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Connacht Tribune

The stuff of legends as Corofin pull off the title treble

Stephen Glennon

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Corofin's Martin Farragher breaking away from Kilcoo's Niall Branagan during Sunday's All-Ireland club football final at Croke Park. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Corofin 1-12

Kilcoo (Down) 0-7

(After Extra-Time)

JUST as Zeus ruled over all the other Greek gods on Mount Olympus, so too, has a mythical Corofin elevated themselves above all of their illustrious rivals as they won a historic third consecutive All-Ireland senior club football title with victory over Kilcoo of Down in the final at Croke Park on Sunday.

And just as Zeus harnessed the power of the sky and thunder to rule supreme, Corofin also produced a devastating lightning strike in scoring an unanswered 1-4 in the first period of extra-time to reduce the ambitions of their Down opponents to ash.

Substitute Conor Cunningham was the tip of the lightning bolt, the 25-year-old scoring what will, eternally, be the most important goal of his sporting career in the 10th minute of extra-time to inscribe Corofin’s name into GAA folklore.

In front of a crowd of 25,930, Kevin O’Brien’s men fought a war of attrition with the Ulster champions and, although they seemed to break from Kilcoo’s shackles when taking a three-point lead heading into the final quarter of normal time, their spirited opponents reeled them back in to level up the tie at seven points apiece to take the fixture to extra-time.

The foolish among us in the stands feared for Corofin at this stage. Aside from letting a winning hand slip, Corofin’s legs seemed heavy and their discipline appeared to have deserted them with Michael Farragher receiving a red card (second yellow) and substitute Darragh Silke, within minutes of his introduction, black-carded.

Added to this, Kilcoo looked to have been re-energised by their late comeback, so much so they charged for the tunnel at the end of normal time like a raging tornado, blowing anyone who stood in their way out of it. Tempers flared. The god of war had arrived.

Yet, when the ball was thrown in at the start of extra-time, it was an all-powerful Corofin, with a superhuman effort, that emerged as the great deity of club football, underlining their divinity with a 10-minute blitz that cowed Kilcoo.

Man of the match and midfielder Ronan Steede kicked a super point — his third of the afternoon — following good work from Dylan McHugh four minutes into extra-time and this was quickly proceeded by similar well-worked scores from substitute Dylan Canney, the versatile Liam Silke and the composed Gary Sice (free).

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

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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 www.connachttribune.ie

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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

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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 www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Liver donor dad would do it all again in a heartbeat

Denise McNamara

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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 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.

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