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While last week's historic referendum on same sex marriage was undoubtedly the political event of the year in Ireland, earlier this month the eyes in Leinster House were very firmly fixed on events across the Irish Sea and the British general election.
There couldn't be a much tougher task for JP Coen's Mayo senior hurlers if they are to have any interest in championship hurling beyond the middle of May tomorrow. James Stephens Park in Ballina will be the venue for the meeting of Coen's side and last year's Christy Ring Cup champions, Kildare, in the winner takes all round 2b clash. Mayo lost out to Derry in Owenbeg a fortnight ago by two points, while Kildare were finally defeated by London in a replay in St Conleth's Park in Newbridge last weekend. Both sides finished level after extra time in the Emerald Grounds in Ruislip the week before, when Mayo were going down to Derry.
Annie Kelly was just 19 when all her dreams appeared to be coming true. Annie was one of 11 children living with her widowed mother at Newgrove, Mountbellew, Co Galway. Her boyfriend, William Murphy, and her brother Thomas had earlier emigrated to Boston. Annie and William were pledged to be married just as soon as Annie got the money to follow him there. Full of excitement the young woman later sailed from Liverpool on the Cunard liner the Lusitania arriving in New York on April 24 1915.
With the festive period now over, politicians have turned their thoughts to the year ahead and in one respect the mood across the parties is the same – we are now in an election year.
December will be a hectic month for Tommy Tiernan as he undertakes a seven date tour across all corners of County Galway, performing his new show Out Of The Whirlwind. The show, he says, will be a mixture of “storytelling and improv”, but this is also likely to be the last run of ‘world tour of Galway’ styled shows Tommy will do.
It was all about by-elections last weekend - two Dáil by-elections being watched closely with a view to gauging the mood music of the electorate; a Seanad by-election generating an inordinate amount of interest as the Government inflicted an unnecessary wound on itself; and two parliamentary by-elections in England which may yet prove to be of some interest this side of the Irish Sea.
Legendary Galway box player Matt Cunningham will talk about his 50-year career on a special IrishTV programme tonight, July 24, at 8pm
Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
The announcement this week of the redrafting of the EU constituencies for next year’s European Parliament elections has seen Mayo included in the new Midlands, North and West four seat constituency which stretches all the way from the Atlantic coast to the Irish Sea. Ireland has lost one seat in the parliament thanks to the accession of Croatia to the European Union, which has led to the redrawing of the boundaries and a reduction in a number of constituencies from four to three.
“Thousands are sailing, Again across the ocean, Where the hand of opportunity, Draws tickets in a lottery,” goes the second chorus from The Pogues’ song ‘Thousands are Sailing’ from 1988. While that song has its basis in the emigration history of the past, it is pretty relevant today with the most recent release of information from the Central Statistics Office.