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This week’s title borrows from John Kells Ingram’s famous 1843 political ballad, "The Memory of the Dead". In his poem, Ingram posits that later generations turned their fattened backs on the memory of the rebels of 1798, "Who Fears to Speak of '98?" Ingram was not a republican, but he penned his piece for the nationalist paper The Nation because he sympathised with what the United Irishmen had attempted to do and he had always pledged to defend brave men who opposed tyranny.
In the first of his An Post Rás tour diaries Jason Prendergast from Team iTap brings us into the heart of stage of one of the race.
More than 70 per cent of the population of Mayo live in rural areas, according to the latest data released by the Central Statistics Office following the Census which was taken last year.
More than 70 per cent of the population of Mayo live in rural areas, according to the latest data released by the Central Statistics Office following the Census which was taken last year. The CSO has reported that, of the total population of 130,507 recorded in the county, 37,276 (28.6 per cent) live in urban areas, with 99,231 (71.4 per cent) living in rural areas.
Through the years of kingdom, empire, dominion, republic and continental union, County Mayo has retained the rarely advantageous honour of being among the most westerly outposts of each political entity. The county's distance from the heart of government and its demanding terrain seriously hampered any mode of movement, in and out of Mayo. At the passing of the Acts of Union in 1800, the Crown accepted that responding to sporadic violent opposition to the legislation would be difficult considering a regiment on foot would take six days to travel from Dublin to the west. Correspondence between the British authorities in Dublin and their surrogates in Mayo would therefore be all the more urgent. However, at this time, it took the swift mail coach, running through the night, more than 30 hours to reach the county capital. Logistical challenges existed too for the movement of produce and for travelling men of business. Any coach journey covering 60 miles a day was considered efficient. To reach even Mayo's eastern border by coach from Dublin would have taken two days with good conditions. Land transport, at the turn of the 19th century, was undependable and slow. As a result, long distance travel on the part of most people was simply not undertaken due the many obstacles it raised.
The nationalist Irish Volunteers were established in November 1913 as a response to the formation of the unionist Ulster Volunteers in 1912. Members of the Provisional Committee of the Irish Volunteers selected areas around the country which they would visit with the aim of setting up Volunteer companies. Committee member Colonel Maurice Moore of Moorehall in Carnacon outside Castlebar chose to return to his home county to organise and mentor the men of Mayo. Moore had military experience since the 1870s with the Connaught Rangers and was well respected by both traditions.
The news this week that five courses at the Castlebar campus of GMIT are to be pulled has been greeted with shock and dismay in the county. On Monday afternoon staff at the college and elected officials in the county were told of the plans to cut the courses in Digital Media and Society, Sustainable Building Technology, Business with Administration and ICT, and heritage related programmes, History and Geography, Culture and the Environment.
Well, here we are in another week and everything in the political world in Ireland is still in turmoil.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny is facing a crucial few days that will decide when he will announce the date when he will step down a leader of Fine Gael.
Super slimmers in Mayo have lost a whopping 54013.25lbs (that’s 3858 stone or 24.5 tons) in weight – that’s the equivalent of 18 cars. Altogether the members of the Ballina, Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis, Castlebar, Claremorris, Westport, and Swinford Slimming World groups are now 54013lbs lighter than they were at the beginning of 2016.