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Irish Special Forces (the Army Ranger Wing) operated in Western-occupied Afghanistan under NATO command, it was revealed last month, thanks to TD Clare Daly’s parliamentary question. The story received no media coverage. The operational purpose of these troops was not revealed. However, like Special Forces the world over, it was not pencils they were sharpening.
Among the many fine writers coming to Galway for the Cúirt International Festival of Literature is Mexican novelist Juan Pablo Villalobos. The author of three bitingly funny books, Down The Rabbit Hole, Quesadillas, and I’ll Sell You A Dog, he delivers sharply satirical, sometimes surreal, depictions of Mexico’s political and economic instability and inequity, and its crime problems.
I was on a whirlwind tour of various places in the west of Ireland recently, attending Gorta Self Help Africa events, especially the Gorta Self Help Africa Ball where close on €30,000 was raised for the charity’s work in 10 countries in Africa. We are so thankful for this support, and indeed from all the parishes in Galway and the west of Ireland that have organised fundraising events during the year.
As a past leader in Operation Transformation and a former football All-Ireland winning medalist with Offaly, I have got used to facing challenges.
The Manchester bombing has been condemned as “a vile atrocity” by the Galway Alliance Against War, but it added that the terrorist incident will generate more coverage than similar attacks in the Middle East, by virtue of it happening in the West.
First things first: Trump’s election was greeted by wild rumours in Galway that all the US multinationals would be forced by the new president to re-locate to North America. This did not happen under Obama, as was initially feared, and it will not happen under Trump.
Brigadier General Peter O’Halloran, a resident of Athlone, has been appointed Assistant Chief of Staff of Óglaigh na hÉireann.