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Connacht Tribune

Leaving Certs finally know all the answers




It was the only question left to which they didn’t know the answer – what joy or despair for the Leaving Cert class of 2016 was contained within the brown envelope.

And for the most part, yesterday’s results brought smiles and satisfaction to all.

Principal Triona Ui Mhurcu of Colaiste Chroi Mhuire in Spiddal was overjoyed at the high standards of results across all subjects that the students attained, praising the benefits of sitting Higher Level Maths.

“Across the board I can’t see anything that’s disappointing. There are a lot of distinctions in LCVP which would be quite rare and the maths results were fantastic,” said Ms. Ui Mhurcu.

That was echoed at Calasanctius College in Oranmore, according to Principal Cora Ni Loinsigh. “There are a number of exceptional results. An exceptional result is when you open that envelope and you say I’m proud of that, I’ve done my best. It’s quite a personal thing,” said Ms. Ni Loinsigh.

Lydia Shafik of Dominican College, Taylor’s Hill in Galway city, achieved an impressive six A1 grades and one A2 grade all at higher level. Two students in St. Joseph’s Patrician College – the Bish – in Galway city, Andrei Barcovschi and Jack Rutherford, attained over 600 points.

Ardscoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe, student Chloe Carrick from Clontuskert received 615 points and wants to study neurosurgery.

Christine Duggan from Corofin wants to study pharmacy after achieving 615 points in Presentation College, Tuam. St Jarlath’s College, Tuam, student Conor Quinn from Cloghans Hill received 605 points.

Next up for most of the Leaving Cert class of 2016 is college – and the first round of CAO offers will be sent out next Monday.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Loughrea school’s new arrival is already top dog!

Francis Farragher



St Raphael’s College, Loughrea, student Tierney Burke welcomes the school community dog “Teal”. Photo: Hany Marzouk

SHE’S only two-years-old but already Teal is both the star pupil and teacher at St. Raphael’s Secondary School in Loughrea.

School Principal, Paul Cafferky, is delighted with the role that the Labrador and Golden Retriever cross, Teal, has made right across the school – but particularly so with a special class of six pupils.

“We had heard about an initiative where Guide Dogs are provided for at schools, hospitals or hospices and we decided to check it out a bit more.

“At the time, we were told we had a chance of getting a dog but there were no promises. We were absolutely thrilled when the Guide Dogs confirmed that Teal would be coming to the school,” said Paul Cafferkey.

Sometimes Guide Dogs ‘mightn’t just make it’ in terms of meeting the needs of visually impaired people and these canines are then offered to places like schools.

Teal is a much-loved addition for all pupils and staff at the school but particularly with Rang Breandan, a special class of six students – four in senior-cycle and two in first-year – who enjoy the presence of Teal in their classroom for a few hours every day.

Principal Paul Cafferky – along with Special Needs Co-ordinator, Mairead McKenna and teacher Mairead Taylor – all went through a 20-hour training course with Teal, while all students at the school were given a Zoom presentation on their new arrival.

You can read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition on

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Connacht Tribune

TG4 journalists angry at weekend staff cuts

Dara Bradley




RTÉ’s Irish language news workforce fears being downgraded to a ‘translation service’ at weekends because of cutbacks at the national broadcaster.

Journalists and other workers at RTÉ’s Nuacht on TG4 are concerned about cuts to the availability of camera crew on Saturdays and Sundays, and also on Tuesdays.

They argue it will limit the editorial independence of the Irish news service because the decisions on what to film on those days will be made by RTÉ’s English language news teams.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has called on RTÉ to look at alternative ways of saving money.

RTÉ told the Connacht Tribune that the change was ‘modest’ and it was aimed at ‘reducing duplication across RTÉ journalism’.

The issue was highlighted by Conradh na Gaeilge, which accused RTÉ of “targeting” TG4’s news service. Galway West TD and former Gaeltacht Minister Éamon Ó Cuív (FF) said Nuacht TG4 needed an independent budget. Deputy Ó Cuív told the cuts showed that RTÉ had a ‘lack of interest’ in developing Irish language news service.

RTÉ provide TG4 with Nuacht and 7Lá as part of its public service remit.

A number of sources working in RTÉ’s Irish language news service told the Connacht Tribune they are angry and frustrated with the proposed cuts to Nuacht’s camera crew, which are due to come into effect in mid-May.

“This will be a very serious downgrading of our service,” said one worker.

“On the face of it, it’s not a big problem – we won’t have a camera at weekends in Dublin. But it has implications on our news service at weekends and we’d more or less just become a translation service of what the English RTÉ news has.”

You can read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition on

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Country Living

The perils and pitfalls of asking for that first dance

Francis Farragher



Country Living with Francis Farragher

I’m told by those of a different generation that there are many innovative ways in today’s technological world to meet ‘the one’ whether it be on Facebook, Twitter or dating sites like Tinder, but some of the more old-fashioned contact methods are still surviving.

Here and there – and I hope it’s not out of any serious sense of voyeurism – I’m inclined to glance at the Getting in Touch page of the Irish Farmers Journal, where for the princely sum of €25, you can state your case to the world in terms of locating that perfect partner.

The fact that someone is willing to fork out €25 – the rates go up substantially if you want to be included in the response category – must mean that the contributors are essentially genuine, and it probably goes to show that there are quite a lot of lonely people out there. And this, despite all our gadgets that keep us in touch with all corners of the globe.

I just love the little abbreviations used in the ‘come and get me’ ads like N/S, S/D, GSOH and WLTM which I think that I have figured out. N/S is non-smoker, S/D is social drinker (I think), GSOH is good sense of humour and WLTM is would like to meet.

Last week, there was a lady (41) from Laois who ‘stated her case’ on the basis that she was re-evaluating her life’s priorities due to the impact of the Covid-19 situation.

She was a bit worried about her height (5 foot) but had no dependents – apart from her dog – and she wanted a man with a good work ethic who ‘is self-sufficient, good at conversations and knows his way around the house’.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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