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Connacht Tribune

Galway legend’s colourful story captures life for the Irish in London

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Ambrose Gordon...lifestory.

A COLOURFUL literary snapshot of life in London for a generation of ‘young Irish’ through the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s is due to hit the bookshelves next month when Killimor native, Ambrose Gordon, looks back on a lifetime in exile.

The title of the book – ‘Sex, Flights and Videotapes’ – is aimed at capturing the struggles, sojourns and successes of a teenager who took flight from an almost jobless Ireland as the 1960s dawned, ‘to make his way in the world’ on the streets of London.

By his own admission, life’s wheel of fortune didn’t work out too badly for him at all, whether it be in business, sport, romance or indeed in the more practical level of helping thousands of young Irish to ‘get the start’ in the UK work ladder.

He remembers that in one of their earlier jobs – building a prison on the Isle of Wight – there was practically a local hurling team working alongside him. “It was nearly all Irish in so many of the building sites across London and other parts of the UK at the time,” he says.

Ambrose Gordon ‘moved well’ in the building industry, establishing a highly successful business from his London base, but in the early 1980s he switched his focus to the pub trade when he took over The Half Moon on the Holloway Road, a move that was to start an unusual business and social adventure for him.

These were pre-satellite and pre-Setanta days when thousands of Irish emigrants longed for a taste of home, and especially so, in the form of their GAA roots during the championship months of the summer.

Every Sunday morning for the best part of ten summers in the 1980s, Ambrose would fly into Dublin; get a couple of video recordings of the Sunday Game that night; fly back to London early on Monday; get hundreds of copies of the videos made; and then distribute them to Irish pubs across the city via motorbike couriers.

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

Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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