Category: Archive

Around Ireland Culchie love in Mayo

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

Wanted: Country folk in need of tender loving care and partnership with a future.

Fit the bill? You might want to try the Black River Inn in Shrule, Co. Mayo, where the Culchie Blind Date Festival will take place the weekend before Valentine’s Day.

With a success rate of one in three, festival organizers are hoping that more lovelorn culchies, as Ireland’s rural inhabitants are known, will take advantage of a chance to find their perfect partner.

According to The Examiner newspaper, organizer Paddy Rock gladly points to the example of festival veteran Mick Cahill and his girlfriend, Fiona Killeen. The couple met last year on a Valentine’s blind date and will celebrate their first anniversary together this year. Two other couples were also matched up on the night and are still together.

Now former Culchie of the Year Mick has moved from the countryside of Longford to a job with a Supermac’s Fast Food outlet in Galway city to be with Fiona.

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Fiona, a nurse, said it was only by chance that she entered into the blind date event.

"I was off work that night and went to the event with a friend," she said. "It took a lot of persuasion before I was convinced to go on stage for their blind date. But that’s how I got Mick and we’re together ever since."

But their union did not come without sacrifices for the country lad.

"The very fact I gave up my milk round in Longford and rented my small farm to my brother to move to Galway to be with Fiona speaks for itself," Cahill said.

Galway pride

When Padraig Nallen was chosen to take part in a television documentary experiment about living on a remote Scottish island for a year, he was given a choice of one luxury item he could take with him.

While other choices ranged from the practical (a mountain bike) to the more personal, (musical instruments), the Galway native decided to haul over a crate of his favorite tipple: 24 bottles of Black Bush whiskey.

The Sunday Tribune reports that Nallen was chosen for Castaway 2000, a social experiment by the BBC to examine how 36 people would survive and build a self-sufficient society on an uninhabited island in the Outer Hebrides.

A technology company employee, Nallen was chosen after a battery of physical and psychological tests that included killing chickens and shoveling human waste, the paper reports.

During the program, which is already running in Britain, the chirpy Irishman was asked whether he thought he could survive for a year without sex if he didn’t manage to form a relationship with another member of the castaway group. Nellan replied, he didn’t think it would be a problem because he "hadn’t had a shag for four months."

Vigilante gangs

The drug-pushing trade has become so rampant in parts of County Claire that local politicians fear residents could form vigilante gangs to run the dealers out of their local areas.

The Clare Champion reported recently that the local county council heard about the possibility of residents banding together to combat the growing drug-dealing problem that is spreading even to more rural regions.

"Drugs are everywhere," said Fianna Fail member Pat Hayes at the council meeting.

"Suppliers are now targeting people in small villages. The first thing they are being offered when they go into pubs is drugs."

While Garda drugs squad continue their war against narcotics in the county, Hayes warned that more action was required.

"The communities have to get together, but not in vigilante groups," he said. "Unless action is taken there is a real danger of vigilante type groups because most people are aware who the drug pushers are."

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