It was the end of an era when one of the last tinsmiths in the West of Ireland passed away at the start of the New Year.
BY MARTIN MONGAN
Michael Ward, was born on August 8 1927 in Boyle, Co Roscommon; at the time of his death on January 12, he was in his 92nd year.
Michael married Mary Ward, from Ballymacward, Co Galway, in 1949 and fathered ten boys and five girls.
Michael Ward was predeceased by his wife Mary and their eldest daughter Noreen, who passed away as a baby.
His remains reposing in Grenham’s Funeral Home, Ballinasloe before removal to St. Augustine’s Church, Clontuskert.
He was buried in the adjoining cemetery after Requiem Mass on Thursday of last week.
Michael was a father, grandfather, great grandfather and a great-great grandfather, spanning five generations.
Michael learned his trade by watching his father, Paddy, another gifted tinsmith, from the age of 15.
Like many Irish men in the 1960’s, Michael worked in Manchester and Birmingham, constructing motorways, to provide for his young and growing family.
Michael was a massive GAA fan. He spent many afternoons watching hurling, football and camogie, shouting for his native Roscommon or whoever Galway were playing, usually to spur a reaction from his sons.
Michael settled in Ballinasloe in the middle of the 1960s. He was a man with tremendous strength, whom overcame the amputation of his right leg in his 85th year.
There are examples of Michael’s craftsmanship in many homes throughout the country.
And just like his buckets, his legacy will last for generations to come.
Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer
On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.
Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.
While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.
“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.
“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”
Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!
Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.
But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.
The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.
She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.
The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.
“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.
“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”
Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery
Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.
But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.
The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.
To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.
“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.
But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.
Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie