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Connacht Tribune

Paddy (93) takes charity walk in his stride!

Declan Tierney

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Students from a North Galway school gave a standing ovation to a 93 years old local man who comfortably completed a five mile walk for charity.

And Paddy Coleman from Garrafrauns, from a strong GAA background, admitted that he hasn’t “an ache or a pain” and really enjoyed the experience.

In fact, Paddy has participated in the past three walks organised by Dunmore Community School and was proudly joined by his daughter Jean Ryan and her two sons Sean and Dara. And he is still hale and hearty.

He is still a very familiar face at GAA matches and has been a Dunmore MacHales GAA Club stalwart for many years. He is the brother of the legendary Bertie Coleman who passed away back in 2007 and is the father of John and Pat Coleman who represented the club at the highest level.

But the enthusiasm with which he was greeted by the students of Dunmore Community School after he completed the walk proved very emotional for Paddy who has always kept fit throughout his life. The students were amazed by his stamina.

“It’s great, I don’t have an ache or a pain”, he told the Connacht Tribune after completing the walk. He was joined by various family members on the event who left him to his own devices along the route.

Paddy came from Cappagh, a small village outside Dunmore and had three brothers, Bertie, Cecil and Kevin. He won a county medal with Dunmore back in 1953 when they defeated Oughterard in the final and remains a keen cyclist.

Back in 1952 Paddy married Mary Agnes Nestor and they had nine children. Paddy and Mary Agnes owned a shop and a bar in The Square in Dunmore and ran a terrific business to support their children.

Paddy drove lorries for the local merchant, Collins, bringing eggs and flour from Dunmore to Dublin. He also drove lorries for Coca Cola as well as the local school bus.

Paddy has always had a great love for the GAA and has spent nearly every Sunday of his life going to matches all around the country. A loyal Galway supporter, this year alone he travelled as far as Letterkenny and then more locally to Pearse Stadium to support the Galway footballers.

His grandson, Sean Ryan said that Paddy is also frequently seen around Dunmore on his bicycle and often cycles in and out from Garrafrauns to the town.

“Paddy, in fact, was one of the first people in the county to own an electric bicycle, which he purchased in Holland,” Sean said.

Paddy has 21 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren and shows great interest in all of their outdoor pursuits.

“He is an extremely positive person who always sees the brighter side of life. Every day he says he had a great day, whether it was farming, watching a match, visiting his children, reading a book, listening to music or simply relaxing,” Sean added.

Paddy told to the Connacht Tribune that: “I may as well do it now, because when I get old I won’t be able to”.

Connacht Tribune

Homemade Wimbledon is a different bale game!

Francis Farragher

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James Craughwell about to serve over the tape – and the sheep gates – to brother Christopher with mum, Anne, in the background. The family dog Prince is showing a keen interest in taking up the role of ‘ball boy’. The brollies on the deck chairs were actually purchased at the Wimbledon tournament that the Craughwells attended in 2017.

WIMBLEDON mightn’t be happening for the tennis professionals this year due to COVID-19 – but one North Galway family are planning their own version of the tournament.

The younger members of the Craughwell family in Menlough village have had a tradition over the years of lining out their own court on the silage slab that’s available for recreation purposes during the early weeks of the Summer.

The three sons of Jarlath and Anne Craughwell – Christopher, Shane and James – rarely missed the opportunity through the years to ‘get the silage slab ready’ for their own Wimbledon tournament.

“The dimensions of the silage slab are almost exactly the same as a tennis court [78 feet X 36 feet} so back the years we always organised our own games. When the silage was made, then that was always it for another year,” Christopher Craughwell told the Connacht Tribune.

As the lads grew older the summer tennis court hadn’t been used for a few years but in 2020 with the introduction of the coronavirus restrictions, it seemed like a perfect time to bring it back.

“This year we took it a stage further. We used the sheep gates for the net with a line of white electric fence tape along the top so this is probably the best job we’ve ever made of it.

“The silage won’t be made for at least another month so were planning to stage our own family tournament over the coming weeks. With the weather so good, it’s been a great way to pass the time,” said Christopher.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

City Council houses Travellers in county

Declan Tierney

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Cllr Donagh Killilea.

Galway City Council will spend close to half a million euro to house a Traveller family – in a property well outside its own local authority boundary.

Instead the family of four, who previously lived on the Carrabrowne halting site, will be accommodated in the house at Kiltulla near Carnmore, which is deep in Galway County Council’s local government area.

The City Council is understood to have paid €388,000 for the property which will require another €50,000 to refurbish – leaving little change out of half a million euro.

Angry residents, who were unaware of the plan, have now organised a petition to City Council CEO Brendan McGrath to voice their objection to the move.

But Cllr Donagh Killilea believes that there is a bigger issue at stake – with Galway City Council acquiring property wherever they like.

And Senator Ollie Crowe said that he believed the City Council – of which he was a member up to his Seanad election – should be acquiring property within their own area and that this acquisition was ‘unprecedented’.

He said that it was his view that there would be nothing bought outside the city boundary and that the money spent on this property would refurbish a lot of the City Council’s housing stock that had fallen into a state of dilapidation.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

Long drives still out of bounds for golfers

Declan Tierney

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Teeing off from the 12th tee at Galway Bay Golf Resort in Oranmore this week on the re-opening of golf courses around the country. There is nothing to suggest that any golfers travelled more than 5km to play in Oranmore. Photo: Keith Kelly.

This week’s relaxation of travel restrictions saw an exodus to the garden centres and the golf courses – but Gardaí have this week reiterated their warning to those planning to excede their five kilometre limit that they may find themselves in the heavy rough.

The first phase of a return to ‘normality’ went to plan, despite the early rush to newly reopened facilities. Even the rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of furloughed golfers, who were on the first tee from daylight.

Time sheets for golf clubs across the county were choc-a-bloc as they opened their doors to members for the first time since the end of March – but many clubs privately admitted that more than half of those who played had travelled way beyond the 5k restriction.

That led Gardaí to warn that they will be mounting checkpoints and turning people back home – adding that the golf clubs themselves have a responsibility to advise members on the travel rules.

Tuam Sergeant Pat Hastings confirmed that Gardaí had the power under the Health Preservation and Protection Act 2020 to turn back individuals travelling more than 5k from their homes.

He warned that a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions to deal with anyone who continually breached the regulations.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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