Despite only being able to type using a single finger on a hand which frequently goes into spasm, Mary Kinsella has managed to type nearly 30,000 words for her upcoming memoir.
It is a formidable achievement for the woman who was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy from a very young age. But then Mary is used to overcoming obstacles.
And writers’ block is certainly not one of them.
For the last year, Craughwell writer Anne Marie Kennedy has been working with Mary once a fortnight for two hours to help her with her writing, in a project funded by the Brothers of Charity.
Anne Marie – who nominated Mary for the Local Heroes Award – wells up when discussing some of the painful experiences that Mary has endured.
From age three to age eight, Mary spent most of her time in Merlin Park hospital, where she underwent fifteen surgeries, various medical procedures and tortuous physical therapy.
Some therapies involved hanging weights off her limbs in a bid to straighten them so she could walk.
“She never did walk but had to suffer the most unbelievable pain. If you don’t come out of that resentful…Sad as they were at the time, she says those years have had a positive impact on her physical health. Despite using a wheelchair for most of her adult life Mary is fit, active and healthy. She has won several medals and awards for water sports and bocce.”
Mary has always loved to write.
One of her first toys was in fact a typewriter, gifted to her by her father’s sister.
She can recall vividly the joy and fun of belting the keyboard that had big black letters, no ribbon, no ink and no paper, just something that made noise and occupied her as a child.
She has been writing poetry since she was a teenager and has a collection of plays, short stories and children’s literature, some of which have been published and performed with assistance from Arts Disability Ireland.
For the rest of Mary’s story, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.
■ Do you have a Local Hero living in your midst? Each month we want to honour someone in the community who makes the world a better place for their presence. Just see the nomination form in the Connacht Tribune, make your choice and outline your reasons – and next month’s Local Hero could be on your own doorstep.
Split level home on large site in Drum
This is a superb detached family home on a large site of 1.4 acres located around 5km from Galway City.
Built in 1999, the property at Drum East near Bushypark extends to 3,000 sq ft and has around 0.75 of an acre of easily maintained gardens.
The residence is deceptive from the front as it appears to be single storey, but is in fact split level and is over three floors.
On the ground and first floors are the sitting room, kitchen, dining room, utility room, four bedrooms (two of which are en suite), main bathroom and guest toilet.
On the lower ground floor is a large open plan room suitable for a variety of uses and two further separate rooms. All rooms are large, bright and spacious.
The care and thought that has gone into this home is evident with the quality of fittings, such as solid timber floors, tiling, kitchen fittings and bathrooms have recently been refitted with new showers, tiling and suites.
The thermal efficiencies have been improved with extensive retro fitting of insulation, including pumping walls and attic insulation.
Externally, the gardens have been planned and have matured well with natural stone wall boundary to front, mature trees and shrub beds on side and rear boundary, extensive lawn, tarmacadam drive to the front, side and rear. In addition, there is a rear field of approximately 0.65 acres.
Drum is a popular location to the west of Galway City approximately 5km from the city centre; Boleybeg Primary School is 1km and the Salthill Devon pitches are nearby.
It offers space, privacy, scope and all the benefits of country living yet on the doorstep of the city.
■ The asking price is €575,000. The BER Rating is C1. For further information or to arrange a viewing, contact Sherry FitzGerald on 091 569123.
Rowers Murtagh and Keogh in final Olympic Games bid
TWO talented Galway oarswomen will be striving to book their ticket to Tokyo when competing in the final Olympic Qualifying Regatta in Lucerne over the coming days.
Moycullen’s Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh from Na Forbacha will be part of the Irish Women’s Four seeking to clinch their passport to the rescheduled Olympics Games in Japan.
The Galway pair will join with Eimear Lambe and Emily Hegarty in pursuit of one of the two qualifying places up for grabs on the famous Swiss lake.
Fresh from their silver medal winning exploits in last month’s European Championships in Poland, the Irish crew are one of the favourites for their event in Lucerne. The regatta goes ahead from May 16 to May 18.
Consistency is the key as Walsh ‘good to go’ for tie with Kerry
GALWAY captain Shane Walsh admits it is difficult to know where his side are at, but that the Tribesmen are going to give it “a right good go” against Kerry in Tralee this Saturday afternoon.
When these two met pre-pandemic in the National League last year, they served up a lively encounter that saw Kerry edge out Galway on a 1-15 to 2-11 scoreline. Walsh was in sparkling form in that game, tallying 1-4, including a brilliant goal.
“I suppose, it’s harder to gauge where everyone is going to be at going into Saturday,” says the Galway captain. “We haven’t had ideal preparation as regards challenge games and that, I suppose that timeframe was out of our hands.
“But we’ve been training hard, lads have been putting their best foot forward and they are just delighted to have had this date in mind. Everyone is looking forward to going down to Tralee and giving a right good go at it.”
Despite the narrow defeat in 2020, Galway were in fine fettle during that period and, by the time the competition was suspended due to the global outbreak of Covid-19, they were sitting top of Division 1.
Sadly, the momentum they had generated could not be sustained when activities resumed later in the year. Injuries did play a part in that – Walsh was one of those – but he agrees that it is imperative they are consistent in their performances and return to winning ways.
“Yeah, it (consistency) builds momentum as well, and the more momentum you can get behind you, the better it is going to be. So, again for us, that starts on Saturday and we can’t wait for it.
“Last year, I suppose, was a year for us to learn from. Like Padraic (Joyce, manager) was
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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