Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us


Silver stars of the silver screen!



A host of Galwegians with longevity on their sides are set to light up the screen next week in the highly anticipated award-winning film – and what they all have in common is that they predated the formation of the State!

‘Older Than Ireland’ is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Alex Fegan, from ‘The Irish Pub’, and features thirty Irish men and women aged 100 years and over who share their life’s memories in this charming film.

The film will explore each centenarian’s journey from their birth at the dawn of Irish Independence to their life as a centenarian in modern day Ireland, offering a rare insight into the personal lives of these remarkable individuals.

Mary Kilroy from Caltra with the youngest of her 23 great grand children Pippa Kilroy.

Mary Kilroy from Caltra with the youngest of her 23 great grand children Pippa Kilroy.

Snackbox Films produced the documentary which received Best Documentary award and a standing ovation at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh.

Each centenarian boasts a unique perspective on life and its true meaning, reflecting on key events such as the day they got their first pair of shoes, the thrill of their first kiss, the magic of their wedding day and the tragic loss of their loved ones, all brought together in this thoughtful and endearing film.

From 113 year old Kathleen Snavely, the oldest person in Ireland ever on record, to 108 year old Luke Dolan, Ireland’s oldest man, audiences will met with a colourful cast of characters from all walks of life, whose extraordinary lives will unfold before viewers on the big screen.

Galway locals featured in the film include sisters Margaret Kelly and Mary Kilroy, along with Kathleen Fosdike, Madge Fanning – who features in the Guinness Book of Records as a member of the Irish family with most centenarians – and Winnifred Anderson.

North Galway will watch with particular pride the screen debuts of Mary Kilroy from Caltra – now in her 102nd year – and Margaret Kelly, who was in her 100th year before her passing.

Mary from Caltra and Margaret from Cloongowna, Ballymacward, were originally Mannions hailing from Fairhill, Menlough.

The Fairhill sisters have a brother, John Mannion who now lives in Limerick, and a sister Christina Ownes, living in Ballagh, Menlough.

The premiere will be a proud day for both sisters’ families, but as for Margaret Kelly’s family in particular, the film will be a pleasant memory in the years ahead.

According to Mary Kilroy’s son, Mattie, who also resides in Caltra, both Mary and Margaret were married to and worked diligently on their farms for most of their lives alongside their husbands Michael Kilroy and JP Kelly, both now deceased.

“It was nice to see our mother in the film but unfortunately due to sight difficulties she will be unable to see the film but she hopes to get a recording of the sound which she can listen to in the months ahead,” said Mattie.

The thirty cast members were handpicked from a possible three hundred candidates over the age of 100 across the country.

The film will premiere in Dublin this Saturday and Thursday, and Galwegians will be able to see the film in the Eye Cinema from September 25.

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading


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.”

Continue Reading