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Mind over matter is John’s key to success



Date Published: {J}

The mind is such a powerful tool that if we could only learn how to train it and harness our fears, we would be better off says one man, whose whole life now is devoted to helping others.

John Connolly not only believes in the power of mind over matter but also makes a living from it through hypnotherapy.

John is a native of Castlegar though not from the other Connolly family who live nearby and are famous for their hurling skills.

He himself played with the juvenile hurling team in Castlegar and even managed them for a few years until this year.

He used to be a truck driver but had to give up that career when he lost the sight in his left eye due to a blockage that built up behind the eye socket. Unfortunately, surgery didn’t save the sight and in 2005 he realised that he had to find another way to make a living.

As it happens he saw an advert for a course in hypnosis and decided to go for it.

He had a few sessions in the late 1980s in London to help him quit smoking, which he did so he knew it had worked for him.

For the best part of a year, he attended training modules which were run by the Irish Hypnotherapy Association.

He knew almost straight away that this was for him and he was told that he had a great way with people. That was a skill he learned as a child helping out in his parents’ shop in Castlegar.

“The hypnotherapy I do is clinical, not for entertainment. The mind controls everything we do. There’s a thought process even to get up and walk. Everything we ever do starts in our imagination.


“What happens in your subconscious mind becomes very open in hypnosis, and the subconscious is where all the emotions and memories are stored; what you have learned and accumulated by way of knowledge in this life,” says John.

John speaks very quietly, very gently and even in conversation, he has a way of drawing you in and earning your confidence. And though he says anyone can train to be a hypnotherapist, there is no doubt that his own winning personality helps him gain a client’s confidence.

This time of year, Lent, after the New Year and good intentions, is one of his busiest times.

“People start off the New Year or even Lent giving up cigarettes on their own, or trying to lose weight but then their resolve weakens and they turn to me.

“Since I started, most of my clients have wanted to quit smoking or lose weight but I have also helped people get over tragedies or trauma.”

John himself is not immune to tragedy and sadness in his personal life.

He was left widowed with a teenage son a number of years ago, when his estranged wife died.

They had lived apart for a while and though their relationship wasn’t good, he had always worked on being the best father he could to Dean, who is now 16.

Dean plays hurling with Castlegar, which was partly the reason John got involved with them again and the sport is a strong bond between father and son. He is proud that the team got to a county final despite the fact that they got beaten in a replay!

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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