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Moggie’s road trip took him on 40km trip across county

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A clever Galway cat who went missing for a month had managed to hitchhike his way across the county – and ended up living the life 40 kilometres from home.

It could be the stuff of a soap opera – which is ironic because Bobby the cat is owned by Ros na Rún star Anna Maria Nic Dhonnacha and her family in Beal a’ Dangan, but his big adventure took him to Baile Doite, outside Moycullen.

Anna Maria, who plays aspiring singing star Bobbi Lee in the TG4 soap, believes he must have clawed his way in a Croke’s Concrete truck that had been delivering to her house, and he didn’t get off until they stopped back at base in Moycullen.

“We thought he was gone. We had no idea he’d pop up on my news feed,” says Anna Maria.

“I can’t thank the family enough for taking care of him. God knows what would have happened to Bobby without him. We can’t thank the Galway Cat Rescue enough too,” she adds.

The actress now thinks that, when Bobby didn’t recognise his surroundings, he stayed put at the welcoming family home of Michael and Mary Folan for a few weeks. Their home is just across the road from the concrete manufacturer.

Their daughter Blathnaid Folan said the cat was fed and taken care of by her parents after he landed at their house.

She said it was obvious he was a house cat because he was constantly trying to sneak in the windows, but her parents were reluctant to allow Bobby inside because they didn’t want to disturb their new puppy.

So, Blathnaid said after about a month of taking care of him they called the Galway Cat Rescue and they collected Bobby on Thursday.

The GCR posted Bobby’s picture on their Facebook page in an effort to bring him home to his owners. And thanks to social media, Bobby’s owners saw the post and were reunited with him by Saturday.

Bobby is a year and a half, and Anna Maria got him as a stray when he was kitten; she describes him as a lovable cat who is always in and out.

And his return was just a ‘massive reunion’.

“He was sniffing about, all the other cats pounced on him because they were happy to see him back home again.”

Connacht Tribune

Confusion reigns – but publicans continue serving pints outdoors

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Galway City publicans continued this week to serve alcohol in newly created on-street outdoor dining sections – despite warnings from Gardaí that it was against licensing laws.

The local branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) said it is hoping Government will, if necessary, introduce legislation that facilitates pubs serving alcohol in public spaces reclaimed for outdoor hospitality.

On Friday last, our sister newspaper, Galway City Tribune revealed that Gardaí had visited a number of city pubs warning they were not legally permitted to serve alcohol outdoors in temporary on-street seating areas created by Galway City Council.

Publicans were told that if they continued to flout the rules, files would be sent to the DPP.

When the crux subsequently hit the national headlines, Justice Minister Heather Humphreys urged Gardaí to ‘use their discretion’.

“The overwhelming majority of licensed premises are operating safely, and we in Government are determined to continue to support them. If local issues arise, I would urge local authorities, Gardaí and businesses to engage.

“However, I will also examine whether further measures are required from Government. Licensing law is a complex area but I have spoken to the Attorney General this morning and we will take further action if necessary,” Minister Humphreys said.

Read 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

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Connacht Tribune

Apple plans second bite at Athenry data centre

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An artist's impression of the proposed Apple Data Centre.

Apple intends to have another bite at plans to build a data centre in Athenry.  Apple Operations Europe has applied to Galway County Council for more time to construct a controversial data centre on a greenfield site at Derrydonnell.

The company said it will identify “interested parties to develop the project” between now and 2026 to meet global growth in demand for data storage facilities.

It will spark hope in the County Galway town of a revival of the €850 million project that was dogged for years by planning delays and court appeals and was subsequently shelved. It may also attract fresh objections.

The world’s largest technology company was granted planning permission to build a €850 million data centre near Athenry in 2015.

An appeal to An Bórd Pleanála by a handful of local residents was not successful, and the planning appeals board confirmed the local authority’s decision in 2016.

But the company ultimately aborted its plans for County Galway in 2018 after three objectors sought a review of the decision through the courts.

Read 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

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Connacht Tribune

Mum’s dream holiday turns to nightmare after cancer diagnosis

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Julia McAndrew, in hospital in Mexico.

A mother who went to Mexico on a dream holiday to spend Christmas with family is too weak to return home after being diagnosed with advanced cancer.

From the minute Julia McAndrew landed in the South American country, her health took a major downward spiral.

Her son and daughter were shocked when she asked for a wheelchair to make it through the airport.

She and daughter Eliska had flown out to see her son Patrick, who had relocated to Mexico to run an online learning business.

They initially thought she had fallen ill due to the rigours of a 22-hour, multi-stop flight.

But when her stomach problems did not improve and she began to lose a lot of weight and suffered from very low energy, they sought medical help.

This had to be done privately and without the financial help of an insurance company, Patrick reveals.

She was initially diagnosed with anaemia and kidney failure and underwent various treatments, including blood transfusions that appeared to be working.

But three weeks ago, medics discovered that what she had was Stage 4 breast cancer. Julia had cancer a decade ago but was given the all-clear after receiving treatment and a major change in lifestyle.

“It’s returned with a vengeance this time around. It’s spread to her pelvis, ribs and lungs,” reflects Patrick.

The cost of the treatment is $40,000 (€33,000) a month. Her family are hoping to build up her strength enough to endure the long flight home to Oranmore.

They have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise €280,000 to pay for her treatment and in less than a week a phenomenal €36,000 has been donated.

Read 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

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