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Lorna’s Garden puts Eden in the shade



Galway is blessed with gardens. Both city and county glow quite green with them. They can be public or private and come in many shapes, sizes, contents and purposes.

From walled gardens in Kylemore, Connemara to Woodville near Kilchreest, and on to Bridget’s Garden near Moycullen, or back to the Organ Donor Garden beside Salthill Prom, sure we are spoiled for choice.


Throw in the countless private gardens, blooming, not just when annual Tidy Town and Best Garden competitions judges come to view, and you see why many Galwegians delight in never washing green off rather special fingers.

One dedicated private garden in particular deserves mention as these words appear.  Known not just locally, but internationally also, Lorna’s Garden in Ardcarraigh, Bushypark, is the dream in every gardener’s eye.

For Lorna MacMahon, a Redwood giant amongst Irish gardeners, has turned a once untidy wasteland, filled with granite rocks and lacking true top soil into a thing of beauty, winning both the Bord Fáilte Competition and National Garden Association’s best private garden award in Ireland, among many others.

Lorna McMahon's garden

Lorna McMahon’s garden

The garden started 44 years ago covering originally only one acre, but has since grown in size and stature into over four acres of designed delights, under the expert guidance of Lorna, who holds a Diploma in Horticulture from the Royal Horticultural Society of England.

Needless to say, her expert design has been governed by the natural landscape as indicated by the local names of Bushypark and Ardcarraig (High Rock). Today, her garden includes a stream, pools, bogland, rocky outcrops and even a hazel woodland, all filled with flora to suit each situation.

When the property was purchased by the MacMahons in 1971, there was no boundary fencing and only two trees. The back area of the garden was purchased later in several pieces and at different times. It originally consisted of a newly-built house, a hazel woodland, a stream, and a boggy field.

A number of separate gardens have since been made in clearings in the hazel woods, and in all, today, seventeen ‘garden’ areas greet the eye.

They consist of a Front Garden with heathers and various bulbs. There’s a Grass Border filled with ornamental grasses of many varieties. The Terracotta Garden is a formal sunken garden complete with old mill wheel.

A Back Area is designed to blend with the natural landscape, while including plants from other countries. The Mary O’Connor Garden is named in memory of a friend of Lorna, with more plants blending with a view over Lough Corrib.

Steps now lead you down to the Primula Pool, around which moisture-loving plants thrive. The Top Stream Section contains like plants. The Bog Field also contains moisture-loving plants with heathers in their element here. A small connecting garden with Acers to the fore lead to The Lower Stream area, planted with colourful autumn trees.

Rare forget me not in Lorna McMahon's garden which she will have for sale

Rare forget me not in Lorna McMahon’s garden which she will have for sale

Next we meet the Fernery and Hosta Garden, before leaving Ireland for Japan, as we enjoy the main Japanese Section complete with lantern and granite rock in the shape of Mount Fuji.

Next comes Harry’s Garden in memory of Lorna’s late husband, filled with plants provided by friends in his memory, set among more granite outcrops, pools and stream. The Oak Garden comes next, with emphasis again on a Japanese theme.

The carpeted Moss Garden soon beckons, followed by The Madden Garden in memory of Mary Joe and Charlie Madden, who supplied most of the original plants. Directly behind the house one comes to the Patio and Herb Garden, laid out in the formal garden style with herbs related to Shakespeare’s plays and the Bible.

Finally, you arrive at the Dwarf Conifer Section, to complete a magnificent walk through what is really a feast of gardening delights.

In this brief ramble through Lorna’s Garden, one can easily understand the amount of work expended in bringing this treasure to our view, and, of course, it is an ongoing task to keep it at its best, especially when winters come to do their worst. Nevertheless, Lorna, thankfully, has opened her garden to the public for over 31 years now, and sadly, this year, because of the work involved, it will be her last.

These Garden Open Days, held on the last three Sundays in May in recent years, are all in aid of the Galway Mental Health Association, raising between €12,000 – €20,000 annually – Lorna is a founder member of the Galway branch.  Admittance is only €5, and plants are also on sale for this good cause.

Lorna McMahon in her garden

You can treat yourself to something rather special if you come along next Sunday, May 31st, between 2-6 pm.  In this regard, Lorna offers a special thanks to the Galway Flower & Garden Club, whose members have helped so much in the running of these special days down through the years.

For her many efforts, Lorna, who has been a garden designer, judge, lecturer, demonstrator, writer, columnist, and horticultural therapist in the Psychiatric Unit of UHG, was honoured in 2006 when she received an Honorary MA from NUI, Galway.

Her garden, too, has featured widely on television, here and abroad, as well in publications worldwide – in fact it has been listed for many years in the English Good Garden Guide.

Lorna certainly has put Galway on the map in more ways than one.


Waste transfer station row set for High Court showdown



A final decision on a proposed waste transfer station for Ballinasloe will be hammered out in the High Court in around three months’ time.

Galway County Council has granted licences for a waste transfer station at the old Poolboy dump site, but these have been successfully appealed by a local campaign group.

The latest licence issued by the County Council is also the subject of a judicial review and this application is now for hearing before the High Court in October.

It is widely expected that this will end the ‘toing and froing’ between the Ballinasloe Says No campaign group and Galway County Council, who are footing a substantial bill for the legal challenges so far.

The old dump in Ballinasloe closed more than 20 years ago and it had been hoped locally that the site would be rehabilitated for community use – as opposed to having another waste facility located there.

However, Galway County Council have been issuing licences to Barna Waste for a waste transfer station which has sparked fears that the town will be inundated with heavy trucks on a daily basis.

This is the third occasion that the Ballinasloe Says No campaign has challenged the issuing of the waste transfer licences by Galway County Council and are hoping that this will be the last.

The proceedings being taken by the group will ultimately result in a decision being made in the High Court.

Chairperson Dr Vincent Parsons said that they were committed to fight for health, safety and the protection of the environment around the Suck River Callows which was a Special Protection Area under EU law.

“It is shocking that Galway County Council Executive have decided to grant this permit despite the unsuitability of this site and associated risks. Thousands of objections have submitted from people in the Ballinasloe area.

“The decision by Galway County Council to grant a permit was quashed by High Court orders on two previous occasions.

“But despite all this Galway County Council have granted another permit for a major waste facility in Ballinasloe showing total disregard for the people of town and surrounding area,” he said.

Dr Parsons added that independent expert ecology, hydrology and engineering assessments and reports had confirmed the unsuitability of this site and the substantial risks to health.

Meanwhile, Senator Aisling Dolan said that the campaign was largely to prevent to hundreds of trucks passing by local schools, playgrounds, estates and Portiuncula Hospital.

“Thousands of families in Ballinasloe made submissions and attended public meetings making it clear that this is an inappropriate location for a waste transfer station

“This is a major issue for families living in Ballinasloe and we are a local community group who are fighting this case. I want to thank people for their support for the town.

“Together with our legal team, we are challenging this decision by Galway County Council to grant this permit to operate a waste transfer station,” Sen Dolan added.

Photo: Vincent Parsons (Chairperson) and Senator Aisling Dolan (PRO) of the Ballinasloe Says No campaign pictured at the gateway to the proposed waste transfer site in Poolboy, Ballinasloe.

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Connacht Tribune

Supply chain challenges in retail




There has been a huge demand for consumer products in 2020 and 2021. Covid-19 has resulted in people spending more time at home than ever before. Lockdown especially saw all non-essential workers previously confined to their homes. Investing in goods such as clothing, electronics and furniture was one of the few ways that people could spend their discretionary income from the comfort of their own homes. However, this major spike in consumer purchasing is only one of many challenges that the retail industry is currently facing.

Every retailer and consumer across the globe is being affected by rising costs and frustrating delivery delays and this, unfortunately, includes us –  EZ Living Furniture. As Ireland’s most loved and well-known furniture retailer, we wanted to help our customers understand the issues the entire retail industry is currently facing and will continue to face for some time by outlining the order fulfilment process to you.

Supply Chain explained

March 2020:

Many suppliers (including EZ Living Furniture) source their products from overseas. When Covid-19 first struck in the Far East in March 2020, illness and a lessened workforce lead to a dramatic decrease in production. When those countries entered lockdown, supply stopped coming from the Far East entirely.

April 2020:

When these countries began to recover and started to exit lockdown, Europe, unfortunately, went into lockdown. Because we were unable to sell stock to the same capacity, we stopped ordering from these countries.

June 2020:

Customers began ordering products again, but only online as all of the physical stores in Europe were closed. It took us, and many other European businesses a number of weeks to come to terms with the new working from home arrangements and the redirection of resources towards the increase in online sales that occurred subsequently.

November 2020:

Product manufacturers and raw material manufacturers in Europe were still closed due to the pandemic. This meant materials and products were not being produced in Europe at all.

This caused major issues with supply and production. For instance, foam is one of many materials used to make mattresses, dining chairs, and sofas. When this is in short supply, so too is the furniture that uses foam.

Hospitals around the globe began ordering thousands of containers of PPE. With no warehouses to store these essential healthcare items, they remained in the containers at ports. This lead to congestions at ports and a shortage of shipping containers worldwide.

Shipping ports closed due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in ports.

March 2021:

The Suez Canal was blocked by a container vessel for six days. This put further strain on supply chains that were already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.

October 2021:

We are still continuing to suffer from the lack of containers. This is causing a rise in transportation and raw material costs. Deliveries to customers are also now taking longer than usual.

What are we doing to resolve this?

Stores like us are working even harder to ensure that customers receive the same products in the same time frame and at the same price-point that was in place before the pandemic. Any solution to this supply chain problem is not perfect. Prioritising faster delivery will inevitably lead to higher costs while focusing on lowering product prices will inevitably delay delivery times.

Alternatives and long-term solutions are being explored such as supply chains in eastern Europe. However, this is a time-consuming process primarily due to quality control and logistics.

What you need to know

Already this year, we have had to increase our stock levels to try to compensate for any future delivery delays. Until now, we have been absorbing the increases in transportation costs and raw materials in order to continue to offer our customers such a wide range of furnishings.

Unfortunately, due to the prolonged nature of the pandemic, stock is going to be limited, especially during certain holiday periods. Prices may also have to be increased again in the future with smaller companies likely to be affected to an even greater degree. We want to be completely transparent with our customers and make you all aware that our promotions listed below may be the last chance for you all to purchase EZ Living Furniture items at such low prices.

So, don’t wait to buy that EZ Living Furniture Item you have been eyeing and prioritise our in-stock items. The products available in all retail stores now could sell out and take a long time to return to stock. Shipping delay issues could also mean you are waiting months to receive your items.

  • The EZ Living Octoberfest Promotion – October 2021.
  • The EZ Living Furniture Black Friday Sale – November 2021.

Although we are uncertain as to how long these global supply-chain issues will last, we aim to keep you updated at all times. We appreciate your patience during these unprecedented times.

For any queries regarding your order, please contact our Customer Service team by phone, email or live chat:

Monday – Friday 9:30am – 5:00pm

Phone: 0818 222 272

Customer Service Email:

Website Enquiries Email:


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Connacht Tribune

A Moycullen win would add badly needed spice to football’s big day



Conor Reddington of Annaghdown and Tuam Stars' Adam Carton in action during the North Board Minor B football final at Tuam Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

BEFORE a ball was kicked in this year’s Galway senior championship, the smart money would have been on champions Corofin, Tuam Stars, Salthill/Knocknacarra and Mountbellew/Moylough making it to the semi-finals if they managed to keep out of each other’s way on the road to the penultimate stage off the title race.

Unfortunately, for a Salthill team which, in any event, didn’t scale their expected heights this year, they came up against the champions in the quarter-finals where the Seasiders’ challenge was dismissed in convincing fashion. It was business as usual for Corofin who remain odds on to claim a record-breaking eighth consecutive title.

With Tuam Stars edging out Bearna after extra-time, a Paul Kelly goal helping Moycullen get the better of St James’, and Mountbellew/Moylough powering home against 14-man Killannin, it means that three of last year’s semi-finalists are back seeking a place in the Galway decider this weekend. Mountbellew/Moylough are the odd ones out having fallen to Corofin in the 2019 quarter-finals.

Val Daly’s troops will need the performance of the lives to overturn club’s football’s dominant power, especially as they continue to field without county player John Daly – a son of their manager. Of course, they are not without a chance and if the likes of Michael Daly, Matthew Barrett, Eoin Finnerty, Eoin Ryan and Barry McHugh hit the ground running, they could give Corofin a searching time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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