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South Galway

Two die in Gort fire

Garda are not treating as malicious a fire which claimed the lives of two people in Gort. Ben Whiteman (38) and Nuala Sweeney (65) died in the fire at Tom O’Donnell’s Flats, Station Road, Gort on Thursday morning last. Friends and relatives of Mr Whiteman gathered at Mullin’s Funeral Home in Gort on Monday to bid farewell to the British national, before a private cremation in Cork on Tuesday. Emergency services were called to the fire at 2.50am on Thursday morning. The fire was brought under control by Gort and Loughrea fire services. Two bodies were taken from the damaged building and removed to University Hospital Galway. No one else was injured in the incident.

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‘Magnified’ economic decline in Gort

By Nicola Corless UNEMPLOYMENT and emigration rates increased more in Gort than any other town in the country, according to research revealed this week. Figures for towns in other parts of Ireland will not be released until April, but Professor Cathal O’Donoghue of the Teagasc’s Rural Economy Development Programme outlined details of the group’s research in Gort to a meeting of Galway County Council on Monday, as part of a presentation from The Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Area (CEDRA). According to its national town rankings, which take into account unemployment and emigration rates, Gort has seen the biggest fall nationally in a Teagasc index of small and medium sized towns. In 2002 and 2006 it was just outside the top 10% of towns in Ireland but by 2011 it had slipped to the bottom 10%. The South Galway town lost 400 jobs in just five years, between 2006 and 2011. While the population of the town dropped …

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Councillor seeks M18 safety audit

A GALWAY County Councillor has called for the local authority to request a full safety audit on the M18 between Gort and Ennis after 10 car accidents on the route in just one day last December. While the crashes on December 19 resulted in the closure of that part of the motorway, Councillor Gerry Finnerty believes there is an ongoing problem on the route. “It is consistent that there are a lot of tips happening along it. If you drive along it any day you see evidence of that. It is widespread that there are accidents on it. I am listening to the general public’s concerns as well and you nearly feel that people are afraid to use it,” he said. Councillor Finnerty proposed at a recent meeting of the council that it contact the NRA and ask them for a full safety audit because “during a recent spell of poor weather, a number of serious accidents occurred on the …

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John Nolan watches the flooding as it rises over his farm at Corker, Kiltartan. In the background, haulier Michael Lynskey locks up John’s cattle in a truck for evacuation from the slatted house before the water comes in.

Water creeping towards 2009 levels

By Nicola Corless FARMERS are calling on the OPW and Galway County Council to clear drainage channels leading from Kiltartan to the sea at Kinvara, as high water levels have left hundreds of acres of land flooded. According to Councillor Gerry Finnerty, “There are a number of houses and a number of farm sheds under threat”. “In the Tarmon, Cahermore, Ballylee, Peterswell, Ballinastague and Coole areas, there is very, very high ground water levels,” he explained. “Anywhere the small schemes have been done, like in Shanaglish, and with the clearing of the river in Gort, things have improved. They are very small schemes but they have been very effective. When you see the bigger picture though, when the water is going down from Gort to Kiltartan, acres and acres of land has been flooded in Kiltartan and Cahermore. The water is blocking the road at Cahermore and Ballinastague and that is only three miles as the crow flies from the …

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Rosie named San Francisco Rose

Rosie Keehan, daughter of Beagh musician Vincent Keehan, has been selected as the San Francisco Rose to compete in this year’s Rose of Tralee. The 22-year-old graduated from University of San Francisco last year and recently started a new job in the city. Although born and raised in San Francisco, Rosie and her brother, Michael, have strong connections with Ireland and their father, Vincent, returns regularly. As her party piece at the San Francisco Rose selection last week, Rosie sang Working the Streets, a song written by her father and recorded by Ann Kirrane. Rosie, and her family, will travel to Ireland in May where she will compete in the Rose of Tralee regional finals in Portlaoise.

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Home calling for Monsignor Muldoon

A YOUNG Brendan Muldoon left Currenrue five decades ago, but the Florida Monsignor’s links with the area have never dwindled. Though from the parish of New Quay in County Clare, Brendan and his family always felt more connected with nearby Kinvara and Galway, attending school there and playing for Galway inter-county teams at various grades. “We are from the parish of New Quay, about three miles west of Kinvara, right on the Clare and Galway border really. Most of the land is on the Galway side but the house is on the Clare side,” he states. Brendan was ordained on June 21, 1964 at St Patrick’s College in Maynooth. From there he returned to Galway, though to the other side of the bay. The young priest was appointed to Rossaveal where he spent four years in the Gaeltacht parish and was heavily involved in Coláiste Chonnacht in Spiddal before a spending a year ministering in Galway City. “Rossaveal was a …

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Raising awareness of Sliabh Aughty Famine heritage

By Nicola Corless A COMMUNITY heritage group in South Galway will host a table quiz in Gort next week to raise funds and awareness for its work. The Sliabh Aughty Famine Working Group is in the process of researching and documenting the Famine heritage of the region. The group was initially established to host the 2014 national Famine Commemoration  but Galway was unsuccessful in its bid. Nevertheless, the group decided to continue work on projects about the Famine in South East Galway, by researching Famine history especially pertaining to the Sliabh Aughty area “The group was developed under the umbrella of Slogadh Aughty. The group comprises different individuals from communities around the Sliabh Aughty Mountains that have a community or heritage interest in the area,” explained Dr Christy Cunniffe, Galway County Council Field Monument Advisor and group member. “The group comprises of people with very different interests. My main area of interest is the archaeology or the features in the …

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Rally to drive South Galway economy

THE  Galway International Rally will drive business in South Galway and raise awareness of local charities, according to organisers. The Colm Quinn BMW Galway International Rally 2014 takes place on February 7, 8 and 9 and will see drivers compete over 13 stages in the vicinity of Gort. Kieran Donohue of Galway Motor Club explained why so many people are likely to attend. “Stages will be based around Gort over the two days are servicing will be here.  We would encourage people to come out and support the event and cheer the competitors on. We already have 110 entries and more are expected. Confirmed so far are seven WRCs or world rally cars. The leading drivers so far would be Irish Tarmac Championship winner from last year Gary Jennings, Donnagh Kelly, national champion Declan Boyle, Peadar Hurson, Enda McCormack, Sam Moffatt and expected entry from Eugene Donnelly. There will be a few lads from around Gort and some from Clare too,” …

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