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From pain ridden to art of healing

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Ronah Corcoran, Dolores Andrew Gavin, Ruth Baguskas, Andrew Marmion in relaxation mode at the Amara Yoga and Wellbeing Hub. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Lifestyle –  Judy Murphy meets Ronah Corcoran, the woman behind a new yoga and wellbeing hub

Watching Ronah Corcoran nimbly bound up and down on yoga mats and cushions on the floor of her new wellness centre in the City’s Westside Enterprise Park, it’s difficult to believe that she once suffered from back pain so badly that she had to be taken by ambulance from her home because she couldn’t move.

A ten-year back problem was the reason that Ronah turned to complementary medicine after conventional methods, including muscle-relaxing drugs and physiotherapy failed to solve the underlying cause of a condition that had left her debilitated for a decade.

Reiki was the specific treatment that worked for her when it uncovered an emotional issue that needed to be addressed, she says.

Other factors in her life at the time were causing stress, and stress is a major factor in back problems but in Ronah’s case, there were more deep-rooted causes.

“It sounds corny but it worked,” is her claim for the Reiki.

Now, this woman, who has made Galway her home for more than 10 years after a lifetime spent abroad, is eager to share her knowledge via a new centre, the Amara Yoga and Wellbeing Hub, which opened just over a month ago in the Fiontarlann at Westside, just behind Dunnes Stores.

One of her aims is to help improve people’s mental health by offering a variety of therapies and workshops at affordable prices as she comes from a social services background, working with children and adults in crisis.

Ronah had always wanted to work in social care, she recalls; an early memory is of wanting to go to Africa to help the poor.

That desire may have stemmed from her own past, which sounds fascinating and also difficult.

Born outside of marriage, she was adopted as a child and lived in Dublin for her early years until the family moved abroad in 1978, to her mother’s homeland of Germany so that her father, the well-known composer Frank Corcoran, could take up a position in Hamburg – work for modern composers wasn’t exactly plentiful in Ireland at the time.

After some years there, they moved to America and then to Italy, where, as a young adult, Ronah based herself for almost a decade.

Constant travelling might sound exotic, but it made difficult for her to put down roots. In addition, her mother suffered from mental illness. And Ronah’s twin brother died when she was 15, although she says the loss was tempered by the fact that she was away at boarding school at the time.

All in all, it was an event-filled youth and when she eventually decided to attend UCD in her 20s after spending time working in restaurants and bars in Italy, she opted to study Psychology and Sociology. After graduating in 2000 she was employed by the HSE in Dublin, working with children in care, a job she loved but which was incredibly challenging, she says.

In her 20s, Ronah had begun to suffer back problems, which began with a slipped disc and became progressively worse.

She was on a lot of painkillers, she says, but not very successfully and so she began exploring other therapies.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Publicans in antigen plea to Government

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Johnny Duggan of the Vintners Association: Antigen tests could help minimise restrictions at times when Covid is circulating widely.

Galway publicans are pleading with Government to pilot an antigen test scheme in the city in January – a move that could rescue the local hospitality sector.

Galway City Vintners have proposed the introduction of a pilot scheme in city centre pubs in January, which if successful, could allow the sector to re-open with minimum restrictions, even when the Covid-19 is rampant.

Government Ministers and the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) are divided on the efficacy of antigen tests, which give rapid results that are less reliable than PCR tests.

But publicans believe asking customers to produce a negative antigen test result – as well as their Covid-19 certificates – to get served in pubs, this could help save the hospitality sector by reducing the need for social distancing inside venues.

They don’t believe it would be necessary all-year-round, but could be useful in keeping hospitality open with minimum restrictions during weeks when Covid is circulating widely in the community.

They said it would allow the safe return of drinking at bar counters, dancing in venues, and extended opening hours. Currently pubs, even late bars, must close at 11.3pm instead of 2.30am.

Galway City Vintners expect Covid will continue in waves and this proposal is an attempt to be proactive to keep their businesses, the sector – and socialising in pubs – afloat, according to spokesman Johnny Duggan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Rehearsals in full swing for pantos at Town Hall and An Taibhdhearc

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Jeacaí agus an Fathach Mór Dána’ will be performed at An Taibhdhearc.Photo: Boyd Challenger.

Galway’s two pantomimes are still forging full steam ahead amid advice for parents to limit children socialising indoors as Covid infection rates among unvaccinated youths continue to soar.

A concert featuring Julie Feeney and Ultan Conlon at the Town Hall Theatre planned for last night as well as gigs with comedian Eilish O’Carroll and folk singer Seán Keane have been deferred to March due to sluggish sales following a plea by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to limit social contacts.

Manager Fergal McGrath said sales up until a fortnight ago were very healthy and they have been very happy with the success of gigs with Billy Bragg, the Villagers and Kojaque in November with near full capacity and without incident.

“We’ve had some people cancel but nowhere near the figure in other venues,” he remarked.

“We relaxed our refunds policy and have maintained a very strict adherence to the guidelines checking vaccination certs, IDs, having space out queues and insisting that people wear masks. We closed the bar in the Town Hall as there wasn’t enough space to accommodate all patrons. In the Black Box, we operated a click and collect system and erected a marquee outside for people to drink.

“We have very receptive audiences, there is an absolute willingness to wear the masks that a year ago may not have been accepted. People were thanking us in the Black Box for still being able to get out. A member of the advisory team for NEPHET was at one of the shows and was very impressed with how we managed everything. It’s not been an easy few months, but we’ve figured out how to get through this and implement all the guidelines.”

Cinderella, this year’s Renmore Pantomime, is still expected to be staged from December 29 to January 9. The Town Hall made an early decision to reduce capacity to 60 per cent, which has proved fateful as around that level of tickets have now been sold.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Sweeping changes on way to fight congestion

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Traffic on the Headford Road approaching the junction close to Galway Shopping Centre.

A parking levy on workers; reduced public parking in the city centre; an end to additional road infrastructure; and reduced speed limits are all part of a new government plan to tackle congestion in the city.

In the Departments of Transport’s Demand Management Strategy, sweeping measures are proposed to reduce the number of cars on city roads – caveated with a warning that proper alternatives are required before significant changes are implemented.

Among the measures proposed is a levy on workplace parking spaces – a move the report suggests would cut by 5% the number of cars on Galway roads.

It is outlined that Nottingham was the first European city to introduce such a measure and proposes that a similar approach should be taken here whereby all monies raised by the levy are invested into public transport improvements.

The levy, it is claimed, would influence decisions to travel by car; reduce the space taken up by parked cars; and reduce costly parking infrastructure in new developments.

An attempted move towards this in 2008, which levied employers €200 for workplace parking spaces was fiercely resisted and ultimately collapsed.

However, the report concludes that it merits consideration – particularly for Galway where it deduces that congestion charges are not appropriate.

Elsewhere in the report, it is proposed that an up to 300% increase in the cost of on-street parking, in conjunction with an up to 50% cull of the space used for stationary cars, could result in a further reduction in congestion.

This measure, which is identified as a ‘relatively high priority’ for Galway, should form part of an overall strategy to remove on-street public parking spaces, including some residential parking permits, it states.

The report could spell bad news for the Government attitude towards funding the Galway City Ring Road –  on which an Bord Pleanála is due to give its decision by the end of this month.

The findings include an assertion that additional road infrastructure does not solve the issue of congestion – it could actually worsen the situation.

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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