Anne Stanley has a recurring dream for the last 55 years – she wants to live in Galway and she has turned to the internet to make that happen.
House-hunting via the web is not uncommon; so when it came to finding her dream home, 55-year-old Anne felt that online forums would be of more help than the usual property websites. But it was the tone of her plea that marked this out as more than just a home search.
“Time has come for the house here in Greystones, Co. Wicklow to be sold, divided and finally to head to where I’ve spent the last 55 years wanting to be… Galway,” read her post on Boards.ie.
But what is it about Galway that is so attractive to her?
“Galway is soft; Galway is wild, its shadows playing chasing across the mountains; its rowdy drunks in Eyre Square; its vivid squalls out at sea; its beer cans littering an unspoilt beach. It’s not perfect by any means. I don’t wear rose-tinted glasses, but it’s Galway,” she said, so poetically that she makes even the least attractive parts of Galway sound magical.
“I first came to Galway as a child, very young for my years. I was eleven, an only child and born to parents who were 40 and 55 respectively. I led a fairly isolated childhood, having never actually met another child until my first day at school, which was interesting to say the least,” Anne recalled.
“But I had never been away from home on my own before, so being deposited abruptly off a smoky CIE bus on a grey afternoon and left on a barren roadside with a black hill to my right and stark grey walls and a cruel-looking sea to my left should have been the ultimate nightmare. I should have stood there and screamed for the posh roads of Foxrock, but I didn’t.”
In fact, Anne felt perfectly at home, inhaling the turf smoke, watching the hens pecking around the gate of a cottage opposite. This experience had a lasting effect on her and has caused her grief and happiness in equal amounts over the years.
“Grief for the thirty plus years that I was away; I would turn on TG4 and literally sob as I watched the currachs on the feast of St Mac Dhara, or even listening to the news as Gaeilge would sometimes turn the tap,” she said.
Now Anne and her partner Terry are hoping to fulfil her lifelong dream of moving to Galway along with their three dogs, Jess, Kelsie and Molly and their little orange cat, Charlie. But what would their dream house be?
“We’ve decided that Oughterard is the place that we really want to be. In practical terms, we need three bedroom and we need land; land enough for our wooffies and myself to get our daily exercise; land enough to pick a few apples perhaps, grow a few vegetables maybe. The house itself just has to be dry and warm with an open fire or wood burner,” said Anne.
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.
US basketball champion boasts impeccable Galway roots
An Irish American basketball player with impeccable Galway roots helped end a 50-year NBA famine for the Milwaukee Bucks last week.
Boston-born Pat Connaughton, whose grandparents hail from Clostoken, Loughrea, played a pivotal part in his side clinching the NBA championship final series over the Phoenix Suns.
The 6ft 5in shoot guard was involved in all six games of the final series, including the last, which the Bucks won 105-98.
Afterwards, the 28-year-old said: “It’s incredible. The fans supported us through thick and thin. They’ve had our backs. To be able to do it and to win it and to be able to call ourselves World champions in front of our own fans . . . it’s incredible. The city of Milwaukee deserves it and I’m just proud that I could be a part of a team, with my teammates, that gave it to them.”
One of his cousins in Loughrea, Madeleine Connaughton, told the Connacht Tribune that his relations in Galway were incredibly proud of his achievement.
“It’s absolutely brilliant; he’s a celebrity in our eyes because he has done so well,” said Madeleine.
“It’s brilliant that Pat is flying the flag for us over there. He was the only person to play both professionally, baseball and basketball with Notre Dame. He was as good a baseball player as basketball and had to choose.”
Madeleine joked that there ‘is a clatter of us’ in Loughrea related to Pat Connaughton, including the Connaughtons, Tierneys, Keanes and Burkes.
Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Galway duo make sporting history as out first Olympic medallists
The motto of the Ireland Women’s Coxless Four team, which includes Galway’s first ever Olympic medallists, Aifric Keogh and Fiona Murtagh, has been drilled into them by coach Giuseppe De Vita: ‘Winter miles makes Summer smiles.’
At twenty-three minutes past two on Wednesday morning Irish time, during the Tokyo Olympic medal presentation ceremony at a windswept Sea Forest Waterway, the rowing quartet’s smiles beamed from ear-to-ear.
It was a testament to the hard graft they’ve put into the sport over many years, especially the past 18 months, and the last eight weeks in particular in the build-up to the biggest six minutes of their careers to date.
Keogh (29) from Aill an Phréacháin in Na Forbacha, Fiona Murtagh (26) from Gortachalla in Moycullen, and Eimear Lambe and Emily Hegarty were well entitled to smile after a remarkable rowing performance that earned them bronze medals in the Women’s Fours Final.
As they presented each other with their medals, in keeping with Covid-19 restrictions, and waved their bouquets into the air, back home, their smiles lit up the television and computer screens in living rooms of their family, friends and new legion of fans throughout the land.
It was a history-making feat – Galway’s first Olympic medallists, Ireland’s first women rowers to win Olympic medals, and the nation’s first at Tokyo 2020.
Both women were ecstatic afterwards as they spoke with the Connacht Tribune via Zoom from the media centre in the Olympic Village.
Read the full interview with Galway’s Olympic heroes in today’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Olympic dream comes true for Galway sprinting star
It was March, 2019 when the Olympic dream of Cillín Greene went up in smoke – or so everyone thought.
On day one of the European Indoor championships in Glasgow, the Claregalway sprinter was progressing nicely in a 400m heat.
He was in lane two, minding his own business, when, all of a sudden, he was ‘bounced’ by a Polish competitor on his inside.
Cillín steadied himself after the collision but was unable to react quick enough to hop over a Czech runner who tumbled in front of him. Both hit the deck. Bad enough that his race was run; worse again, afterwards it emerged he’d sustained a serious injury.
“He was knocked on the track and broke his elbow,” recalled his father, Colman.
“I think it put his whole make-up out of line for a long time. He started pulling hamstrings after that, and things like that. It took a long time to get it right. It’s like a fine-tuned sports car, everything has to be right. Last year, he had a lot of injuries and he wasn’t really going anywhere,” he said.
Glasgow was just over a year out from the Tokyo Olympic Games, and almost certainly wiped his chances of qualification.
But then Covid-19 delayed the Games, giving time to rehab; and the Galway City Harriers clubman worked relentlessly in Lockdown to get back on track.
The result? This Friday, along with another Galway man, Robert McDonnell (19) from Knocknacarra, 23-year-old Cillín Greene will become an Olympian when he competes in the mixed 4x400m relay heat at the Olympic Stadium at 12 noon Irish time.
See the full story – and comprehensive Olympic coverage – in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie