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Weaving Joyce’s Galway story

Dave O'Connell

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Author Ray Burke autographs his new book Joyce Country for Jim Fahy, who launched the book Also in the picture is Ray's wife Marian Burke.

Galway should develop a Joycean version of the Wild Atlantic Way – a mindscape of the places around the city and county associated with James Joyce and his Galway-born wife Nora Barnacle – to reinforce just how big a role the area played in the author’s life and work.

That was the challenged laid down by former RTE Western Editor Jim Fahy, as he launched Joyce County, a new book from his RTE News colleague and Oranmore native Ray Burke in NUIG’s Aula Maxima this week.

The veteran journalist highlighted, for example, the well-known role both Rahoon and Oughterard cemeteries played in Joyce’s iconic short story, the Dead.

But he also pointed out that Joyce’s association with Galway was both considerably longer and deeper than his time spent in the famous Martello Tower owned by Oliver St John Gogarty in Sandycove, made famous through its role in Ulysses.

The author himself said that Joyce spent more time in Galway than anywhere else in Ireland in the weeks before he embarked on permanent exile to Europe – but even before that, through Nora Barnacle, he came to know the people and the place.

Ironically Joyce County was launched last Tuesday, 104 years ago to the day that Joyce had walked the streets of Galway, bought a postcard of an old Claddagh fisherman and sent it to friends in Europe with the single line – Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man.

The book launched was attended by a host of Ray Burke’s current and former RTE colleagues, including former Head of News Ed Mulhall, former RTE Director General and founding Ceannasaí of TG4 Cathal Goan, Mid-West correspondent Cathy Halloran, South-East correspondent Damien Tiernan, Western correspondent Pat McGrath, Regional Reporter Teresa Mannion, former Agriculture correspondent Joe O’Brien, TG4’s Suin Nic Gearailt, and RTE Galway staff Orla Nix and Roslyn Martyn.

Also out in force were the Oranmore man’s former NUIG and Collingwood Cup team-mates, James O’Toole, Mike Clarke, Owen Kennedy and Austin Molloy, along with the driving force behind soccer at the college for so many years, Profesor Liam Spillane.

The guests also included the Principal of his old Bish school Ciaran Doyle with Board of Management chairman Myles McHugh.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Gardaí seek help in locating missing man

Enda Cunningham

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Gardaí have sought help in locating a man missing in Galway since the end of December.
34-year-old Luke Davoren was last seen in the University Road area on December 30.

He is described as having fair hair, 6ft in height and having an athletic build. He was last seen wearing a grey hoody, brown leather jacket, blue jeans and brown leather boots. He also had a black back pack in his possession.

Gardaí and Luke’s family are very concerned for his welfare and have urged him to make contact.

Anyone with information, particularly any road users with dash cam footage of the Newcastle/University Road areas between 1am – 2am on December 30, is asked to contact Galway Garda Station on 091 538000.

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Daredevil’ swimmers are a fatality waiting to happen

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – ‘Daredevil’ winter sea swimmers who dive or jump into the water in places like Blackrock during adverse weather are putting their own lives at risk – and possibly those of rescuers – by their actions, it was warned this week.

Water Safety Ireland have cautioned that the biggest single contributor to drownings in Ireland is what is known as ‘cold water shock’ – a condition caused by the sudden entry into a cold body of water.

There is now growing concern that a copycat trend is emerging with young people – without wet suits – diving or jumping into the sea in stormy or icy-cold weather.

Several people have been filmed on social media in the sea at Salthill during storms – with a number of them taking ‘running jumps’ off the diving tower at Blackrock.

Roger Sweeney, Deputy CEO of Water Safety Ireland, told the Galway City Tribune that people jumping into the sea during storms showed at best a reckless disregard for their own safety and in a worst-case scenario represented ‘a fatality waiting to happen’ for the jumpers – or the persons trying to rescue them.

“Jumping into cold water puts you at risk of cold shock which can result in immediate incapacitation and doing so in storm conditions can make it difficult to get back out of the water safely and promptly before hypothermia sets in.

“Hypothermia leads to the cooling of the muscles needed in the arms and legs to stay afloat. Drownings typically happen when someone over-estimates their ability and under-estimates the risks,” said Mr Sweeney.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune, that the key thing for all people who enjoyed the water and the sea was to carefully plan their exercise or hobby.

“Cold water shock is a real danger at this time of year for all swimmers. Be prepared – have your cap, ear plugs, mats, woolly cap [after leaving the water] and towels all in place. Check the weather forecast and check the tides – and never, ever just jump straight into the water during the colder season.”

(Photo: Diving into the water at Blackrock during Storm Bella in December)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Developer banks on boom in rental property market

Enda Cunningham

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The backer of the Crown Square scheme in Mervue is planning an increase in the number of apartments in the development following a review of the economic viability of the project.

The 345 apartments will specifically target the rental market.

Crown Square Developments Ltd, which is operated by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has told Galway City Council that the amended plans will form part of a new planning application to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála under ‘Strategic Housing Development’ legislation.

According to the company, the property market has changed since it was granted permission in November 2019 for 288 apartments in three blocks ranging from five to eight storeys in height.

Mr Rhatigan has now sought planning permission for an 18% reduction in the overall size of basement levels and a reduction in car parking from 1,377 to 1,012 spaces. Cycle parking spaces will increase from 1,110 to 1,200.

The plan also involves the relocation of the vehicular and pedestrian access to the development on the Monivea Road, which will now be closer to McDonagh Avenue. The existing planned access is at the south-easternmost point of the site, but is now planned to move further west.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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