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Connemara connection to Ingrid Bergman as Sweden remembers movie icon



Sweden is preparing to celebrate the centenary of their greater screen legend of all – but Connemara too has its own footnote in the story of Ingrid Bergman.

The Casablanca star – Ilsa Lund to Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine – will be remembered in her native Sweden later this month to mark the 100th anniversary of her birth.

And among those present will be author and translator, Ann Henning Jocelyn, who has lived in Connemara for the past 32 years.

She will be remembering Ingrid Bergman, not alone as an actress and a screen icon – but as a close friend.

Ingrid Bergman’s autobiography “My Life” will be re-published as part of the commemoration and an epilogue written by Ann Henning Jocelyn has been appended to the original version of the book.

The epilogue is entitled: “Ingrid Bergman – A Good Friend”.

Ann Henning-Jocelyn . . . Bergman connection

Ann Henning-Jocelyn . . . Bergman connection

It happened in London 35 years ago.  Ingrid Bergman’s autography was being crafted by Alan Burgess; the publishers wanted a simultaneous version of the book in Swedish.

“That was how I came into the picture”, says Ann Henning Jocelyn.

A native of Gothenburg in Sweden, Ann had come to London to study drama and she was also a proficient linguist.  She was asked to translate the Bergman autobiography text to Swedish and the task also involved going through the film actress’s letters, diaries and Swedish source material.

Ingrid Bergman liked the translation but decided she wanted to tell the story again.  She asked Ann Henning to join with her in doing the work.   It was an unforgettable and almost awe laden assignment.

Ingrid Bergman is described by one film history source as “one of the greatest actresses from Hollywood’s lamented Golden Era. Her natural and unpretentious beauty and her immense acting talent made her one of the most celebrated figures in the history of American cinema”.

Bergman role in the 1940ies war time film “Casablanca” is legendary but it is only one of her major films: “Murder on the Orient Express” and “For Whom the Bells Toll” are others that remain etched in the popular memory.

Ann Henning-Jocelyn has fond and abiding memories of that spring and summer of 1980 in London.

“Ingrid had great charisma. She was warm and also forthright.   She said what she meant and she meant what she said.  I found this very comfortable as you had no difficulty in trying to work out how she felt about something,” says Ann.

Both of them were Swedish and Ann Henning-Jocelyn says this help in established a bond between them.  As well as that link, Ann and her family had holidayed for four generations in Fjallbacka, a small fishing village on the west coast of Sweden.

Ingrid Bergman and her third husband, Lars Schmidt also had a home there and Ann, as a young girl, remembers Bergman coming shopping to the village.  “We shared a nostalgic background in that way”, Ann explains.

During that summer of 1980 Ann Henning-Jocelyn worked with Ingrid Bergman, often outdoors on the roofed terrace of the film icon’s home in Chelsea.  Sometimes it was seven days a week; it was hectic but fun filled and exciting.

“She always encouraged you and brought you into circles of people” says Ann.

Sometime ago Ann Henning- Jocelyn went back to Cheyne Gardens in Chelsea to see the Bergman homestead again.

It was spring, a cold wind blew and the skies were dark and “three dark windows looked gloomily down on me”…the scene had changed.

Ann Henning-Jocelyn writes in the republished epilogue to Bergman’s autobiography: “How different from my first visit to this Chelsea street!  On that occasion the fruit-trees were in blossom, a southerly breeze played softly over the river Thames and curtains billowed around the three windows, left open to let in sunshine and warm spring air.

“I was filled with happy anticipation, for I was on my way to my first ever meeting with film star Ingrid Bergman.  On my way to the start of a treasured friendship that was tragically cut short”.

Ingrid Bergman was already in the early stages of the cancer that killed her when the book was finished.  Ann Henning-Jocelyn met her on occasions in the following years as the film star’s vitality and energy drained away.

It was about this time that Ann Henning-Jocelyn got married and moved to live in Doonreagan House in Cashel in Connemara and it was there on the morning of August 22 1982 that she heard the news on radio; Ingrid Bergman had died.

It was her birthday – she was 67.

Connacht Tribune

West has lower cancer survival rates than rest



Significant state investment is required to address ‘shocking’ inequalities that leave cancer patients in the West at greater risk of succumbing to the disease.

A meeting of Regional Health Forum West heard that survival rates for breast, lung and colorectal cancers than the national average, and with the most deprived quintile of the population, the West’s residents faced poorer outcomes from a cancer diagnosis.

For breast cancer patients, the five-year survival rate was 80% in the West versus 85% nationally; for lung cancer patients it was 16.7% in the west against a 19.5% national survival rate; and in the West’s colorectal cancer patients, there was a 62.6% survival rate where the national average was 63.1%.

These startling statistics were provided in answer to a question from Ballinasloe-based Cllr Evelyn Parsons (Ind) who said it was yet another reminder that cancer treatment infrastructure in the West was in dire need of improvement.

“The situation is pretty stark. In the Western Regional Health Forum area, we have the highest incidence of deprivation and the highest health inequalities because of that – we have the highest incidences of cancer nationally because of that,” said Cllr Parsons, who is also a general practitioner.

In details provided by CEO of Saolta Health Care Group, which operates Galway’s hospitals, it was stated that a number of factors were impacting on patient outcomes.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Marathon Man plans to call a halt – but not before he hits 160 races



Loughrea’s Marathon Man Jarlath Fitzgerald.

On the eve of completing his 150th marathon, an odyssey that has taken him across 53 countries, Loughrea’s Marathon Man has announced that he is planning to hang up his running shoes.

But not before Jarlath Fitzgerald completes another ten races, making it 160 marathons on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

“I want to draw the line in 2026. I turn 57 in October and when I reach 60 it’s the finishing line. The longer races are taking it out of me. I did 20 miles there two weeks ago and didn’t feel good. It’s getting harder,” he reveals.

“I’ve arthritis in both hips and there’s wear and tear in the knees.”

We speak as he is about to head out for a run before his shift in Supervalu Loughrea. Despite his physical complaints, he still clocks up 30 miles every second week and generally runs four days a week.

Jarlath receives injections to his left hip to keep the pain at bay while running on the road.

To give his joints a break, during the winter he runs cross country and often does a five-mile trek around Kylebrack Wood.

He is planning on running his 150th marathon in Cork on June 4, where a group of 20 made up of work colleagues, friends and running mates from Loughrea Athletics Club will join him.

Some are doing the 10k, others are doing the half marathon, but all will be there on the finishing line to cheer him on in the phenomenal achievement.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Galway ‘masterplan’ needed to tackle housing and transport crises



From the Galway City Tribune – An impassioned plea for a ‘masterplan’ that would guide Galway City into the future has been made in the Dáil. Galway West TD Catherine Connolly stated this week that there needed to be an all-inclusive approach with “vision and leadership” in order to build a sustainable city.

Deputy Connolly spoke at length at the crisis surrounding traffic and housing in Galway city and said that not all of the blame could be laid at the door of the local authority.

She said that her preference would be the provision of light rail as the main form of public transport, but that this would have to be driven by the government.

“I sat on the local council for 17 years and despaired at all of the solutions going down one road, metaphorically and literally. In 2005 we put Park & Ride into the development plan, but that has not been rolled out. A 2016 transport strategy was outdated at the time and still has not been updated.

“Due to the housing crisis in the city, a task force was set up in 2019. Not a single report or analysis has been published on the cause of the crisis,” added Deputy Connolly.

She then referred to a report from the Land Development Agency (LDA) that identified lands suitable for the provision of housing. But she said that two-thirds of these had significant problems and a large portion was in Merlin Park University Hospital which, she said, would never have housing built on it.

In response, Minister Simon Harris spoke of the continuing job investment in the city and also in higher education, which is his portfolio.

But turning his attention to traffic congestion, he accepted that there were “real issues” when it came to transport, mobility and accessibility around Galway.

“We share the view that we need a Park & Ride facility and I understand there are also Bus Connects plans.

“I also suggest that the City Council reflect on her comments. I am proud to be in a Government that is providing unparalleled levels of investment to local authorities and unparalleled opportunities for local authorities to draw down,” he said.

Then Minister Harris referred to the controversial Galway City Outer Ring Road which he said was “struck down by An Bord Pleanála”, despite a lot of energy having been put into that project.

However, Deputy Connolly picked up on this and pointed out that An Bord Pleanála did not say ‘No’ to the ring road.

“The High Court said ‘No’ to the ring road because An Bord Pleanála acknowledged it failed utterly to consider climate change and our climate change obligations.

“That tells us something about An Bord Pleanála and the management that submitted such a plan.”

In the end, Minister Harris agreed that there needed to be a masterplan for Galway City.

“I suggest it is for the local authority to come up with a vision and then work with the Government to try to fund and implement that.”

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