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Connacht Tribune

Magic is centre stage in Evie’s latest novel

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Evie Gaughan draws on Irish folklore for her new novel, The Story Collector.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Galway-born novelist Evie Gaughan was doing research for a book she intended writing when she came across a character by the name of Walter Evan-Wentz. She had known nothing about the American-born Celtic mythology student until then, but he intrigued her.

Born in 1878, Evan-Wentz studied Celtic folklore at Oxford and while in England, he encountered WB Yeats and others involved with the Celtic Renaissance who encouraged him to come to Ireland.

So fascinated was Evie by this man was that she moved away from her original project and instead, began to focus on him.

“Once I did, everything started feeding into it,” says Evie, who lives in Knocknacarra in the city.

The result is her new book, The Story Collector, published by UK company Urbane Publications, which also draws upon events in County Clare in the late 1990s, when the National Roads Authority changed the route of the Limerick-Gort motorway to avoid disturbing a fairy bush – that decision followed strenuous representations by folklorist Eddie Lenihan, which attracted international attention.

One of the characters in Evie’s novel, however, shows no such restraint.

The Story Collector opens in 1882, when Lord Hawley removes a sacred hawthorn tree from an ancient woodland to build a new house for himself and his new wife. He is warned by locals that his action will result in sorrow for those who live there. Ignoring their concerns, he forges ahead and builds a magnificent house, Thornwood Hall. But he soon learns that the warnings he received weren’t idle.

Some years later, in 1910, Anna, a young farm girl in Thornwood Village, volunteers to help a dashing American visitor, Harold Griffin-Krauss, translate ‘fairy stories’ from Irish to English. But all is not as it seems and Anna soon finds herself at the heart of a mystery that threatens the future of her community and way of life.

There’s also a contemporary angle to The Story Collector as it moves to the current day and to New York where Sarah is about to leave her husband. Their marriage has never recovered from a still-birth two years previously. Grieving and on her way to Boston, Sarah wakes up on a flight that has landed in Ireland. Intrigued and confused, she sets out to discover what or who has brought her to the Emerald Isle.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area

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A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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