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Connacht Tribune

Refusing to let the bullies win

Dave O'Connell



Chris Sherlock...telling his story to help others.

A young Galwegian has lifted the lid on his years of childhood trauma, as bullying forced him to quit secondary school altogether just three weeks after starting – taking him to the brink of suicide when he was just 14.

Chris Sherlock is now building a career for himself as a broadcaster, hosting his Guaranteed Irish show on Flirt FM 101.3, the licensed student radio station at NUIG, every Wednesday.

But to get there, he had to overcome repeated bullying during his First Year at second level; that forced him to leave the school and work towards his Junior Cert with a tutor – until Government cutbacks removed that facility, and left him without the chance to sit the state exam.

He has now contributed his story to a new Galway-published book, Mental Health for Millennials, which is designed to put the spotlight on mental health – particularly among millennials.

The Galway city native doesn’t want to identify the school he attended, but he chronicles in harrowing detail the attacks on him as a new First Year that derailed his first stab at education – within three weeks of starting.

The then-thirteen year old spoke with teen psychologists and therapist – but his sense of despair only seemed to get worse as time rolled on.

“The therapist told me to go for a walk when my anxiety overwhelmed me, and one day, I found myself right to the edge of the Galway Canal,” he says.

“As I stared into its cold waters, I barely recognized my reflection. I felt empty, hopeless and helpless with added feelings of disappointing and embarrassing my parents So much so, suicide seemed a good idea.

“Luckily, two friends saw me and came over. Everyone knew what had happened at that point.

“Instead of asking why I was so dangerously close to the edge of the canal, they asked if I wanted to walk back with them and play videogames. A simple kindness, really, but enough to make me feel connected and accepted.”

He credits the Youth Advocacy Service in the Galway City Partnership with helping him to find his career path at a relaxed pace.

“I think it is essential for people also to know that taking medication to help with anxiety and depression was a tool I used during my teen years as well.

“There is a stigma around taking medication, but I’d rather see people heal than contemplate suicide. Never let medication rule you. Take charge, if necessary. Today, I have learned to trust people again. It has taken time and effort, but the life I now enjoy has been worth it.”


Chris Sherlock tells his story in Mental Health for Millennials, the fourth of seven volumes, edited by Dr. Niall MacGiolla Bhuí and Dr. Phil Noone, dealing with topic such as death, grief, suicide, sexuality, depression and more. It is published by Book Hub Publishing based in Athenry, and is available from Charlie Byrne’s Book Shop in Galway or via

Chris Sherlock On The Wireless goes out on Wednesdays at 4pm, Flirt FM 101.3. Interviews from the show are on the Chris Sherlock On The Wireless Podcast which is available on Spotify, Mixcloud and Apple Podcasts.

The full version of this article appeared in the Connacht Tribune edition of March 26 2021.

Connacht Tribune

Gardaí investigate fatal Carraroe crash

Enda Cunningham



A man in his 30s has died following a road crash in Carraroe in the early hours of this morning.

At 3.50am, Gardaí and emergency services attended at a single car collision on a minor road.

The driver of the car, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later. A passenger in the car, a male in his 30s, was taken by ambulance to Galway University Hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

The road is currently closed and local diversions are in place. Garda forensic collision investigators will examine the crash site this morning.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Salthill Garda Station (091) 514 720 the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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Connacht Tribune

Wake-up call as United are pummelled by lively Athlone

Keith Kelly



Galway United substitute Wilson Waweru who scored a consolation goal in their 3-1 First Division defeat to Athlone Town on Friday night.

Athlone Town 3

Galway United 1

IT turned out to be a Bad Friday for Galway United in Athlone as they were outthought, outfought and outplayed by a home side that deserved a far greater reward than a two-goal victory.

All the damage was done in the first-half, with the home side scoring three goals without reply in a 14-minute spell that left the visitors visibly shell-shocked and in danger of shipping an absolute hammering.

United manager, John Caufield, described the first-half as the worst United display since he took charge at the club midway through last season, but it was worse than that: this was 2011 Sean Connor bad (one win in 40 matches), it was 2001 Dave Connell bad (one win in 13).

Both of those seasons ended in United dropping to the First Division, and the First Division is where they will find themselves against next season unless there is an immediate improvement in performance and attitude, starting with this Friday’s trip to Stradbrook to take on Cabinteely.

The post-mortem examination on last Friday should not solely focus on United’s wretchedness: Athlone Town were hugely impressive in recording a first win over United since May 2006, though it should be noted the sides have met just 13 times since the Town dumped United out of the FAI Cup thanks to a 2-1 win in May 2006, a game that saw the end of Stephen Lally’s reign as United manager.

“Galway playing with three at the back, you know, they’re almost three centre-backs really rather than full-backs and we just knew that would be an opportunity for our players to get at them and take them on and I thought James Doona and Adam Wixted did that very well tonight,” Athlone manager Adrian Carberry told the website after the game.

In truth, that was something of an understatement – Wixted and Doona ravished the United back-three in the opening 45 minutes, with all three of the home side’s goals coming from out wide.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway couple take life in the fast lane after losing jobs to pandemic




The Luv2Swim set-up in Carrowbrowne.

A Galway couple who both lost their jobs because of the pandemic are back on the crest of a wave – after opening a swimming pool that allows them to teach and coach swimmers, right beside their family home.

Fitness-loving husband and wife John and Shelly Newell have always had a passion for swimming – but it took the devastation of losing their jobs during Covid to spark the idea of turning it into a highly-specialised business they called Luv2Swim.

They had an idea to build an endless swimming pool and start swimming lessons and swim video analysis in their own private facility, three miles outside Galway city in Carrowbrowne.

And while Level 5 Lockdown has forced them to close for now, their single lane pool will be back, providing a unique facility for adults and children in a safe, fun, and friendly environment.

“Both of us had lost our jobs due to the pandemic and while out walking with our girls, I threw the idea out to John and it took legs from there. It was the beginning of a family business venture,” Shelly said.

But this was more than just a light bulb moment during lockdown; John and Shelly were aware of a recurring problem they had heard many times over the years – people’s anxiety about coming into an overcrowded, noisy, large pool environment.

“Luv2Swim would be Galway’s only private swimming studio providing one-to-one swim lessons and video analysis for adults and children. Swimming is such a vital lifesaving skill and it’s a skill you will have for your whole life,” said John.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from

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