The vocation for rugby in Connemara dates back to the '20s when some workers of the Marconi station at Clifden played this sport in their spare time. Many young men in the area, formed from a hard life which required a tough and sturdy constitution, became players in the teams of the most prestigious colleges in the nation, but the official birth of the team took place in 1946, on Boxing Day, against the formation of Galway Corinthians.
Connemara All Blacks play and train on Monastery Field, just outside Clifden, purchased in 1976 by the Franciscan Brothers (hence the name ...) and opened in 1981. The team currently plays in second division B and can boast a "senior" and a "junior" formation, plus of course a breeding ground for future promises whose age ranges from 7 to 18 years.

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On the shores of beautiful Lake Na Fooey are located the house and the workshop of Joe Hogan, a skilled craftsman specialized in the creation of willow baskets. A native of Ballinasloe, Joe started his activity in 1977, taking advantage of the natural growth of willows in the fields surrounding the lake. The raw material is actually abundant since these plants produce twigs suitable to interweaving at the end their first year of life.
The harvest - made with the aid of a simple sickle - is done by hand during the first two years, to allow a cut as close as possible to the ground; subsequently Joe uses a very basic machine, which is operated by one man, while another ties the twigs up in bundles, after properly clearing them of ground scraps. The bundles are transported to sheds where they will be allowed to dry and subsequently stored for several years.

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If you are wandering along the banks of lovely Lough Na Fooey - in the heart of Joyce 's Country - do not miss a visit to "Croeso" Border Collie breeding farm. Here Joe Joyce, a sheep and sheepdog breeder, trains his dogs for the hard tasks awaiting them up in the hills. During summer months, from June to August, the nice and friendly Joe organizes working dogs demonstrations in the fenced area just beside his house, from Tuesday to Saturday (at one o'clock and three o'clock in the afternoon).

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The beautiful landscapes and the charming atmosphere of Connemara have always been a source of inspiration for artists: it is no coincidence that some great painters of the past, such as Paul Henry, produced memorable works while living in this area. This article presents the works of Mo, Bernie and Rosie, three artists of different ages, united by an exquisite feminine delicacy that inspires them to capture and reproduce through various media and techniques the magical sensations that Connemara can give.

 

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Not many people know that Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937), the distinguished Italian scientist who invented the radio, actually had strong links with Ireland. In fact, his mother Annie was one of four daughters of Andrew Jameson of Wexford, the well-known and wealthy owner of the homonymous whiskey distillery. Marconi, who has a closed and reserved character, had inherited from his mother the Irish irreverent "sense of humour" and an undoubted elegance in stylish dress and imposing bearing, which made him fascinating in the eyes of the fair sex.

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