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Festival celebrates a special landscape

Judy Murphy

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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.

Connacht Tribune

Wisdom, fun and hope in online yoga community

Judy Murphy

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'Elemental and wacky', Ciara's advice is that movement and listening to your body are more important than achieving a perfect pose. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Lifestyle – Ciara Ní Dhiomasaigh and her partner Josef run the Nádúir Holistic Centre in Furbo, which is normally busy with therapists and students. After life changed last year, the experienced yoga teacher learned new skills so she could create her a daily online practice that’s available to everybody, either free or for a nominal cost. It’s aimed at building resilience, health and hope, she tells JUDY MURPHY.

Ciara Ní Dhiomasaigh laughs as she recalls a comment she made to her partner, Josef, last February about needing “a bit more rock and roll” in her life.  It wasn’t that she was idle. Far from it. But Ciara, who teaches yoga and tango as well as being a massage therapist who practises and teaches Cranio-sacral Bio-dynamics, had a yen to go travelling. While she’s not someone who makes grand plans, she was working towards making that happen when everything changed in March.

“Now look at me.” She laughs again as she gestures around the massage room at Nádúir, the holistic centre that she and Josef run in Furbo. Located on a leafy boreen off the Galway-Spiddal road, it’s a gorgeous, peaceful place where she conducts yoga classes in non-Covid times. But foreign climes it ain’t.

Yet, Ciara has broadened her reach enormously since March and in ways she could never have imagined back then. Like most yoga teachers, she quickly moved her regular classes to the online video-conferencing app, Zoom, and that’s been working fine.

But she’s done way more than that.

“I love working really hard and connecting,” explains this elemental, smart, funny woman.

“I was looking for something to excite and energise me, to challenge me to do something at the end of my comfort zone, to teach myself new skills.”

So, in August, Ciara began offering daily 20-minute yoga sessions on YouTube and Facebook and she’s continued to offer them every month, with a different monthly theme, such as ‘Connect’ or ‘Strength’. ‘Flow’ is January’s focus.

This unique teacher who has been practising yoga for three decades, is now building an online community who love the wholesome, humorous, wise take on life which she brings to her daily practice.

People who sign up are asked to pay €10 a month, to ‘subscribe for sustainability’.  Afterwards, it all remains online, freely available to anyone anywhere who has the internet.

Ciara and her sister Sinéad, who helps with administration, thought carefully about what to charge, before embracing the model of US yoga teacher Adriene Mishler who has millions of followers and offers many of her classes for free.

Ciara’s aim is that her sessions are affordable for people, while creating some income for Sinéad and herself – vital, given that Nádúir has lost practically all its revenue streams since March.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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

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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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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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Crowds flocked to the unveiling of a monument on June 15, 1959, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the landing of Alcock and Brown at Derrygimlagh Bog.

1921

British Empire’s decay

History records the rise and fall of many empires. When nations reach the zenith of their power, they begin to decay, and often “great is the fall there of.”

That the British Empire is on the down grade is becoming more apparent every day. There are many cases contributing to this decline, but perhaps England’s treatment of the sister island is one of the chief.

That great soldier-statesman, General Smutts, predicted that unless justice was meted out to Ireland, the Empire would suffer. When he made that prediction, the Coalition Government had not sent over the “Black and Tans” to keep order in Ireland, nor had their barbarous reprisals shocked humanity.

What would he say now if he expressed his views on England’s treatment of the sister isle? He would say what the Press of every nation is saying: she is destroying her moral prestige in the eyes of the world. Other nations today incline to look upon her as the Irish nation has always looked upon her.

As Lloyd George is responsible for the “bad peace” and the present muddle in Europe, he is responsible more than any living man for the work of disintegration going on in the Empire.

Frightfulness in the face of revolt against a civil population, vicarious punishment of innocent for guilty is the measure of his statesmanship.

Councillors’ arrest

Eight members of the Galway County Council, who travelled to Galway on Wednesday to attend a special meeting to discuss finances and consult with the rate-collectors, were arrested on their way to the courthouse where the meeting was to have been held at twelve o’clock.

The meeting was summoned by the vice-chairman, Miss Alice Cashel.

As Miss Cashel was on her way to the meeting she was arrested by plain clothes policemen between the post office and Moon’s Corner, and conveyed to Eglinton police station.

She had arrived in town on the previous evening to attend the meeting. She was searched by two lady searchers, and removed to Renmore.

Martin Forde, P. C. Curley, John Cloherty, Martin Finnerty, Michael Finnegan, Michael Keaveney and Michael Hawthorne, other members of the county council, were also arrested by plain clothes policemen outside the courthouse and taken to Eglinton-st.

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

Oh, what would life be like, without a good agony aunt?

Francis Farragher

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Probably the most famous agony aunt of them all . . . Angela McNamara, a 'problem solver' for years in the now defunct Sunday Press newspaper.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of the ‘funny’ things about comedy is how some things that aren’t really funny at all, can make you burst into convulsions of laughter time after time.

After all, seeing someone slip on a banana skin and fall over can end up with the victim suffering a broken arm or wrist, and yet every time we see in in a sketch, we laugh.

For some reason of late, when I look up the death notices on RIP.ie, the name Farragher, flashes up before me automatically on the screen, and I’m inclined to have a little snigger and say: “Not just yet.”

We laugh when someone walks into a glass door that’s cleaned so well that it looks like it’s not there at all, but again it ain’t funny for the victim; while the rear view of a slightly obese male without a belt on his sagging trousers at least will draw an ‘oops’ if not a laugh.

Last Saturday, as I was flicking through the Irish Independent, a piece caught my eye on the problem page of the magazine section. I’d say, for all the world, it was a serious letter, but I have to admit I’m still laughing.

A woman was pouring out her heart to agony aunt, Mary O’Connor, about the third party that had entered into her relationship with her boyfriend. A touch of the Camilla Parker Bowles situation with Charles (well the other way around), one might think at first.

This third party had wreaked havoc with what had been apparently a pretty stable and loving relationship – the destruction list being quite a long and dramatic one. This third party – probably something of a ‘looker’ into the bargain – had caused fights between the previously happy couple; had wandered into the neighbour’s yard; and had injured the woman involved; as well as being involved in a number of road accidents; not to mention the cat being mauled.

Yes, you’ve probably guessed it by now, but the third party in the relationship was none other than a German shepherd dog, who had not been trained in the domestic ways of the world, by his new guardians.

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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