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Shannon Airport’s passenger numbers have turned a significant corner, with figures for June showing an eight per cent increase on the same month last year.
It lasted only an hour, but for a generation of Galwegians it was a momentous occasion, one that gave a city and a population emerging from the oppressive 1950s, a much needed boost of confidence. It was the day US president John F Kennedy came to visit.
It is hard to believe that president John F Kennedy’s visit to Galway only lasted one hour. It was timed with military precision and yet JFK seemed remarkably relaxed and enjoying himself thoroughly throughout. He landed by helicopter in the Sportsground where he was met by the mayor, Paddy Ryan, a group of schoolgirls from the Mercy National School all dressed in green white and gold, some members of the American legion, and a crowd of enthusiastic onlookers.
JOHN BOYLE O’Reilly was one of the most fascinating individuals to emerge from 19th century Ireland, and he is the subject of a show by the great Seán Tyrrell.
THE IMPORTANCE of Irish traditional music to the Irish Diaspora cannot be over stressed. Great musicians such as Tommy McCarthy, Mick Conneely, John Gannon, and Peter Carberry played key roles in fostering a sense of Irishness for their communities in London, Manchester, and Boston.
A Galway based secondary teacher - who drew a picture of US President Barack Obama which was presented to him on March 19 - has received a personal letter of thanks from the man ranked by Forbes last year as the world’s most powerful person.
Stephen Speilberg’s magnificent film Lincoln made it clear that the Northern States of America, the Union, had justice and right on its side, when it came to deal with the cotton-based slave states of the south. Washington had objected to their attempt to enlarge its slave industry further west. Southern states were enraged at this interference. In an appalling miscalculation some states began to leave to Union, set up their own Confederacy (eventually including 11 states), and prepared to fight for its freedom to choose its own destiny.
The summer officially began for the newly independent Shannon Airport over the May bank holiday weekend as the premier gateway to and from the western half of the island launched its schedule for the busy months ahead.
As part of the Mayo North Gathering festival, which takes place from August 1 to 9, the recently opened Jackie Clarke Collection in Ballina will mount a specially themed exhibition which will be of particular interest to emigrants and others coming to Mayo for the festival.
It is not right that children fail to outlive their childhood. Their young legs should in an ideal world, enable them to run free, to find wonderment in the environment that is their playground, to leap with their imaginations into the recesses of their young minds, as yet untainted by the cynicism of adult life. And this imagination and carefreeness should come with the love and care of those who are charged with shaping the environment in which they grow.