Date Published: 10-May-2011
By Denise McNamara
Irene Lynch, one of the daughters of the original Bodkin tribe of Galway, recently celebrated the milestone of reaching a centenary with her family in their Nuns Island home.
The secret to her longevity remains a mystery, as she has defied all the medical advice by enjoying a smoke and the very odd G&T.
She loves nothing more than to be wheeled out by staff in the long-term residential unit at Merlin Park Hospital for a puff in the garden.
Her only niece Mary O’Connor recalled how it had been foreseen that she was likely to follow in the footsteps of her brother, Michael Bodkin, who had died in his early 20s.
He was James Joyce’s Nora Barnacle’s first boyfriend and was the Michael Furey featured in Joyce’s novel, The Dead. In the book Michael Furey died after serenading his lover in the cold.
“Her grandmother used to say she wouldn’t make old bones. It was felt she was very fragile and not able for hard life. But she was out swimming in the sea in Salthill every day during the summer until well into her 80s,” she stated.
Irene was born in 1911 to Mary Elizabeth Francis and Leo Bodkin. She had one sister Violet.
After her parents moved to America, she was sent to live with her grandmother in Nuns Island and was educated in the Presentation primary school before becoming a boarder in Taylors Hill. She studied English in UCG and became an English teacher in secondary schools.
She married another teacher, Val Lynch, a native of Tuam and the couple spent most of their married lives working in schools in Belfast. They had one son, Patrick Lynch, who worked as a solicitor in Galway City before his retirement.
The family moved back to Galway in the 70s and lived in a house in the Fairlands in Newcastle. Her husband died around 30 years ago.
Mary, who now lives in the Nuns Island home with her own family, routinely brings Irene out from Merlin Park to spend the day with them. She has lived in Unit 5 for the last five years.
“They had a cake for her and would have had a big party for her there but she didn’t want it – they’re very good to her there,” mused Mary.
“She loves being in the garden. She absolutely loves animals and children. She’s an avid reader, she’d have two or three books on the go all the time. She liked Penny Apples by Bill Cullen and all the Maeve Binchys.
“Her mind is great, she’s in a wheelchair, she can’t hear too well but she can see everything. She’ll tell me my hair isn’t done properly.”
Her family gathered to celebrate her 100th birthday on April 27. One of the guests was the pup, Bear, who had travelled all the way from Dublin to mark the occasion.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.