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Connacht Tribune

Navigating constantly changing waters of parenthood

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta



Margie Connolly, educator and life coach pictured at her home at Baile Nua, Bearna. Photo: Brian Harding.

Lifestyle – Margie Connolly is drawing on a lifetime’s experience as a mother, teacher and a creative coach to offer parents help through the joys and pitfalls of rearing a family. She tells BERNIE Ní FHLATHARTA about the importance of self-care and how listening, trusting and maintaining connections with children will help young people grow and prosper.

A wise woman once said that parenting was an experiment and by the time you find out if you did it the right or wrong way, it’s way too late.

It’s not something that’s taught at school, it’s not something that comes naturally to everybody and sometimes it’s thrust on some of us before we’re ready. But one thing for sure, once a parent, always a parent.

Many believe that life was simpler years ago and no doubt years from now, this time will look simpler too. But, ultimately, parenting isn’t all about the times we live in, how we were parented or whether we were cut out for it. It simply is.

Sure, parenting can be easier for some when it’s shared in a multi-generational home, where wisdom and advice are readily available. But for most families, it’s a daily struggle that can be a lonely burden at times.

Some schools organise specific parenting courses but as parenting is constant from birth onwards, guidance is not just required for the school years.

Margie Connolly in Barna is now sharing her lifetime experience as a mother and teacher through her new profession as a life and creative coach. She took early retirement after 37 years from Salerno School, where she was Deputy Principal and which she loved. She knew it was time for change but she also knew she wouldn’t be idle and that she wanted to expand and explore her own knowledge.

During her teaching career, Margie had taken a few foundation counselling courses but she didn’t want to train as a counsellor. She was, however, open to finding a new path and decided to take a Life Coach course in Dublin. She admits to being inspired by a teenage student who told her on her retirement: ‘You heard my silent cries that no one else heard.’

“Tell me what you plan to do with your one wild and precious life,” says Margie, quoting one of her favourite poets, Mary Oliver. It’s a quote she uses often in her work as a life coach.

As well as being a life coach, she now offers parenting courses and creative courses — all from the comfort of her cosy sitting room overlooking the Atlantic in what she calls “a safe space”.

Walking into her home where the walls are covered with art and lit by various lamps, there is a feeling of calm and serenity. The sitting room, which is a busy hub these days, is furnished with comfy sofas and little tables which are almost always loaded with pots of tea and biscuits.

A mother of two grown-up children and now a doting grandmother of three, Maggie Kate, Michael and Seána, Margie feels well-qualified to share her parenting knowledge. Though she and her late husband, Seán, had been separated, they’d remained the best of friends and co-parented their children as best they could.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Pubs to remain closed and restrictions on gatherings unchanged

Enda Cunningham



Pubs and nightclubs will not be allowed to open next week, while restrictions will remain in place on indoor and outdoor gatherings, as the Government decided to postpone Phase 4 of the Roadmap to Recovery for a second time.

It will also become compulsory to wear face coverings in shops and shopping centres from next Monday.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin made the announcement this evening, adding that the current situation will be reviewed again in three week’s time.

Asked if pubs would reopen at all this year, the Taoiseach said that due to the way the virus spreads, the Government “cannot give any guarantee right now2.

“International evidence shows very clearly that pubs and nightclubs reopening too early leads directly and inextricably to an increase in community transmission.

“I want [publicans] to know that I have enormous sympathy for their plight. The virus is taking away their ability to earn a living. It is stopping them from providing a key service in the heart of many communities.

“We have to heed our Chief Medical Officer and NPHET [the National Public Health Emergency Team] advice and we have to keep the pressure on this virus.

“I know this will come as a bitter disappointment to many people; the Cabinet has agreed to continue with the current public health measures that are in place. Pubs, bars, hotel bars, nightclubs and casinos will remain closed.

“The current restrictions on numbers attending indoor and outdoor gatherings will remain unchanged [50 people indoors and 200 outdoors].

“We will review the evidence again in three weeks’ time.

“This virus has not changed. It remains as virulent as ever and it is constantly on the search for new people to infect. It remains completely indiscriminate in its cruelty. But as dangerous as it is, we have shown we can beat it. Each one of us has the power to suppress it,” the Taoiseach said.

At a press conference tonight, Mr Martin also said that pubs which are currently trading (with food) will have to close at 11pm.

The Government has also announced that five locations – Malta, Cyprus, San Marino, Monaco and Gibraltar – have been removed from the so-called ‘Green List’.

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Connacht Tribune

Influx of visitors heightens Covid fears

Dara Bradley



Saolta CEO Tony Canavan

Local health chiefs are planning for the worst case scenario of a second surge of Coronavirus brought on by domestic tourism – as ‘staycationers’ from parts of the country where the virus is more prevalent carry it into the west.

There has been just one new confirmed case of Covid-19 in Galway in the past week, and just a handful of new cases in the past several weeks.

But the authorities fear tourists from parts of the country more affected by the virus will result in an increase here during August and September.

There are also concerns that there are not enough beds in the public health system to cope with a resurgence of Covid-19 alongside regular winter hospital admissions.

Tony Canavan, CEO of Saolta, which manages public hospitals in the West, at the HSE West Regional Health Forum this week, said health workers are anxious that the deadly virus will spread to the West, as the reopening of society continues.

“There are concerns among those working in the health system associated with Government plans to reopen society and the economy, even though we know that is absolutely necessary and important for the well-being of the population as a whole.

“But the concerns we have relate to the greater movement of people whether it’s going to and from work, or going about their business, whether it’s attending the shops or entertainment events and so on, and that greater movement of people creates an environment where the risk of the spread of Covid-19 is increased.

“We’re particularly concerned in the West and North West, that there would be a level of movement of people associated with tourism at this time of year,” said Mr Canavan.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also add the paper to your online grocery delivery; you can purchase a digital edition here, or you can have it delivered at no extra charge by An Post; full details are on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

Chanelle McCoy unveils her clinically proven cannabinoid cure

Stephen Corrigan



Chanelle McCoy (left) and Caroline Glynn with their new Pureis product line in Galway this week. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

The usage of CBD food supplements to treat a whole raft of illnesses and conditions in recent years has given rise to concern that many of the products currently on the market are being sold to consumers without any clinical trials to verify their safety.

It was the rise in demand for these products that first caught the attention of well-known Loughrea business woman Chanelle McCoy who this week, together with her business partner and fellow Galwegian Caroline Glynn, launched the first CBD product on the Irish market that has been clinically proven to be safe – Pureis.

Chanelle, whose family business Chanelle Pharma in Loughrea has a proven track record in the medical world, stepped back from that venture five years ago to focus on her own Chanelle McCoy Health.

“My family business in Chanelle Pharma in Loughrea and so I’ve worked there for about 18 years. When I joined the business, it was a veterinary business and my father and I co-founded the medical side of the business. Then I was lucky to have the opportunity to lead that medical business over the last 18 years with a great team and with Caroline working with me,” says Chanelle of the beginning of her working relationship with Caroline.

“We bought the medical business into 96 countries around the world and we got over 2,500 product licences granted across those 96 countries. We would be looking at products in terms of what to put into the R&D pipeline and I started looking at CBD back in 2015, probably inspired a bit by Vera Twomey and the inability for moms like her to access good quality CBD products for kids like Ava,” she says, explaining that Cork woman Vera Twomey’s plight to secure cannabidiol treatment for her daughter’s epilepsy was a real eye-opener.

Read the full feature in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also add the paper to your online grocery delivery; you can purchase a digital edition here, or you can have it delivered at no extra charge by An Post; full details are on this website.

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