‘Heart-warming’ is how CNN’s John King describes the outpouring of affection he’s received from these shores over the past couple of weeks, since the news network’s Chief National Correspondent confirmed that his family heritage is firmly rooted in Connemara.
While the bookies have been busy taking bets on when Joe Biden will touch down on Irish soil, anticipation has been building in Galway for the return of one of its own – the man who had the undivided attention of countless Irish households over the course of a painstaking US election count that gripped the world.
Speaking to the Connacht Tribune from his home in Washington DC this week, King says the response he’s had from Irish viewers has taken him by surprise, but provided some much-needed comic relief amid hours of gruelling live television coverage.
“It has surprised me, and some of it is my own doing, in that I responded to a ‘is John King Irish?’ Tweet. When I’m in the live TV craziness, every now and then when I have two minutes, I just look for comic relief. I was flipping through Twitter and I said ‘always’, so I decided to just type it,” he laughs.
“That’s just me trying to find 30 seconds of comic relief or normalcy or fun in the madness of the election.”
It was later that he told someone else on Twitter that ‘it all begins in Doonloughan’ starting a flurry of interest in the veteran journalist.
He has since revealed that his grandparents, Christy ‘Festy’ King and Bridget Joyce, were from North Connemara, making their respective journeys to Boston in the early 1900s.
Read the full interview with CNN’s John King in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Curran, Melody and Molloy all leave Utd as Caulfield confirms two new signings
The comings and goings have continued at Galway United in the past week, with the club busy re-signing players fork last season, adding some new faces, as well as confirming the departure of players who were part of the 2020 squad.
Having already said goodbye to the sextet of Conor Barry, Joe Collins, Vinny Faherty, Jack Lynch, Timo Partheons, and Josh Smith, the club this week confirmed the departure of three more players: Enda Curran (89 appearances, 20 goals), Conor Melody (108 appearances, five goals), and Timmy Molloy (16 appearances, no goals).
Curran was signed for United as an 18-years-old by Sean Connor ahead of the 2011 season and made his debut in the opening game of that campaign, coming on as a substitute for the injured Neal Keane in the 43rd of a 3-0 defeat at home to St Patrick’s Athletic.
He made a total of 13 appearances for United that season, and he was back with the Tribesmen for United’s return to the national league in the 2014 season, when he made eight appearances, scoring his first goal for United in the first of those games, coming off the bench to score in the 5-0 win at home to Shamrock Rovers B in July.
His most productive season for United was the following year’s campaign, when he scored 12 goals in 25 appearances in the Premier Division for United (he made 29 league and cup appearance in total that season), including his one and only hat-trick for the club, coming in the 5-0 win away to Bray Wanderers in April.
The following month, he had the distinction of scoring two penalties in a single game, in the 5-3 win over Bohemians.
That haul of a dozen goals saw him finish as the club’s joint top-scorer in the league that season alongside Jake Keegan, though the US striker finished as overall top scorer on 16 goals thanks to 2 goals in the FAI Cup, and two in the League Cup.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
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Biden is a Maree man!
The connections of incoming US President, Joe Biden, to Mayo and Louth on his mother’s side of his family have been widely reported – but it has emerged that he has just as strong links to a small townland outside Oranmore through his father’s side…as recently as four generations ago.
And the news has led to hopes that the President-elect will include a trip to Galway in any itinerary for a visit to Ireland during his presidency – and it is being reported this week that the incoming president will make Ireland his first state visit when he assumes office.
Contact had been made with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s office with the news of the President-elect’s Galway links ahead of his visit to Ireland in 2016, but Liam Hanniffy – who has uncovered the link between his family and that of Mr Biden, was told that the itinerary had already been planned, and a visit to Galway was not possible.
Liam Hanniffy, who is from Ballinacourty in Maree, has been researching his family tree since been contacted by a man from America in 2014 saying they were third cousins, and both were also related to the then US Vice-President, Joe Biden.
Research by Liam has discovered that a man called John Hanniffy, who was born just over 200 years ago in Ballinacourty Hill in Maree, is actually the great-great grandfather of the President-elect – and to make the Galway link even stronger, John Hanniffy married a woman whose parents was also born in the same townland, meaning two of his great-great-great grandparents also came from the same townlands nestled on Galway Bay.
Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie
Galway all set to re-open for business
Galway has earned the right to re-open – local lockdown sacrifices have suppressed the virus in the community, the latest figures confirm.
The collective effort of city and county residents over six weeks drove down the infection rate to one of the lowest in the country.
Gyms, all retail, hairdressers, personal services and possibly religious services and some entertainment are on course to re-open next week.
Government will announce plans for hospitality, with publicans, and in particular those who don’t serve food, hopeful they won’t be left behind. Plans to ease Christmas visiting restrictions will also be unveiled Friday.
Galway had one of Ireland’s highest Covid-19 figures when the country entered Level 5 lockdown in October but the latest stats reveal a massive turnaround.
Galway recorded 168 new confirmed cases in the fortnight to Monday, which equates to a 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 of 65.1, compared with the national average of 107.8. The incidence rate peaked at 313.9 per 100,000 in October when the number of weekly cases in Galway hit a staggering 500 – ten times this week’s total of 50 cases in the seven days up to Monday.
In the week to Saturday, 28 Covid outbreaks were recorded in the West, down from 36 the previous week. Eighteen of the new clusters were in private homes and nine were in extended family and community.
See full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie