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A home from home on streets of Cricklewood, London

Francis Farragher

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the crown pub

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Back through the years I’ve always been a bit wary of what we’d loosely call sporting trips to places like London or Manchester. With the best will in the world and even with the invocation of all the patron saints of moderation, too many pints of John Smith’s extra smooth tend to be consumed and the cause of restraint is normally not helped either by the hospitality of the hosts.

Anyway the weekend before last, I was one of a travelling party making the trip to good old London town for the Connacht championship clash with the home side, booked into the heart of Cricklewood, a name that immediately conjures up images of Irish emigrants leaving the home sod and starting out on a new life far removed in many cases from the rural setting where they grew up.

“The craic was good in Cricklewood, And they wouldn’t leave the crown, With glasses flying and Biddys’ crying, Sure Paddy was going to town.”  That verse from the Dubliners song list (written by Dominic Behan), whether delivered by either Ronnie Drew or Luke Kelly, was always a pretty powerful tuning fork for people here in Ireland of what life could be like for a lot of Irish taking the boat for London for the best part of the last 100 years.

Today Cricklewood is a much changed place from the setting of that song back in 1939, with most of the Irish having moved out, and on a walk through the streets, the people you meet, are far more likely to be of Indian, Pakistani or Turkish roots. But the pubs still continue to thrive in Cricklewood on a largely Irish trade. Places like The Crown, Barretts, Lucky Seven, McGoverns or the Kingdom still have a largely Irish clientele, many of them in the fifty plus category. The place is still like a spiritual home to a generation of Irish.

The bulk of the Irish may have gone but the place still reeks of atmosphere. It’s no Kensington or Chelsea but it’s one of those pockets of a great city where all human life manifests itself. The cast and stories of Eastenders could sit very easily on the high street with its mix of value-for-money diners, small shops and dark skinned faces. And yet everywhere the streets seem to say to you that: the Irish were here.

I have been told by some of my more learned colleagues that I should see Jimmy Murphy’s play, The Kings of the Kilburn High Road, a work zooming in on the fortunes of six Irish emigrants in the 1970s, who inevitably fall on hard times as they grow older and their bodies as well as their minds, just couldn’t sustain the battering from hard physical labour and sustained heavy drinking. Many Irish did do well in London over the years, but many more too fell heavily on the thorns of life (to paraphrase Shelley) and bled profusely.

Connacht Tribune

Wisdom, fun and hope in online yoga community

Judy Murphy

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'Elemental and wacky', Ciara's advice is that movement and listening to your body are more important than achieving a perfect pose. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Lifestyle – Ciara Ní Dhiomasaigh and her partner Josef run the Nádúir Holistic Centre in Furbo, which is normally busy with therapists and students. After life changed last year, the experienced yoga teacher learned new skills so she could create her a daily online practice that’s available to everybody, either free or for a nominal cost. It’s aimed at building resilience, health and hope, she tells JUDY MURPHY.

Ciara Ní Dhiomasaigh laughs as she recalls a comment she made to her partner, Josef, last February about needing “a bit more rock and roll” in her life.  It wasn’t that she was idle. Far from it. But Ciara, who teaches yoga and tango as well as being a massage therapist who practises and teaches Cranio-sacral Bio-dynamics, had a yen to go travelling. While she’s not someone who makes grand plans, she was working towards making that happen when everything changed in March.

“Now look at me.” She laughs again as she gestures around the massage room at Nádúir, the holistic centre that she and Josef run in Furbo. Located on a leafy boreen off the Galway-Spiddal road, it’s a gorgeous, peaceful place where she conducts yoga classes in non-Covid times. But foreign climes it ain’t.

Yet, Ciara has broadened her reach enormously since March and in ways she could never have imagined back then. Like most yoga teachers, she quickly moved her regular classes to the online video-conferencing app, Zoom, and that’s been working fine.

But she’s done way more than that.

“I love working really hard and connecting,” explains this elemental, smart, funny woman.

“I was looking for something to excite and energise me, to challenge me to do something at the end of my comfort zone, to teach myself new skills.”

So, in August, Ciara began offering daily 20-minute yoga sessions on YouTube and Facebook and she’s continued to offer them every month, with a different monthly theme, such as ‘Connect’ or ‘Strength’. ‘Flow’ is January’s focus.

This unique teacher who has been practising yoga for three decades, is now building an online community who love the wholesome, humorous, wise take on life which she brings to her daily practice.

People who sign up are asked to pay €10 a month, to ‘subscribe for sustainability’.  Afterwards, it all remains online, freely available to anyone anywhere who has the internet.

Ciara and her sister Sinéad, who helps with administration, thought carefully about what to charge, before embracing the model of US yoga teacher Adriene Mishler who has millions of followers and offers many of her classes for free.

Ciara’s aim is that her sessions are affordable for people, while creating some income for Sinéad and herself – vital, given that Nádúir has lost practically all its revenue streams since March.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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Crowds flocked to the unveiling of a monument on June 15, 1959, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the landing of Alcock and Brown at Derrygimlagh Bog.

1921

British Empire’s decay

History records the rise and fall of many empires. When nations reach the zenith of their power, they begin to decay, and often “great is the fall there of.”

That the British Empire is on the down grade is becoming more apparent every day. There are many cases contributing to this decline, but perhaps England’s treatment of the sister island is one of the chief.

That great soldier-statesman, General Smutts, predicted that unless justice was meted out to Ireland, the Empire would suffer. When he made that prediction, the Coalition Government had not sent over the “Black and Tans” to keep order in Ireland, nor had their barbarous reprisals shocked humanity.

What would he say now if he expressed his views on England’s treatment of the sister isle? He would say what the Press of every nation is saying: she is destroying her moral prestige in the eyes of the world. Other nations today incline to look upon her as the Irish nation has always looked upon her.

As Lloyd George is responsible for the “bad peace” and the present muddle in Europe, he is responsible more than any living man for the work of disintegration going on in the Empire.

Frightfulness in the face of revolt against a civil population, vicarious punishment of innocent for guilty is the measure of his statesmanship.

Councillors’ arrest

Eight members of the Galway County Council, who travelled to Galway on Wednesday to attend a special meeting to discuss finances and consult with the rate-collectors, were arrested on their way to the courthouse where the meeting was to have been held at twelve o’clock.

The meeting was summoned by the vice-chairman, Miss Alice Cashel.

As Miss Cashel was on her way to the meeting she was arrested by plain clothes policemen between the post office and Moon’s Corner, and conveyed to Eglinton police station.

She had arrived in town on the previous evening to attend the meeting. She was searched by two lady searchers, and removed to Renmore.

Martin Forde, P. C. Curley, John Cloherty, Martin Finnerty, Michael Finnegan, Michael Keaveney and Michael Hawthorne, other members of the county council, were also arrested by plain clothes policemen outside the courthouse and taken to Eglinton-st.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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Country Living

Oh, what would life be like, without a good agony aunt?

Francis Farragher

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Probably the most famous agony aunt of them all . . . Angela McNamara, a 'problem solver' for years in the now defunct Sunday Press newspaper.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of the ‘funny’ things about comedy is how some things that aren’t really funny at all, can make you burst into convulsions of laughter time after time.

After all, seeing someone slip on a banana skin and fall over can end up with the victim suffering a broken arm or wrist, and yet every time we see in in a sketch, we laugh.

For some reason of late, when I look up the death notices on RIP.ie, the name Farragher, flashes up before me automatically on the screen, and I’m inclined to have a little snigger and say: “Not just yet.”

We laugh when someone walks into a glass door that’s cleaned so well that it looks like it’s not there at all, but again it ain’t funny for the victim; while the rear view of a slightly obese male without a belt on his sagging trousers at least will draw an ‘oops’ if not a laugh.

Last Saturday, as I was flicking through the Irish Independent, a piece caught my eye on the problem page of the magazine section. I’d say, for all the world, it was a serious letter, but I have to admit I’m still laughing.

A woman was pouring out her heart to agony aunt, Mary O’Connor, about the third party that had entered into her relationship with her boyfriend. A touch of the Camilla Parker Bowles situation with Charles (well the other way around), one might think at first.

This third party had wreaked havoc with what had been apparently a pretty stable and loving relationship – the destruction list being quite a long and dramatic one. This third party – probably something of a ‘looker’ into the bargain – had caused fights between the previously happy couple; had wandered into the neighbour’s yard; and had injured the woman involved; as well as being involved in a number of road accidents; not to mention the cat being mauled.

Yes, you’ve probably guessed it by now, but the third party in the relationship was none other than a German shepherd dog, who had not been trained in the domestic ways of the world, by his new guardians.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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