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Farming

Lamb’s tale still lives on two centuries later

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The Superannuated Man.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of the little regrets I have with working in Galway city is the fact that I can never really ‘take holidays’ in a place that’s associated with the daily grind of what we call work. These days there’s a throb about the city that’s hard to replicate anywhere else but that ‘damn nuisance’ of work prevents us from savouring its delights apart from maybe a half hour around lunchtime.

There’s some kind of psychological barrier present that prevents a man from facing back into a city from ‘the sticks’ in the evening after escaping from the peak hour traffic logjams. Shows, films and plays, that all look so seductive on coloured brochures, seem to lose their lure when the evening snack has been consumed and a rustic wander lust takes over.

Fields, bogs, cattle and dogs always seem to win that internal battle of wills over great shows, plays and strange dancers, while after-work invitations to partake in a few beverages have been jettisoned by a late middle aged fear of blue flashing lights in hot pursuit around Claregalway.

There’s a real envy there too during our lunchtime breakouts from the asylum to witness people with time on their hands, leisurely consuming ‘pints of plain’, outside places like Garavans, the King’s Head and Tí Coiligh’s as a smorgasbord of street musicians, singers and performers earn their daily bread.

Here and there, the big effort will be made to take in a show during the arts festival or a day at The Races, but the effort to escape from the clutches of everyday chores, just seems to take far too much energy and planning.

At times like that, my mind wanders back to a Spartan desk in a classroom at Tuam CBS four decades back where we read the Charles Lamb essay about The Superannuated Man and his forlorn struggle to sample more frequently the pleasures of life to be enjoyed in time-off during the late 1700s and the early 1800s in London town.

In those days, Lamb worked as an office clerk from early ‘til late, Monday through to Saturday, with Sunday his only day of the week to switch off from the world of figures and ledgers. During those more puritan times though, Sundays in London were days of worship and rest where all the normal buzz of the city went into a kind of weekly hibernation, prompting Lamb to observe:

“In particular, there is a gloom for me attendant upon a city Sunday, a weight in the air. I miss the cheerful cries of London, the music, and the ballad-singers – the buzz and stirring murmur of the streets. Those eternal bells depress me.

“The closed shops repel me. Prints, pictures, all the glittering and endless succession of knacks and gewgaws, and ostentatiously displayed wares of tradesmen, which make a week-day saunter through the less busy parts of the metropolis so delightful – are shut out.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Tractor run will remember a local legend

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Some members of the 10-person organising committee for the PJ Mahoney Memorial Tractor Run that takes place in Ardrahan on Sunday, December 11. (Left to right): Anthony Whelan, Brian Kilkelly, Declan Sylver, Patrick Mahoney and Aonghusa Fahy. Absent from the photo are: Mary Forde, Lena Taylor, Conor O’Dea, Gerald Harney and Mícheál Kelly.

THE PJ Mahoney Memorial Tractor Run will take place on Sunday, December 11, in memory of a very well-known and highly regarded figure within the Ardrahan and South Galway local community, who passed away just a year ago this month.

PJ Mahoney was steeped in farming and the GAA and for this he was known far and wide. He was a talisman for Ardrahan GAA, playing in goals for the senior hurling team when they won county hurling titles in 1974, 1975 and 1978.

All down through the years, he was a most dedicated and guiding servant to the club up until his untimely death in a road accident last year.

PJ farmed locally throughout his life and was well known as an agricultural contractor in both Galway and North Clare, a business carried on by his son Patrick.

There are many tales and anecdotes of PJ Mahoney that still bring a smile to the faces of those recalling them.

He was a keystone in the local community, the neighbour you could always call on, and indeed the neighbour that didn’t need to be called upon as he would turn up to help regardless.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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More info needed in land rezoning changes

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Albert Dolan: Start building houses for our young people.

A BIGGER effort needs to be put in by local authorities to notify farmers close to towns and villages – whose land is zoned as residential – according to a number of councillors at this week’s meeting of Galway County Council.

Independent councillor for the Athenry-Oranmore electoral area,  Jim Cuddy, told Monday’s meeting at County Hall that landowners should be written to by the Council to inform them if they had land zoned as residential.

“They should at least be informed that their land has been zoned as residential and will be liable for tax [3% of value]. Some of those people just don’t know if their land has been zoned as residential – they’re just hearing rumours,” said Cllr. Cuddy.

According to Cllr. Pete Roche (FG) there was an onus on the Council to get the information ‘out there’ about zoned land through the various media outlets. However, Cllr. Michael Connolly (FF) said that the issue of land zoning and tax was a decision taken by central government.

“This is national legislation – the local authority can’t be taking this on – we can’t be carrying the can for central government,” added Cllr. Connolly.

Cllr. Albert Dolan (FF) said that young people like himself ‘had damn all chance of buying a house’, adding that this tax wouldn’t be coming into force until 2024. “We need to start building houses for our young people,” he added.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway is top of the table for payments in GLAS

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Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan

GALWAY tops the league both in terms of payment total and farming numbers for the GLAS environmental scheme, the latest figures from the Dept. of Agriculture reveal.

Almost €13.7 million is being paid out in the 2022 Advance GLAS Payments to 3,951 farmers in Galway – averaging out at nearly €3,500 per farmer.

Mayo comes second on the payments list with over €12.4m being paid out to 3,683 farmers – equating to an average payment of just under €3,400 per applicant.

The importance of GLAS payments to the western seaboard counties is also highlighted by the fact that Donegal comes in third on the pay league, with €9.54m being paid to 3,026 farmers in that county – averaging out at just under €3,200 per applicant.

Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan, said that the uptake in GLAS across the whole western region highlighted the importance of the scheme to farmers in the more marginal areas.

“While we had hoped that the ACRES would be of a similar nature to GLAS, farmers here in the West still should definitely give serious consideration to applying for inclusion in the new scheme,” said Stephen Canavan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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

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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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