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Connacht Tribune

Players can’t wait to get back on the field says Athenry coach

Stephen Glennon

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Presentation College, Athenry, supporters cheering on their team in last year's All-Ireland Post Primary Junior A Camogie Final against Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny in Banagher.

SPORT plays a huge role in the development of young people, no more so than in the lives of  post-primary school students. This week, Tribune reporter Stephen Glennon spoke with teachers from four different  second-level colleges – and from different sporting backgrounds – about the impact the pandemic and a succession of lockdowns is having on their students.

ALTHOUGH school sports are sidelined like everything else at present, staff at Presentation College Athenry continue to emphasise the importance of physical exercise to their students working remotely.

Pres. Athenry camogie coach and PE teacher Fiona Paige says that the power of exercise should not be underestimated, highlighting that, quite often, “the best students are those who continue on with their sport throughout Leaving Cert”.

She adds: “They do very well in their Leaving Cert. because they are able to put out a study plan and get their homework done, although they might be missing classes through sport and through camogie – and we train hard.

“I always say that competing in Junior ‘A’ and Senior ‘A’ is only a step-down from inter-county. That’s what it is. You have all these clubs competing for one team and they train very hard. Yet, they are able to do their study, get their homework done and play camogie.”

Paige says that by juggling their commitments, it teaches the students an invaluable life lesson. “When they leave school, they are able to cope, because they have coped throughout the year. They have managed their time so well. These are also the girls who do really well when they go onto college because they are able to manage the time.”

For Pres. Athenry’s part, they have encouraged their students to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine, Paige stating that it’s so important in terms of well-being, especially in these stressful times.

“It is very difficult for everyone, but we are trying to encourage the students to get out and, at the moment, we are trying to put on short online classes for them to do exercises. We are trying to get them to realise that it is equally as important to get away from the books, get away from the screens, because they’ll get a lot more energy if they exercise.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Student nurses face all the risk – for no reward

Dara Bradley

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Working on the children’s ward of a busy hospital during a global pandemic is no joke; less funny still when you’re not getting paid for your toil.

All the risk and none of the rewards of qualified staff – that’s the lot of Edel Moore, a student nurse who is currently on placement at University Hospital Galway.

Edel, and hundreds of student nurses like her on placement in UHG and Portiuncula in Ballinasloe, want more than a round of applause and platitudes from Government.

“None of us want a pat on the back for struggling. We’d just like to be recognised,” she said.

“The Government are full-time talking about front-line workers, and they want to give them a ‘clap hands’. Then you see Junior Ministers getting massive raises. For what? What have they done for us, the student nurses, that they’re getting a €16,000 wage increase?

“We’ve put ourselves through a four year degree but all I’m worth is a clap? Thanks! It’s ridiculous. They say that front-line workers deserve all the help they can get but it just seems that the ones who are able to give us the help we need are not going to give us the help that we deserve.”

Edel Moore is a mature student originally from Westmeath but living in Leitir Mealláin in Connemara with her husband and three children.

A third year student nurse of NUIG, she is currently on placement at the paediatric ward at UHG.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Island museum gets the green light

Declan Tierney

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An artist's impression of the proposed Inishbofin museum.

Work is expected to begin shortly on the construction of a museum on Inishbofin after planners gave the green light to the project.

The museum at Middlequarter is being developed by local historian and photographer Marie Coyne – and when completed, it will be home to items of historical significance from both Inishbofin and Inishark.

There is an existing museum on the island but it is too small to house the amount of artefacts, photographs and family histories that have been assembled over the years.

The new building will also include a photographic exhibition room, restoration workshop along with a gift shop and coffee dock. It is proposed that the new 3,400 square feet museum will be built on a site at the rear of Ms Coyne’s home.

Eamon Gavin of Eamon Gavin Architects based in Cornamona told the Connacht Tribune that this was an important project for the island and it was a welcome decision.

And he said that the green light would kickstart the process of conserving the vast and unique artefacts and archives built up over the years.

“As a practice, we have a long history of dealing with planning consultancy on unique rural sites in Connemara and the islands, therefore we fully understood how sensitive the proposed location of the project would be – the site is located in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and National Heritage Area,” he said.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Tuam woman a picture of health a year after Covid crisis

Declan Tierney

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Tuam's Kitty Farrell with her dog Lulu a year after her Covid diagnosis.

Last year was a Mother’s Day like no other for Kitty Farrell who spent it in the back of an ambulance being rushed to hospital with Covid – but the 80 year old Tuam woman can look forward to a more sedate celebration this time out….thankfully restored back to full health.

Kitty, from Ballygaddy Road, had developed a debilitating cough the previous week – and when she was admitted to UHG on Mother’s Day, she tested positive for the coronavirus despite a lack of symptoms.

The retired businesswoman spent the next nine days seriously ill in isolation – and all alone as her four children could not visit her.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to come through it but I was so sick that at times, it didn’t really matter. But the thought of passing away in isolation made a bad situation even worse,” Kitty said at the time.

A year on, she is back to full health, and while she restricts her movements, Kitty told The Connacht Tribune that she is just happy to be alive and she spends her days ‘pottering about’ and looking forward to the arrival of family members.

“Even though I don’t particularly agree with the current lockdown because everyone should be responsible for their own behaviour, I am living a life of relative isolation at the moment,” she said.

Read Kitty’s full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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