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Connacht Tribune

Reliving the Ryan Line underlined what talent we lost

Dave O'Connell

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A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s always a stupid thing to say when someone is dead – but Gerry Ryan was one of those people who was larger than life. And hearing his voice again on the airwaves last week, as 2FM marked 40 years of broadcasting, brought both goose pimples and the realisation of a great talent lost far too soon. With the exception of the Gay Byrne Hour, the Ryan Line dominated Irish radio for a decade like no programme before or since – and just like Gaybo, the trick was that Gerry Ryan knew how to get the nation talking.

To mark 2FM’s anniversary, his old friends put together an hour of radio with his voice, splicing together bits from twelve years of the show before his death at the age of just 53 in 2010 to turn it into a little gem that had you completely believing that he was back from the grave.

You can still check it out on RTÉ’s website – one hour of the Ryan Line back on the radio to mark the big birthday of a station that he was such a part of, and where he was and will probably always be the biggest star.

And while it was clever, entertaining and heartbreakingly sad, what it showed most of all is how we miss him – how we’ve never replaced him for his merriment, his irreverence but then, also, his innate ability to move seemly from hilarity to empathy. . . to be the shoulder to cry on, the one who had your back, who spoke for the silenced.

He was a one-off for whom nothing was off limits; he lit up the airwaves because he just loved what he did – until towards the finish, when he probably didn’t. And yet that shouldn’t overshadow a pioneer of Irish radio.

He could wax on about his family; a night out on the lash, a few pints, a movie he saw, a fella he met – and he painted pictures with words that allowed you to enter his world, even if his world was completely and utterly parallel to yours.

Nothing was off limits – and that’s why everyone felt they knew him. And why most of them loved him.

To read the rest of this column, see this week’s 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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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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