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Connacht Tribune

Tough terrain for Galway’s runners in cross country season finale

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The Galway women's novice team which competed at the National Cross Country Championships, from left: Cliodhna Ruane, Deirdre McCrae Eleanor Whyte, Mags Sheridan and Aisling Joyce.

THE National Novice Cross Country and Juvenile Uneven Ages Cross Country finals for U11s up to U19s were held last Saturday in Navan Adventure Park, in wet and windy conditions. The event featured some hugely competitive races on a true and testing cross country course.

Galway were well represented at juvenile level, with Tuam AC, Craughwell AC, East Galway and GCH fielding athletes and teams across all races

Notable performances for county runners included a fine run by Oisin Maher of Clifden, running with Westport AC who was placed 16th in the U11 race, which was held in difficult conditions. At U13 level, Mathys Bocquet of Craughwell was Galway’s best finisher of the day in sixth place, while Gearoid King of Castlegar did very well in his first National race, coming 15th overall.

At U15 level, Ross McGuinness of Craughwell AC performed well, finishing in 13th place, while Aine O’Farrell of Athenry produced a strong run as she finished 8th in the U19 girls race.

At adult level, Galway fielded two strong novice teams, with the Galway women’s squad combining well over the 4km two lap circuit, to finish 11th overall. The team was led home by Cliodhna Ruane of Corrib AC ahead of Eleanor Whyte, Deirdre McCrae and Mags Sheridan, all of GCH, with top contender Aisling Joyce, also of GCH, unfortunately having to withdraw mid-way with a foot injury. Individually, NUI Galway athletes Orna Murray and Aoife O’Brien had two fine runs, claiming 13th and 22nd place respectively.

The novice men’s race over 6km was a real spectacle to watch with over 250 runners taking on the testing hilly and twisty circuit. Zak Hanna of Newcastle AC in Down won an exciting event, with Galway’s best finisher being Craughwell AC athlete Damien O’Boyle in 31st place, with clubmate Kevin Mooney next in 44th, followed Jack Miskella (Craughwell), Neill Keane and Naoise O Gibne of GCH, and Mark Davis of Craughwell, completing the six scorers for the Galway team. Craughwell AC was placed 12th club overall, with Galway county in 8th overall.

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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