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Trip from Croke Park that took a very strange twist

Francis Farragher

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

Trips down from Croke Park on the evening of All-Ireland finals for Galway fans tend to be gloomy affairs. It’s just a fact of life that Galway tend to lose far more finals than they win so on Sunday week last as myself, and three more seasoned travellers, made our way down the motorway, we were kind of welcoming hosts to any kind of hurling distraction that came our way. The Marty Squad on Radio 1 is grand for a while especially if you win, but being far outside the range of local radio, we stuck with the national channel. It was to prove something of an experience.

We started listening to the Documentary on One, and given its rural orientation set in the Kerry town of Listowel, the four listened in for a few minutes before as we would normally expect, the conversation would inevitably drift back to the match, but this time it didn’t.

The title of the documentary In Shame, Love, In Shame, took a peep back in time to 1946 when a 25-year-old Kerry single woman, called Peggy McCarthy, found herself pregnant and in desperate medical trouble as she went into labour. This really was the awful Ireland of the 1940s and 1950s where the quite natural event of a woman having a baby turned into a horror story of almost unimaginable proportions.

The facts of the case are worth recalling. Local hackney driver, John Guerin (his son Tony has written a play entitled Solo Run about what happened) was given the job of bringing Peggy McCarthy to the nearby local hospital where she obviously required urgent medical attention. She was refused admission and the hackney man was directed to bring her to Tralee Hospital 20 miles away. Here again, she was refused admission by a nun who was carrying out hospital policy: the reason for the admission refusal being that she was an unmarried mother. Their care for mothers in labour was only for those who were married.

Another 20-mile hospital journey followed to another hospital in Killarney, The Union, where the young woman died but her baby daughter, Breda, survived. There Peggy McCarthy’s troubles had ended but the travails of the hackney driver were far from over.

He was entrusted with the job of bringing back the coffined body of Peggy McCarthy to the local church only to find the gates of the so-called House of God locked in front of them. The local PP, a Canon Patrick Brennan, had made the decision that her remains would not be allowed into the church.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Country Living

More than students need to learn for Leaving Cert 2021

Francis Farragher

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A time for support . . . not walkouts!

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Many moons ago when efforts were being made to teach me the rudiments of Maths, Irish and English along with various other disciplines, a common enough term in usage was ‘the teacher’s pet’.

In different times, it often applied to the son or daughter of the local doctor, councillor or maybe even a big shopkeeper. Us ordinary mortals would notice in those times that such classroom specimens would avoid, almost without fail, the tougher censures of the múinteoir which included the leather, stick or sometimes just the bare knuckles.

It didn’t happen all the time or with every teacher but those were very different times in Irish education and there weren’t many of us who actually looked forward to going to school, whether that it be at primary or secondary level.

A revolution occurred, maybe a quiet and seamless one, but a revolution nonetheless, that changed the whole texture of Irish education. Somewhere, along the way, kids started to like going to school, and it was wonderful.

In terms of a teaching career, I came close enough to going down that path of life myself bravely armed with a BA and the prized H. Dip. (Higher Diploma in Education) back in the early 1980s, but the old tributaries of life took me in a different direction.

To this day, I really doubt if I would have had the patience for an occupation, which does require more than its fair share of positive human attributes like compassion, empathy, engagement and that critical quality of being able to impart knowledge in a reasonably light-handed fashion.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Country Living

All written in the stars for us if only we could figure it out

Francis Farragher

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Written in the stars: astrology is a world – and a business – that’s difficult to predict.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

What does come over us all at times? There, I was last week, checking out some background to a story when up flashed a message on the screen that read: “Check out your own horoscope for the next year?” Of course, it should have been ignored but human nature being what it is and with personal curiosity never quite being satisfied, I clicked in to view all hopes, aspirations, good and bad points, before merrily going on my way with this useless cache of waffle being pored over for a time and then dispensed with it . . . well, until the next one flashes up before me on the screen.

Now, I know that all quiz boffins would be able to roll out the star signs for each segment of the year off the tip of their tongues, but apart from knowing my own (Gemini), and maybe that of a couple of family members, I’d be under pressure to pin down on the calendar a Capricorn, an Aries or a Scorpio. But yet it’s a curiosity that tends not to go away.

Most star sign guides will give you about six positives to extrapolate from your relationship with the constellations but only about half as many negatives, so the leaning on this one is to err on the sign of good news for the reader, or in some cases the subscriber, where astrology can be turned into a little money-spinner.

Some of the richest hacks (a slang name for newspaper writers) in UK journalism back the years were not the most thorough and revealing of investigative reporters, but instead were astrologers who developed cult followings among large swathes of the population. Some of the UK tabloid owners nearly ‘broke the bank’ to sign over popular astrologers from rival papers. Now, who could have predicted that when the first papers started to roll off the presses.

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.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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Country Living

Counting cash, calories and steps to help pass the time

Francis Farragher

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Walking in the dark . . . a new habit that many people took up this Winter.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

I’m probably in the company of millions of people around the world in trying to eke out some smites out of consolation from our current tidal wave of woes that seem to be weighing us all down. At this point, I seem to have given up hope of ever seeing a bright evening again and taking a ramble through the fields long after the clock strikes eight bells.

There are those of us who have bemoaned our occasional (diplomatic term) to our local watering holes where all things great and small are discussed over a few pints of plain, but then the thought struck me of little plus over the holiday period.

Over the years, despite all of my best efforts, I never managed the absolute scourge of a hangover, or two, between the Christmas and New Year holiday periods.

Despite the very best and sincerest of intentions there would inevitably be one party or one sing-song where the defences of self-discipline would be breached and suddenly a couple of hours would disappear into a black hole of time.

But, hey presto, I’m now hard pressed to recall the last time when that little man with the hammer was trying to break out from a spot inside the front of my scull; when a tummy did not want any rendezvous with food; and when that all-consuming tiredness of the ‘morning after’ would never seem to leave.

There were no late-night parties; none of those ‘we’ll just have one more’ moments; and none of those occasions when a pint is left in front of you and you know deep down that you’ve had enough.

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.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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