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I do not think that it is a coincidence that the famous Galway Races coincide with the ancient festival of Lughnasa, celebrated on Garlic (Garland?) Sunday or, in the west, on the last Sunday in July. Máire Mac Neill, in her epic and scholarly study*, tells us that the date marked the most important farming benchmark of the year, the harvest, and it was robustly honoured. There were many Lughnasa gatherings throughout Ireland. Perhaps the most famous one in Connemara was at Mám Éan in the Maamturk mountains. People would camp out for days, musicians and hawkers would entertain the crowds; but the main event was a massive faction fight often resulting in serious injury or death.
Deirdre Nikoras sat in the front row of the downtown courtroom, craning her neck to see the face of the teenager who police say killed her brother.
A man accused of killing New Zealand photographer and former Galway resident Trent Keegan in Kenya in 2008 has been acquitted following a trial in Nairobi.
The writer and teacher Gerry Hanberry won the recent Eyre Square Poetry Competition for his poem ‘Crossing Eyre Square’. Mr Hanberry’s poem is printed below.