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CITY TRIBUNE

Ó Conaire letters to go on display at City Museum

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Sean-Phádraic casts a watchful eye as (from left) GRETB CE David Leahy, GTI Principal Geraldine Gibbons, and GTI Deputy Principal Alison Ward present correspondence relating to the writer to the Museum’s Collections Officer Helen Bermingham and its Education Officer Brendan McGowan.

Galway Technical Institute (GTI) has donated a collection of letters concerning Galway’s much-loved writer Pádraic Ó Conaire to the City Museum.

The handwritten letters, from the mid-1920s, relate to Ó Conaire’s time as an Irish language teacher at what was then the Technical School, situated on Dominick Street – the donation marks the 90th anniversary of the author’s death

The archive includes Ó Conaire’s initial application for a teaching job at the school in 1925, along with references, and some correspondence regarding his later absences from work.

The writer was born in  Galway in 1882 but reared in Connemara and West Clare following the deaths of his parents. He moved to London and wrote his best works there while still in his 20s. A leading light of the Gaelic Revival and the father of the short story in Irish, Ó Conaire returned to Ireland in 1915 to continue his writing career in Irish.

In 1924, having spent more than a quarter of a century in London and Dublin, Ó Conaire returned to Galway. In January 1925, he began writing for the Connacht Sentinel, which published than more than 30 of his articles and almost 80 of his short stories over the following three years. That autumn, he applied for a job as an Irish teacher with the Tech where he worked until the summer of 1928. He died in Richmond Hospital, Dublin on October 8 of that year and was buried in the New Cemetery, Bohermore.

The Museum plans to display these letters in the near future. In the longer term, they will be added to its website where they will be accessible to researchers and all who are interested in Ó Conaire’s life and career.

It’s busy times at the Museum, which is hosting a one-day intermediate-level portrait-painting course this Saturday. This is with artist Caitlyn Rooke and is part of its Armistice commemoration programme.  The course has received funding from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht through Galway City Council as part of the Decade of Commemorations programme.  Anyone interested is advised to contact 091 532460 for more information.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.

The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.

A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.

Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.

The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.

“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.

“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”

Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.

“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.

The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools

Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.

“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.

“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.

A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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