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Connacht Tribune

Galway gardener believes he has world’s biggest Dahlia!

Denise McNamara

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An Ardrahan gardener believes he has cultivated the world’s largest Dahlia flower which he hopes will secure him a Guinness World Record.

The giant pink Dahlia which appeared in Densil Joseph’s front garden last July measured 15.4 inches in diameter. From all records he has trawled the largest Dahlia ever recorded was 14.3 inches wide in Finland.

At the urging of astonished friends, he sent in evidence of his supersized flower to the committee of the Guinness World Record, which takes 12 weeks to adjudicate on each application.

Densil grows 27 different varieties of Dahlias in his front garden and every year they have returned bigger and stronger blooms than the year before thanks to a couple of insider tricks. Every second October he digs up the tubers and keeps them inside for over five months under a bed of sawdust to completely dry them out. He returns them to the soil in late April or early May and douses them with a homemade fertiliser created from seaweed that he collects from a nearby beach.

He places the seaweed in water, adds two spoons of sugar and keeps in a dark and airtight container in a warm location to aid the fermentation for 21 days. The fluid strained from the seaweed is then diluted with water at a ratio of 6:1 and fed to the plants every 20 days.

“The seaweed is pure organic and it prevents diseases and pests like snails. My Dahlias have the most beautiful colours and they last for ages – at least two-and-a-half months,” he exclaims.

He also grows 21 varieties of gladiolis but even with the careful staking of these tall beauties they tend to last just 12 days.

Densil and his wife Smitha moved from the Kerala district of southern India to Limerick in 2010. A year later they both got jobs in the Little Flower Nursing Home in Labane and settled in Ardrahan.  Both qualified nurses, Densil works as a carer in the home while Smitha is now nursing in University Hospital Galway. They bought their home in 2016 so Densil could nurture his love of gardening after work on their very own patch of land.  Their two children Anna Maria, 2, and Dionn, 7, delight in the presence of so many butterflies throughout the summer.

“My mum and dad are good gardeners in India so that’s how I got interested in gardening. I spend an hour every day gardening in April and May. I weed a lot. In July, August and September you don’t need to do much – just enjoy the colours.”

Connacht Tribune

Award gives Galway business reason to smile

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Website winners...Spotlight Oral Care founders Lisa and Vanessa Creaven.

A Galway-based dental care company won the prestigious and coveted Website of the Year Award at the inaugural National Digital Awards last weekend.

Spotlight Oral Care – the company founded by dentists and sisters Dr Lisa and Dr Vanessa Creaven, with Dr Barry Buckley in 2016 – saw off runners-up Dublin Airport to take the top website prize at the online event organised by Digital Business Ireland, in partnership with title sponsor, permanent tsb.

Spotlight Oral Care – based at Harris House, at the small IDA Business Park on the Tuam Road – develops and sells products such as toothpaste, teeth whitening kits and toothbrushes amongst others.

The company has sought to single itself out by producing sustainable products. For example, its toothpaste tube is made from sugarcane and is fully recyclable.

Galway was also represented among the winners of the awards celebrating Ireland’s top digital talent. Galway native Ashley McDonnell, who works for international fashion retailer Puig, won the Next Generation Award.

The Craughwell native took the prestigious crown for young business people under the age of 30 working in tech.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones

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These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.

But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.

If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.

CONNACHT TRIBUNE OBITUARY TRIBUTE

All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.

You can email that with a photograph to us, to news@ctribune.ie or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.

We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.

This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances.  You can contact our team for further details at salesadmin@ctribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Student nurses face all the risk – for no reward

Dara Bradley

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Working on the children’s ward of a busy hospital during a global pandemic is no joke; less funny still when you’re not getting paid for your toil.

All the risk and none of the rewards of qualified staff – that’s the lot of Edel Moore, a student nurse who is currently on placement at University Hospital Galway.

Edel, and hundreds of student nurses like her on placement in UHG and Portiuncula in Ballinasloe, want more than a round of applause and platitudes from Government.

“None of us want a pat on the back for struggling. We’d just like to be recognised,” she said.

“The Government are full-time talking about front-line workers, and they want to give them a ‘clap hands’. Then you see Junior Ministers getting massive raises. For what? What have they done for us, the student nurses, that they’re getting a €16,000 wage increase?

“We’ve put ourselves through a four year degree but all I’m worth is a clap? Thanks! It’s ridiculous. They say that front-line workers deserve all the help they can get but it just seems that the ones who are able to give us the help we need are not going to give us the help that we deserve.”

Edel Moore is a mature student originally from Westmeath but living in Leitir Mealláin in Connemara with her husband and three children.

A third year student nurse of NUIG, she is currently on placement at the paediatric ward at UHG.

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

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