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Connacht Tribune

Grave solution lies in private cemeteries

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The grassroots of a solution to the acute shortage of burial space in Connemara may be on the horizon – with Galway’s first privately-owned cemetery.

The graveyard, which will open shortly in Cladhneach in an Cheathrua Rua, will have space initially for 650 burial – and a second phase of the development will bring that up to 1,000.

The man behind the plan is businessman, Bobby McDonagh from Anach Mheáin in Lettermore.

The new burial ground is alongside the County Council administered Cladhnach cemetery, which has only a handful of plots left, at this stage.  It is one of many cemeteries in Connemara that is nearing full capacity.

A recent meeting of Connemara County Councillors was given over totally to discussion on the shortage of burial space west of the Corrib.

The meeting, which was also attended by three TDs from the Galway West constituency, became fractious at times with issues such as possible increases in Local Property Tax – for the development of cemeteries – being suggested.

It does not appear that the imminent opening of the privately owned cemetery in Carraroe came up at the councillors’ meeting.

Bobby McDonagh developed the cemetery on his own lands.  The former owner had successfully applied for planning permission for a cemetery but that permission had run out by the time Mr McDonagh acquired the site.

“I must say I did not have any big trouble in getting planning permission for the cemetery again from the County Council,” Bobby McDonagh explained.

The new cemetery is now marked out for double depth graves – two people in each grave – with the plots comprising space for the interment of 650 people.

Located in an elevated area the site is bone dry underfoot in the middle of November.  A seating area for those who attend funerals and for those who will visit the graves of their loved ones forms part of the new burial ground.

Meanwhile, work continues at the western extremity of the new cemetery which will bring the total capacity up to 1,000.

A plot – double depth – will cost €1,250.  Each opening of a grave will cost €350.

“While hand digging may be used in the early stages, the graves will be opened by a mini-digger,” Mr McDonagh explained.

He says that this is the safest and best way of opening the plots.  “There will no need for rock breaking as the ground is formed and compacted especially for burials”.

There are concrete bases at the back of each plot which may be used for the erection of tombstones.

Bobby McDonagh says that it has been a challenging project which involved substantial infill and removal of rock.  He says that he would be open to the County Council purchasing the cemetery on a normal commercial basis.

However, if that does not happen the cemetery will be run on a private basis.

Connacht Tribune

Staying safe and secure during the festive season

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Sergeant Michael Walsh

Garda Crime Watch with Sergeant Michael Walsh

WE are heading into one of the busiest times of the year in terms of shopping and travel but it’s also a time when everyone must stay vigilant and alert as regards crime, theft and scams. Staying safe too on our roads over the holiday period has to be a top priority – here are 12 tips that will help you to enjoy a safer, more secure and happier Christmas.

  1. Christmas shoppers are advised not to leave purchases unattended in their cars as we see a spike in thefts from cars, especially during peak shopping times which is 2pm to 9pm. Lock your car and don’t leave any valuables on display. We also see an increase in thefts from the person as opportunistic thieves may seize the chance to steal a purse/wallet/keys/handbag while a shopper is distracted. Don’t make it easy for the criminal, keep cash and other valuable items in an inside secure pocket or other secure location.
  2. Lock-Up & Light-Up is the key message in An Garda Síochána’s anti-burglary awareness campaign which encourages homeowners to protect their homes over the winter months, when burglaries traditionally tend to rise. Check your outdoor lights all work properly, and consider using a timer switch to bring on an internal light when you’re not home.
  3. Online fraud and cybercrime is prevalent all year round, but with increased on-line shopping on the run-up to Christmas ensure you are safe. Never buy anything online from an un-encrypted website. You’ll know if a site is secure because it will start with HTTPS, instead of just HTTP. An icon of a locked padlock will also appear, typically to the left of the URL (Uniform Resource Locator). Pay using a credit card as it will have more protection.
  4. As the weather turns colder, check on older or vulnerable people who may be living alone. Dropping in to say hello or a quick phone call to make sure everything is okay will always be welcome. Snow and ice can often be a problem as many may not be able to get out to buy food, fuel or medical supplies.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Connacht Tribune

Recapturing the lost art of beautiful handwriting

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

If you get any post at all these days, chances are it’s a bill, it’s in a brown envelope with your name and address clearly typed a transparent window. And then, once in a very blue moon, a handwritten letter drops through the letterbox, proving once again that what’s rare is truly wonderful.

Even better if the writer has taken pride in their handwriting, and the envelope is embellished with swirling letters and affectations – overflowing with calligraphy that might have been written with a quill.

But the sad reality is that no one really does joined-up writing anymore.

Even if it’s handwritten, it’s all block letters, which of course makes it easier to read – but it’s robotic, impersonal, arguably cold.

Those sweeping curves and letters used to reveal so much about the writer, things a text will never tell you. It isn’t even the text abbreviations; it’s just that anyone can write a text but not everyone can construct a letter.

Remember the hours spent in Junior Infants perfecting those joined-up letters, dotting all those i’s and crossing every t?

Remember the innocent love letters where the i’s dot was replaced by a love heart, where the g’s and the y’s at the end of a sentence could be finished with a flourish that served as a sort of sweeping underlining?

Remember the days when you had a ‘good pen’ that was kept in school; a fountain pen that you had to buy ink refills for, but which just felt so special when you were given occasion to use them?

You concentrated that much harder to make your work legible, and the method became as important as the actual subject matter.

We all had a sweeping signature too – not for autographs but for cheques. Now we sign our life and money away with a PIN code instead of a pen.

The truth is that, for all of the obvious advantages of the digital age, it has cost us the art of penmanship, the exercise of composing a letter or an entry into a diary or just a simple note.

Nobody I know writes out a shopping list these days, but if they did it would be on their phone. A growing number don’t even do that anymore; instead they’ll go online and just tick the box on what they want and have it delivered.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Connacht Tribune

Rural Ireland fails to provide youth with even a basic level of critical services

Francis Farragher

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ONE of the biggest challenges facing rural youth in the West of Ireland is the inadequacy of the public transport system, according to new research published by National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI).

Young people who were surveyed in different parts of Ireland – including the West – described rural transport in their local areas as ‘virtually non-existent, unreliable, irregular and expensive’.

The young people surveyed still hadn’t progressed to the stage where they were in a position to drive themselves and consequently were either dependent on public transport or in getting lifts from their parents.

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) recommends that the Government should introduce a public transport subsidy for those under the age of 18 years as well as providing community buses for rural counties and a fund to provide the cost of insurance and fuel.

Marie-Claire McAleer, head of research and policy at the NYCI said that limited public transport had massive implications for young people.

She said that the impact of limited public had implications for access to education, training and employment opportunities as well as access to mental health or sexual health services available in urban settings.

“Without public transport, accessing services in urban settings is not feasible and this coupled with the poor broadband infrastructure, inhibits young people’s access to vital supports and information available online,” she said.

The 102 page research document entitled: ‘Youth Work in Ireland. A Qualitative Research Study Exploring the Provision of Youth Work in a Rural Context’, was officially launched last week in Castlebar by Minister for Rural and Community Affairs, Michael Ring.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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