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Connacht Tribune

Heritage week to mark renovation of Quiet Man railway station

Declan Tierney



Following the successful fundraising initiative to put a new roof on the Quiet Man railway station in Ballyglunin, it is now planned to hold a heritage week to coincide with the renovation of this landmark building.

Recently, it was announced that the €30,000 target had been hit for a new roof at Ballyglunin Railway Station – work is due to commence around the middle of September.

But in the meantime, those behind the fundraising project are now organising a heritage week that centres round the railway station which was made famous during the making of The Quiet Man Movie.

Those attending the heritage week, which kicks off next Sunday and continues on to Friday, August 25, are more than likely to hear mention of the likes of actors John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara and Barry O’Sullivan during the course of the events that are taking place.

And Mark Gibson of the Ballyglunin Railway Restoration Project told The Connacht Tribune that the contractors for the replacement of the roof at the station have been appointed following the fund raising initiative.

In recent months they set about trying to raise sufficient funds for the replacement of the roof of the famous railway station and they achieved their aim – and even exceeded it. It means that now works can commence and will be completed over a three week period.

But the long term objective is to restore the whole railway station so that it can become a huge tourist attraction in North Galway – as it stands, it draws a considerable number of tourists who are avid fans of the 1950s movie.

“Work on the roof of the railway station will commence around mid-September and when completed, it is hoped that it will become the venue for several events at the station. It will be ideal for theatre or music events,” Mark Gibson added.

When the fund raising appeal for the new roof was launched, it attracted donations from various parts of the world including the Canary Islands, various parts of America and Canada. The fact that it was featured in several scenes of the movie provided the fund raising initiative with a life of its own.

“The mention of The Quiet Man brought about a huge amount of support from all over the world but the initiative was also well supported locally and that cannot be forgotten.

“Once the roof has been completed by early October, it is the plan to provide a tea room at the station next year. We want it to be a major focal point in the area,” Mark Gibson said.

Meanwhile, the National Heritage Week at Ballyglunin Railway Station begins with nothing other than a bug hunt for children on Sunday with the official opening on Monday evening. It includes a presentation of a journey through Irish railways presented by Frank Dawson.

The following day there will be a bus tour which will take passengers to historic sites in and around Ballyglunin, Kilmoylan and Corofin during the course of the afternoon.

Historian Jarlath Canney from Tuam along with Dr Elaine O’Riordan of NUI Galway will also give talks at the station of industrial heritage and natural heritage in the area on the closing Friday of the event.

The Ballyglunin Railway Restoration Project committee will also host a presentation by Jimmy Laffey of the Skehana & District Heritage Group titled Griffiths Valuation of Tenements of the general Ballyglunin area.

This is a free event and will be held in the Storehouse at Ballyglunin Railway Station next Tuesday, August 22, commencing at 8pm.

The presentation will include explanations of the administrative structures of the time for the civil parishes of Killererin, Kilmoylan and Abbeyknockmoy, understanding the detail contained in the valuations, advising how they can be accessed as well as some detailed examples from local townlands. In addition early maps of the locality will be on display and information hand-outs will be available for all attendees.

This is important to persons wishing to trace their family history and generate family trees primarily because much of the detail of census information up to 1901 has been lost.

The information contained in the valuation contains detailed data on each plot including the occupier’s name, the immediate lessor’s name, land or property description, acreage, rateable valuations of land and buildings and these are accompanied by very detailed maps showing the locations of properties and buildings in the mid-1800s.

Connacht Tribune

Exploring the merits of moving into the west

Dave O'Connell



Mary Kennedy with Carol Ho, one of the Galway interviewees for her new TG4 series, Moving West. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Broadcaster Mary Kennedy has an abiding image of those early mornings when she’d set out from Dublin at the crack of dawn to begin work on another day’s filming down the country with Nationwide.

“I always liked to go in the morning rather than stay there the night before – so I’d be on the road early. And from the moment I’d hit Newland’s Cross, all I’d see was a line of traffic of people trying to make it from home to their workplace in Dublin,” she says.

These were people whose day began before dawn to get their bleary-eyed kids ready to drop at a childminder along the way, so they could be on time for work – and then race home to hopefully see those same kids before they went to sleep.

But if the pandemic had a positive, it was the realisation that work was something you did, not a place you went to. As a result, many people finally grasped the nettle, moving out of the city and sometimes even taking their work with them.

Which is why Mary – busier than ever since her supposed retirement from RTÉ – is presenting a new television series called Moving West, focusing on those individuals and families who have, as the title, suggests, relocated to the West.

One of the programmes comes from Galway, where Mary met with Stewart Forrest, who relocated with his family from South Africa to Oughterard, and Carol Ho, a Hong Kong native who has also settled in Galway.

The TG4 series also stops off in Sligo, Mayo, Kerry, Clare, Roscommon and Leitrim.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Community’s tribute to one of their own – saving final cut of turf after his passing

Dave O'Connell



Well saved...members of St Brendan's GAA Club honour their departed stalwart, John Geraghty, after a record-breaking evening saving his turf.

A local community responded in force to the death of one of their own – a man who had given so much of his life for the good of the parish – by paying one last practical tribute to him last week.

They lifted and footed his turf.

John Geraghty – or Gero as he was known – lived for Gaelic football and he’d filled every role imaginable with the St Brendan’s GAA Club since he came to live in Newbridge in 1983.

He’d cut the turf before he died last Tuesday week, but there it lay, until his old GAA friends organised a bunch of guys – made up of the football team, friends and neighbours – to meet in the bog last Wednesday evening to lift and foot/clamp John’s turf.

“Upwards of 50 fellas from the community showed up,” said St Brendan’s chairman Gerry Kilcommins.

Which was just as well, because, as Gerry acknowledged, John – himself a two-time chairman of the club in the past – had a lot of turf cut!

“It took up an area around three-quarters of the size of a standard football pitch,” he said.

Not that this proved a problem, given the enthusiasm with which they rolled up their sleeves for their old friend.

They started at 7.30pm and had it done at 7.55pm – that’s just 25 minutes from start to finish.

Read the full, heartwarming story – and the St Brendan’s GAA Club appreciation for John Geraghty – in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Liver donor dad would do it all again in a heartbeat

Denise McNamara



Daddy’s girl…Sadhbh Browne with her very special message on organ donations. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

It is nearly two years since Paddy Browne gave his daughter Sadhbh part of his liver to save her life. And just ahead of Father’s Day, he reflects on how he would do it all over again in a heartbeat, without a single moment’s hesitation.

After an initial testing time in the first six weeks when they beat a path to the intensive care unit after the operation in St King’s Hospital in London, Sadhbh has never looked back.

“She’s thrived and thrived and thrived. She skips out to school every day. She loves the normal fun and devilment in the yard. She’s now six and started football with Mountbellew Moylough GAA, she loves baking, she’s a voracious reader – she’ll read the whole time out loud while we drive up to Crumlin [Children’s Hospital].”

But it could have all been so different.

Sadhbh from Mountbellew was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia shortly after she was born. She quickly underwent major surgery to drain bile from her liver. It worked well until she reached three years old when an infection caused severe liver damage and she was placed on the liver transplant list.

She was on a long list of medication to manage the consequences of advanced liver disease. While she lived a full life, she would tire very easily.

Paddy was undergoing the rigorous process to be accepted as a living donor when one of the tests ruled him unsuitable. His brother Michael stepped forward and was deemed a good match.

Then, further tests revealed that Paddy was in fact eligible for the operation and the previous result disregarded as a false positive.

Read the full, uplifting story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from

Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. You can also visit the website or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.

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