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Sister county Washington plays its part in anniversary

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Representatives from Galway’s sister county, Washington County in the US State of Wisconsin, said they were “honoured and privileged” to be part of Galway County Council’s 1916 Centenary commemorations – beginning with a flag raising ceremony outside County Hall.

Speaking at a special meeting of Galway County Council on Monday afternoon, Chairperson of the Washington County Board, Richard Gundrum, said that the delegation were overwhelmed by the reception they have received. “It’s safe to say that there isn’t a bad one out of you,” he joked, to murmurs of “give it time”.

At the meeting, members and invited guests were presented with a ‘Proclamation for Our Time’ developed by a diverse range community groups from around the county.

In a revamped version of the original document, read from the steps of the GPO in Dublin by Pádraig Pearse 100 years ago, the new document reaffirms the commitment to equality and fairness – as well as looking at the changing needs of modern Ireland.

The document, created by groups representing the elderly to the young, the travelling community, the LGBT community and the disabled federation of Ireland – the new proclamation reflects a diverse and multicultural society.

It pledges civil and religious liberties, equal opportunities, justice and fairness for all – and recognises the importance of protecting Ireland’s natural resources.

The Irish Diaspora is noted for its importance and it is said that no person should be forced to leave Ireland by economic necessity. The right to a home, education tailored to every individual’s own ability, care for the sick and vulnerable and an appreciation of the elderly are all key parts of the re-imagined document.

Following the presentation, councillors were given the opportunity to speak about their own connections to the rising and reflect on the issues that had been presented to them.

Cathaoirleach Peter Roche reflected on the struggle that faced the volunteers of 1916. “In April 1916, creating an equal society was a challenge – and it remains so today,” he said.

In a moment of comic relief, ‘New Dawn’, the haunting tune gifted to the people of Galway by Ger Fahy as part of the commemorations, spontaneously erupted across the chamber while Cllr Pat Hynes spoke about his own families connections with the rising. “It must be their spirits,” he said, to much laughter from the American guests.

Cllr Michael Fahy spoke of the debt owed to the generation who fought for Ireland 100 years ago.

“I look forward to, on December 6, 2021, that a referendum can be held in the 32 counties of Ireland,” said Cllr Fahy. “Within our lifetime, a united Ireland can take place.”

It was the intention of the visiting delegation to present the council with a replica Liberty Bell – the symbol of independence in the US – however councillors had to settle for a picture of one for now with the bell itself needing liberating from customs.

Connacht Tribune

Joyce’s Tribune inspiration for Finnegan’s Wake!

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James Joyce's statue in Dublin.

James Joyce copied copiously from the Connacht Tribune when it came to creating his complex novel Finnegans Wake where he intertwined events of the real world and that of his dreams.

He had relatives of his wife Nora send him over copies of the Tribune in 1924, from which he would pour over local news, sports reports, letters to the editor and even advertisements.

An art teacher in Dublin, who has spent 14 years creating illustrations inspired by Finnegans Walk, hopes to create pieces of art specifically highlighting those Galway sections of the novel.

Carole Wade is hoping people here who have anecdotes and connections with Ireland’s most famous author will relay those to her which can then be incorporated into the artwork. It will eventually be donated to the Moore Institute in the University of Galway.

Her sister Dr Frances McCormack in the university’s School of English and Creative Arts has reached out to her fellow academics to collaborate. But her sibling is urging ordinary people to take part.

“I think it’s the most amazing book ever written. Ulysses is about a specific place and time but Finnegan’s Wake is about the history of the world. If you want to know about the Crimean War, every war and every battle in Europe – they’re all mentioned, even the Maamtrasna murders are there,” she enthuses.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Little Blue Hero meets Boys in Green

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Connacht’s Tom Farrell, David Hawkshaw, Niall Murray, Tom Daly, Gavin Thornbury and Jarrad Butler chase after Charlie Quinn during his visit to the Sportsground. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Connacht’s trio of Irish rugby internationals found themselves facing (not quite) the long arm of the law this week when Galway’s newest Garda recruit turned up to join in their training session at the Sportsground.

Charlie Quinn – Garda Number 322 – was in full uniform for the occasion, but that didn’t stop him joining in a Connacht session with captain Jack Carty and, fresh from Ireland’s triumphant Autumn Series, Mack Hansen and Bundee Aki.

The seven-year-old from Creggs is Galway’s latest Little Blue Hero, following his life-changing bone marrow transplant – thanks to a donation from dad Niall, who underwent a pioneering procedure to ensure his platelets were compatible with his young son’s.

Charlie was given a tour of the new Garda Regional Headquarters in Murrough before being ‘blue lighted’ by members of the force to Connacht Rugby to meet his heroes.

And a day later, he still hadn’t come down from the high.

“He’s gone off to school this morning, fully clad from head to toe in his Garda uniform; he’s delighted with himself,” said his mum Cathy.

Niall and Cathy revealed the rollercoaster they’ve been on since Charlie was first diagnosed with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome is a rare genetic immunodeficiency that keeps a child’s immune system from functioning properly.

But thanks to the incredible work carried out at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle, he’s now finally back to full health – and flying.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

GAA couple move wedding to give clear run to club semi-final

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Shauna Healy

IN the words of Shakespeare, ‘all’s well that ends well’ . . . and that’s certainly the case for the St. Thomas’ GAA club as a clash has been avoided between their All-Ireland semi-final date with Dunloy of Antrim and the marriage of one of their star players.

Originally, their match with Cúchulainns Dunloy, had been pencilled in for Saturday, December 17 – the same day that key player Darragh Burke was due to tie the knot with Galway’s multiple camogie All-Star winner, Shauna Healy from Ardrahan.

Following St. Thomas’ replay success against Loughrea in the county final on Sunday week last, the five-in-a-row Galway champions knew that they were ‘in a pickle’ with the All-Ireland semi-final fixed for the same weekend as the wedding.

Frantic behind-the-scenes efforts were made to seek a postponement of the match but with the All-Ireland club series on a very tight deadline, there was little room for manoeuvre.

Initially, Croke Park had agreed to switch the match from Saturday week to Sunday week, December 18, but this would have made for a very low-key wedding and reception on the day before at the Meadow Court Hotel, Loughrea.

Luckily though, for Darragh Burke and Shauna Healy, the Meadow Court Hotel had an alternative date available on the following Thursday, December 22, which the couple have now settled on to tie the knot.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie. You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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