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Silver stars of the silver screen!

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A host of Galwegians with longevity on their sides are set to light up the screen next week in the highly anticipated award-winning film – and what they all have in common is that they predated the formation of the State!

‘Older Than Ireland’ is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Alex Fegan, from ‘The Irish Pub’, and features thirty Irish men and women aged 100 years and over who share their life’s memories in this charming film.

The film will explore each centenarian’s journey from their birth at the dawn of Irish Independence to their life as a centenarian in modern day Ireland, offering a rare insight into the personal lives of these remarkable individuals.

Mary Kilroy from Caltra with the youngest of her 23 great grand children Pippa Kilroy.

Mary Kilroy from Caltra with the youngest of her 23 great grand children Pippa Kilroy.

Snackbox Films produced the documentary which received Best Documentary award and a standing ovation at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.

Each centenarian boasts a unique perspective on life and its true meaning, reflecting on key events such as the day they got their first pair of shoes, the thrill of their first kiss, the magic of their wedding day and the tragic loss of their loved ones, all brought together in this thoughtful and endearing film.

From 113 year old Kathleen Snavely, the oldest person in Ireland ever on record, to 108 year old Luke Dolan, Ireland’s oldest man, audiences will met with a colourful cast of characters from all walks of life, whose extraordinary lives will unfold before viewers on the big screen.

Galway locals featured in the film include sisters Margaret Kelly and Mary Kilroy, along with Kathleen Fosdike, Madge Fanning – who features in the Guinness Book of Records as a member of the Irish family with most centenarians – and Winnifred Anderson.

North Galway will watch with particular pride the screen debuts of Mary Kilroy from Caltra – now in her 102nd year – and Margaret Kelly, who was in her 100th year before her passing.

Mary from Caltra and Margaret from Cloongowna, Ballymacward, were originally Mannions hailing from Fairhill, Menlough.

The Fairhill sisters have a brother, John Mannion who now lives in Limerick, and a sister Christina Ownes, living in Ballagh, Menlough.

The premiere will be a proud day for both sisters’ families, but as for Margaret Kelly’s family in particular, the film will be a pleasant memory in the years ahead.

According to Mary Kilroy’s son, Mattie, who also resides in Caltra, both Mary and Margaret were married to and worked diligently on their farms for most of their lives alongside their husbands Michael Kilroy and JP Kelly, both now deceased.

“It was nice to see our mother in the film but unfortunately due to sight difficulties she will be unable to see the film but she hopes to get a recording of the sound which she can listen to in the months ahead,” said Mattie.

The thirty cast members were handpicked from a possible three hundred candidates over the age of 100 across the country.

The film will premiere in Dublin this Saturday and Thursday, and Galwegians will be able to see the film in the Eye Cinema from September 25.

Connacht Tribune

Joyce’s Tribune inspiration for Finnegan’s Wake!

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James Joyce's statue in Dublin.

James Joyce copied copiously from the Connacht Tribune when it came to creating his complex novel Finnegans Wake where he intertwined events of the real world and that of his dreams.

He had relatives of his wife Nora send him over copies of the Tribune in 1924, from which he would pour over local news, sports reports, letters to the editor and even advertisements.

An art teacher in Dublin, who has spent 14 years creating illustrations inspired by Finnegans Walk, hopes to create pieces of art specifically highlighting those Galway sections of the novel.

Carole Wade is hoping people here who have anecdotes and connections with Ireland’s most famous author will relay those to her which can then be incorporated into the artwork. It will eventually be donated to the Moore Institute in the University of Galway.

Her sister Dr Frances McCormack in the university’s School of English and Creative Arts has reached out to her fellow academics to collaborate. But her sibling is urging ordinary people to take part.

“I think it’s the most amazing book ever written. Ulysses is about a specific place and time but Finnegan’s Wake is about the history of the world. If you want to know about the Crimean War, every war and every battle in Europe – they’re all mentioned, even the Maamtrasna murders are there,” she enthuses.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Little Blue Hero meets Boys in Green

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Connacht’s Tom Farrell, David Hawkshaw, Niall Murray, Tom Daly, Gavin Thornbury and Jarrad Butler chase after Charlie Quinn during his visit to the Sportsground. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Connacht’s trio of Irish rugby internationals found themselves facing (not quite) the long arm of the law this week when Galway’s newest Garda recruit turned up to join in their training session at the Sportsground.

Charlie Quinn – Garda Number 322 – was in full uniform for the occasion, but that didn’t stop him joining in a Connacht session with captain Jack Carty and, fresh from Ireland’s triumphant Autumn Series, Mack Hansen and Bundee Aki.

The seven-year-old from Creggs is Galway’s latest Little Blue Hero, following his life-changing bone marrow transplant – thanks to a donation from dad Niall, who underwent a pioneering procedure to ensure his platelets were compatible with his young son’s.

Charlie was given a tour of the new Garda Regional Headquarters in Murrough before being ‘blue lighted’ by members of the force to Connacht Rugby to meet his heroes.

And a day later, he still hadn’t come down from the high.

“He’s gone off to school this morning, fully clad from head to toe in his Garda uniform; he’s delighted with himself,” said his mum Cathy.

Niall and Cathy revealed the rollercoaster they’ve been on since Charlie was first diagnosed with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome is a rare genetic immunodeficiency that keeps a child’s immune system from functioning properly.

But thanks to the incredible work carried out at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle, he’s now finally back to full health – and flying.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

GAA couple move wedding to give clear run to club semi-final

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Shauna Healy

IN the words of Shakespeare, ‘all’s well that ends well’ . . . and that’s certainly the case for the St. Thomas’ GAA club as a clash has been avoided between their All-Ireland semi-final date with Dunloy of Antrim and the marriage of one of their star players.

Originally, their match with Cúchulainns Dunloy, had been pencilled in for Saturday, December 17 – the same day that key player Darragh Burke was due to tie the knot with Galway’s multiple camogie All-Star winner, Shauna Healy from Ardrahan.

Following St. Thomas’ replay success against Loughrea in the county final on Sunday week last, the five-in-a-row Galway champions knew that they were ‘in a pickle’ with the All-Ireland semi-final fixed for the same weekend as the wedding.

Frantic behind-the-scenes efforts were made to seek a postponement of the match but with the All-Ireland club series on a very tight deadline, there was little room for manoeuvre.

Initially, Croke Park had agreed to switch the match from Saturday week to Sunday week, December 18, but this would have made for a very low-key wedding and reception on the day before at the Meadow Court Hotel, Loughrea.

Luckily though, for Darragh Burke and Shauna Healy, the Meadow Court Hotel had an alternative date available on the following Thursday, December 22, which the couple have now settled on to tie the knot.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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