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Connacht Tribune

The winds of change have blown strongly since 1979

Francis Farragher

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Changed times: The late Bishop Eamon Casey and Fr. Michael Cleary 'on stage' in Ballybrit on September 30, 1979 for the visit of John Paul II to Galway.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

I’m of an age where I should be able to recollect from the nostalgia reservoir, memories of being in Ballybrit when Pope John Paul II celebrated his historic Youth Mass in Galway and uttered the phrase that seems to have stuck in everyone’s memory: “Young people of Ireland, I love you.”

My decision not to go to Ballybrit was a kind of silent personal protest against all things great and high, as the first couple of years of my 20s had been pock marked by funerals, one after the other, from the old, the not-so-old and the young.

In hindsight, it was probably a ‘bit much’ to start blaming John Paul II, for the run of ill-luck that had descended upon my family around those years, but after having witnessed prayers, Masses and various relics being invoked to try and end the plague of death that had arrived at our door, my pot of faith had been scraped clean and it has taken quite a while to replenish it.

I remember groups of my mates, who would not have been known for their religious zeal, being quite taken with the whole atmosphere and occasion of the pope coming to the racecourse at Ballybrit. Little trips were organised; names were organised for buses; while there was also a certain social aspect to the occasion with ‘the few pints’ organised afterwards to mark the event.

At times, it’s slightly hard to grasp that almost four decades have passed since the visit of John Paul II to Ireland, and even for those of us who didn’t go to see him, television images and atmospherics that surrounded the occasion, will never leave the mind’s eye until either death or senility intervenes.

In our own humble abode back in 1979, ‘the plunge’ hadn’t been made from the old black and white Bush TV to the world of colour, so JP’s Youth Mass in Ballybrit, I watched with my ageing father in glorious black and white, and even at that, the reception wasn’t great, due to apparently unsolvable problems with aerial connections and trappings.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Increase exam grades this Christmas at Kilmartin Educational Services

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Second level students are making the most of their Christmas holidays by attending the ever popular Intensive Revision Courses in Kilmartin Educational Services, Limerick Ennis and online.  These courses are designed for Junior Cert and Leaving Certificate students sitting exams next June 2021 and who want to maximize their grades. Courses will be available onsite and online this year. All courses are taught by experienced teachers, many of whom are state examiners.  Class sizes onsite are limited in line with our Covid-19 health and safety policies 

The courses will provide effective and efficient revision by concentrating on the vital examination topics within a subject. These Intensive One Day Revision Courses are excellent value at €80 per course and are now better value than ever!  All courses run from 9.153.15pm. 

Students who simply wish to avail of daytime supervised study will also be catered for over the Christmas period from 9.45-4.30pm dailySupervised study pods are bright, spaciousdistraction free and well ventilated 

Due to a policy of limited enrolment on all courses, immediate booking is advisable. This Christmas, give the Gift of Exam Success by booking your revision Courses at Julie Kilmartin’s. Pricing information and timetables are available online at www.kes.ie. To book a place on any course, call Kilmartin Educational Services on 061-444989. 

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Connacht Tribune

Cherish every moment; hug and kiss your loved ones every night

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Happier days…Geraldine Mullan with her husband John and their children Tomas and Amelia.

Last August, GERALDINE MULLAN (née Connaughton) endured an unfathomable nightmare, losing her husband and two children in a crash that she herself was lucky to survive. Here the Williamstown native writes of life since – and how the support of so many has helped her over the last three months.

My husband John was a fan of Bruce Springsteen. In normal circumstances he would be currently enjoying Bruce’s latest album “Letter to You” and taking particular interest in the songs, especially the one entitled “House of a Thousand Guitars” (given John’s love of that instrument).

But these are not normal days and instead it is me appraising the new offering from The Boss and taking poignant note of some of the other lyrical melodies on the album, particularly those entitled “One Minute You’re Here” and “I’ll See You in my Dreams”.

These two songs in particular speak to my situation and have become musical reminders of my beloved departed, my husband John and our children Tomas and Amelia, who were cruelly taken from this world in late August of this year.

Since the tragedy unfolded, I have been surrounded by many wonderful people and wrapped up in their familial and communal embraces, all united in offering me solace, comfort, assistance and no end of love, understanding and compassion.

I stand each day and get through it, in no small part, due to the continuous support you provide to me.

Such is the outpouring and swell of sympathy and empathy alike, and many are the calls, messages, cards, letters, flowers, gifts, acts of service and human kindness which have reached my Moville doorstep, that I am truly overwhelmed, very much humbled and ever-grateful.

I am genuinely appreciative of it all and your love and caring has taken root in my heart and in my head. That being said, I am unable to respond to everyone individually, therefore this is my “Letter to You”, my simple way of acknowledgement and sincere thanks.

You can read Geraldine’s full, heart-breaking letter in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now.

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.

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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Connacht Tribune

Early Christmas box for 13,500 Galway farmers

Francis Farragher

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CLOSE on 13,500 Galway farmers should be getting an early ‘Christmas Box’ this week with the final tranche of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) monies being paid out – ‘bang on schedule’, according to Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue.

Back in October, farmers got the 70% advance payment in BPS with a commitment given at the time that the balance would be paid out in early December – balancing payments under the Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) scheme are scheduled to commence next week.

Total BPS payments to Galway’s 13,500 farmers come to just over €82 million, according to figures released by local TDs this week, with the average individual payment per farmer working out at just over €6,000.

East Galway TD and Minister of State, Anne Rabbitte, said that the final tranche of the BPS payments was a most welcome one for thousands of farmers across the county after a most difficult year.

“The really important thing about these payments is that they are being made on schedule and they will help a lot of farmers to ‘balance the books’ for 2020,” said Minister of State, Rabbitte.

The Minister for Agriculture also confirmed this week that payments under the 2020 National Reserve and the Young Farmers Scheme will also commence alongside payment of the 2020 BPS balancing payment – this will also benefit a significant number of Galway farmers.

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.

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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