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Knock Shrine is gearing up for the arrival of upwards of 45,000 pilgrims along with media from more than 30 countries for the visit of Pope Francis to the national shrine on Sunday morning.
AMONG THE feast of events at next week’s Cúirt International Festival of Literature is the launch of the debut book of poems by well-known Galway writer Moya Roddy - Out Of The Ordinary, published by Salmon Poetry.
Fr Pat Connaughton, Bishop Casey’s secretary for a while, recalled a time when he and the bishop were going to a meeting in the archbishop’s house in Thurles. “Our car broke down. No matter. We were near Thurles. We left it on the side of the road, and walked the rest of the way, the bishop’s arms swinging by his side. We were passed by Bishop Kevin McNamara, in many ways the very antithesis of Casey. McNamara looked out the window, and remarked to his driver: ‘There goes Eamonn in drama again.’
It is August now and already in Dunnes Stores and other supermarkets I see the jotters, copybooks, pencils, and schoolbags all being laid out for display and purchase. I imagine if I was a child in primary school and going around with my mother shopping, I would hate those counters and I would be dragging her away from them, because of course it means that going back to school is not that far off.
This weekend saw the Labour Ard Fheis in Mullingar. It was a fine turnout with Joan Burton the star at the Leader’s Speech. Throughout the weekend there is no doubt the local hero was Willie Penrose – a long-time serving Labour TD for Longford-Westmeath.
One beautiful June evening, after a hard day’s work turning a large field of hay, my friend and neighbour Joe Blewitt asked me would I go over to Tully’s for a pint. He didn’t have to ask me the second time because we had worked up a huge thirst over the course of the day. There was a large crowd in Tully’s that night, and all the events of the day were discussed at some length. It was the night before the Connacht final between Mayo and Galway and it was really the topic of the day. Who was going to win? There is always tremendous confidence in Mayo, and most people there that night thought Mayo would win; some of the older people issued a note of caution and said that there was no such thing as a bad Galway team and cited some examples of years gone by when Mayo were raging hot favourites only to come a cropper to an unfancied Galway team.