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Connacht Tribune

New figures show level of Galway bankruptcies

Enda Cunningham



Nearly 90 people declared bankruptcy in Galway over the past three-and-a-half years, according to a new report from the Insolvency Service of Ireland.

The figures show that from the beginning of 2014 to the end of June 2017, there were a total of 88 bankruptcies here.

And a further 120 people came to insolvency arrangements with creditors during the same period through Debt Relief Notices (DRN), Debt Settlement Arrangements (DSA) or Personal Insolvency Arrangements (PIA).

The majority of debt is related to mortgages, the figures show.

Where certain criteria are met for debt, a DRN allows the write-off of up to €35,000 subject and the person is subject to a three-year supervision period.

A DSA allows for the agreed settlement of unsecured debt (with no limits) over a period of up to five years. A PIA allows the restructuring or settlement of secured debts of up to €3m and the settlement of unsecured debt over a period of up to six years.

The Galway figures show there was a rate of 4.5 bankruptcies per 10,000 adults – comparative figures show Kildare had the worst rate at 7.8 per 10,000 (124 people), while Kerry had the lowest at 2.8 (32 people).

Dublin recorded 3.7 (385 people); Wicklow 7.1 (74 people); Limerick 3.5 (51 people); Cork 5.1 (207) and Waterford 6.1 (53 people).

For the three forms of insolvency arrangement (DRN, DSA and PIA), the rate in Galway was 6.2 per 10,000 adults (120). The highest rate was in Waterford at 30.4 (264) while the lowest rate was in Limerick at 4.1 (61 people).

Other rates included Carlow at 19.7 (83 people); Dublin at 5.8 (607); Cork at 12 (492) and Wicklow at 16.4 (171 people).

Nationally, a breakdown of the debt involved in insolvency arrangements in the second quarter of 2017 (a total value of €588 million) shows 43.9% was related to mortgages on people’s homes (just under €258.4m); 30.8% (€181.5m) related to Buy-To-Let investor mortgages; 19.8% (€116.4m) was owed to financial institutions; 1.2% (€6.8m) to Revenue and 1% (€5.6m) to credit unions. A further 3.3% (€19.4m) was classed as ‘other debt’.

Lorcan O’Connor, Director of the Insolvency Service of Ireland, said: “Each quarter, ISI statistics show that our solutions are getting more and more people back on track financially. While it is understandable that the effects of debt on mental health can prevent people seeking the help they need, my message to anyone still experiencing unmanageable debt is to consult with one of our regulated professional advisors. Those with mortgage arrears can also avail of a free consultation with a Personal Insolvency Practitioner under the Abhaile service.”

Connacht Tribune

Exploring the merits of moving into the west

Dave O'Connell



Mary Kennedy with Carol Ho, one of the Galway interviewees for her new TG4 series, Moving West. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Broadcaster Mary Kennedy has an abiding image of those early mornings when she’d set out from Dublin at the crack of dawn to begin work on another day’s filming down the country with Nationwide.

“I always liked to go in the morning rather than stay there the night before – so I’d be on the road early. And from the moment I’d hit Newland’s Cross, all I’d see was a line of traffic of people trying to make it from home to their workplace in Dublin,” she says.

These were people whose day began before dawn to get their bleary-eyed kids ready to drop at a childminder along the way, so they could be on time for work – and then race home to hopefully see those same kids before they went to sleep.

But if the pandemic had a positive, it was the realisation that work was something you did, not a place you went to. As a result, many people finally grasped the nettle, moving out of the city and sometimes even taking their work with them.

Which is why Mary – busier than ever since her supposed retirement from RTÉ – is presenting a new television series called Moving West, focusing on those individuals and families who have, as the title, suggests, relocated to the West.

One of the programmes comes from Galway, where Mary met with Stewart Forrest, who relocated with his family from South Africa to Oughterard, and Carol Ho, a Hong Kong native who has also settled in Galway.

The TG4 series also stops off in Sligo, Mayo, Kerry, Clare, Roscommon and Leitrim.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Community’s tribute to one of their own – saving final cut of turf after his passing

Dave O'Connell



Well saved...members of St Brendan's GAA Club honour their departed stalwart, John Geraghty, after a record-breaking evening saving his turf.

A local community responded in force to the death of one of their own – a man who had given so much of his life for the good of the parish – by paying one last practical tribute to him last week.

They lifted and footed his turf.

John Geraghty – or Gero as he was known – lived for Gaelic football and he’d filled every role imaginable with the St Brendan’s GAA Club since he came to live in Newbridge in 1983.

He’d cut the turf before he died last Tuesday week, but there it lay, until his old GAA friends organised a bunch of guys – made up of the football team, friends and neighbours – to meet in the bog last Wednesday evening to lift and foot/clamp John’s turf.

“Upwards of 50 fellas from the community showed up,” said St Brendan’s chairman Gerry Kilcommins.

Which was just as well, because, as Gerry acknowledged, John – himself a two-time chairman of the club in the past – had a lot of turf cut!

“It took up an area around three-quarters of the size of a standard football pitch,” he said.

Not that this proved a problem, given the enthusiasm with which they rolled up their sleeves for their old friend.

They started at 7.30pm and had it done at 7.55pm – that’s just 25 minutes from start to finish.

Read the full, heartwarming story – and the St Brendan’s GAA Club appreciation for John Geraghty – in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Liver donor dad would do it all again in a heartbeat

Denise McNamara



Daddy’s girl…Sadhbh Browne with her very special message on organ donations. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

It is nearly two years since Paddy Browne gave his daughter Sadhbh part of his liver to save her life. And just ahead of Father’s Day, he reflects on how he would do it all over again in a heartbeat, without a single moment’s hesitation.

After an initial testing time in the first six weeks when they beat a path to the intensive care unit after the operation in St King’s Hospital in London, Sadhbh has never looked back.

“She’s thrived and thrived and thrived. She skips out to school every day. She loves the normal fun and devilment in the yard. She’s now six and started football with Mountbellew Moylough GAA, she loves baking, she’s a voracious reader – she’ll read the whole time out loud while we drive up to Crumlin [Children’s Hospital].”

But it could have all been so different.

Sadhbh from Mountbellew was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia shortly after she was born. She quickly underwent major surgery to drain bile from her liver. It worked well until she reached three years old when an infection caused severe liver damage and she was placed on the liver transplant list.

She was on a long list of medication to manage the consequences of advanced liver disease. While she lived a full life, she would tire very easily.

Paddy was undergoing the rigorous process to be accepted as a living donor when one of the tests ruled him unsuitable. His brother Michael stepped forward and was deemed a good match.

Then, further tests revealed that Paddy was in fact eligible for the operation and the previous result disregarded as a false positive.

Read the full, uplifting story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from

Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. You can also visit the website or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.

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