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Connacht Tribune

We see our sporting heroes through rose-tinted glasses

Dave O'Connell

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A Different View with Dave O’Connell

We’ve all come out of football match and met someone in the pub afterwards only to wonder if we’d actually been at the same game – the penalty that wasn’t even a foul or was a cast-iron spot-kick; the booking that was a fair tackle or should have been a red card; the midfielder who was a waste of space or the man of the match.

One team’s hero is the opposition’s pantomime villain – think, if you’re old enough, of Brian Mullins who was a legend of Hill 16 and Public Enemy Number One to the other 31 counties.

Likewise, with Thierry Henri – one of France’s greatest footballers or the man who robbed Ireland of a World Cup place by cheating with his hand.

Which would still only put him in the ha’penny place beside Diego Maradona, who – depending on your perspective – is either the devil incarnate or proud possessor of the Hand of God.

And it’s not just cheats who inspire differing views; Clare loved Davy Fitz just like Davy Fitz would have died for Clare – but, to put it diplomatically, the rest of the country didn’t share the mutual adoration.

At least until he came to town to manage them.

Conor McGregor inspires half of Ireland to stay up all night to see him perform his version of street fighting in a cage, while the other half of the nation is hiding behind the couch in embarrassment at his antics.

Even off the field or out of the octagon, we see things from polarised viewpoints.

Roy Keane v Mick McCarthy, for example – how could two people who had the one argument in the same dressing room so divide the sporting public who proclaimed to support them both?

And that’s one of the reasons we love sport – because we see what we want to see, and only from our preferred perspective.

We could sit side by side with a fan of the opposing county for 70 minutes, looking at exactly the same game from the same vantage point, and we’d still come away with two radically different versions of the same event.

Which, up to now, might just have suggested we were wearing metaphorical blinkers or rose-tinted glasses – except now the scientists have looked at it to see if it runs any deeper than that.

And it does.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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