Two sets of Galway brothers are among the 50 solders about to deployed to Syria for a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission from Dún Uí Mhaoilíosa barracks in Renmore.
Lieutenant Colonel Frank Flannery from Athenry is the Officer Commanding the 63 Infantry Group which leaves next Wednesday for Camp Faouar, located between Israeli Occupied Golan and the Syrian Arab Republic.
There will be 129 in the group on the mission for six months – 46 of them on their first overseas tour – and 50 are based in Renmore.
Of these, 30 are Galway natives, including brothers Shane and Steven O’Halloran from Oughterard and Kenneth and David McCormack from Claregalway. Joining Privates O’Halloran and Corporals McCormack will be one of only two women in the group, Corporal Cathy Jennings from Galway City.
“It’s unusual to have two sets of brothers alright,” remarks Lt Col Flannery.
“The atmosphere in the group is excellent. There’s a great attitude, they’re very, very positive and very much looking forward to commencing the mission. They’re very aware we serve the State and are aware of the very long and proud tradition the Defence Forces have on overseas service across the world.
“That reputation is well earned and everybody here is going to make a contribution to that.”
While the so-called ‘Area of Separation’ patrolled by the UN has been calm for some time, the group have been training since early January for every eventuality at locations around the country. They faced simulated explosive strikes, air strikes, helicopter drills, anti-ambush tactics using a variety of advanced weapons systems, detailed planning and traditional peacekeeping methods.
They also spent a week of live fire training in the Glen of Imaal, explains Lt Col Flannery.
(Photo: Claregalway brothers Kenneth and David McCormack prepare for their mission)
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Boil water notice issued for Barna area
A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes
The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.
The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.
The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.
Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.
Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.
Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.
In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.
Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised
Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.
A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.
Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.
Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.
Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.
He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.
Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .
Anger over ANC ‘snip’
ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.
Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.
In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.
Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.
At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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