Coláiste Éinde has been added to the City Council’s record of protected structures, despite strong objections from the Galway Diocesan Office to the entire building being considered as of architectural merit.
Forty-six structures were put forward to be included in the draft City Development Plan 2017-2023, with just 16 submissions received on these.
A report circulated to councillors stated that the school first opened in 1928 in Furbo, and moved to its present location in 1937. It was a preparatory college for students aspiring to become national school teachers. Part of its ethos was to promote the Irish language, and it operated as an Irish-speaking boarding college with a wide student catchment.
“The limestone five-bay entrance porch has semi-circular arched openings, the centre bay being the entrance lobby,” it stated.
“Above the open porch there are five flat-arched openings to the first floor balcony. The piers between have limestone caps and above a decorative cornice the three-bay plastered attic storey is flanked by limestone parapets, and topped by a projecting cap stone.”
The appraisal at the end of the document recommended that the building be included in the register of protected structures:
“This early 20th century school building represents educational design of the period and is of architectural, social and historical interest.
“While there appears to be some new buildings of a later period on the site and in the courtyards, and the window frames have been changed, the arrangements and character of the school has substantially unchanged since construction. The large scale of the building is comparatively unusual for an educational building in the West of Ireland.”
However, the Galway Diocesan Office had made a submission to the draft Development Plan objecting to the inclusion of Coláiste Éinde in the register of protected structures (RPS).
“The building is in poor condition, and inclusion in the RPS would incur greater costs to rehabilitate the building,” it stated.
While agreeing that certain aspects were of merit, many Councillors did not see the value of preserving the structure as a whole.
“There is no doubt that it has historical value, being associated with Padraig Pearse, but large parts are more modern,” remarked Cllr Pearce Flannery.
Cllr Cathal Ó Conchuir agreed, adding that aspects, such as the dressing rooms (built in the last 20-30 years), were not worth keeping. He suggested that anything built prior to 1980 should be considered as valuable, rather than taking the building as a whole.
Senior Planner, Helen Coleman told members: “The Minister has made these recommendations, based on detailed surveys under the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH).
“Cathal Crimmins’ (architect and historic building consultant) appraisals were carried out before we brought these recommendations to yourselves, so that we have a clear, up-to-date idea on the value of these.
“For the most part, his advice mirrors the NIAH in terms of the architectural, social, and historical value of these structures. The Minister felt these were of considerable value to the heritage of the city.”
Mr Crimmins agreed that there were parts of the building not worth preserving, but he described the main building as “a very interesting complex” and one that was “very unusual for the West of Ireland.”
Cllr Ó Conchuir, who is a teacher in a different city secondary school, felt that the applicant’s fears were unjustified.
“When Coláiste Íognaid was being developed, there was no problem, even though it was protected,” he said.
Cllr Ollie Crowe proposed that the submission made by The Galway Diocesan Office be adopted, while Cllr Colette Connolly proposed that the Chief Executive’s recommendations – in keeping with those of the Minister – be accepted. The latter motion was passed by 11 votes to 7.
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.