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Pioneering soldier Mary first female Army chief

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Lt Col Mary Carroll, Officer Commanding An Chéad Chath, with soldiers during a weapons display at Dún Uí Mhaoiliosa. “I’m very strongly committed to gender equality, but I see the politics of gender and it should not be solely a women’s issue," she says. Photo: Iain McDonald.

Lifestyle –  Judy Murphy meets Mary Carroll, who has succeeded 70 men in role of OC at Renmore Military Barracks

Rapport is a word Mary Carroll mentions several time during the course of our interview. The first woman to hold the role of Officer in Command (OC) at Renmore Military Barracks is no pushover, but she likes to know that the 448 troops of An Chead Cathlan Cois who are under her watch are doing OK.

“I want every young soldier to feel welcome and to belong,” she says. “I am a mother myself. The days of making their lives a misery is long gone.  When I ask them to do difficult things, I want them to feel this is part of what they do and do it with great pride.”

Not only is Mary a leader, she is also a ground-breaker. She joined the Army Cadets in the mid 1980s, after graduating from UCD with a degree in Social Science. The second oldest of a family of eight, she grew up in Ballinlough, Co Mayo, where her father ran a garage and her late mother was a home-maker. Both believed in education and worked hard to offer their children the best opportunities possible.

The mid-1980s weren’t exactly boom times for social science graduates and Mary went down the Army route, becoming just one of three women in a class of 47 cadets. She continued studying, with the aim of setting up personnel support services in the Army, spending five months with the US air force as part of her training. She was subsequently assigned to fulltime military duties, serving in a number of roles in infantry battalions in Collins Barracks and in Defence Forces HQ in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

As she honed her military skills in tactical, operational and strategic areas, Mary also focused on her personal education and earned several Masters Degrees, ranging from adult education to health promotion.

“Every time I would get fed up I’d do a course to keep my brain ticking over,” she says with a laugh.

Twenty-six years ago, she got married to Mayo man Vincent Henry and the couple settled in Galway. They now have two grown-up children, Conor, 21, who is studying Commerce at NUIG, and Alannah, 18, who has just completed her Leaving Cert at the Presentation College, Athenry, and also hopes to study Commerce.

The family stayed in Galway, while Mary moved around on Army duty, both inside Ireland and on overseas missions to countries including Afghanistan, Uganda and Serbia as part of UN and EU initiatives.

Now she is back in Galway, the first woman OC in Renmore since the foundation of the State – over 70 men have held the role. She is responsible for 448 troops but that will soon be 471. Vacant posts in the battalion will be filled when a new recruit platoon joins in late July.

Timing is everything, says Mary of her new position. She returned from Kosovo in December when the OC vacancy became available, as the previous incumbent had left on a tour of duty to Lebanon.

Her unit is scheduled to go overseas with the UNDOF mission to Syria in September 2016, so the position will then become free again.

As Ceannasaí, or OC, Mary is responsible for all that “my troops do or fail to do” and is also responsible for the barracks, which she runs from a modest, pleasant office, which is spacious enough for four comfortable armchairs and a coffee table as well as her desk. She prefers to have meetings with staff around the table, rather than being behind a desk.

“I have a different way of doing things. It’s not better or worse, but it’s my way.”

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

Connacht Tribune

Moving forward with new wisdom

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According to Gerry, the pace at which many people live their lives isn’t sustainable.

Lifestle – Top sports psychologist Gerry Hussey has written a book designed to help more people unlock their potential and enrich their lives. He explores big issues including science and spirituality and shares his own story to demonstrate to readers what they are capable of, as he explains the importance of taking care of ourselves and each other in order to achieve real freedom. He tells STEPHEN GLENNON how it evolved.

Sports psychologist Gerry Hussey has enjoyed great success guiding Olympic and World champions, elite sportspeople and top teams to reach their goals. With his new book, Awaken Your Power Within, he hopes to enable more people to unlock their potential.

Over the past two decades, the Glenamaddy native’s reputation has grown hugely. Also known as ‘The Soul Coach’, he’s now regarded as a leader in sports psychology.

Having also studied philosophy and theology in college, Gerry was always interested in exploring bigger questions about a person’s place in the universe. He’s done that in this book.

The Covid-19 lockdowns gave Gerry the opportunity to delve deeper and write Awaken Your Power Within, to help people walk the path of self-discovery and open their minds to their untapped possibilities.

He believes the “natural interest” in exploring these issues has grown during the pandemic, with people questioning what is really important in life.

“They are now asking ‘do I really want to go back into the old way? What part of the old life do I want to bring back?’ We lived in this haze of busy and everyone we met was busy. It had become so normal that people were busy and tired.”

The pace at which many people live their lives isn’t sustainable, Gerry says. In this book, he wants to show that if a person is on the go 24/7, the body will respond by producing more stress hormones.

“Eventually, there is a damaging impact on our physical health. I want to prove with the science in the book that if we live in this constant state of go-go-go, eventually the body will break down.”

Gerry had this book in his head for almost a decade, but it wasn’t until two years ago that “something clicked”. That was when he spent three intensive days with renowned author, Dr Joe Dispenza, whose teachings marry science and spirituality in his book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself.

“I came out of there and said I know the shows I want to do, and created these things called ‘Soul Sundays’. We ran them and they sold out. I think, when he was connecting quantum physics and how the energy field of the universe connects to the mind and the body, then it clicked.”

Until then, Gerry had sometimes struggled to balance his belief in God with elements of science, but Dispenza helped him understand the connections. He now says the answers to life’s bigger questions can’t be found in just one field, but many, including theology, psychology, quantum physics, medicine, nutrition and neuroscience.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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During an ESB power strike in April 1972, petrol pumps had to be operated with a winder, but Declan Forde of Prospect Hill, Gawlay City, found a more novel way of doing it - using a bicycle. The back tyreless wheel of the bicycle was connected to the pump by a belt, with the pedals rotating as petrol was pumped. Declan commented at the time: "This unique method brought us more customers, because by using the bike we pumped the petrol three times faster than the ordinary ESB current." Also in the photograph are Pat Kenehan (right) watching Joe Flaherty operate the pump.

1921

Bad buying policy

It is interesting and useful to speculate how far the conditions that prevailed at Galway great annual fair on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week were due to its postponement on the one hand, and to the circumstances of our time on the other.

No doubt, the enforced adjournment and the uncertainty as to when the fair would be held combined to reduce the attendance.

It is possible that stock which, in the ordinary course, would have been taken to the fair had it been held at the appointed time, were disposed of by other means. Against this we have the fact that the fixture in point of attendance and sales was smaller than a normal monthly fair.

The truth is that cumulative causes contributed to its partial failure. Of these the postponement was only incidental. Only 159 wagon loads of stock left Galway during the two days against 259 at the annual fair last year and 360 the previous year.

Whilst the Midland Great Western Railway Company did all that could have been expected in the circumstances to assist in making the fair a success, the Great Southern did practically nothing at all. Six wagons were placed at the disposal of purchasers by the latter company on the Limerick-Sligo branch.

This is illustrated by the fact that most of those who attended Galway fair arrived on the evening before; few ventured to make the journey on the actual morning of the fair. Again, buyers report that owing to the difficulties of transport, and the recent unnecessary foot and mouth scare, they cannot tranship cattle to anything like the same extent as formerly, and owning to the prolonged drought, there is a shortage of grass for grazing in the rich midland counties where extensive buyers keep their stock from one fair to the other.

Apart from these causes, another much more interesting explanation is given. It is suggested is that the country farmer has not yet realised that there is a considerable drop in prices, and has not adapted himself to the new conditions.

This fall, it is clamed, is likely to be retrogressive under present conditions. The cost of living is falling, and must fall still further in order to restore “the economic balance”. Yet farmers prefer to hold back their stock in expectation, apparently, that something like old prices will be restored, rather than part with them. This, a cattle-buying expert informs us, is bad policy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

Bagging a bargain in dream designers

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Gucci GG Marmont reversible belt.

Health, Beauty and Lifestyle with Denise McNamara

Whether you’re into handbags or shoes, watches or suits, designer brands are always going to be expensive. However, it may surprise you to learn that their cost varies dramatically around the world.

Research from money.co.uk analysed the price of luxury fashion items in different countries to reveal the cheapest – and most expensive – countries to buy iconic designer goods if you happen to find yourself with a sneaky Lotto win.

As part of this Luxury Price Index, the company researched items that have stood the test of time and have long been a staple of the wealthier wardrobe.

Some of these are actually investment pieces – hold onto them and sell them on ebay in years to come and see that investment potentially double – or even triple.

And if you can save over a grand in the process, all the better.

That’s particularly true of designer bags.

Or pass them onto your kids and grandkids who will hopefully still see vintage as cool.

There might even be a bargain or two or Father’s Day on June 20 – if you are well minted.

And with delivery now so much cheaper than even five years ago, actually buying a piece forever online is more than feasible. Just insure it. There’s no harm dreaming the odd time!

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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