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Galway centenarian marks big birthday in style




A life packed with activity and travel that took her from her native Galway to Dublin, to Italy and Kenya – and then back home to retire – reached its centenary at the weekend when May Quinn celebrated her 100th birthday.

May was born on August 4 1916 in Newtownblake, Peterswell, Gort, to James Quinn and Kate Fitzgerald.

She is the last surviving sibling, having lost her two brothers, Fred and Bob, and her sister Kate, who she was delighted to spend a couple of special years with up to her death just three years ago.

May’s favourite memories of her childhood are fishing in the river that flowed through her farm in Peterswell, looking after the farm animals, bringing the dinner to her father and brothers in the bog, playing hurling and saving the hay.

As a young girl, May worked as a waitress in Moylan’s Commercial Hotel in Loughrea, then went to Dublin where she continued waitressing, working in a dry cleaners and voluntary social work.

She joined the Legion of Mary in Dublin and travelled with them throughout Ireland and on to England, Italy and Kenya, where she helped educate people in need, visiting many schools and villages.

She was always very active, she played camogie, loved running and cycled the twelve miles from Loughrea to Newtownblake every time she visited home.

New centenarian May Quinn is congratulated by 101 year old Margo O'Connell.

New centenarian May Quinn is congratulated by 101 year old Margo O’Connell.

She would take the train from Westland Row to Attymon, then a small connecting train to Loughrea which was the old railway line.

On her return from Dublin, May moved to Laurences’ Fields in Loughrea, where she was known for her love of gardening, knitting and her cherished Yorkshire terrier Lucky. She was a common sight walking Lucky with his coat on.

She had a passion for colour and would never be seen in anything but colourful clothing. She was known for her kindness and compassion towards her elderly neighbours, often calling the emergency services when she noticed a neighbour was in trouble.

May joined her sister Kate in the Little Flower Nursing Home, Labane on September 2 2010 leaving her home in Laurences’ Fields, Loughrea.

Sadly, Kate passed away in March 2013 but May was very grateful for the time she spent with her younger sister. They both shared a passion for music with May watching her sister perform with the musicians playing the percussion instruments.

May continues to enjoy the music and celebrated with family, many friends and residents for the big occasion.

Local musicians Peter Gardiner, Nessa Flaherty and Pat O’ Neill provided the dance music.

May’s eye for fashion and colour was clearly evident with her choosing a multi-coloured summer dress and headgear for her party and in a poignant moment May was congratulated by her friend and fellow resident, 101-year-old Margo O’Connell.


Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors will be asked next month to consider a sweeping overhaul of traffic flow in the city centre as the local authority seeks to create a more pedestrian-friendly core in the wake of Covid-19.

Currently under proposal in City Hall are major alterations to traffic flow which will allow for restricted car access to Middle Street – creating additional outdoor seating space for businesses in the area struggling to cope amid social distancing requirements.

Senior Engineer at City Hall, Uinsinn Finn, said they are currently considering three different proposals to alter traffic flow on Merchants Road, Augustine Street and Flood Street to reduce the need for car access to Middle Street, while still maintaining access for residents.

“We already pedestrianised Cross Street and we will be maintaining that, and there will be a proposal for Middle Street and Augustine Street.

“Businesses in the area are very much in favour of pedestrianisation – one business has objections but the others are supportive. Another consideration is that there are residents there with parking spaces and we are trying to encourage people to live in the city centre,” said Mr Finn.

The Latin Quarter business group submitted proposals for the temporary pedestrianisation of Middle Street and Abbeygate Street Lower but Mr Finn said the proposals the Council were considering were more in the line of creating adequate space for pedestrians while still allowing residents vehicular access.

This would involve creating a circuit for car traffic moving through Merchants Road around onto Augustine Street and exiting at Flood Street.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in part of Knocknacarra are calling for the closure of a laneway and for more Community Gardaí to be put on the beat following the discovery of a ‘viable’ pipe-bomb type device in the area last weekend.

Up to 13 homes in the Cimín Mór and Manor Court estates had to be evacuated on Friday evening last when the incendiary device was discovered by Gardaí concealed in an unlit laneway, leading to the emergency services being notified.

An Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called to the scene and removed the device – according to local residents and councillors, the Gardaí have confirmed that the device was viable.

Gardaí have declined to comment on the detail of the case but have confirmed that the matter is being ‘actively and vigorously investigated’.

Chairman of the Cimín Mór Residents’ Association, Pat McCarthy, told the Galway City Tribune that the discovery of the viable device on the narrow laneway that links their estate to Manor Court was extremely frightening for all concerned.

“For the best part of the past 20 years, we have been seeking action to be taken on this laneway which has been used for dumping and unsociable behaviour on a repeated basis.

“But what happened last Friday evening was really the last straw for us. This could have resulted in serious injury to innocent people and what is also of concern to us is how close this was to the two schools in the area,” said Mr McCarthy.

He said that over the coming days, the residents’ association would be petitioning all residents in the three estates concerned – the other two being Manor Court and Garraí Dhónaill – for action to be taken on the laneway.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara



Kate Middleton wearing the necklace designed by Aisling O'Brien

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A Galway jewellery designer is the latest to experience the ‘Kate effect’ after fans tracked down the woman who created a necklace for the Duchess of Cambridge which she has worn several times since it was gifted to her during her trip to the city last March.

Aisling O’Brien’s website crashed on Wednesday night when orders poured in for the piece from around the world. The necklace costs €109 with initials, while the earrings retail for €49.

“I’d never sold more than two things outside of Ireland before. I only had three of Kate’s necklaces in stock – and now I have orders for at least 50. I’ll have to start recruiting some elves,” laughs Aisling, who only set up her website during lockdown.

The 14-carat gold necklace and earrings set was designed by Aisling specially for Kate after examining her style – “understated, elegant, simplicity” is how the Tuam native describes it.

She was contacted about the commission by physiotherapist Thérèse Tully, who wanted to give the future queen a gift as she was using her room to change at Árus Bóthar na Trá beside Pearse Stadium when the royal couple were meeting with GAA teams.

(Photo: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wearing the necklace)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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