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Connacht Tribune

Suffer little children – report shines a light into shameful past

Dave O'Connell

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Baby clothing hanging from a tree branch in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home burial ground this week. PHOTO: Joe O'Shaughnessy

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The final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes shines a light into the darkest recesses of our shameful past; young women and tiny babies neglected by Church and State – fellow, frail human beings whose lives and deaths somehow didn’t matter at all.

These women and their children were punished, hidden out of sight; mistreated at best; physically and sexually abused at worst – and way, way too many were left to die without a shred of dignity in their lives or in their passing.

The Trojan work and dedication of people like Catherine Corless lifted the stone on the shame – but it is only in their shocking stories, as we’ve read and heard this week, that we can get any sense of the depths of this depravity.

Many of the mothers were little more than children themselves, who had their little babies taken from them and given away with even a sliver of consent.

There were no records of their adoption, and no willingness, even decades later, to help those babies to find their birth mothers. Because to do so would have exposed the cruel and heartless manner of their forced adoptions in the first place.

And yet exposing this scandal is only the first step; an apology was the very least they were entitled to. Now we as a nation, and particularly those religious orders who ran the homes, must do everything to redress this wrong.

We must open the files so that they can discover their full life stories, find their living relatives, and be compensated so that at least the rest of their lives are in complete contrast to all they’ve endured until now.

We need to look at how we can give hundreds of innocent babies a proper burial – however belated and insufficient that may be.

Nothing will undo the damage – but now that the depths of this depravity have finally been laid bare, there must be no equivocation, no prevarication; just a commitment to doing whatever it takes to try and right a terrible wrong.

See full coverage of the Commission’s Report in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

Connacht Tribune

Wisdom, fun and hope in online yoga community

Judy Murphy

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'Elemental and wacky', Ciara's advice is that movement and listening to your body are more important than achieving a perfect pose. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Lifestyle – Ciara Ní Dhiomasaigh and her partner Josef run the Nádúir Holistic Centre in Furbo, which is normally busy with therapists and students. After life changed last year, the experienced yoga teacher learned new skills so she could create her a daily online practice that’s available to everybody, either free or for a nominal cost. It’s aimed at building resilience, health and hope, she tells JUDY MURPHY.

Ciara Ní Dhiomasaigh laughs as she recalls a comment she made to her partner, Josef, last February about needing “a bit more rock and roll” in her life.  It wasn’t that she was idle. Far from it. But Ciara, who teaches yoga and tango as well as being a massage therapist who practises and teaches Cranio-sacral Bio-dynamics, had a yen to go travelling. While she’s not someone who makes grand plans, she was working towards making that happen when everything changed in March.

“Now look at me.” She laughs again as she gestures around the massage room at Nádúir, the holistic centre that she and Josef run in Furbo. Located on a leafy boreen off the Galway-Spiddal road, it’s a gorgeous, peaceful place where she conducts yoga classes in non-Covid times. But foreign climes it ain’t.

Yet, Ciara has broadened her reach enormously since March and in ways she could never have imagined back then. Like most yoga teachers, she quickly moved her regular classes to the online video-conferencing app, Zoom, and that’s been working fine.

But she’s done way more than that.

“I love working really hard and connecting,” explains this elemental, smart, funny woman.

“I was looking for something to excite and energise me, to challenge me to do something at the end of my comfort zone, to teach myself new skills.”

So, in August, Ciara began offering daily 20-minute yoga sessions on YouTube and Facebook and she’s continued to offer them every month, with a different monthly theme, such as ‘Connect’ or ‘Strength’. ‘Flow’ is January’s focus.

This unique teacher who has been practising yoga for three decades, is now building an online community who love the wholesome, humorous, wise take on life which she brings to her daily practice.

People who sign up are asked to pay €10 a month, to ‘subscribe for sustainability’.  Afterwards, it all remains online, freely available to anyone anywhere who has the internet.

Ciara and her sister Sinéad, who helps with administration, thought carefully about what to charge, before embracing the model of US yoga teacher Adriene Mishler who has millions of followers and offers many of her classes for free.

Ciara’s aim is that her sessions are affordable for people, while creating some income for Sinéad and herself – vital, given that Nádúir has lost practically all its revenue streams since March.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Mulkerrins adopts a pragmatic stand as finals off

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Moycullen's Martin Mulkerrins on his way to winning the All-Ireland 60x30 senior softball title in July of 2019.

By Ivan Smyth

NATIONAL champion Martin Mulkerrins isn’t shocked that the World Handball Championships due to take place in Dublin later this year have been cancelled.

“To be honest I wasn’t surprised when I heard the news. It is understandable and in the current climate there is uncertainty over where the country will be in a few months.”

The World Championships take place every three years with Mulkerrins reaching the final of the 40×20 event in 2018, eventually losing out to Killian Carroll in the decider.

“I was excited for it this year with the last two World Championships not being in Ireland. I love travelling so with the 2018 Worlds taking place in Minnesota and Canada hosting it in 2015, I had the opportunity to travel and play.”

“I think every handballer was looking forward to playing in the new National Handball Centre in Croke Park, but I’m sure the powers that be are working on alternative arrangements when it’s safe to play.”

“It’s still promising to see that facility being built and shows that things are looking up for the sport despite not much action on the courts recently.”

The handball season is split into three main codes – 40×20, 60×30 and One-Wall (recently rebranded as wallball). In terms of coverage and crowds, the 40×20 Championships are the brand leader.

Last year the coronavirus pandemic caused the handball calendar to be turned upside down with the Moycullen man still waiting to play the 2020 All-Ireland 40×20 senior singles final against Westmeath’s Robbie McCarthy.

That final was initially due to be played on March 21 of last year but handball alleys across the land were forced to shut down the week beforehand due to the coronavirus. When action resumed, GAA Handball opted to play the 60×30 Championships from the beginning instead of concluding the 40×20 Championships.

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.

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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

Galway start-up’s €3m investment

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Investment...Orreco CEO Dr. Brian Moore.

Galway-headquartered sports performance and data science company Orreco will scale its operations in Ireland, the United States and UK following a €3 million investment round led by Silicon Valley-based venture firm True Ventures.

The new investment will enable the Galway company to expand its product, engineering, data science and commercial teams, in addition to accelerating the development of its elite performance solutions, @thlete and FitrWoman.

Up to 30 new hires will be made across the company’s offices in Ireland, the UK, and the U.S., specifically Galway and Los Angeles where Orreco operates a performance centre. The company currently employs 30 people.

Its performance centres provide sports science and data solutions for professional sports teams and athletes including the US basketball NBA sides the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks, NBA Champion and All-Star Pascal Siakam, English Premier League side Newcastle United and WSL club Chelsea FC Women, USA Swimming, and the Wasserman Sports Agency (Los Angeles).

Top golfers Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell became investors after experiencing the benefits of Orreco’s services first-hand.

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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