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Connacht Tribune

Water levels reach their lowest point in Connemara for years



Sheepdog Bella crosses the Bunnaun Stream, without getting his paws wet, as John Geoghegan and son Seán, look at the water levels dropping by the day. PHOTO: JOE O’SHAUGHNESSY.

FROM motorbiking in Greece at the end of May to shearing sheep early in drought threatened Connemara, there was one common thread for John Geoghegan – temperatures above the 30 degrees mark.

Last week, John, from Glengowla, Oughterard, looked at his local landscape and the streams beginning to dry up and got help to shear some of his Blackface hill sheep flock.

“It’s a lot earlier than normal but it’s an animal welfare issue in this heat.

“It was nearly as hot last week in Oughterard as it was in Greece when I took part in the motorbike rally event,” John Geoghegan told the Farming Tribune.

He drove his Enduro KTM 690 in the seven-day Greek rally over a variety of terrains and managed to make his way to the end of the event – not a bad achievement given that 100 of the 270 competitors did not reach the finishing line.

“This was a great event to take part in, across a variety of very testing terrains and I was delighted to complete the course.

“There were days when the temperature was in the 30s – I didn’t expect though that I’d be seeing the same thing here in Oughterard a few weeks later,” he said.

While John Geoghegan doesn’t yet want to join the growing number of farmers in the ‘praying for rain’ category, he said that there are worries across parts of Connemara as many of the smaller hill and mountain streams are drying up.

“The Bunnaun stream goes through my farm and while there is still some water flowing, the levels have gone down very low, while many of the smaller streams feeding into the Bunnaun have dried up completely,” said John.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Connacht Tribune marks Local Newspaper Week



Support...Media Minister Catherine Martin.

Local newspapers around Ireland – including the Connacht Tribune and Galway City Tribune – are highlighting their contribution to their own communities by celebrating Local Newspaper Week.

Readers in print and online are being encouraged to support their local newspapers by buying a copy at their newsagent or taking out an online subscription.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin added her voice to support the campaign this week.

“Local newspapers hold a special place in our communities, telling the stories of the people who live and work in them, celebrating the vibrancy of the places we call home, and shining a light on the matters that are important to us,” she said.

“Growing up, the Northern Standard was a constant in my household. A cornerstone of our community. That close relationship with local newspapers is something that’s replicated in communities throughout the country, and it’s something to be treasured now and in the future.

“In recognition of the importance of local media, I secured €6 million in Budget 2023 for the establishment of the Media Fund. This will initially fund two schemes, a Local Democracy Reporting Scheme and Courts Reporting Scheme, which will be administered by Coimisiún na Meán on a platform-neutral basis,” she said.

Connacht Tribune operations manager Declan McGuire is the current President of Local Ireland, which represents publishers of paid-for weekly newspapers across the country.

“It’s important to recognise the contribution made by newspapers in print and online to their local cities, towns, villages and parishes,” he said.

“We are there week-in, week-out and even during the economic challenges of COVID when businesses slowed or stopped altogether, we kept publishing to keep our readers informed.

“We have come through recession, a huge loss of advertising to the tech giants, the COVID slowdown and now we face a cost of living and energy crisis, along with a 150% increase in the cost of our basic raw material, newsprint, over the last 18 months.

“We have had encouraging support from our Minister Catherine Martin, Government and opposition parties and we hope to receive more following the recommendations of the Future of Media Commission.”

Executive Director of Local Ireland Bob Hughes described local newspapers as the lifeblood of local communities.

“They are a mirror to our cities, towns, villages and parishes. Where else would you find coverage of news, sports, entertainment and local issues in such detail?” he asked

“We are valued as public service content providers and this has been recognised by both the Future of Media Commission, Government and our Minister.

“We face serious challenges to our journalism and are looking for Government support in many areas, such as funding from the new media commission, partnership agreements with the tech platforms, reform of our defamation laws and a fair share of Government advertising,” he said.

“We also need public support for what we do and the best way to do this is to buy a newspaper or take out an online subscription. We have never had so many readers thanks to our new digital audience.”


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Connacht Tribune

Magnificent property boasts all the elegance of a showhouse



High standard of finish: Bóthar na Mias in Kinvara.

Farrell Auctioneers are handling the sale of this magnificent home at Bóthar na Mias in Kinvara.

Number 19 simply oozes style and there’s no question it’s right up there with the best of showhouses.

It boasts character and comfort with its design allowing light to flow brightly throughout – thanks to the large glass wall window it features.

A three-bed property, there is also potential for a fourth bedroom on the ground floor. The living area and kitchen are tastefully designed and laid out with modern day comforts in mind.

The bespoke kitchen is every homemakers dream, with its floor to ceiling kitchen units as well as many other features.

This beautiful residence is located within walking distance of Kinvara Bay which is one of the most desirable places to live in the world. Not alone would the property make a beautiful family home and the occupants would have the benefit of the unrivalled natural beauty that the area has to offer, but this lively picturesque village has all amenities needed for everyday living such as schools, childcare, post office, a host of restaurants/cafes/bars, playground, medical centre, hotel, GAA facilities not to mention the instant access to a selection of beaches dotted along the Wild Atlantic way.

Selling agent Colm Farrell said: “This property has to be viewed to appreciate both the dwelling and the stunning setting.”

 The asking price is €450,000. For further information or to arrange a viewing, contact Farrell Auctioneers on 091 632688.

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Country Living

Bemoaning loss of innocence in a sport driven by big bucks



Brazil dazzled the world of football in 1970 with their mix of pace, grace and sheer footballing class.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

I’m not big into trying to resolve the huge issues of the world like wars, climate change or attempting to dethrone the obnoxious Elon Musks of this world, primarily on the basis that my influence would be akin to a moth trying to stop a herd of charging elephants.

And, I suppose at this stage, I have to accept that it’s far too late to try and call a halt to the World Cup proceedings in Qatar but for the life of me, the event doesn’t even send a sliver of enthusiasm through my nervous system.

Maybe, it’s an old-fashioned streak that’s there inside of me, but the thought of watching World Cup matches in the run-up to Christmas just doesn’t seem right. Okay, so it will be about 30°C in the heart of the Qatar desert but watching a World Cup semi-final in the middle of the Christmas office party is just a stretch too far for me.

Alas, World Cup memories go back a long way with me to a late Sunday in July 1966 when as a ‘small boy’ I was given the job of ‘minding’ the house while the ‘rest of them’ saved a small field of hay a couple of miles away from the house.

Of course, at the time there wasn’t even a faint chance of a black-and-white TV in the house, while visits to any abode that might have a telly, were strictly confined to a Sunday with the stipulation that Galway footballers had to be involved.

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.

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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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