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Connacht Tribune

Promotion to Senior A ranks beckons for Roche’s side

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Athenry's Conor Caulfield gathers possession despite the challenge of Kilnadeema/Leitrim's Jack Kenny and Conor Langan. Photos: Joe Keane.

Kilnadeema/Leitrim  1-24

Athenry 2-10

Darren Kelly in Duggan Park

Only one point separated these sides last year when Athenry came up just short, but there was no doubting the winners on Saturday as Kilnadeema/Leitrim delivered their third victory in the senior hurling championship.

One more win for Des Roche’s team will secure a preliminary quarter-final place and promotion to the Senior A ranks in 2018. After weathering a mini comeback midway during the first half, six unanswered scores restored Kilnadeema/Leitrim’s buffer before a Shane Lawless goal on 34 minutes settled the contest.

Athenry were undefeated heading into the game, after draws with Moycullen and Killimordaly, but with just two points from their opening three assignments, wins against Ahascragh/Fohenagh and Abbeyknockmoy will be required for the former All-Ireland champions to qualify for the knock-out stages . . . with a result against the latter essential in avoiding relegation play-offs!

Cian Burke opened the scoring for Athenry on three minutes and added another two minutes later, but they found themselves 0-7 to 0-2 behind on the quarter hour. Brian Molloy set up Shane Lawless for Kilnadeema/Leitrim’s first before David and Tom Tierney set up Jack Kenny for the second. Lawless, Dara Herlihy and a Brian Molloy hat-trick of points gave Kilnadeema/Leitrim an early five-point cushion.

With the elements against them, Athenry were losing sight of their opponents but got a reprieve on 14 minutes. Burke was the danger, coming in from the right to test Evan Dowling, but James Divilly was perfectly placed to hold possession and help the sliothar over the line.

Even though Stephen Molloy replied for Kilnadeema/Leitrim, Divilly and Ronan Hardiman split the posts reducing arrears to the minimum, but this would be the highlight of Athenry’s day. They were hit with injuries and absentees with Paddy Hannon, Jack Carr and Cathal Hardiman not involved, which told a difference.

Kilnadeema/Leitrim came into the tie with concerns over Herlihy and Tom Tierney but lined out without the suspended Mark Lawless. But the growing reputation of their young side which was only eliminated after extra-time by Sarsfields in 2016 continues to be enhanced. Six unanswered scores from Brian Molloy (2), Lawless (3) and Stephen Molloy moved them 0-14 to 1-4 clear, while Lawless was denied another goal opportunity by the keeper John Grealish.

Hardiman arrested the rot for Athenry, but two Brian Molloy frees had Kilnadeema/Leitrim 0-16 to 1-5 ahead at half-time. However, 1-3 on the spin from the winners within four minutes of the restart left no doubt about their threat entering the latter stages of the competition.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Exploring the merits of moving into the west

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Kennedy with Carol Ho, one of the Galway interviewees for her new TG4 series, Moving West. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Broadcaster Mary Kennedy has an abiding image of those early mornings when she’d set out from Dublin at the crack of dawn to begin work on another day’s filming down the country with Nationwide.

“I always liked to go in the morning rather than stay there the night before – so I’d be on the road early. And from the moment I’d hit Newland’s Cross, all I’d see was a line of traffic of people trying to make it from home to their workplace in Dublin,” she says.

These were people whose day began before dawn to get their bleary-eyed kids ready to drop at a childminder along the way, so they could be on time for work – and then race home to hopefully see those same kids before they went to sleep.

But if the pandemic had a positive, it was the realisation that work was something you did, not a place you went to. As a result, many people finally grasped the nettle, moving out of the city and sometimes even taking their work with them.

Which is why Mary – busier than ever since her supposed retirement from RTÉ – is presenting a new television series called Moving West, focusing on those individuals and families who have, as the title, suggests, relocated to the West.

One of the programmes comes from Galway, where Mary met with Stewart Forrest, who relocated with his family from South Africa to Oughterard, and Carol Ho, a Hong Kong native who has also settled in Galway.

The TG4 series also stops off in Sligo, Mayo, Kerry, Clare, Roscommon and Leitrim.

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

Community’s tribute to one of their own – saving final cut of turf after his passing

Dave O'Connell

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Well saved...members of St Brendan's GAA Club honour their departed stalwart, John Geraghty, after a record-breaking evening saving his turf.

A local community responded in force to the death of one of their own – a man who had given so much of his life for the good of the parish – by paying one last practical tribute to him last week.

They lifted and footed his turf.

John Geraghty – or Gero as he was known – lived for Gaelic football and he’d filled every role imaginable with the St Brendan’s GAA Club since he came to live in Newbridge in 1983.

He’d cut the turf before he died last Tuesday week, but there it lay, until his old GAA friends organised a bunch of guys – made up of the football team, friends and neighbours – to meet in the bog last Wednesday evening to lift and foot/clamp John’s turf.

“Upwards of 50 fellas from the community showed up,” said St Brendan’s chairman Gerry Kilcommins.

Which was just as well, because, as Gerry acknowledged, John – himself a two-time chairman of the club in the past – had a lot of turf cut!

“It took up an area around three-quarters of the size of a standard football pitch,” he said.

Not that this proved a problem, given the enthusiasm with which they rolled up their sleeves for their old friend.

They started at 7.30pm and had it done at 7.55pm – that’s just 25 minutes from start to finish.

Read the full, heartwarming story – and the St Brendan’s GAA Club appreciation for John Geraghty – 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

Liver donor dad would do it all again in a heartbeat

Denise McNamara

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Daddy’s girl…Sadhbh Browne with her very special message on organ donations. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

It is nearly two years since Paddy Browne gave his daughter Sadhbh part of his liver to save her life. And just ahead of Father’s Day, he reflects on how he would do it all over again in a heartbeat, without a single moment’s hesitation.

After an initial testing time in the first six weeks when they beat a path to the intensive care unit after the operation in St King’s Hospital in London, Sadhbh has never looked back.

“She’s thrived and thrived and thrived. She skips out to school every day. She loves the normal fun and devilment in the yard. She’s now six and started football with Mountbellew Moylough GAA, she loves baking, she’s a voracious reader – she’ll read the whole time out loud while we drive up to Crumlin [Children’s Hospital].”

But it could have all been so different.

Sadhbh from Mountbellew was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia shortly after she was born. She quickly underwent major surgery to drain bile from her liver. It worked well until she reached three years old when an infection caused severe liver damage and she was placed on the liver transplant list.

She was on a long list of medication to manage the consequences of advanced liver disease. While she lived a full life, she would tire very easily.

Paddy was undergoing the rigorous process to be accepted as a living donor when one of the tests ruled him unsuitable. His brother Michael stepped forward and was deemed a good match.

Then, further tests revealed that Paddy was in fact eligible for the operation and the previous result disregarded as a false positive.

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

Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. You can also visit the website www.ika.ie/get-a-donor-card or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.

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