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Connacht Tribune

Reaching new horizons at Connemara Sea Week

Judy Murphy

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Adventurer Damian Browne following his solo crossing of the Atlantic in February.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

The first Irishman to climb Mount Everest, Dawson Stelfox, will be in Connemara on October Bank Holiday weekend to take part in Connemara Sea Week 2018.  The Belfast mountaineer is one of several adventurers speaking at the annual multi-disciplinary festival in Letterfrack, which is the biggest annual celebration of Ireland’s coastal communities.

Sea Week kicks off this Sunday, October 21, and will run until Monday, October 29, in the North Connemara village.  The programme includes a broad mix of music from top local and national artists, as well as a visual art exhibition and a schools’ programme. There will also be ecology talks and walks, sporting events, a light-spectacle and a range of events celebrating local food.

Dawson Stelfox and Galway’s own Damian Brown will be in the Connemara National Park HQ at Letterfrack on Sunday, October 28, to speak on ‘The Quest for Adventure’.

Dawson, who became first Irish man to climb Mount Everest – in May 1993 – will share his experiences and memories of the world’s highest mountain with the audience.

Former Connacht Rugby man and ultra-marathon runner Damian Browne, meanwhile, will discuss his most recent exploit, rowing solo across the Atlantic for 64 days last Winter in the Atlantic Challenge race.

Their talk will be at 3pm in the National Park on October 28. This is a free event but spaces are limited.

Meanwhile, ocean expert Simon Berrow will be among the speakers at Sea Week’s one-day conference on sustainability, which takes place the previous day.

Simon has travelled the world’s oceans studying, marine wildlife including albatrosses, seals, penguins and sharks.

A passionate scientist and advocate for Ireland’s natural heritage, he founded the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and the Irish Basking Shark Study Group.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

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

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