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Connacht Tribune

Staying local and dining in style

Judy Murphy



Devin serves up Killary Mussels in a client's house during one of his seven-course dinners.

Lifestyle – GMIT graduate Devin O’Sullivan brings fine dining to people’s homes, creating meals from foraged, seasonal and locally sourced produce, while delivering a message about how our food choices affect our children’s health, the planet’s health and the health and wellbeing of people in distant, often poor countries. He tells JUDY MURPHY about his innovative business, Feast.

Devin O’ Sullivan studied hotel and catering management at GMIT but pretty soon after graduating, he realised managing hotels wasn’t for him.

From Cooraclare in West Clare, Devin’s passion was for food, particularly Irish food. He also realised the importance of educating people about how our food choices impact our own health and the health of the world at large.

Last year, aged 22, Devin set up his own company, Feast, travelling to schools the length and breadth of Ireland, cooking sustainable, locally sourced fish, game and vegetables from land and sea – sharing his passion for sustainability and his knowledge with youngsters of all ages.

A series of workshops which he ran in schools from September to March, entitled Ár Bia, explored every aspect of the food we eat – and not all of it was pretty.

“A lot of the stuff is provocative,” he says honestly. “I’m not dressing things up and I’m not doing the food pyramid. It’s about telling them the truth about the food we eat and the chemicals you’ll find in things like sliced pan.”

Devin also discussed food-related issues including childhood obesity, the growing hypersensitivity to food and climate change. He talked about the high environmental cost of mass-producing almond milk, which has become so trendy of late, and how our passion for avocados has a devastating affect on the lives of Mexico’s poorest people.

But by treating them as equals and not patronising them, he also got young children to try fish such as oysters that some adults still baulk at. When he informed them that oysters were “the world’s most sustainable food”, their interest was piqued, he explains.

Devin is a young man with a message and a lot of skill, both in food production and preparation. As a youngster in West Clare he worked on his relations’ farms and was also a keen fisherman and hunter.

He tailored the school workshops to suit children of all ages and really enjoyed how receptive they were. But he came to realise that while teaching young people about sustainable food was vital, they weren’t the ones doing the weekly shopping. Parents also needed to learn about how their food choices affected their own children and the children of people in far-distant, often third-world countries.

So, he broadened his remit. Devin had always wanted to set up his own restaurant and although he wasn’t in a position to open a conventional establishment, he decided to offer something different – a moveable feast which would let him spread his message among adults.

 For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Exploring the merits of moving into the west

Dave O'Connell



Mary Kennedy with Carol Ho, one of the Galway interviewees for her new TG4 series, Moving West. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Community’s tribute to one of their own – saving final cut of turf after his passing

Dave O'Connell



Well saved...members of St Brendan's GAA Club honour their departed stalwart, John Geraghty, after a record-breaking evening saving his turf.

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

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Connacht Tribune

Liver donor dad would do it all again in a heartbeat

Denise McNamara



Daddy’s girl…Sadhbh Browne with her very special message on organ donations. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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

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 or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.

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