of the most difficult which had confronted Dáil Éireann, and they were looking the matter up.

Profiteering black spot

Galway is the blackest spot in Ireland for profiteering. It is maintaining its inglorious record in extortion – a record that all but killed the race meeting some years ago and diverted the stream of visitors from the town for nearly a decade.

If this flagrant profiteering continues, it will have the result of reducing the city ultimately to poverty, whilst the few grow rich. The economic balance must be maintained. Elsewhere desperate efforts are being made to maintain it.

Prices must come back. Labour in Galway has done absolutely nothing to bring them back, because Labour in Galway appears to be less intelligently led than elsewhere. Yet unemployment is rife amongst us, poverty is already knocking consistently at the door of not a few, wages are falling and must fall.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Overcoming obstacles thrown up by pandemic

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Founder of Stepping Stones low-cost counselling clinic, Chelsie Daly. Her book is called Covid-19 and Ever Changing Life.

Fashion, beauty and lifestyle with Denise McNamara

Many workers have returned to the office this week for the first time since Covid-19 flattened our population.  Of course there will be those rejoicing at the prospect of getting out of the house, milling with other humans and being able to grab a coffee that’s not from your own kettle.

But no doubt it is a daunting prospect for a sizeable proportion of the workforce.

After so long isolated from friends, family and regular routine, returning to an enclosed space with others who are not obliged to be vaccinated can be frightening.

As psychotherapist Chelsie Daly explains, many of us who never struggled with our mental health continue to experience feelings that are difficult to process.

“I have found that Covid-19 has affected everyone of us. I have noticed an increase in anxiety among my clients due to the ever-changing reality of the past year and a half. It was difficult to adapt to lockdown and once we learned how to do that we are returning to life as it was before, which has also increased anxiety in many of us,” she reflects.

Chelsie, 26, set up a low-cost counselling service in Glenrock Business Park in Galway City called Stepping Stones in 2018. It started as an outlet to share information and meeting peers for coffee and walks. While completing her masters in 2019 it grew into a practice with five therapists, offering sessions costing €40.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Country Living

We should never have doubted Orwell in his ‘1984’ predictions

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

AS old fogeys go, I am, up to a certain point, reasonably comfortable with the basics (well the ‘very basics’) of technology. I work on a Dell computer, I have an iPhone, I like looking up weather charts on the different sites, but I’m still a little perplexed with the notion that almost every move I make can be watched by someone out there in the ether.

A friend of mine, who changed his phone relatively recently, could show me his movements on a particular day from a couple of years back, and I have always wondered why some advertisements which might be of special interest to me keep appearing on my screen when I’m looking up something.

I also remember being quite ashamed back the years to admitting that I was the owner of a mobile phone. Somehow, it seemed to indicate that I had risen above my station in life, so it was only used on very limited occasions, and hardly at all in public.

That old Fordson Major of a phone that I first owned did though, here and there, have its uses. There was a day down by the river when I needed someone to plug out the electric fence at the home base, and there was just unbounded joy at being able to ring from the waterside, get through, and be able to work away without having to walk back to complete that chore.

In fairness to the old Nokia (or was it a Motorola?), she was quite a trusted friend. On one occasion, it fell from the tractor, split into a number of different pieces, but still worked again when all the bits were put together. It didn’t really matter that in half the places I went to, there was either zero coverage or the feeling that the person at the other end of the line was millions of miles away, which I think has led to a habit that I’ve never quite kicked, namely that of shouting into the phone.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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