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Connacht Tribune

Porters turn their virtual version of 5k series into hit

Stephen Glennon

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The Porter family, Mary, Laura, Tom and Linda, of Clostoken, Craughwell who are facilitating the Porter Runners Virtual 5km Series at present.

WHEN the popular Galway 5km series, due to take place in April and May, fell victim to the Covid-19 pandemic, runners from across the county were disappointed. Yet, not to be denied, Craughwell’s well-known Porter family decided to take matters into their own hands.

A family of runners, the Porters are no strangers on the athletics circuit. Members of the family have run everything from 5kms to marathons and when it comes to the sport their enthusiasm for it is beyond reproach.

Father of the Porter household, Tom, has been hosting running groups for the best part of his life; his wife Mary was the voice of athletics on Galway Bay FM for many years; their daughters Lisa, Linda and Laura are also familiar faces at events; and son David, who won a county C1 medal playing at centre-forward with Craughwell in 2014, also has that capacity to open up the lungs in his genes.

In any event, the Porter family are not ones to sit around and, although the country is locked down at the moment, they have been keeping family, friends and acquaintances entertained with their virtual version of the Galway 5km series.

The background to this is as follows: Tom hosts a running group twice a week, with approximately 26 runners coming and going as they so wish. The onus is on the runners to turn up – Tom just provides the facility – and the runners connect via a WhatsApp group, named ‘Porter Runners’.

This hardy band of athletes, young and old and of all abilities, has become a community of sorts in recent years and one of the events they look forward to is the annual Galway 5km series, which consists of six races in as many weeks held at various locations around the county.

“So, when the 5km series was cancelled, the six races, everyone was feeling deflated, even though they were still doing their training and whatever,” says Laura Porter. “As far as we can see, there will be no road races for a long time. So, again, everyone was feeling deflated about that.

“Then, Brian Mulry (runner) and dad and I were talking and we kind of came up with the decision that we would run our own 5km series – virtually or remotely. There were about 26 in the WhatsApp group and it started off with just a few people deciding to enter.

“However, then, others who had ran with dad over the years became interested in doing it and more and more people started to get involved, like family members of runners. So, in Craughwell, we would have the likes of the Reidy family and the Whiriskey sisters doing it. Eventually, I had to stop the entries because the spreadsheet was filling up,” she says.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway’s newest garden centre has arrived at McD’s in Galway Crystal

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Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building

For over 10 years people have been flocking to McD’s Garden Centre in Loughrea to get the very best range for garden, home and much much more.

This weekend McD’s are proud to announce the opening of a brand new Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building.

Nicely located with good parking and serviced by the 404 Newcastle to Oranmore bus, McD’s Garden Centre at Galway Crystal is a must visit location if you need anything from plants, shrubs, pots, garden furniture and more. They have a dedicated solar garden lights section, gorgeous array of water features and garden ornaments and practically everything you need for your garden.

Visit their Facebook today where they are running competitions and keep track of other promotions too. You can visit their website online at www.McDs.ie

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Connacht Tribune

UHG nurse battles for her life in ICU

Dara Bradley

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Leona Paula Leoncio...in ICU.

UHG remains braced to rapidly respond to any rise in Covid-19 patients as a result of a second surge – but the plight of one of their own colleagues this week showed just how precarious this pandemic can be.

Because while senior management at the Saolta Group vowed to stay ‘vigilant and alert’, a staff nurse at UHG was battling for her life in the hospital’s own ICU.

Leona Paula Leoncio, a 36-year-old mother of two boys, tested positive for Covid-19 last week, and was moved to ICU on Monday where she was intubated and ventilated.

The staff nurse, who had no underlying health conditions, is now battling for life in ICU at UHG, according to the Philippine Consulate in Dublin, which has urged people to pray for her.

Ms Leoncio moved to Ireland in 2017, with her husband and two children, to work in the country’s health system.

“We might have different faiths and beliefs but can I ask of you . . . to take a pause and say a prayer of healing and strength for her and her family,” said Chuck Giner, her nursing colleague at UHG, in a posting relayed on the Philippine Consulate’s social media.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – along with all of the latest news on the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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Connacht Tribune

Gort boy reunites Tipp star with broken hurl from famous point

Dara Bradley

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Liam Linnane from Gort holding Brendan Maher's broken hurley from the All-Ireland semi-final club game. Photo: Hardiman Photography.

Tipperary All-Star hurler Brendan Maher has revealed that a young lad in Gort has found his long-lost hurl – the one he used to score one of the points of the last sporting year.

The broken hurl, the one that broke the hearts of St Thomas’ fans back in January, was used to fire over a point in Borris-Illeigh’s All-Ireland semi-final victory over the Galway club at the Gaelic Grounds.

Maher revealed last week that he tried to retrieve the hurl after the match to keep as a memento, but couldn’t find it. He subsequently got a letter from twelve year old Liam Linnane from Gort, who had found it.

“After I scored the point I got kind of carried away and I threw it over my shoulder into the open stand in the Gaelic Grounds. After the match, I thought I would really like to have that hurley but we could not find it and the club even contacted the Gaelic Grounds afterwards to see if it was found.

“Several weeks had passed and I’d given up on it when I got a letter from a young fella in Gort and I read down through it. He said he was twelve years old and that he was at the game where I scored the point with the broken hurley and that he had the hurley.”

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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