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South Galway

Cillian shows leader skills for Burrenbeo

Earlier this year, Burrenbeo Trust put out a call looking for a ‘Young Burren Leader’ to represent the landscape charity at the world’s largest conservation conference in Australia. This week, the successful candidate for the role as a Global Youth Ambassador (GYA) has been announced as New Quay’s Cillian Fahy. This is not the first award for Cillian, who became the only Irish person to receive a Gates Cambridge Scholarship this year, allowing him to pursue an M. Phil in European Literature and Culture at the university starting in October. After getting As across the board in his Leaving Cert in 2010, Cillian sold his notes online for €3,000 and subsequently was a regular columnist in the Irish Times education section. He holds a degree in English Literature from Trinity College, Dublin. After being named a global youth ambassador, Cillian will now represent the Burrenbeo Trust at the world’s largest conservation conference, the IUCN World Congress in Syndey, this November. …

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Fahy: Hire ‘Local Irish’ for motorway

Galway County Councillor, Michael Fahy has fallen foul of organisations representing immigrants following his comments that “local Irish people” should be hired ahead of “people from other countries” on the €550m Gort to Tuam motorway. The Ardrahan councillor,  interviewed on Clare FM,  said he believes if the construction jobs the motorway project were to go to non-Irish workers, the money would leave the country. Clare Immigrant Support Centre is urging “caution” following Mr Fahy’s remarks. Director, Orla Ní Éili said the current financial difficulties many are faced with are not exclusive to Irish natives living her. A spokesperson for the Immigrant Council of Ireland Immigrants, Orla Ní Éili, Clare Immigrant Support Centre, described Mr Fahy’s comments as “offensive and unacceptable” and called on him to withdraw them. Councillor  Fahy has called on all the companies involved to ensure local Irish people are hired and not people from other countries. .

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Overwhelming response to Kinvara’s Israeli goods boycott

The group behind Kinvara’s business boycott of Israeli goods has described the response to the collective move as “overwhelming”. Just over a week ago, three local people, inspired by the images of Gaza on their television screens, decided to approach businesses in the area to see if they would take part in a boycott of Israeli goods. Since the boycott was announced in last Thursday’s Clare Champion, John Griffin, Frank Naughton and Vicky Donnelly have been inundated with support locally, nationally and even internationally. “The response has been overwhelming. We were really taken aback from the level of the response and the good feeling from the article and on social media. It seems to have really hit a chord with people,” Ms Donnelly said. “All three of us have been approached by people in the community who are delighted to see an action like this happening here. We have received messages of support across social media and even by phone. …

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Kinvara’s boycott of Israeli goods

Businesses and consumers in Kinvara have taken a collective stand against Israel’s actions in Gaza by pledging to support the growing boycott of Israeli produce. The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign said they were unaware of any other town or village that had taken this type of united action. The idea for the campaign emerged from numerous conversations at a local level, about what ordinary people could do to help end the bloodshed in Gaza. The subsequent appeal to local businesses was led by John Griffin, Frank Naughton and Vicky Donnelly, three members of the Kinvara community. “Like most people, we were sickened by the carnage we were seeing on our screens and felt helpless to do anything, until we decided to approach all the relevant businesses in our community to support the boycott of Israeli produce. The fact that we’ve had such a positive response sends out a strong message of solidarity,” John Griffin explained. According to Vicky, the campaign …

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Kinvara's picturesque harbour area. Photograph by John Kelly.

Kinvara first to boycott Israeli goods

A South Galway village has become the first in the country to unite against Israel’s military action in Gaza. Kinvara’s business community agreed this week to operate a boycott of Israeli goods, in protest against the “ongoing bombardment” of Gaza. According to the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), Kinvara is the first and only town in Ireland to take this collective action. “As far as I know, this is the first town to do this. Maybe there are other towns that have done it and haven’t told us but it is likely they would. We salute and congratulate the people of Kinvara for taking this stand for justice for Palestinians. We hope other towns and villages around the country will emulate them and take a similar stand,” said Kevin Squires, co-ordinator of the IPSC. Mr Squires also described boycotting Israeli products as “an effective and peaceful way to bring pressure to bear on the Israeli state to end its occupation …

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Ballinakill man receives Benemerenti medal

A well-known local activist and primary school principal was presented with a Benemerenti papal award recently. As a teaching principal at Ballinakill National School, the promotion of the Catholic ethos was first and foremost in Martin Fahy’s vision for the school. However, the leadership role Mr Fahy played on several committees in the parish such as pastoral councils, school committees and hall committees resulted in official recognition in the form of this prestigious medal. His son, Ger, is musical director for Michael Flatley, while his daughter, Mairin, plays with the internationally renowned Chieftains. Both are involved in the staging of Trad on the Prom in Salthill each year. Although Mr Fahy is a native of the neighbouring parish of Kilnadema, he has made a major contribution to the social, educational and spiritual development of the people of the parish of Derrybrien/Ballinakill since he came to live there more than five decades ago. During his long stints of community work,  he …

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Finding the heart of the Burren Lowlands

THE Burren Lowlands initiative saw its first major victory on Friday when a new tourism office was opened in Gort. In January, a small group of people living and working in Gort and its hinterland got together to stimulate job creation, rural and urban rejuvenation in the area, sustainable tourism and greater appreciation of arts and heritage. Two hundred people turned out when they held a public meeting in the Lady Gregory Hotel in April, aimed at getting ideas and input from the wider community and reversing the decline that has seen the town become one of the worst hit in the country in terms of the recession. At that meeting, ideas were put forward as to how this ambitious transformation could be achieved. “This really started at that meeting,” said local man and Galway County Councillor, Gerry Finnerty, one of those behind the Burren Lowlands project. “People said they felt there should be a tourist office in the town …

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Tip to Top women trekking through Clare

Two Donegal women are trekking through Galway and Clare on Wednesday making their way on horseback from Malin Head to Mizen Head in aid of three charities. Friends Amy McGarvey and Esther O’Kane are in Gort from 2pm to 2.30pm, will be in Crusheen an hour later before arriving in Ennis between 3.50pm and 4.30pm. The women and their horses will have a bucket collection in Newmarket on Fergus between 5pm and 5.30pm before concluding this leg of their week-long trek in Shannon between 5.45pm and 6.15pm. The pair will be back in the area on Sunday when they attend the Forgotten Horses family fun day in  Labane on Sunday. Amy is an equine management student in Enniskillen while Esther own’s her own business Tip Top Horses. The two began their trek from Malin Head to Mizen Head on Monday, raising money for the Donegal Hospice, Forgotten Horses Ireland and Animal Haven Animal Rescue. A casual chat between the equine …

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