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Connacht Tribune

In search of that land where dreams really do come true

Francis Farragher

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Judy Garland: Film bosses tried to convince her that she was an 'ugly duckling'.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Sometimes, I take what I might describe as an unusual notion, and a couple of weeks back, I thought to myself that it had been a long time since the threshold of a cinema door had been crossed.  There was a time when I’d sit down and watch a film on TV but now a myriad of distractions seem to intervene . . . either the phone rings . . . someone lands into the kitchen for a chat . . . there’s a dispute over who wants to watch what . . . and then the ‘flick’ is abandoned for other sources of entertainment.

Anyway, straying back into childhood days, and normally around Christmas time, the Wizard of Oz always seemed to on the television in glorious black and white (not the film’s fault but the TV’s) where Judy Garland played the most innocent and sweetest of roles as Dorothy Gale.

It was a film of fantasy, music and dreams, only to be watched with a loose window of imagination, but there always seemed to be a purity of innocence and spirit in Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) that could never be challenge.

A star of cinema and known all over the world before she had reached the age of 18, the world seemed to be at her feet, but as the years passed and our innocence was gradually eroded by the experiences of the world, we’d read newspaper stories here and there of Judy Garland’s rather troubled personal life.

So, it was with a mixture of starry-eyed childhood flashbacks of rainbows and beautiful chords and the harsh realities of adult life, that a few of us embarked on a mission to see Judy, a little unsure as to whether we should have put at risk our little memory treasures from younger days.

The story of the life of Frances Ethel Gumm, aka Judy Garland, was of course far removed from the happy images that we associate with her roles in different films. The first assault on her innocence was at the age of two, when she was put on stage to sing her first song, and after that her childhood was never really her own.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway’s newest garden centre has arrived at McD’s in Galway Crystal

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Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building

For over 10 years people have been flocking to McD’s Garden Centre in Loughrea to get the very best range for garden, home and much much more.

This weekend McD’s are proud to announce the opening of a brand new Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building.

Nicely located with good parking and serviced by the 404 Newcastle to Oranmore bus, McD’s Garden Centre at Galway Crystal is a must visit location if you need anything from plants, shrubs, pots, garden furniture and more. They have a dedicated solar garden lights section, gorgeous array of water features and garden ornaments and practically everything you need for your garden.

Visit their Facebook today where they are running competitions and keep track of other promotions too. You can visit their website online at www.McDs.ie

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Connacht Tribune

UHG nurse battles for her life in ICU

Dara Bradley

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Leona Paula Leoncio...in ICU.

UHG remains braced to rapidly respond to any rise in Covid-19 patients as a result of a second surge – but the plight of one of their own colleagues this week showed just how precarious this pandemic can be.

Because while senior management at the Saolta Group vowed to stay ‘vigilant and alert’, a staff nurse at UHG was battling for her life in the hospital’s own ICU.

Leona Paula Leoncio, a 36-year-old mother of two boys, tested positive for Covid-19 last week, and was moved to ICU on Monday where she was intubated and ventilated.

The staff nurse, who had no underlying health conditions, is now battling for life in ICU at UHG, according to the Philippine Consulate in Dublin, which has urged people to pray for her.

Ms Leoncio moved to Ireland in 2017, with her husband and two children, to work in the country’s health system.

“We might have different faiths and beliefs but can I ask of you . . . to take a pause and say a prayer of healing and strength for her and her family,” said Chuck Giner, her nursing colleague at UHG, in a posting relayed on the Philippine Consulate’s social media.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – along with all of the latest news on the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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Connacht Tribune

Gort boy reunites Tipp star with broken hurl from famous point

Dara Bradley

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Liam Linnane from Gort holding Brendan Maher's broken hurley from the All-Ireland semi-final club game. Photo: Hardiman Photography.

Tipperary All-Star hurler Brendan Maher has revealed that a young lad in Gort has found his long-lost hurl – the one he used to score one of the points of the last sporting year.

The broken hurl, the one that broke the hearts of St Thomas’ fans back in January, was used to fire over a point in Borris-Illeigh’s All-Ireland semi-final victory over the Galway club at the Gaelic Grounds.

Maher revealed last week that he tried to retrieve the hurl after the match to keep as a memento, but couldn’t find it. He subsequently got a letter from twelve year old Liam Linnane from Gort, who had found it.

“After I scored the point I got kind of carried away and I threw it over my shoulder into the open stand in the Gaelic Grounds. After the match, I thought I would really like to have that hurley but we could not find it and the club even contacted the Gaelic Grounds afterwards to see if it was found.

“Several weeks had passed and I’d given up on it when I got a letter from a young fella in Gort and I read down through it. He said he was twelve years old and that he was at the game where I scored the point with the broken hurley and that he had the hurley.”

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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