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Connacht Tribune

Food hub tackles issues of waste and want

Judy Murphy

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Minister Michael Creed officially launching FoodCloud's Galway Hub. PHOTOs: ANDREW DOWNES, XPOSURE.

Lifestyle – Co-founder and CEO of FoodCloud, Portumna woman Aoibheann O’Brien tells Judy Murphy how good food ends up in landfill and the work done by her organisation to end this practice.

Witnessing one of the country’s top chefs standing in a warehouse, ladling out free plates of food to guests is an unusual sight.  But the official opening of the FoodCloud Hub in Oranmore on Friday was ground-breaking in many ways.

What was being demonstrated was how an imaginative chef can take perfectly good ingredients that would otherwise be dumped to create fantastic and nutritious meals.

The chef was the award-winning Jess Murphy of Kai Restaurant on the city’s Sea Road, which is renowned for using seasonal, organic ingredients.

For Friday’s lunch, she made chicken and cheese pie, smoked salmon on baguettes, root vegetable curry and a beetroot salad with fresh herbs and sweet hummus.

Everything was created from ingredients that were unsuitable for sale in supermarkets, despite being perfectly fine and absolutely safe. These had all been donated to FoodCloud, a social enterprise that links food businesses and charities to minimise food waste.

And Jess was showing how Babybel cheese and tinned chicken, among other items, could be made into a meal that anyone would relish.

From floor to ceiling, the Oranmore warehouse is filled with pallets of cereals, tins of tomatoes, beans, peas, salmon, jars of jam and olives, crisps and an array of fare.

Via FoodCloud, these items, donated by supermarkets and food manufacturers, will be distributed to charities in Galway, Mayo, Clare, Offaly and Westmeath.

Charities that benefit from this network include Cope Galway, Saint Vincent de Paul and Dóchas don Óige, which works with homeless people.

All the food in the Oranmore Hub is safe and edible, but was destined for landfill because of the way our supply chain operates, explains FoodCloud CEO and co-founder Aoibheann O’Brien.

The ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date might mean that supermarkets won’t stock them, she adds. Or maybe some of the cereal boxes have been damaged. Other goods, such as sweets and crisps, are left over after Halloween – well within their use-by date.

“We have three warehouses in Ireland and our average intake per month is 80 tonnes of food that would otherwise go to waste,” she says as an example of FoodCloud’s impact on Ireland.

The Portumna woman, who graduated with a BA in Law and Accounting from the University of Limerick in 2007, began her professional career as an investment banker with JP Morgan in London.

It was in London that she became determined to take action on food waste, as “the issue was becoming very topical”.

For more,  read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Time and history conferred character on this home

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The Hermitage, Ballymoe: on the market with a €425,000 guide price.

The Hermitage at Lisnageeragh, Ballymoe is a property on which time and history has conferred a character that no new property could mirror.

Overlooking 16.3 acres of rolling green fields which are included in the sale, this is indeed a unique house and comes to market with charming well maintained stone buildings. These could provide further family accommodation, holiday rentals or craft studios.

The front hall has a beautiful, curved window and leads to two reception rooms on either side of the house. The sitting room has an open fireplace with a black cast iron surround and wooden floors which gleam from years of care and reflect the light coming from two large windows. To the right-hand side, the dining room also has an attractive bay window and an oil-fired stove and it is indeed the perfect social /entertaining space.

To the rear of the house the kitchen is a classic example of a successful marriage of the old and the new. Bespoke shaker style units combine perfectly with modern recessed lighting, attractive tiling and includes a pantry area to one side. A good-sized bedroom and adjacent bathroom complete the downstairs of the main house.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms one of which has an en suite shower. The main bedroom is a delightful space which leads to another small room, a perfect nursery or walk in wardrobe.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

A time when we learned once more that no man is an island

Francis Farragher

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Country singer Dolly Parton getting the jab: she sang about it and part-funded research on the vaccine.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of the oft-repeated pub jokes whenever the price drink was increased, whether it by Finance Ministers or publicans who felt that their margins were being whittled away, was that: “As long as it doesn’t get scarce, we’ll be happy enough.”

Who could have believed though in the first month or two of 2020 that this scenario would unfold (at least in pubs), where the opportunity to meet friends – and the odd ‘auld enemy’ too – over a couple of pints in the local bar would be snatched away from us?

We probably have learned to adapt to the reality of the pandemic and most of us will remember the real sense of fear and constriction that pervaded our every word and action early last year.

2020 was the universal version of ‘annus horribilis’ – the term made famous by Queen Elizabeth in 1992 when royal marriages started to collapse like cards houses in the breeze.

Being of rural stock, I loved the little video earlier this from country music icon, Dolly Parton, who adapted a verse of her famous Jolene song to mark her first shot of the Moderna vaccine (she also donated $1 million to its research) in a very sincere effort to try and encourage the general public to get inoculated.

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

I’m begging of you not to hesitate,

Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

Cause when you’re dead that’s a bit too late.”

A year before that, times were indeed very strange across Ireland and indeed the world. I remember on the Sunday night before St. Patrick’s Day when a sense of incredulity greeted the news in my own local that ‘a lot of the pubs in Galway city were closing down’. Surely, this couldn’t happen in our own little watering hole in the sticks, but it did.

Michael Karmen’s soundtrack from the Band of Brothers series – a wonder piece of music even to my untrained ear – will always remind me of that early Spring period of lockdown in 2020.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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.

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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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Connacht Tribune

€4.5m worth of property sold during online event

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This detached house at Seacrest in Knocknacarra attracted a "staggering" level of interest.

More than €4.5 million worth of sales were recorded at the O’Donnellan & Joyce auction last week, where 350 people had pre-registered to bid on the 40 properties which went under the hammer.

80% of the properties sold during the auction or following negotiations immediately afterwards.

Among the properties sold at the auction were:

106 Seacrest, Knocknacarra, Galway. Guiding at €250,000 due to the extent of renovation and upgrade works required, the auctioneers were staggered at the level of interest in this 4-bed detached house.

Siobhra Hennessy, Senior Auction Co-Ordinator, said: “There is an increasing demand for city centre homes in need of repair. Couples want to put their own stamp on a property and often look for properties similar to this.”

Bidding commenced at €250,000 but quickly rose to over €350,000. After intense bidding from a number of internet and telephone bidders, the sale price of €364,000 was reached and the deal was done.

192 Bohermore, Galway. A 2-bed terraced house which attracted great attention, with many enquiries and bidders pre-registering. The house needs complete restoration and modernisation works but obviously appealed to a wide audience. It guided at €120,000, but sold for €179,000, despite the great amount of work required. Again, this is an example of a near-derelict building that offered great potential.

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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