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Connacht Tribune

Third-level’s new arrivals remind us all of our youth

Dave O'Connell

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A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s the academic year’s equivalent of Spring – the season when the new young Leaving Cert lambs gambol across the NUIG lawns and pitches, eager to embrace every form of their new life and freedom.

You can spot them instantly on the morning walk to work from the westside of the city; gazing in awe and wonder at the map of the huge campus after years of confinement within the four walls of a secondary school.

For the first week, they had their new college to themselves – apart from the world-weary lecturers who make their way back after a well-earned long summer – and they’d have you convinced that the world was their oyster.

Which of course it is, even if they might have to wait a little while to conquer it just yet.

For now, they’ve freed themselves of the shackles of second-level where the attendance roll is called every morning and all misdemeanours are reported to your parents as though you don’t actually exist.

They are living away from home, in flats, shared houses or college accommodation – or indeed, these days, sleeping on floors or couches or living in hostels – but wherever it is, it’s not home.

And not being home means there are no parents; so, for the first two weeks at least, the back pain from the floorboards seems like a price worth paying.

There’s an innocence in their eyes, that sense of wonder as they enter a whole new world – of learning for sure, but just as much of partying, socialising and making the best friends you’ll ever encounter.

This is Freshers’ Week at NUIG, which – for those of us of an older vintage – might suggest it’s a tribute to a popular tangy sweet of our youth or it’s sponsored by them. It’s not; Freshers are First Years and this is to build on Orientation Week by truly immersing them in college life.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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.

 

Connacht Tribune

Athlone farm sells at auction for €1.4 million

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Farm at Castlesampson, Athlone

A 143 acre farm at Castlesampson, Athlone was sold by Public Auction on Friday 30th August in Gullane’s Hotel, Ballinasloe. Agents for the sale, Connaughton Auctioneers reported a large attendance at the auction with the farm offered for sale in three separate lots and one overall lot.

Auctioneer Ivan Connaughton, who conducted the auction, firstly offered the three individual lots for sale with highest bids of €115,000 on 13.2 Acres (Lot 2), €600,000 on 77.53 Acres with Farm Buildings (Lot 3) and €340,000 on 52.43 Acres (Lot 4). The overall farm (Lot 1) was then offered and bidding opened at €1,000,000 and reached €1,200,000.

After deliberation, the auctioneer sought offers for the individual lots and after brisk bidding, increased offers of €125,000 (Lot 2), €680,000 (Lot 3) and €390,000 (Lot 4) amounting to €1,195,000, €5,000 short of the offer for the overall lot. One last opportunity was given for interested parties for the individual lots and the offers increased to €1,230,000.

Before consultation with the vendors for decision to sell as one lot or in individual lots, the auctioneer sought offers for the overall farm in one lot and offers increased to €1,300,000.

After a break for consultation, the decision was made to sell the farm in one lot. The auctioneer informed the attendees of the decision and outlined the offer of €1,300,000 was short of expectation and sought increased offers. Offers increased to €1,400,000 and after a short break, the auctioneer returned to the podium and declared the property to be on the open market and selling.

No additional offers were received and the hammer fell at €1,400,000 to a local farmer.

Auctioneer Ivan Connaughton stated after the auction: “We were delighted with the result. It is an exceptional farm with an extensive range of farm buildings. Its location close to Athlone and Ballinasloe was a major benefit in the sale. We had interest from all over Ireland. There was interest in all lots with many disappointed under bidders for the individual lots. I wish the purchasers the best of luck with their new farm. We now need similar farms and parcel of lands for interested parties on our database”, concluded Ivan

Solicitor for the carriage of sale was Dara Hayden from Hayden & Co. Solicitors, Athlone.

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Connacht Tribune

Future of beef industry in doubt

Francis Farragher

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Minister Michael Creed
Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed

STARK warnings have been issued this week that ongoing protests outside meat plants by one splinter farming organisation could jeopardise the whole future of the Irish cattle and beef industry.

Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, in an open letter to farmer protesters, said that over recent weeks their message had been heard loud and clear, leading to the agreement that was hammered out after 36 hours of talks last weekend.

“Over the weekend, huge efforts were made to reach an agreement, to signal to you, that not only have your voices been heard – but that things are going to change. That is why the leaders of the IFA, Macra na Feirme, ICMSA, ICSA, INHFA and the Beef Plan Movement backed the agreement.

“That is why the representatives of the Independent Farmers of Ireland said that they agreed to recommend the deal to those of you at the factory gates who sent them. All of these people who represent the vast majority of farmers in Ireland believed that this was a decent start on a way forward,” said Minister Creed.

He pleaded with farmers still protesting (the Independent Farmers of Ireland) not to be responsible for the destruction of the Irish beef industry. “Those of you who are minded to continue the protest must now be fully aware of your responsibilities. The future of the Irish beef sector is in your hands . . . the futures of your fellow farmers are in your hands,” said Minister Creed.

Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, said that the time was right to ‘give the agreement a chance’ as many beef farmers were coming under the most extreme financial pressure. “We need to get cattle moving again. The message has been delivered as regards the plight of beef farmers. An agreement has been reached – we have to give it a chance,” she said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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

Portumna seeks slice of Downton Abbey action!

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Portumna connection…Princess Mary (actress Kate Phillips) in Downton Abbey.

The release of its first silver screen drama has seen the spread of Downton Abbey fever all over again – and one local Junior Minister wants to see Galway cash in on its new connection.

Because, according to Ciaran Cannon, the appearance in the movie of Princess Mary – a visitor to the fictional Crawley family seat – creates a direct Downton link to Portumna Castle.

And the Minister for the Diaspora and International Development is urging the tourism sector in Portumna to make use of the town`s connection to boost visitor numbers.

“Fans of ‘Downton Abbey’ will be flocking to movie theatres in droves to see the hit drama revived for the big-screen and interestingly, from the point of view of East Galway`s history, the movie version features the real-life character of Princess Mary,” he said.

Because the real-life character of Princess Mary visited Portumna in 1928; her husband was the last owner of Portumna Castle prior to it being acquired by the State.

The new cinematic outing for Downton Abbey sees the servants and aristocrats of the famous house receive a visit from King George V and his wife Queen Mary, prompting much panic and excitement.

One of the most prominent royals featured in the film is that of Princess Mary, Countess of Harewood – played by Peaky Blinders actress Kate Phillips.

The real Princess Mary was the only daughter of King George V and his wife Queen Mary. She had two older brothers – the future kings Edward VIII and George VI, the latter being the father of Queen Elizabeth II.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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