A number of NUI Galway students have gone around the world in 36 hours to raise money for selected charities, Amnesty International, St. Vincent De Paul and Draíocht.
As part of a national awareness charity event known as Jailbreak, students competed over the weekend to get as far away from their starting point as possible.
The catch was that they were not permitted to spend any of their own money and had to seek help from kind strangers and sponsors.
Jailbreak 2014 was officially launched in the Great Hall in Kilmainham Gaol, Europe’s largest abandoned jail, on Saturday 22nd February at 9am. Seeing as Jailbreak is a national event, the participants were allowed to choose to start from Kilmainham Gaol, Cork Gaol or Eyre Square.
Seventy-five teams from four Irish universities – UCC, Trinity College, NUI Galway and UCD – competed in Ireland’s largest, most ambitious and craziest student charity event, raising almost €35,000 between them.
There were 17 NUI Galway teams, raising €6,509 between them and travelling to the likes of the UK, France, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Hungary, Czech Republic, Turkey, and Tenerife. But the Galway team to go the furthest was Sean Kearns and Aoife Ní Shúilleabháin who are currently in Bali.
“Our adventure has been amazing. We did our whole jailbreak in wedding dresses to promote marriage equality and have gotten a fantastic response with them. From free taxis, beers, dinners and surf lessons to sponsored flights, it truly has been amazing,” said Sean Kearns, Students’ Union President in NUI Galway.
Aoife Ní Shúilleabháin, Oifigeach na Gaeilge in NUI Galway Students’ Union said; “It’s been an adventure that we will never forget and I’ve been amazed by the support and encouragement back home. Míle buíochas gach éinne.”
On their 12,839km journey, Sean and Aoife have raised a total of €900 and they hope to make that well over €1,000 before the deadline on 1 March, and encourage everyone to keep the donations coming.
The winning team came from Trinity College and managed to get to Sydney just in time to clock 17,233km in 36 hours. But the pair only managed to raise €336 for the chosen charities. But despite being beaten and nabbing second place in the competition, Sean and Aoife are hugely proud of €900 they have raised along their journey.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
Progress stalls on setting up Eating Disorder Community Health Team
Despite an increasing number of young people experiencing eating disorders, a new specialist community team has yet to be set up in Galway well over a year after it was announced.
The delay is mainly due to a difficulty recruiting a consultant psychiatrist to lead the team, this week’s HSE West Regional Health Forum meeting was told.
Councillor John Connolly (FF) queried the progress on the new Eating Disorder Community Health Team within the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) after the HSE revealed in September 2021 that it would be set up in response to the hike in youths presenting for treatment.
Chief Officer of HSE Community Healthcare West, Breda Crehan-Roche, said interviews had been conducted to recruit a clinical lead, but so far none had been appointed. Six other staff had been appointed and these had been assigned to existing teams within CAMHS while a psychiatrist could come on board to manage the team.
“We have difficulty getting locum cover. Interviews were held. It’s a priority. We are doing a running recruitment process,” she told this month’s meeting.
It took between six and nine months to appoint a person to such a senior post.
“There is a lot of work in specialist intervention in the eating disorders team.”
She admitted that there were no records of how much of an increase there had been in referrals to CAMHS Galway for youths troubled by an eating disorder as all records were on paper rather than on computer.
“I can’t ask clinicians and therapists to pull together manual figures,” she stated. But the indication from staff on the ground was that there had been a downward trend in referrals post-Covid.
There was a move to keeping digital records by the middle of next year.
Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan dies aged 78
Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan has passed away at the age of 78.
Born in Kilkenny in 1944, Bishop Drennan studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth from where he was ordained in 1968
As a priest, the then Fr Drennan served as curate in both St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Kilkenny and then in Ballycallan.
From 1975 he taught Sacred Scripture at St. Kieran’s College, returning to Rome in 1980 to become Spiritual Director at the Irish College there for the next five years.
When Fr. Martin again returned home he became a Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997.
Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was chosen as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and was installed on 3rd July 2005 in Galway Cathedral serving to his retirement in 2016.
A brief statement released by the Diocese of Galway this afternoon confirmed his passing and offered their sympathies to Bishop Drennan’s family and all those who mourn his loss.
Funeral arrangements for the late Bishop Drennan will be announced later
Gardaí appeal for help to locate missing man
Gardaí are seeking help from the public in locating a 66-year-old man who has been missing from Clonbur since Thursday.
Michael Harte is described as being 5’ 9” in height, of slim build with short grey hair. When last seen, he was wearing blue jeans, a blue jumper, a tan / khaki padded jacket and tan boots.
He is understood to have access to a black Renault Megane with a 02 C registration.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Clifden Garda Station on 095 2250, the Garda confidential line on 1800 666111 or any Garda station.