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Dangan House, “beautifully situated on the banks of the fine river Corrib” directly opposite Menlo Castle, was built in 1684 as the seat of the Martin family. ‘Humanity Dick’ Martin was brought up there. John Redington purchased Dangan Demesne from Anthony Martin about 1830 and became the proprietor of the townland. It was, for a short time afterwards, converted into an Ursuline Convent. The nuns were there from 1839 to 1844. Dangan House was left to the Board of Guardians of the Galway Union for an auxiliary workhouse until 1854. The only trace of the original Martin building today is the tea-house folly which is on the banks of the river. A nearby property known as Dangan Cottage was leased by a number of American artists in the 1870s but was described as a ruin in the 1890s.
Sunday will be the last time the public get to see Mayo in action on their home patch until June 18 at the earliest, when their Connacht semi-final against Galway is scheduled to take place, providing of course that Mayo get over London in Ruislip at the tail end of May. The last time a new Mayo manager faced into a game against London on their own patch it nearly derailed the James Horan project before it even got going.
I have no doubt Stephen Rochford slept soundly last Sunday night after his team finally put 70 minutes together that all his hard work merited. This was a big game which attracted all the national media, Roscommon against Mayo in the 2016 national league was the main event on the GAA calender. It’s a long time since that was said about two Connacht counties going head to head in a league game, the last time probably the 2001 league final between Mayo and Galway.
What a feast of sport we had last Sunday. Two quality performances by Breaffy and Castlebar in the Mayo championship semifinals followed by as gutsy a performance as you are likely to see by the Irish Rugby team, only to be deflated by the Republic of Ireland soccer team failing to gain automatic qualification for the Euros when they were defeated by Poland.
The latest figures from the National Housing Construction Index reveal that sentiment in the construction sector in Mayo remains positive as planning applications rose by 10 per cent in the first six months of 2015 when compared to same period in 2014. Despite the positive outlook, there has been a significant fall in activity in the residential construction sector in Mayo with project commencements down by 49 per cent in the first half of 2015 when compared to 2014.
Two sporting icons will be guest speakers at this year’s autumn open days at NUI Galway.
My first permanent teaching post was at St Gerald’s College, Castlebar, 20 years ago this September. And having taught in the county for eight years, I appreciate the ravenous and deep rooted desire that exists there for a senior All-Ireland success. The school principal at the time was big Brother Thomas Durnin from the De La Salle Order, and he asked me to bring the Sam Maguire Cup down in 1998. The reaction of the older members of staff was revealing. They would take the canister. Look at it, and then hand it over quickly, with a certain amount of disdain, muttering something like; “I don’t want it. Or want to touch it, unless we have won it ourselves.”