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Connacht Tribune

Marriage Bureau closes in on 1,000 weddings

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Forget online dating – the surest way of finding the love of your life is to take the road to Knock!

Because Knock Marriage Introductions Service, formerly the Knock Marriage Bureau, has been responsible for almost 1,000 marriages since it was established exactly 50 years ago this month.

And Galway women in particular say that it is a lack of suitable social outlets that is the main reason for them registering with the service.

It was originally established as the Knock Marriage Bureau back in 1968 and since then they have being facilitating a considerable number of successful relationships.

Fr Stephen Farragher, a former Administrator to the Tuam Parish, is now playing cupid to couples who want to forge a relationship.

Last year he was the chief celebrant at two weddings that were facilitated by the Knock Marriage Introductions Service – and there are two more this year.

“We are getting a lot of applications from those who do not trust on-line dating and from people who are fed up of the club and pub scene.

“There are people who put faith in the service that we provide and signs on we have had some great success over the past 50 years,” Fr Stephen said.

Applicants simply fill in a form stating their profession, hobbies and interests and every effort is made to unite them with a suitable partner.

Traditionally it was farmers in their 50s or 60s or women, mainly from the teaching profession, who signed up for Knock but Fr Stephen says that the applicants now come from a whole cross-section of professions.

“Last year at one of the weddings I officiated at, the husband was an engineer and the bride had been overseas on voluntary duties,” he said.

One of the driving forces behind the introduction service is Leona Connery who says that it is a joy when a couple come back to contact them saying that they are engaged to be married.

Ms Connery says the marriage introduction service is “way ahead” of internet and speed dating. “We have people using our service who have tried both and still come back to us because it is a success,” she said.

Most of the women using the service are professionals such as accountants, teachers and doctors, while more than 50 per cent of the men are farmers. The service was founded in 1968 by the late Fr Michael Keane, a native of Claremorris.

At that time, with emigration rates extremely high, it aimed to introduce returning emigrants to women at home. Canon Joseph Cooney took over at the helm of the service in 2005 and now Fr Stephen Farragher co-ordinates the service on behalf of the Church.

In total there have been four marriages in 2017 and four engagements with weddings to take place this year.

At the moment there are 20 couples that have been matched by Knock Marriage Introductions who are still in a steady relationship.

Last year alone there were over 620 inquiries from individuals seeking companionship. The inquiries range in age from 28 to 74.

When an introduction takes place, all of the applicants agree between themselves when and where they decide to meet.

“I find it very rewarding when I introduce a couple that works out and they find happiness together,” Leona told The Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Singer/songwriter reveals his Future Business Model

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Derek Ellard...new single from upcoming EP.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Derek Ellard is a talented Galway-based songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist; he boasts a comprehensive catalogue of live performances around the city, including support slots for the likes of Gavin James, Wallis Bird, the Frank and Walters, and Hudson Taylor.

With his primary focus though, folk-rock outfit Derek Ellard & the Future Business Model, he is forging an outlet that allows him to explore every avenue of his creative work.

And this Friday, February 10, the group is set to release Three Sheets to the Wind, their sixth single to date and the first of five tracks on a forthcoming, self-titled EP.

The song recalls some of Derek’s formative years growing up in Tipperary. It is laden with imagery and bright melodies – for those that have not previously listened, the single sets a perfect example of the range of emotions that litter Derek’s work.

“I wouldn’t say I had a strange relationship with my brother, but he was this professional rugby player who had everything together, and I kind of wasn’t,” he explains.

“We had a connection through being bold really… Two mischievous fellas and that was what we bonded over. When we look back, we remember it fondly and what inspired me to write the song was my brother telling me how, when he was younger and playing rugby for the senior team at sixteen or seventeen, he would sneak out and get absolutely bladdered with the team. He’d be sauced going into school and stuff… That was the first verse.

“We grew up in this room together with orange walls, but Dad had mixed up the paints. One side was gloss and the other was matte – it was a strange room and I included that as well.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Comer’s injury makes it a grey day all-round for out-of-sorts Galway

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Galway's Damian Comer clutches his knee in agony against Roscommon’s Conor Daly after suffering a bad injury in Sunday's National League clash at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

It was one of those grim days that the Galway footballers would prefer to forget. Apart from the serious knee injury sustained by Damien Comer in the opening quarter, the home team allowed a winning hand to slip late on in a dour encounter against Roscommon at Pearse Stadium.

Naturally, Comer’s injury dominated the post-match headlines. The Annaghdown man was central to Galway’s major progress in 2022, with his physicality alone giving the team a hard edge up front. To see him being stretchered off in Salthill and in obvious distress represents an incalculable blow to the Tribesmen.

Comer’s season being prematurely over only adds to Galway’s early-season woes. Heading into 2023, the team management knew they would be planning without two of their defensive pillars – Kieran Molloy (injury) and Liam Silke (work) – while the departure of utility forward Finnian Ó Laoí (travel) was also a setback.

To compound matters, Patrick Kelly is struggling to shake off a back injury, while Rob Finnerty faces at least another month on the sidelines after suffering ankle ligament damage in Galway’s opening Division One encounter against Mayo in MacHale Park. Throw in the fact that Shane Walsh is currently travelling, Padraic Joyce will be down at least six of last year’s All-Ireland final team when squaring up to Tyrone at Tuam Stadium on Sunday week.

This background will automatically test the in-depth strength of the squad in the weeks ahead, and with only one point on the board from their opening two league matches, the spectre of a relegation battle looms. Given the unavailability of so many players, Galway’s priority will now surely surround staying in the top-flight of league football.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
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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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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Student musicians who took part in the Dominican College, Taylor's Hill production of My Fair Lady in January 1998.

1923

Influenza cure

Of the ills to which human flesh is heir, those which result from the periodical influenza epidemic are, perhaps, the most devastating.

The toll of human life in the great epidemic of 1918-’19 was unparalleled in the more recent history of the world. It is calculated that in the twelve months the epidemic claimed more victims than fell in the four-and-a-half years of the European war.

In Ireland the disease was no respecter of persons, the flower of the race falling an easy prey to the germ. Indeed, it is rather a remarkable fact that it was amongst the young manhood and womanhood of the country that the ravages of the disease were greatest.

This week the welcome news has been published that the bacteriologists at the Rockefeller Institute, New York, have isolated the influenza germ, and that the cure of the disease is in sight.

The discovery of the germ itself is of inestimable importance for the welfare of humanity and augurs the possibly of influenza being made a preventable disease like smallpox in, it is to be hoped, the not far distant future.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
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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