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In May, 1846, as part of a Famine relief project, 175 people were employed to build a road linking Dangan to Salthill. Part of that road was known as Bóthar na Mine (the Road of the Indian Meal) because all of the wages were used to buy oatmeal. I have never been able to find out how, when, or why this name was translated into English as Threadneedle Road.
The Great Famine of 1845 - 49 hit Achill Island particularly hard. Given the poor quality of its soil there was little or no alternative to the potato crop which failed throughout those years. Once the severity of the calamity became apparent, and that help from the government was begrudging and insufficient, there was a sensible coming together of Protestant and Catholic clergy to try to calm and feed the people.
The distressing scenes recently of children separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border, the European response to the migrant crisis, and questions about Ireland's Direct Provision system, have raised serious questions around racism, borders, and political responses.
Building a wall along the Mexican-American border; banning people from a number of Muslim majority countries from entering the US; 'Fortress Europe' against the needs of Syrian civilians fleeing war - the last two years have seen opinion turn against immigrants.
The extreme winter conditions of 1846/47 exacerbated the mounting crisis that the Great Famine had already created. The number of deaths from hunger in Galway town averaged between 25 and 30 a week. As well as the main workhouse on Newcastle Road (now the University College Hospital) auxiliary workhouses had opened at Barna, Newtownsmyth, Merchants Road, St Helen Street, and in Dangan. Six soup kitchens operated throughout the town feeding some 7,000 people a day and more as newcomers streamed in from rural districts. On one bitterly cold morning two children were found frozen to death on High Street. Another child dead nearby.
WINNER OF a ‘Lustrum’ Award at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Orla Murphy’s acclaimed play, Remember To Breathe, comes to the Town Hall Theatre next week in a staging by Murphy’s own Figure 8 Productions.
Scared of needles? You aren’t alone; as many as one in every 10 people are frightened of needles, and have stated that it might put them off having treatments such as anti-wrinkle injections.
In only a matter of days, the first of 86 weary, desperate, human beings will arrive in Mayo as refugees from war ravaged Syria. That figure is made up of 20 families, of which sadly, more than 40 are young children forced to live a life that no child should ever know. They are escaping a complex war being fought by President Bashar al-Assad's government, Syrian rebel groups, ISIL, and foreign allies on both sides. That Mayo is one of only eight counties taking part in this resettlement programme should come as no surprise. Our county's history of reaching out to and accommodating suffering populations is a trait of which we can be proud.
We all lead busy, stressful, lives. Pressures of work, family obligations, and financial worries can all contribute to high stress levels. Research has also shown that stress plays a major factor in infertility and a woman's chance of conceiving. Concerns regarding fertility can add to existing worries. Couples affected by infertility have a tendency to become increasingly isolated and avoid gatherings with family and friends who have children.