The hunt for Sally the missing pygmy goat in Bearna came to a very happy ending on Friday last when a neighbour of her owner spotted the runaway animal on a rock in the sea, not far from her home in Furrymelia.
Owner Daragh Ó Tuirisg told the Connacht Tribune her return was hugely welcome after a week of searching that got the support of countless people from Bearna and neighbouring villages, and had him standing in fields at half five in the morning rattling buckets of feed.
In the end, it was the eagle eye of neighbour Claire Connolly that brought Sally home.
Just off Bóithrín Thomáis, Claire spotted the goat on a rock – since christened ‘Cloc an gabhair bhig’ – with the tide in around her.
After hearing from Claire, Daragh made his way out and attempted to bring Sally home, but not unlike the process of finding her, there was nothing straightforward about her rescue, as he explains.
“Claire rang me and said she’d spotted the goat from her father’s house. She thought it was a dog at first, but was wondering why he wasn’t swimming in. Then she got the binoculars out and could see it was the goat.
“When I got down, I could only look out at her because the tide was in. It was quite deep where she was, so I went back and got a pair of runners and a life vest. The tide was going back out when I got back, so once I knew there was a bit of a causeway, I went out after her,” says Daragh, who was joined in his rescue efforts by local vet John Mulligan.
Not content with having had them searching for a week, Sally decided she wasn’t ready for home yet and leaped from the rock, heading further out.
“I knew it was too deep where she was then, but she eventually jumped back off that rock and came back to where she was originally. Then she went into a little bay area and it was there I got her out,” continues her relieved owner who says if nothing else, it was a bit of laugh.
Sally is one of five goats at the Ó Tuairisg’s and her return was met with delight from Daragh’s two daughters, Emma and Leanne, and his wife Marie.
That’s not to mention the puck, who’s thrilled to have Sally back home, laughs Daragh.
Now considered a flight risk, Daragh says he’ll be keeping a close eye on Sally as she settles back in, having had half of Bearna looking for her for over a week.
Exploring the merits of moving into the west
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
Community’s tribute to one of their own – saving final cut of turf after his passing
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
Liver donor dad would do it all again in a heartbeat
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.