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Galway couple turn stories for their own son into trilogy for children!

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John O'Connor and Carina Ginty with their two sons Cillian (6) and Breen (4) at the launch of Captain Cillian.

What happens when you combine salty old tales of the sea with a little bit of Irish and the adventures of a mini-maritime skipper? You get Captain Cillian – the brainchild of a Galway couple who combined fun with learning in a unique new trilogy of books and more.

Carina Ginty works in learning and teaching development in GMIT; her husband John O’Connor is a graphic designer – and the Cillian is their six year old who was a new-born when the concept first began to take root.

It finally came to fruition last week with the First Class pupils of Scoil Íde in Galway city helped launch the Captain Cillian collection – appropriately on the shores of Galway Bay off Salthill Prom.

In essence, it’s an ocean adventure book collection for children aged from three to nine.

Each story takes children on a journey of discovery where they will explore Ireland including the Wild Atlantic Way, learn about ocean facts and key words in the Irish language.

And at the end of each story children will complete a quiz, puzzles and some creative playtime activities.

So while the young readers are enthralled by the little Irish explorer who sails around Ireland and the world, the books most definitely have education – as well as entertainment – in mind.

“The idea of Captain Cillian started back in 2008, when I was undertaking a PhD in GMIT examining the value of marine tourism in Ireland and how we engage children from an early age with the sea. Together with my husband John, who is a very creative graphic designer, the Captain Cillian character came to life,” explains Carina.

The books are suitable for home play activities and bedtime reading – but the collection is also a great teaching resource for the classroom, with four key learning themes centring on exploring Ireland; ocean facts, learning Irish, and how to create and play.

Carina works in learning and teaching development in GMIT and prior to this worked in marketing roles for technology companies, while John works with Proactive Design & Marketing in Galway.

Carina loves the sea, travelling and developing educational resources and John loves running along Galway Bay and bringing ideas to life through design.

“Together as a team and under the guidance of our two sons Cillian (6) and Breen (4) we created Captain Cillian. After many cups of tea, consultations with advisors, long walks on the famous Salthill Prom, Captain Cillian’s ship finally set sail in October 2015!” says Carina.

Captain Cillian was a natural choice of name as the couple’s first son is called Cillian who was born at Christmas 2008.

“We felt it was a great Irish name that would travel well and being a Captain of a ship, it also connects with ocean explorations and discovery. What makes the Captain Cillian book collection unique is the fact he is a young Irish ocean explorer with an Irish identifiable brand that will appeal to national and international audiences with connections to Ireland,” she adds.

Captain Cillian adventure books are priced at €6.99 each or the Adventure Pack or Birthday Gift Pack is currently selling for €25, including shipping worldwide.

“Alternatively clubs or schools can avail of the Captain Cillian fundraising programme during the year, where we will donate 20% of sales proceeds back to the participating organisations from purchases made.

“Funds raised could be used to buy equipment, technology devices, arts and craft supplies, painting or decorating, or pay for class tours or adventures. The process is easy and school or club orders can be placed by contacting hello@captaincillian.com,” says Carina.

The Captain Cillian learning adventure books are currently available to buy online at www.captaincillian.com. Plans are also progressing to place the book collection in retail outlets and visitor centres.

 

Connacht Tribune

Call for crackdown on Eyre Square behaviour after firework attack

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Eyre Square.

Pressure was mounting this week to crack down on out-of-control anti-social behaviour in the city in the wake of an incident last week that left a young woman with life-altering injuries.

In the early hours of Friday morning, a 19-year-old student was struck in the face by an illegal firework as she sat at a bus stop in Eyre Square.

This came after repeated calls for action on what has been described as a ‘lawless environment’ in the city centre at night, with one local representative now calling for additional Garda resources to ‘win back the streets’.

Cllr Níall McNelis told the Connacht Tribune that he had been speaking to Gardaí in the city this week and understood that there were huge staffing problems in the force – leaving them unable to adequately control the square where thousands are gathering on a nightly basis.

“There are a huge amount of holidays built up because of Covid; there’s regularly only one sergeant per unit at times, because of the lack of resources. Nobody is willing to take overtime because they are already overworked and the only solution is for Galway to get extra gardaí,” said Cllr McNelis, who is Chairperson of the City Joint Policing Committee.

“We have five TDs representing Galway City, and two Senators from the city. They need to pile pressure on the Government for extra resources. We have a Junior Minister in the Department of Justice [Hildegarde Naughton] and it is up to them to represent this city and stop messing about.”

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Hit-and-run victim not found for 14 hours

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THE victim of a hit-and-run accident near Furbo at the weekend – who wasn’t discovered for nearly 14 hours after it occurred – remains in a critical condition at University Hospital Galway (UHG) this week.

Gardaí investigating the case are understood to have spoken to a woman driver from the Clare area in relation to the accident that happened on Sunday night last, October 24, between 8.30pm and 9.30pm.

The injured man wasn’t discovered until about 11.30am on the following Monday morning of October 25, when the alarm was raised and emergency services were called to the scene.

The victim – a middle-aged man understood to be originally from Portugal who had worked and lived in Galway for a number of years – is currently being treated in the ICU (Intensive Care) unit of UHG.

Gardaí are now following a definite line of inquiry into the accident after a woman presented herself to Ennis Garda Station, Co. Clare, on Monday last.

It is understood that the man suffered serious head injuries in the accident when he was struck by the car which was being driven from the Spiddal direction.

The impact of the collision – which occurred on the Spiddal side of Furbo Church – resulted in the victim being hurtled over an adjacent roadside wall, where he lay until the following morning.

The accident on the main R336 Galway to Spiddal road is being investigated by Salthill Gardaí who have appealed for any witnesses or anyone with dash cam footage to make contact with them.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Son buys old Clifden lifeboat after hearing coxswain dad’s rescue stories

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The Mullen family… Ronan (14), Cian (12), Liam (9) and Enda (6) and dad James in their C-class 522, pictured with their lifeboat.

By Mella Walsh

A Galway teenager was so enthralled by his dad’s story of almost three decades of service with Clifden RNLI, that – when the old lifeboat came up for sale – he and his three little brothers pooled all their savings to buy the boat!

James Mullen was a Coxswain at Clifden RNLI with over 27 years voluntary service saving lives at sea on the west coast of Ireland – and he and wife Siobhán also a proud dad to four boys who have inherited their father’s remarkable passion for the sea, the RNLI…and everything to do with boats.

It was this shared passion which inspired James’ 14-year-old son Ronan to track down and buy the very first lifeboat his father helmed back in 1996.

James claims to not have a favourite child, but he does have a favourite boat – the C-class 522 inshore lifeboat which was stationed in Clifden between 1989 and 1997.

The boat holds so many memories for him as a teenage RNLI recruit – and when his sons would ask him for the history of the station and his favourite lifeboat, the stories he told them always came back to the C-class.

James, who lives with his family on Sky Road in Clifden, joined the volunteer crew of Clifden RNLI in 1994, and he is currently Helm on the Atlantic 85 Inshore Lifeboat, Coxswain on the new Shannon Class All Weather Lifeboat and Lifeboat Training Co-ordinator. He has also worked as a paramedic for 21 years with the National Ambulance Service HSE West.

“I loved the sea, I had lived beside it my whole life and now finally, at 17 years old and with my parent’s consent, I was lifeboat crew,” he says.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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