Aiden Sheridan was really shaken when his sister, Jennifer, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.
The Ballinasloe man is the youngest of Tommy and Eilish Sheridan’s eight children but because just a year separates them, Aiden is quite close to Jennifer. The 38-year-old, who is a carpet fitter with Tom Dempsey’s in Oranmore, found talking about his sister’s cancer diagnosis difficult. And so, he ran.
He didn’t run away, as such, but instead he ran 59 marathons over the course of one year, to show how much he cared for his sister, who runs Tiny Tots Crèche in the East Galway town.
“I planned on doing 52 marathons in 52 weeks but I ended up doing 59,” recalls Aiden of his feat.
Though he was a late-comer to running – Aiden only started in 2012 – he had completed about 40 marathons before setting out on his unusual 52-week task.
The Birchgrove athlete’s first marathon was completed on January 2, 2016; and he finished his 52nd on November 7 in his home town, which began and finished at Gullane’s Hotel in the town, and included several loops of Poolboy.
“I wanted to finish in Ballinasloe and so that was my 52nd but I had booked more runs so I just completed them and actually ran 59 in all,” he says.
Funnily enough, after the 59th marathon, he felt less fit than before because he didn’t train during the weeks.
“I was so unfit at the end of it – it was unbelievable. Your core strength is gone. Your endurance would be fine but your strength is gone and your ability to do sprints is gone,” he says.
There was method in his madness: throughout his yearlong journey, Aiden raised some €18,400 for Breast Cancer Ireland, the charity established to raise funding to support pioneering research and awareness programmes across the country.
See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Tristan’s Ciúnas nominated for award at Dublin Film Festival
Connemara filmmaker Tristan Heanue has been nominated for the Discovery Award at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival for his short Irish-language film Ciúnas (Silence) which was shot around Connemara. The winner of the award will be announced at the closing ceremony of the festival on Sunday, March 8.
Previous recipients include Barry Keoghan, Niamh Algar and John Connors.
Ciúnas won the Físín Script Award at the 2018 Dingle Film Festival and that festival came on board as co-executive producer on the finished short, which Tristan wrote, directed and produced,
The plot centres on a couple embarking on a journey in the midst of a family crisis and it stars Gary Lydon (The Guard, Calvary, Pure Mule, The Clinic) Ally Ní Chiaráin (The Drummer and the Keeper, Michael Inside) and rising star Hazel Doupe (Float Like a Butterfly, Michael Inside, Calm with Horses).
“I’m hugely honoured to be nominated for this award among such an incredible list of Irish talent,” says the Letterfrack man. “I am so happy with how people seem to have connected with the film since we screened at the Galway Film Fleadh last July.”
Ciúnas has already won the Grand Prix at the 64th Cork Film Festival in November, which means it’s now on the Academy Awards longlist for 2021.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
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.
Eclectics aim for a musical smorgasbord for all tastes
Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell
There’s a hint in the name as to what you might expect from the night – and it’s that diversity of styles that helps explain how, right through the second half of 2019, Eclectics emerged as one of Galway’s premier nights for original music.
Curated by David Boland, the showcase gained huge support by prioritising quality and putting artists first. In the Black Gate, Eclectics has a venue that matches its own ethos – it is the city’s most intimate venue not just because of its size but because, invariably, its patrons are intent on listening to the act on stage.
The 2019 programme began and ended with Cavan songstress Lisa O’Neill but it featured a long list of talented Irish musicians in between.
On a Galway scale, local artists including Jack Lee, Maija Sofia and Dead Horse Jive all played headline shows in the latter stages of the year. There were performances too from experienced Irish musicians like John Spillane and Hothouse Flowers’ Liam O Maonlaoi.
Eclectics is a place for artists at the start of their careers as well as those that have long established themselves in the industry. There are no set criteria for the acts David books.
While the venue may lend itself to a quieter sound, the Black Gate hosts musicians from all styles and genres.
Invariably, the shared trait among Eclectics performers is originality. As the name suggests, the showcase champions diversity and authenticity.
Galway’s arts community is one of the best and most vibrant in the country. There is something of a disparity, however, between the number of quality artists we have in the city and the number of venues that encourage their work.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
Corofin’s history makers return to a heroes’ welcome
Bonfires blazed and hundreds lined the route as the classy Corofin champions made their way home to a rapturous reception on Monday evening following their historic All-Ireland success the previous day.
The stage was set in Dr Duggan Park, as supporters of all ages dressed in their saffron and green colours waited patiently for the team bus to arrive in the village – and when they eventually did, they were greeted by one of the most energetic homecomings ever witnessed.
This was their fifth All-Ireland club success and by far the most special – not just because the side achieved three-in-a-row, but because of the manner in which they pulled away in the first period of extra time.
Many of those loyal Corofin supporters were convinced that the reception might not have been as ecstatic, had they snatched victory in normal time.
Indeed, the huge Corofin support witnessed their side doing what they do best in that opening period as sub Conor Cunningham sneaked a goal from a rebound and heroes Ronan Steede, Dylan Canney, Liam Silke and Gary Sice put daylight between the sides.
Monday’s homecoming began as the team bus crossed the Shannon in Athlone around mid-afternoon and were even treated to a warm welcome in Ballinasloe along the route.
But it was when they arrived at around 6pm in Abbeyknockmoy that the celebrations began in earnest, as players disembarked from the bus with the Andy Merrigan Cup to the delight of the local GAA club and well-wishers.
See full coverage of the homecoming and that historic win in Croke Park – all in this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Get the Connacht Tribune Live app