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Connacht Tribune

School opens Memorial Garden as tribute to two beloved teachers

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The pupils and staff of Athenry Boys’ School will enjoy the fruits of their green-fingered labour into the future – while honouring their past – after they unveiled their new Memorial Garden ahead of the summer break.

Because the garden commemorates two wonderful teachers who died in service in the past few years; Barbara Glynn from Newcastle, who died tragically days after the birth of her second child in 2014, and Janette Folan, who passed away suddenly five years later. Both teachers were good friends and beloved by pupils, members of staff and the extended school community.

The idea to dedicate a school garden to the memory of Barbara was first mentioned by her lifelong friend and colleague Jan.  Unfortunately, Jan’s sudden illness and death stalled the process and then when Covid came along the project was further delayed.

Luckily The Boys’ School were chosen to take part in the Creative Schools Project and as part of the process the school grounds and garden were given a makeover.

Pupils and staff poured their hearts into the venture and murals were painted, vegetable beds designed, new signage was erected, over 300 trees were planted in the school grounds and every class designed and planted their own vegetable and flower beds.

Each child in the school painted their own stone which was incorporated into the garden which the children titled “The Path of Peace”.

The newly formed Student Council were very active in every aspect of the garden and the children’s ideas were incorporated into the design.

At the end of last year an action day was held where every pupil helped to paint murals, design tyres, plant up pots of flowers, tidy the poly tunnel and chicken coop, plant trees and flowers and weed and tidy the flower beds.

The culmination of all this work was to be the grand opening of the school garden which would take place as soon as restrictions were lifted, and the visitors were once again allowed into the school.

That special day arrived last Friday week when the families of both Mrs Smith and Mrs Folan – along with the school’s grandparents and past members of staff – were invited to the school for the opening of the Memorial Garden.

School principal John Connolly gave a short speech welcoming all visitors to the school.  He thanked everyone for their involvement in the project and commended the whole school community for their involvement in the project which he said was “a labour of love”.

After the ribbon was cut by Mrs Folan’s mother Pam Lyng and Mrs Smyth’s two sons Andrew and Patrick, everyone was invited to view the school and the grounds and to enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit.

Photo: Athenry Boys School dedicating their redesigned school gardens in memory of Jan Folan and Barbara Smith, two teachers who died in recent years. Pictured are Pam Lyng, mother of Jan Folan, cutting the ribbon on the new Garden accompanied by Andrew and Patrick Smith, sons of Barbara Smith. Also in the photo is the school’s youngest pupil Ethan Momoh along with current and former staff members.

Connacht Tribune

Remembering the rough and tumble of open-air festivals

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

One of those public relations puff pieces – admittedly sent out on behalf of a mattress manufacturer who might just have a vested interest in sleep – offered a series of suggestions by which those attending outdoor music festivals this summer might be assured of a restful night.

That conveniently overlooks the fact that no one ever went to a weekend music festival in search of a good night’s sleep; indeed, for some any form of shuteye qualifies as proof that things didn’t go as well as you might have hoped.

Which means that the suggestions of these ‘sleep experts’ might have to be taken with a small pinch of salt – after a shot of Tequila at sunrise if you’re a real music head, of course.

But for what they’re worth, the experts suggest you bring an eye mask, use ear plugs so you can tune into a relaxing podcast, and take a nap during the day.

Alternatively, you could always stay at home because the rough and tumble of a weekend in a tent on a boggy field might not be for you. Instead pull up a comfy chair and watch Glastonbury on the BBC.

Even as it is, those festival-goers who think they’re roughing it don’t know the meaning of the word; unless you were in Lisdoonvarna in the eighties, you have no idea what getting back to basics is all about.

Equally the modern outdoor music festival involves a field or a park in the middle of a city, to which you can take the LUAS and your picnic basket, secure in the knowledge that the concert licence means you’ll be on your way towards home by around half ten.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

The only thing Boris Johnson actually believes in is himself

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Boris Johnson...clinging on despite all the odds.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

This is a column that is a little bit about a political question – and a lot about how political leaders manage to cling on to power. The political question is the Northern Protocol, and the leader clinging on – despite all the odds – is, who else, but Boris Johnson.

How he has managed to stay in 10 Downing Street defies all precedent. Many of his predecessors have fallen on their swords for much, much less.

Since becoming Prime Minister, Johnson has careered from crisis to crisis, disaster to disaster. When it was agreed by the EU and the UK, he hailed the Northern Ireland Protocol as a triumph.

As the Prime Minister he ousted, Theresa May, reminded him in the Commons this week when she was speaking of his low stock among international leaders: “Actually, I suspect they are saying to themselves why should they negotiate in detail with a government that shows itself willing to sign an agreement, claim it as a victory, and then try and tear it apart in three years’ time?”

That’s a good question. Johnson is now trying to destroy something he partly created. And the litany of other contradictions run deep. He spent weeks going around the place joking about Covid, shaking hands, and downplaying its seriousness. Then he caught it and almost died from it.

The number of deaths in Britain from Covid were among the highest, pro rata, anywhere. It would have downed another leader. But not Johnson.

In fairness, the British were the first to come out with mass vaccinations even though the decision to extend the time period before the first and second jab was not a great one in retrospect.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Move sought on scheme to promote growing of catch crops

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Stephen Canavan: Scheme needed on catch crops.

THE Dept. of Agriculture has been urged to ‘move swiftly’ and introduce an incentive scheme for the growing of ‘catch crops’ this Summer to help any potential Winter feed shortages.

Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune that such a scheme would be easy to introduce and would incentivise farmers to grow catch crops such as rape and kale.

“These crops would provide a high-quality feed for stock during the early Winter period and would also give farmers the opportunity to reseed land for next year,” said Stephen Canavan.

He said that while the Fodder Support Scheme (FSS) would be a welcome help to farmers, more assistance from the Dept. of Agriculture would be required to ensure that there were no feed shortages over the coming Winter season.

Fast growing catch crops – such as rape and kale – can be sown in mid to late Summer and still be ready for feeding by the early Winter period.

However, last week, National IFA Chair, Paul O’Brien, hit out at the EU Commission for delivering ‘mixed messages’ in terms of their policy on farmers producing more grain and fodder crops.

He said that while last month, the EU were encouraging farmers to grow more crops for feed, they were at the same time pressing ahead with proposals for reductions in the use of pesticides – essential for crop protection.

“Commissioner Wojciechowski was explicit when he addressed our National Council last month: ‘the EU Farm to Fork policy will have to be re-visited in light of food security concerns.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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