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Connacht Tribune

It’s time for Galway hurlers to get greedy in the years ahead

John McIntyre

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Galway's eighties heroes, Gerry McInerney and Joe Cooney, with their sons and 2017 All-Ireland medal winners, Joseph and Gearóid, before the Tony Keady Memorial fund-raising challenge at Kenny Park last Thursday. Photo: Hany Marzouk.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

The dust is starting to settle on a momentous afternoon for Galway hurling at Croke Park last Sunday week when the unprecedented achievement of winning the All-Ireland senior and minor titles for the first time ever in the same year sparked a huge outpouring of joy and celebration around the county.

The massive crowds which turned out for the homecoming of the two all-conquering teams in Ballinasloe and Pearse Stadium was a fitting tribute to their exploits at GAA headquarters on the sport’s biggest day, leading to genuine hopes that Galway are on the brink of becoming hurling’s dominant force in the years ahead.

Of course, there were similar assumptions about Tipperary in 2010 and Clare in 2013 after winning All-Ireland titles, and though the Premier County did capture the Liam McCarthy Cup again last year, the anticipated haul of silverware hasn’t materialised after their swashbuckling display in ending Kilkenny’s ‘drive for five’ seven years ago. They had also swept Galway aside in the U21 final the following week and a Tipp takeover looked on the cards.

Clare were also a young team when galloping to a surprise championship triumph in 2013, while they were also unbeatable at U21 level over three seasons. Yet, the Banner have failed to drive on in the intervening years even if they remain a competitive squad. They did beat Limerick in this year’s championship, but simply weren’t precise enough when bowing out to Tipp at Paírc Uí Chaoimh subsequently. Clare ought to be better than this.

Now, it’s Galway turn to be burdened with the expectation of further glories ahead and while nothing is guaranteed, the Tribesmen look well equipped to at least make a strong defence of the All-Ireland title in 2018. The squad will have been liberated by finally going all the way in this year’s championship, while many members of the team are only reaching the peak.

1980 captain Joe Connolly is right when he says Galway now have a golden opportunity to become hurling’s standard bearers in the years ahead. With the minors also delivering All-Ireland glory, the U21s rattling a highly touted Limerick outfit in Thurles last month and good juvenile structures in place, the sport is in a very healthy place in the county at present.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

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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