News in Brief

Some of the news in breif from around this county this week.

Mayo passenger journeys highest on record in 2017

A total of 559,000 passenger journeys were recorded on the Dublin/Mayo rail line in 2017, the highest figures ever recorded on the route. This represents a 4.6 per cent increase on 2016. With busier road traffic, more and more people are opting to take the train when travelling between Dublin and Mayo. Economic improvements, greater numbers of people in employment, and increased tourist numbers visiting the Mayo region have all contributed to the major increase in passenger numbers.

Commenting on the figures, chief executive of Iarnród Éireann, David Franks, said: “As an organisation it is great to see our passenger numbers returning to peak levels. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do and we are working hard to ensure that we can provide an even better service throughout 2018.” During 2018 Iarnród Éireann will continue to provide frequent and value for money transport for the people of Mayo, and is working to secure funding for fleet investment to cater for future growth on the national Intercity network."

Inspirational Mayo women at The Linenhall

Mayo Rape Crisis Centre presents Inspirational Mayo Women, an opportunity to celebrate St Brigid’s Day by meeting and greeting some of the nominees for the Inspirational Mayo Women on Thursday February 1 at 8pm at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar.

There is now a small community of women who have been nominated by others for the inspiration they offer. Previous recipients are Martina Jennings, Margaret Leahy, and Marina Tuffy. Some of the nominees will speak as well as their award recipient for 2018. There will additionally be music, poetry, and readings as well as some young inspirational women speakers. Refreshments will be served. For more information and booking call (094 ) 9023733 or online at www.thelinenhall.com

Acclaimed author Toolis to give talks on latest work

Kevin Toolis is a writer and filmmaker. His latest book My Father’s Wake: How the Irish Teach us to Live, Love and Die has just been published and is available in all local bookshops. He will be giving a talk on his latest book in Achill Library on Tuesday, February 13, at 7pm, in Westport Library on Wednesday, February 14, at 7pm, in Ballina Library on Thursday, February 15, at 7pm, and in Charlestown Library on Friday, February 16, at 7pm.

For 20 years writer and filmmaker Kevin Toolis hunted death in famine, war, and plague across the world before finding the answer to his quest on the island of his forebears. In this beautifully written and highly original memoir, he gives an intimate, eye-witness account of the death and wake of his father, and explores the wider history of the Irish wake. With an uplifting, positive message at its heart, My Father's Wake celebrates the spiritual depth of the Irish Wake and shows how we too can find a better way to deal with our mortality, by living and loving in the acceptance of death.

He is also the author of an acclaimed chronicle of Ireland's Troubles, Rebel Hearts: Journeys Within the IRA's Soul. He is an acknowledged terrorism expert and has studied and reported on conflicts in Africa, Ireland, and the Middle East. As a filmmaker Kevin has won a BAFTA for Best Single Drama and was nominated for an Emmy for his documentaries on the Middle East, The Cult of the Suicide Bomber. He is also the playwright of the London West End political satire The Confessions of Gordon Brown. For more information on the talks call Westport Library on 098 25747.

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