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Mervue to get a second 1916 memorial

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Plans to dig up an unofficial 1916 stone in Mervue have been shelved – for now – but the area is set to get another commemorative plaque, after City Councillors voted in favour of erecting an official one.

A motion calling on Galway City Council to remove the “unauthorised structure” at Connolly Avenue in Mervue was deferred last week.

Councillor Pádraig Conneely (FG), the proposer, demanded its removal but his colleagues ‘kicked to touch’ and instead sought a report from Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath.

Meanwhile, a second motion, calling for a “plaque or memorial garden” to commemorate the 1916 centenary, to be installed at the green area opposite the shopping centre in Mervue, was unanimously agreed. This motion, proposed by Independent Terry O’Flaherty, was on the agenda long before the controversial stone in Connolly Avenue surfaced over Easter.

Councillor Conneely reiterated his opposition to the Connolly Avenue stone. He said it was installed without permission on Council lands and nobody was taking responsibility for it. He again accused “Sinn Féin/IRA” of erecting the stone “in the dead of the night”.

He said it was disingenuous now of Sinn Féin to claim they didn’t know about it, even though it was Sinn Féin Councillor Maireád Farrell who circulated invites to the unveiling; and it was a Sinn Féin Oireachtas member who was asked to launch it.

Cllr Farrell again told her colleagues that it was not a Sinn Féin stone and she felt it was an appropriate way to celebrate the 1916 Rising, 100 years on. She saw no reason why it should be removed.

The Chamber heard that the Easter lily on the stone has since been painted over, and not “daubed in graffiti” as had been suggested in some reports.

Councillor Donal Lyons (Ind) noted during the discussion that the city’s mayor, Frank Fahy, and the office of mayor, was ‘snubbed’ by not getting an invite. Most councillors who spoke said that it was handled badly. They said there is procedure and protocol in place for public areas and they feared that this might set a precedent if it was allowed to stay.

Fianna Fáil’s Michael Crowe said the stone controversy had consumed far too much of Councillors’ time. “I’m not losing sleep over it,” he said, adding that nobody in the area has contacted him about it.

Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said that last Monday week, he was of a mind to remove the stone because it was erected without permission, and no one had claimed responsibility or ownership of it.

At the end of last week, however, the resident’s association wrote to him claiming ownership and calling for it to be retained. Mr McGrath said he would meet with residents and report back to members. Councillors agreed to decide what to do then.

Meanwhile, there were concerns about procedure and protocol in relation to Councillor O’Flaherty’s proposal for a plaque opposite the shops in Mervue.

This proposal had missed the deadline for applications for funding under the Council’s 1916 commemoration budget. The meeting heard however, that in the context of the Central Ward (Shantalla) and West Ward (Knocknacarra) both receiving funds for 1916 commemorative gardens, it would be appropriate that the East Ward (Mervue) would be funded too.

Senior Executive Officer, Gary McMahon, said: “There would be a certain symmetry to it”.

Mr McGrath said there might be some money for the Mervue proposal but councillors or the community would have to come up with the shortfall. Councillor O’Flaherty’s motion was supported by all councillors.

 

Connacht Tribune

Joyce’s Tribune inspiration for Finnegan’s Wake!

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James Joyce's statue in Dublin.

James Joyce copied copiously from the Connacht Tribune when it came to creating his complex novel Finnegans Wake where he intertwined events of the real world and that of his dreams.

He had relatives of his wife Nora send him over copies of the Tribune in 1924, from which he would pour over local news, sports reports, letters to the editor and even advertisements.

An art teacher in Dublin, who has spent 14 years creating illustrations inspired by Finnegans Walk, hopes to create pieces of art specifically highlighting those Galway sections of the novel.

Carole Wade is hoping people here who have anecdotes and connections with Ireland’s most famous author will relay those to her which can then be incorporated into the artwork. It will eventually be donated to the Moore Institute in the University of Galway.

Her sister Dr Frances McCormack in the university’s School of English and Creative Arts has reached out to her fellow academics to collaborate. But her sibling is urging ordinary people to take part.

“I think it’s the most amazing book ever written. Ulysses is about a specific place and time but Finnegan’s Wake is about the history of the world. If you want to know about the Crimean War, every war and every battle in Europe – they’re all mentioned, even the Maamtrasna murders are there,” she enthuses.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Little Blue Hero meets Boys in Green

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Connacht’s Tom Farrell, David Hawkshaw, Niall Murray, Tom Daly, Gavin Thornbury and Jarrad Butler chase after Charlie Quinn during his visit to the Sportsground. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Connacht’s trio of Irish rugby internationals found themselves facing (not quite) the long arm of the law this week when Galway’s newest Garda recruit turned up to join in their training session at the Sportsground.

Charlie Quinn – Garda Number 322 – was in full uniform for the occasion, but that didn’t stop him joining in a Connacht session with captain Jack Carty and, fresh from Ireland’s triumphant Autumn Series, Mack Hansen and Bundee Aki.

The seven-year-old from Creggs is Galway’s latest Little Blue Hero, following his life-changing bone marrow transplant – thanks to a donation from dad Niall, who underwent a pioneering procedure to ensure his platelets were compatible with his young son’s.

Charlie was given a tour of the new Garda Regional Headquarters in Murrough before being ‘blue lighted’ by members of the force to Connacht Rugby to meet his heroes.

And a day later, he still hadn’t come down from the high.

“He’s gone off to school this morning, fully clad from head to toe in his Garda uniform; he’s delighted with himself,” said his mum Cathy.

Niall and Cathy revealed the rollercoaster they’ve been on since Charlie was first diagnosed with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome is a rare genetic immunodeficiency that keeps a child’s immune system from functioning properly.

But thanks to the incredible work carried out at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle, he’s now finally back to full health – and flying.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

GAA couple move wedding to give clear run to club semi-final

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Shauna Healy

IN the words of Shakespeare, ‘all’s well that ends well’ . . . and that’s certainly the case for the St. Thomas’ GAA club as a clash has been avoided between their All-Ireland semi-final date with Dunloy of Antrim and the marriage of one of their star players.

Originally, their match with Cúchulainns Dunloy, had been pencilled in for Saturday, December 17 – the same day that key player Darragh Burke was due to tie the knot with Galway’s multiple camogie All-Star winner, Shauna Healy from Ardrahan.

Following St. Thomas’ replay success against Loughrea in the county final on Sunday week last, the five-in-a-row Galway champions knew that they were ‘in a pickle’ with the All-Ireland semi-final fixed for the same weekend as the wedding.

Frantic behind-the-scenes efforts were made to seek a postponement of the match but with the All-Ireland club series on a very tight deadline, there was little room for manoeuvre.

Initially, Croke Park had agreed to switch the match from Saturday week to Sunday week, December 18, but this would have made for a very low-key wedding and reception on the day before at the Meadow Court Hotel, Loughrea.

Luckily though, for Darragh Burke and Shauna Healy, the Meadow Court Hotel had an alternative date available on the following Thursday, December 22, which the couple have now settled on to tie the knot.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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