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I am writing this column in the week of the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, signed in Belfast on April 10, 1998.
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.
Since Arshad Butt left his home of Pakistan to travel to Ireland in 2009, the Athlone community has gained a passionate worker for refugees, asylum seekers and those in need.
In January of this year, Lieutenant Colonel Caimin Keogh assumed command of An Chéad Cath battalion in Renmore’s Dún Uí Mhaoilíosa Barracks. As a Galway-man Lt Colonel Keogh is immensely proud to lead his home-town battalion, as he told me when I sat down with him in his office on Monday afternoon.
General Manager GOAL
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.
The Prophet Mohammad, when asked why he had never visited Damascus, replied that you "only enter paradise once". Thus advised, I joined a group of international peace activists on a tour of Syria.
Last Friday, as Storm Brian dragged its squalls of wind and rain across the city, I met Ireland’s new French Ambassador, Stepháne Crouzat in the snug environs of the Black Gate Centre on St Francis Street. It was an ‘entente tres cordiale’ as Stephane’s soft-spoken, warm, and personable manner is the very embodiment of diplomacy.
A MAJOR new exhibition of work by sculptor and artist John Behan opens this Friday October 13 at the Kenny Gallery. Award-winning actor Stephen Rea will officially open the exhibition entitled Eternal Recurrence, at 6pm.
The Baboró International Arts Festival for Children returns next month, from October 16 to 22, and there is a feast of shows to delight and entertain families looking for something fun to do after school or on the weekend.