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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.
Fast. That’s the only word that can describe Tuesday's 149km trek from Newport to Bundoran. The stage started with speeds exceeding 60 kmph, and at time hitting well over 70kmph. Narrow roads from Newport to Glenhest and onto Ballina meant that it was difficult to move up in the peloton.
Country roads took us home to Mayo in yesterday's second stage of the An Post Rás, an important stage for the Mayo men and for all rider’s in the race. The early stages in this year’s race isn’t going to be where you win the race, but it can definitely be where you lose it. Over 190 riders on a main road fighting to be near to the front of the peloton can often lead to crashes.
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.
The An Post Rás is an annual, eight-day, stage race around Ireland. The race is Ireland's number one cycling event and will take place from Sunday, May 21, to Sunday, May 28. The An Post Rás is Ireland’s only UCI (professional) bike race. The epic race began in 1953 and has been held every year since. It is one of Ireland’s top sporting events bringing world class sporting action and a significant economic boost to towns and villages nationwide.
Mayo Community Games is a very proud voluntary body which has made a huge contribution to the games since they were formed in 1973. Once you entered the Sports Ireland National Sports Campus in Dublin for the National Community Games May Festival it was very clear that Mayo was truly represented by the wonderful colour of flags and Mayo tracksuits everywhere. Mayo Community Games was involved in swimming, table tennis, futsal, marathon, mixed distance relay, gymnastics, quiz, and soccer. The Mayo participants' first visit to the campus yielded tremendous success with five sets of gold medals, three sets of silver, one set of bronze, and a set of fourth place medals. Eight individual medals were successfully secured with two gold, two bronze, and one fourth place making their way back to Mayo.
Members of the Moycullen Community Development Association have voted unanimously to back the completion of the Connemara Greenway from Galway city to Clifden.
There were nine food and drink establishments celebrating this week at the Connacht finals of the Irish Restaurant Awards in the Radisson Blu in Sligo. In the overall provincial awards, Café Rua in Castlebar picked up the win in the Best Kids Size Me section. When it came to the Mayo specific awards, Sage in Westport was the winner of 'Best Restaurant', with Johnathan Keane from The Lodge at Ashford winning Best Chef. The Best Gastro Pub award went to Flanagan's Gastro Pub in Claremorris and Bar One in Castlebar was the winner of the Best Casual Dining gong.
I was fortunate to have been invited this week to give a talk on the history of Castlebar to the local branch of the Irish Countrywomen's Association (ICA). The evening went well, and my thanks to Maura McGuinness, Patricia Larkin, and all the membership for their hospitality. It was in preparing for that talk to an all-female audience that I was reminded of how devoid our local history is of women and women's groups, when compared to their male counterparts. In the 400 years I covered, only five women featured publicly and briefly. We know the reason for this was because a male dominated society had structured a degraded role for women which was almost impossible to break from. For those women who wanted to express themselves, the ICA was and remains an important outlet since its inception in 1910.
Mayo Public Participation Network (PPN) is organising a number of information evenings for community groups this March and April. The first series of meetings in March will take place in the four municipal districts in Mayo and is open to groups registered with Mayo PPN, in these areas. The April meeting will take place in Castlebar and is open to all groups registered with Mayo PPN.